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May 21 , 2011

The Architect of Kokoda

Bert Kienzle - the man who made the Kokoda track


In my humble opinion, Bert Kienzle did more than any other single man to make Australian victory possible.' Peter FitzSimons, author of Kokoda
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In 1942, when the Japanese had invaded Papua New Guinea and the Australian soldiers sent to hold them back thought victory was impossible, one man, Bert Kienzle, changed the course of history.

This charismatic man, well known in Papua for having run gold mines and plantations there, was charged with the seemingly impossible task of establishing a trail across the forbidding Owen Stanley Range in just a few short months.

Out of jungle and mud, Kienzle carved a working transport route that his handpicked teams of native bearers, the now famous Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, would work on alongside the Australian troops ensuring that the men got the food, munitions and medical support they needed. The feats that these men performed were heroic, and their endurance as they transported supplies along the Trail unparalleled.

Bert Kienzle lived an amazing life and the transport route he established – the legendary Kokoda Trail – made Australia’s victory possible.

This is his story.

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