TOUR operator Adventure Kokoda has condemned the way in which a reporter from an Australian newspaper portrayed the recent issues relating to the Kokoda Track, describing the story as “made-up” and “snaky”.
The owner of Adventure Kokoda, Charlie Lynn, said: “The recent tragic aircraft crash, the deaths of four trekkers this year, reports of emergency evacuations and perceptions that the trail is overcrowded and poorly managed are starting to tarnish the brand ‘Kokoda’ in the eyes of many.
“While most of the media inquired about the facts and possible causes leading to the deaths on the trail, some of them made up their own stories without bothering to check the details,” Mr Lynn said.
He was referring to a report on Oct 8 by Jill Singer of the Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne, who wrote about the death of Phillip Brunskill and the tour operator, which created an avalanche of media enquiries.
Ms Singer described the Kokoda trek in her report as “an extreme form of endurance” with tour operators leading people into a “fatality zone”.
Her report also sprouted a raging debate on the Adventure Kokoda blog on the internet, which had more than 100 responses against the reporter, with most writers claiming she did not have a proper understanding of the trail and its issues.
Mr Lynn has publicly invited the reporter to walk the Kokoda Trail so that she may experience the trail first hand and to get to know the procedures of trekking, the significance of the trail and its realities.
However, she is yet to respond to Mr Lynn’s offer.