News

Kokoda Trail epic just a glimpse of what the Diggers endured

NEW TOOLS: Rockhampton man Cliff Caton learns new skills in the jungle, as he treks the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea earlier this month. Inset: Rockhampton’s Cliff Caton, Jenny Harrison and Chris Baartz, take in the stunning scenery. Inset: Cliff and his group.
NEW TOOLS: Rockhampton man Cliff Caton learns new skills in the jungle, as he treks the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea earlier this month. Inset: Rockhampton’s Cliff Caton, Jenny Harrison and Chris Baartz, take in the stunning scenery. Inset: Cliff and his group. CONTRIBUTED

CLIFF Caton spent months in training, but nothing could have prepared him for what he'd experience on the Kokoda Trail.

Not only did the Rockhampton man spend days trekking through the jungle in Papua New Guinea, he stumbled on some family history.

While visiting a cemetery before going on the trail, he discovered a soldier's headstone with his exact initials and family name.

"That blew me away," Cliff said.

Cliff's now looking to find out if the headstone belongs to his great uncle, or a distant cousin.

The headstone wasn't the only surprise during Cliff's trip, with the terrain on the trail more than he had imagined.

Cliff and 15 others trained physically for months to take on the harsh conditions of the jungle, that saw Australian soldiers fight the Japanese in 1942.

After two hard days of uphill climbing, Cliff said he had to use his mental strength to get through.

"At the end of day five you get to a point where if you hadn't been training you would've struggled," Cliff said.

"We kept our spirits up by trading jokes, singing and keeping our momentum up."

The nine-day trek saw them hike for eight hours a day, carrying packs weighing 8kgs.

But Cliff knew that was nothing compared to what our soldiers went through.

"You have to keep reminding yourself of the soldiers; what we were going through was minimal," Cliff said. "Soldiers were carrying around 45kg of gear.

"You don't realise the solemness of the place until you're there," the 53-year-old said.

FUNDS FOR A GOOD CAUSE

A fundraiser promoting Cliff Caton's Kokoda Trail experience in May raised $1000 for the Soldier On foundation

The foundation helps to rebuild the lives of returned servicemen and women within the Australian Defence Force

Topics:  kokoda trail, papua new guinea




FORGOTTEN CAP COAST: Why don't our beaches rate a mention?

beackless map.Photo Contributed

POLL: The Capricorn Coast boasts beautiful beaches, which is best?

WEIGH-ING IN FOR NBL SHOWDOWN

GAME ON: Rockhampton's own Stephen Weigh will line up with the Cairns Taipans in the two NBL clashes against the Perth Wildcats this week.

Weigh returns to home court for NBL showdown

Prominent businessman accused of stalking Brittany Lauga

Businessman Petros Khalesirad.

Businessman charged with stalking Keppel MP

Latest deals and offers

Fine arts uncover early women travellers

The Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society of Rockhampton will host an illustrated presentation at 10.30am on Saturday, September at the library.


Get Set for Summer!

Win One of Ten Prize Packs
Learn More

Bucking good time at Glenden Rodeo

ALL SMILES: Jim Sant.

Crowds enjoy the run at Glenden Rodeo.

MOVIE REVIEW: Ben-Hur isn't likely to become a new classic

Toby Kebbell plays Messala Severus and Jack Huston plays Judah Ben-Hur in a scene from Ben-Hur.

ANYTHING less than grand in a remake of Ben-Hur won't do.

FORGOTTEN CAP COAST: Why don't our beaches rate a mention?

beackless map.Photo Contributed

POLL: The Capricorn Coast boasts beautiful beaches, which is best?

Coming up on your TVs this September...

Don't miss A Place to Call Home as season four launches this September.

HERE'S a sneak peek at what's coming up on Foxtel.

Taylor Swift dismissed from jury duty

Taylor Swift was dismissed from jury duty in a sexual assault case

Zumbo's Willy Wonka hat trick trips up Queensland brickie

Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo with Zumbo's floating dessert in a scene from Zumbo's Just Desserts.

NOOSA'S Michael Basset asked to recreate floating chocolate dish.

John Lennon's killer denied parole for 9th time

John Lennon

John Lennon's killer has been denied parole for the ninth time.

Bunnings starts demolition of historic foundry buildings

SAWTOOTH GONE: Demolition of Foundry sawtooth shed to make way for new Bunnings building.

Lane and footpath closures will take place

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates

Receivers move in on Springfield's 'Tower of Power'

The 10-storey tower at Springfield is up for sale with interest high in the iconic structure.

Interest high in iconic 10-storey office building

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd

Warning for unit investors with price plummet prediction

The warning signs are flashing for one real estate sector in 2017 despite others performing the best they have in years and it's not going to be pretty.

One real estate sector looks set for a rocky 2017

Red hot property for sale

HOT PROPERTY: The building where Red Rooster sits on Musgrave St is for sale.

Musgrave St property up for sales