Australian beauty queens trade heels for hiking boots to tackle Kokoda

Australian beauty queens trade heels for hiking boots to tackle Kokoda

FORMER winner of Miss Universe Australia, Laura Dundovic and past winner of Miss World Australia Erin Holland, swapped their heels for hiking boots to walk Papua New Guinea’s renowned Kokoda Track.

The women took on the challenging eight day trek, as part of a Do Kokoda campaign developed by the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA), aimed at encouraging more women to trek Kokoda.

PNGTPA said their adventure was filmed to create three short documentaries.

Each year PNGTPA encourages advocates to trek the track and post content of their experiences online.

PNGTPA said Ms Dundovic and Ms Holland were selected as key Kokoda ambassadors for 2015 in an attempt to appeal to a female audience, following a hugely successful campaign featuring Sam Newman and Garry Lyon of the AFL Footy Show, who trekked Kokoda in 2014.

PNGTPA chief executive officer Peter Vincent said that the women were selected to demonstrate the trek can be a hugely rewarding experience for all Australians and should not be dismissed as ‘one for the guys.’

“We felt Laura and Erin were the perfect fit for this project because they were prepared to get right out of their comfort zone to show other women that Kokoda is not only possible, but an incredibly rewarding experience. In addition to this Laura’s family connection gave even more depth to her experience,” Mr Vincent said.

Ms Dundovic said she was deeply impacted by the entire experience, which not only physically challenged her but allowed her to trace the history of her grandfather, Sir Thomas Blamey, a controversial figure of World War II.

“Kokoda got us away from our phones and pushed our physical limits, which was incredibly rewarding. Most of all it taught us about a poignant chapter in Australia’s history and we truly believe more Australian women should give it a go,” Ms Holland said.

“I am definitely going to come back. I’ll drag a couple of girlfriends with me – and if not, I’ll come back by myself. It was amazing,” Ms Dundovic added.