[ book ] The Bulldog Track

November 2, 2018

The Bulldog Track

Peter Phelps

Rating: 4 / 5


Mention the word ‘Kokoda’ and images of courage and endurance flood the mind. But not many of us have heard of the Bulldog Track, 100 km west of Kokoda, which ran through appallingly difficult terrain from the New Guinea mountains to the coast.


During WWII, actor and writer Peter Phelps’ grandfather Tom worked in remote New Guinea goldmines. When the Japanese bombed the Bulolo mine in 1942, Tom and the other miners were stranded. Their only way out was to walk to safety along the perilous Bulldog Track. 


Aided by loyal New Guinean trackers, the miners endured freezing temperatures, nerve-wracking encounters with tribes wary of foreigners, never-ending mud, crocodile-infested rivers, malarial fevers and worse. 


A map or two would have helped make sense of the location, but Phelps’ story is an extraordinary and unforgettable read.

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Vol. 139, No. 14 // 11 April 2020

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