I wish to express my disappointment of the closure and destruction of a vital section of the historical WW2 Bulldog road where the Hidden Valley Morobe Mine company is currently operating. A road that if kept open would have provided a venue for eco tourism for hundreds of foreign trekkers following the famous WW2 route such as they do at the Kokoda Track. Employing porters from local communities and bring the much needed tourist dollar in to PNG .
I was sent there to trek the road by the Salvation army to conduct an initial trek as part as a new aid program by the non profit charity group. The agenda was to create another Kokoda through the region to bring employment and much needed aid to the remote communities. The Salvation army has operated for the past 5 years on the Kokoda bringing much needed aid to the communities and wanted to mirror their success on the Bulldog road and Black cat trail .
As you can see by the map I was provided that there is no mine registered over the Bulldog road. Too my surprise as I walked along from the southern side following the road I found myself in the middle of a major mining operation. It wasn’t long before I was met by private security with riot gear ,siren’s and flashing lights .
After my identification was established they toned down their attitude and after some phone calls back and forth , my group were escorted to the northern gate the following day.
On my return the mine would not allow the trekkers, porters and my self through. Even though they were ferrying local people through as per their agreement with them. They left us out side all night in extreme conditions and in the morning after calling the police on us agreed to supply us a lift back to Wau and on to the alternate Bulldog trail route through Winima.
Again it is very sad to see an Australian run mine treat tourist in such a manner and destroy such a beautiful environment, a historical WW2 road tourist route and local road .
There is no boundary road for locals or tourist to move around the mine.