Horrifying Details of Aussie Trekkers' Machete Attack

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By Athena Yenko | September 12, 2013 12:08 PM EST

The Black Cat Track is one of the most popular treks in Papua New Guinea (PNG). It is a rough track extending from the village of Salamua on the coast of the Huon Gulf, passing the south mountainous region of Wau.

However, seven Australians and one New Zealander were attacked by machetes while they were on a trekking expedition. Latest reports claimed they were already flown to Port Moresby and are expected to arrive at Cairns on Sept. 12.

The machete attack happened while the trekkers were inside their tents, trying to shelter themselves from the rain.

Two of the Australians were businessmen from Mackay, Nick Bennett and Steve Ward. Mr Bennett was hit in the head with a machete, while Mr Ward was punched by the attackers.

Their porters were reportedly killed by the attack. Mr Bennett and Mr Ward had to carry their bodies as they escape to safety.

Peter Stevens, 62, the organizer of the trekking activity was stabbed in the calf by the attackers using his very own walking pole. One trekker was slashed in the arm and other victims were hit with rifle butts.

According to The Herald Sun, Mr Steven's wife, Dee Sheffrin, said that she was more than grateful that the group survived the machete attack, especially her husband.

''He's done that trek before in his twenties, his very fit twenties. He'd also done Kokoda last year and this was a goal ... He got a group together from Melbourne and was training for it, it was a big challenge," Ms Sheffrin said.

Ms Sheffrin also said that Mr Stevens came with a friend, Rod Clarke, who deemed that the trek was a challenge for his age. But after escaping the attack, Clarke was really disappointed, especially that he had lived and worked up in PNG and had loved the place.

Leading the group was a woman named Christie King, the only woman among the trekkers. Fortunately, she was a nurse and an experienced guide at PNG Trekking. The victims' were in good hands, as their leader had completed PNG's most difficult treks, with the Black Cat track as one of her areas of expertise.

According to a report from PNG police spokesman Dominic Kakas, the machete attackers stole the victims' passports and important belongings. He reported that the trekkers were on the part of the trail called Donkey Track at around 1pm to 2pm when the machete attack happened.

Mark Hitchcock of PNG Trekking said that the injured victims had to hike around 4 hours before being treated at the village of Wau.

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