25 Apr 2008

Australian foreign minister at Anzac service in PNG

1:29 pm on 25 April 2008

Kokoda Track trekkers boosted numbers at this year's Anzac Day dawn service at the Bomana War Cemetery in Papua New Guinea's capital of Port Moresby.

While more Australians died in other battles across PNG, the increasing popularity of walking the Kokoda Track, where 600 Australians fell fighting invading Japanese, has brought with it larger crowds at the Bomana ceremony.

Close to 500 people witnessed today's service there.

Among them was Australia's Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith, who said the Pacific military campaigns during the Second World War were not only the darkest hours for Australians, but also PNG.

Mr Smith, along with others Australian officials, has been in the country for the PNG-Australia ministers forum, firming a new era in bilateral relations.