Australia and Papua New Guinea are to jointly seek a world heritage listing for the Owen Stanley Ranges and the famous Kokoda Track.
The track crosses the rugged ranges from Kokoda in Oro Province to Owers Corner, which is near the PNG capital, Port Moresby.
It was the scene of fierce fighting along much of its 96 kilometres involving Australian and Japanese troops during the Second World War.
The track has since become a beacon for Australian walkers.
The Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt says heritage listing would help to build tourism and economic development opportunities for the local people and provide a high level of protection for the natural and cultural values of the area.
Mr Hunt who visited the Kokoda Track with the PNG environment minister John Pundari on Monday, says the listing is an important objective under the Kokoda Initiative, which was launched in 2008 to protect and manage the area.