By Tristan Harley, CEO of Emu Trekkers.
Over the past month or so, Emu Trekkers has been deeply saddened and concerned by the impact the Australian bushfires are currently having on our environment and our communities. These fires have already resulted in tragic loss of life, immense destruction of our natural flora and fauna, and damage to our houses and infrastructure. With no significant rain forecast, it is still unclear what further impacts will arise.
We would like to thank all those who have been working tirelessly to help fight these fires. Witnessing the community rally together during these tough times is one of the few positives to emerge from these events. We would also like to send our love and support to all our volunteers, community partners, friends and family who live and work in these regions and have been affected by these fires.
At Emu Trekkers, we firmly believe that we need to take more decisive action to address climate change and mitigate its impacts. We are disappointed by the lack of leadership we have seen from our government on this issue, not just during these fires, but over the course of many years. For too long, the warnings of our scientists have gone unheeded. That Australia was recently ranked last in Climate Policy is a reflection of our failures as a community to respond to these urgent issues.
By Jody Hammond
Woohoo! Here at Emu Trekkers we are both proud and humbled to be awarded the gold prize for adventure tourism at this year’s NSW Tourism Awards, announced last week.
Acknowledging the great work of our volunteers, the NSW Business Chamber recognised our passion, skills and the work we do to raise money for children’s charities. While we were announced as winners of adventure tourism, there was also talk of how we are at the forefront of what may become known as social tourism.
There are more than 50 volunteers of all ages in our team. In their ‘other lives’, they are doctors, designers, marketers, lawyers, scientists, engineers and retirees, among other things.
Behind the scenes, we have volunteers doing the marketing and PR, business development, bookings, volunteer co-ordination, walk provisioning and website design and management. At the front end, our volunteers are leading walks from the Spit to Manly in Sydney, Blue Mountains (overnight and day walks) and the Royal National Park overnight. In the two years since we launched, we have gone from offering one walk to five different overnight treks and walks. As the judges of the tourism awards noted, a “wonderful tourism product” with a “high ethic” and “charitable foundations”.
We combine our expertise to run a not-for-profit business that puts smiles on so many faces – from our participants to the beneficiaries of our donations to ourselves. As our volunteer Tad put it: “I always enjoy hearing the stories and perceptions of people that come from all over the world. In return, I share my knowledge about the bush, history and life in Australia. The train ride back is quiet as we all rest our tired legs and take in the sense of accomplishment. I'm super proud of the entire Emu Trekker organisation for being awarded Best Adventure Tourism by the NSW Tourism Board.”
This week Emu Trekkers has been recognised as a finalist in the 2019 NSW Tourism Awards in the Adventure Tourism category!
“The NSW Tourism Awards are the most prestigious awards in the tourism industry, with a long history of celebrating and recognising business excellence, innovation and outstanding customer service by tourism operators” NSW Business Chamber CEO, Stephen Cartwright said.
Managed by the Tourism Industry Division of the NSW Business Chamber and supported by Destination NSW, the NSW Tourism Awards celebrate and acknowledge tourism businesses that demonstrate outstanding achievement throughout the year.
We are so excited to be shortlisted as a Finalist. It has been an enormous year of growth for Emu Trekkers with more exciting chapters ahead. In 2019, we raised $60,000 to support the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and UNICEF, introduced 1064 participants to the beautiful Australian outdoors, and collectively hiked over 15,000 kilometres.
With our team being made up of volunteers from all walks of life and a diverse range of skills with a passion for adventure and the outdoors with all proceeds going to charity, we are just so proud to be in the running to win!
There’s plenty of reasons why volunteering as a guide with Emu Trekkers is awesome. But one of our favourites is all the new skills we get to learn.
The World Heritage listed Blue Mountains are just two hours from Sydney and home to some of the best hiking in Australia. We guess there's a reason we run so many hikes there right?! Here is our pick of the best hikes in the area.
By Karen Irving
Meat-eating plants seem so exotic you might imagine them deep in the Amazon or the rainforests of Borneo. But in fact the UNESCO world heritage Blue Mountains National Park boasts the most diverse range of carnivorous plants in the world, with nearly 240 species. Along the trail from Govetts Leap to Horseshoe Falls on the Emu Trekkers Blue Mountains hike, you’ll spot several varieties of carnivorous plants, including the world’s largest and most impressive display of Drosera Binata, or “sundews”.
By Tristan Harley, CEO of Emu Trekkers.
It is amazing to see how far Emu Trekkers has come since launching its first walks in September 2017. As Australia’s first not-for-profit outdoor tour operator run entirely by volunteer guides, we have made a great start in the tourism market and are already beginning to make a difference to kids in need.
Emu Trekkers is based on a simple idea that it is possible to offer unique tourism experiences in the natural environment that authentically connect visitors to the local community, raise awareness about important social issues, and in a small way help those communities by providing funding and assistance.
Our overarching mission is summed up in our four-word motto - ‘Hike Australia. Help Kids’. But in everything we do, we try to go further, to inspire others to make a difference, and to think about how they can positively support the communities where they are based.
By Brooke Nolan
I came across Emu Trekkers whilst on an overnight hike in the Blue Mountains earlier this year. Our groups kept crossing each other on the trail, sharing words of encouragement as we made our way up the beautiful but steep incline to Govetts Leap, where the hike ends.
We finished within a few minutes of each other, and with high fives and back slaps all round I decided to find out a bit more about the group that had been our shadow for the past 24 hours.
Curracarrong Falls. Image by Daniel Tran Photography.
When most people think of the top things to see in the Royal National Park near Sydney, they tend to think of the Figure 8 Pools or the Wedding Cake Rock. But one of the most underrated natural wonders in the Royal National Park along the Sydney Coast Track is Curracarrong Falls, a waterfall right next to Eagle Rock.
Most waterfalls are formed in the upper sections of a river in steep mountains, but what makes Curracarrong Falls so unique is that it empties out directly out into the Pacific Ocean. Think about it, where else in the world have you seen a waterfall that drops directly into the ocean?
Wikipedia suggests that there are only 30 areas with coastal waterfalls, also known as tide falls, like this in the world, making them incredibly rare. In Australia, the only other recorded coastal waterfall is in Waterfall Bay in Tasmania. The rest are scattered around the world in places like Mealt Falls in the Isle of Skye, or McWay Falls in California. But surely there must be more? After all, how much can we really trust Wikipedia :)
In a recent publication in the journal Geomorphology, two US scientists Patrick Limber and Patrick Barnard state that coastal waterfalls with constant flow are relatively uncommon and there is no broad explanation of how they develop and evolve.
They suggest these coastal waterfalls are caused by a unique interplay of marine and terrestrial processes. Essentially, the horizontal erosion of the landscape caused by the impact of ocean waves (which forms sea-cliffs) has occurred at a faster rate than the erosion/incision of the earth through rain water. For this to happen, you will generally need to be in a place where the sea-cliff is retreating rapidly and wave energy is high, while the flow of water is relatively small.
"My husband recently went away to New York without me (it's ok - we discussed it first) leaving me home alone. The weather had been pretty beautiful so I wanted to try something new in the great outdoors, however finding a willing companion on short notice was proving hard!
Being a bit scared to venture out too far on my own, I was looking to join a group for added fun and safety - not that I was looking for anything particularly dangerous but I am very uncoordinated and a bit of a wuss.
These stories are proudly written by the volunteers and friends of Emu Trekkers.