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.
We like to think that anyone who comes on a hiking tour with Emu Trekkers becomes a member of our Emu Trekkers family. For us, this is more than just a bushwalking tour. It is an opportunity to connect, to bring together the community, and make a positive difference to the lives of others.
It has been so exciting to see participants in our first month of operation respond so positively to our guided hiking tours in Manly and the Blue Mountains. To celebrate this milestone, we would like to showcase our first 5 reviews and thank each of the reviewers for spreading the word. It is inspiring to see the idea of Emu Trekkers come to life and make an impact on others.
Emu Trekkers is proud to announce that the proceeds raised from the treks in 2017 will be going to the amazing charity, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. This Australian charity focuses on improving literacy rates among remote and very remote Indigenous communities in Australia.
Being able to read opens so many doors, but unfortunately, according to the 2017 Closing the Gap report, only 42% of Indigenous Year 5 students in very remote areas in Australia are reaching national minimum reading standards, compared to 94% for non-Indigenous students.
What we love about the Indigenous Literacy Foundation is that they not only give children thousands of new, culturally appropriate books - with a focus on early literacy and first language- but they also run programs to inspire the communities to tell and publish their own stories. Many of these stories, such as Nginingawila Ngirramini – Our Story, are written by the students themselves in their first language and English. These stories focus on their heroes, sacred places and favourite memories.
So you are considering heading out on your first multi-day bush walk? Or perhaps you have done a long distance walk before but it has been a while and you want to refresh your knowledge.
Here are 5 simple tips to make the experience that much more pleasurable
1. Pack light
One of the most common errors made by first-time hikers is carrying too much stuff in your backpack that you do not really need. These may be items such as heavy books, appearance items such as hairbrushes, chairs or excessive amounts of clothing. There are multitude of pack checklists available freely on the internet these days. The important thing is to choose a list that suits the conditions you will be hiking in, whether it is desert sun or coastal rain, and stick it to it. Do not add more. Remember, on a multi-day hike, you are going to get dirty and smelly. You have to just live with it and remember that it is not date-night.