Navigator - Australian Alps - April 2018 | Outward Bound Australia
April 16, 2018 3:22PM

Navigator – Australian Alps – April 2018

12 days

28 adventurers

4 instructors

Let’s GO!!

Welcome all to the Navigator – Australian Alps blog for these April holidays. We are super excited to have two teams of 14 young adventurers set to go on their 12 day challenge through the spectacular Namadgi National Park. Everyone is settling in and getting to know each other. Stay tuned for more news during the week. Whilst we may have a lag in photos flown in via kookaburra we’ll try and get some stories out to you daily. Stay tuned for more great stories of team work, participants overcoming lots of challenges and fun times!

Day 1

A huge shout out to the 28 young people heading out on this big expedition. At the welcome ceremony the 28 participants were divided up into two teams and they had an afternoon of getting to know their new team members. Team 1 have the fabulous Bec and Luka as their instructors and Team 2 have Gresh and Chelsea as their instructors. One team started with the high ropes challenge course whilst the other team settled into some team building challenges to help them tackle the high ropes challenge course tomorrow.

Day 2

SO it’s been a big day for both teams with members showing their courage and bravery on the challenge ropes course. Both teams soared to great heights and showing some good support and camaraderie for each other. They’ve headed out towards Brayfield Hut in the buses this afternoon to begin their long journey homewards. They will be learning to navigate through some beautiful sub alpine terrain and having a go at being leaders at different points. Keep giving them a shout out so that they can see your comments in the post below.

Day 3

Yesterday the bus wound up into the mountains south of National Base to drop off the two teams for their expedition home. They began to understand the journey ahead as they passed many mountains!

The instructors spent some time with all the team members giving them their first lessons in navigation. Today they will put these new skills into practice. With packs on the teams headed off on their own independent journeys. Each team will plan a route and take turns in being the leaders.

Extra note

Shout out to Team 2’s first pair of leaders from their instructors. Their instructors wrote: “Rosie and Luke stepped into the (leadership ) role quite well considering it was the first leadership day and set a good example for future leaders”.

We probably won’t get photos for a few days but will hopefully be able to get some stories of their first hike tomorrow. Stay tuned!!

Day 4

Teams have headed today to the beautiful Yankee Hat area. Yankee Hat is a small dome shaped mountain which has Indigenous rock art at the bottom. Both teams have started to place different individuals as leaders of the day. They have reported that their challenge mostly since starting hiking is getting used to hiking with packs and waking up early!

Team 1 learnt about the local huts and what they were used for. They covered quite some distance hiking 10kms especially through some overgrown scrub. They have put in a big effort and were tired at the end of the day but excited about what they achieved.

It wasn’t all hiking though as the instructors gave them a few rope challenges. For each challenge the team became more accomplished at problem solving


Team 2 are hiking about a half day behind Team 1 who got a head start but also doing really great.

The highlights have been the serenity through the areas they’ve walked , stars at night time, amazing views and being in an amazing place away from the normal life style. Team members are showing good support for each other.


We’ll upload the photos from their photos in the the next 24hrs as we are able to pick them up.

Day 5

Both teams have passed through the Yankee Hat area. Team 1 who are a half day ahead due to starting their expedition earlier (although it is definitely not a race!!) have hiked down to Orroral Valley. It’s a beautiful spot and tonight begin their overnight solo in a remote area. They will definitely be enjoying the stars tonight!

Team 2 will start their solo tomorrow. Apologies as we are still waiting on photos to come in. We’ll upload some over the weekend!

Day 6

Here are some back dated pics! More to come tomorrow + some stories!! Thanks for your patience.


Team 1 had a massive hike up the mountains through thick shrubs to start their solo. The team enjoyed a full day of solo having the opportunity to do some much needed yoga, stretching, meditation and sleeping. The team are feeling good as they pass the halfway mark.

The challenges and biggest learnings that they report are “hiking in swampy land and ensuring everyone watches where you put your feet!”, not talking on solo (as they are by themselves) but on reflection they consider that the solo experience is good for thinking about what you want to do in life”.

Update for Day 6

Team 2’s report has come in:

“The group woke to a very frosty morning on the banks of Rendezvous Creek to begin their last expedition before solo. The morning hike was covered in fog as they headed up over a saddle and down into Orroral Valley to receive their solo briefing and additional gear and food to set up their own shelters. After a big few days hiking the team is understandably looking forward to a break although nervous about spending the night in their own shelter.”

Day 7

Team 2 started their solo the day before and were enjoying their own time to rest up. A rejuvenated Team 1 hiked up from the valley to the granite tor area called “Legoland”. Huge granite boulders exposed by thousand of years of erosion and weathering provide the perfect backdrop for above ground caving exploration. Some tight squeezes through cracks and spectacular views back over the valley where they did solo certainly will provide some great photos – coming soon!!

Update from Team 2

The team members finished their 24 hour solo which helped to rejuvenate them and they report feeling more”pumped, excited and energised”. The 24 hour solo was a huge learning experience for them all as they realised that they are capable and can rely on themselves. Their instructors poetically report:

“While there was much apprehension within the group towards spending time alone in the bush on their solo experience, once reunited all members of the group agreed it was a valuable experience that many would like to recreate in their life. The day concluded with a short walk through the picturesque Orroral Valley, while the storm clouds danced on the terrestrial plains still higher above their already soaring spirits”

Update from Team 1

The team hiked up through the scrub to the top of the ridge which is quite a challenging hike. The instructors have put them on “mountain time”. This means that they have given them the chance to go without their watches and have to guesstimate the time based on the sun’s movements (and how hungry they feel as it gets towards meal times!). The team have also had some workshops on leadership styles which will help them as they take on more and more leadership responsibility over the final few days.

Day 8

Both teams have headed through abseil and Legoland after a big climb up onto the ridge. Team members record on their notes that the best moment of the day was watching Mitchell abseil and Ethan navigating up the hill.

The instructors have handed a lot of the leadership over to both groups and groups are spending time completing the preparation for their final expedition which will hopefully see both teams summit Mt Tennant over the next day or so before heading down the Australian Alps track back to our National Base. Good luck teams!!

Day 9

Team 2 got up bright and early to go above ground caving at Legoland. They then headed back along the ridge to pick up some food and arrived at their camp at 5pm. Due to a big day the group is a bit tired and looking forward to a rest at camp. The best moment of the day was “experiencing the wonders of caving and the view of ramp rock overlooking the Orroral Valley”. The instructors report that the group is working well to overcome some issues and importantly worked out some solutions in their nightly sharing circle.

Day 10

Team 2 had another big hiking day and covered some big distance of 7km this included an inadvertent summit of Dead Man’s Hill (yes that is the name of the hill!). They held an Anzac service to remember those who have served for Australia. With such a big day they were relieved to make their campsite in the saddle of Mt Tennent – a short distance down from the summit. This will give them a great lead into getting to the top and down for the next day. They are almost at the end now and feeling relieved to have their goal in site.

Team 1 are travelling well and both teams will summit Mt Tennent tomorrow before heading down toward Tharwa.

Day 11

“Today we arose at 0430 to climb Mt Tennent for sunrise. After a very rushed breakfast we started the last leg to the top of the mountain. The last part of the mountain was very steep but not as steep as what we had done before. We reached the summit a few minutes before sunrise and all admired the view. In one direction we could see all the mountains that we had climbed past or over and in the opposite direction was the twinkling lights of Canberra. You could see the highway marked by the car lights and witness the city slowly wake up as the street lights faded out. It was a sight of true beauty and showing how humans change the surface of the Earth. We all posed for photos and watched the crimson sun rise over the mountains. When people had used up their camera film for the day we moved into a circle and discussed the things we had learnt, taken for granted and wanted to change about ourselves. Once we had finished that conversation we symbolically threw a rock that represented what we wanted to accomplish after this camp. After that we looked around and then quickly hiked down the hill.

“We stopped at a lookout for morning tea and admired the view. We then hurried on and reached basecamp half an hour early. On the way, we passed a rock cemetery (editor’s note: Desalis cemetery) and a rustic old shearer’s shed.

“Once we arrived at basecamp we ate honey and vita weets and proceeded onto the Giant Swing. This consisted of being pulled up a large height then pulling the quick release which made you swing from one side to the other. It was invigorating and an awesome time. The harnesses were also very comfortable! (winky face!!). Chelsea and Gresh also had a go which was hilarious.

“We had lunch after that (lunch was inhaled as usual and there were few leftovers. We then went to plant trees for a service project. Tim showed us how and discussed why it was important to help the environment. We then planted native hop bushes and got to write messages on the guards. One of the messages was: “Please grow! I climbed a mountain for this!!”

“We finished planting and then started preparing for bush cook. We have got lamb shoulders, vegies and cakes so it should be splendid. We are also using dutch ovens which is most exciting. All in all we are happy campers!!”

Day 12

Congratulations to all of the participants who took part in the Navigator – Australian Alps program these holidays. Both teams successfully finished the program at our National Base campus in Tharwa. There were many highlights but summiting Mt Tennent was a great achievement.

Great to see all enjoy their final day packing up, sharing stories and swinging high on the Giant Swing. Here’s some last pictures and a quote from our founder Kurt Hahn:

“Think highly of yourself because the world takes you at your own estimate.” – Kurt Hahn

52 comments for "Navigator – Australian Alps – April 2018"

Sally & Wayne Powell
April 26, 2018 8:01AM

Hey Jed, hope you really enjoyed the abseiling – looks awesome. Can’t wait to hear all about your adventure. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. Love you. Mum & Dad

Mel Mustapic
April 25, 2018 6:36PM

Hey Tara,
Two more sleeps !! The pics look amazing and we can’t wait to hear all about it. Spent Anzac Day with Nan at the farm and we are all so proud of you for taking on this adventure ! Your bed is all fresh and snuggly waiting for you to enjoy the luxury 😉 Prin is also waiting 🐱
I miss you and love you lots ❤️
Mum xx

April 25, 2018 2:54PM

Almost there Jackson!
Looks like it’s been a challenging time.
Very proud of all you are doing.
Can’t wait to see you on Friday.

Aileen Whalan
April 25, 2018 10:12AM

Well done Mitch, Abseiling what an amazing effort. We are so proud of you. Love Mark, mum,ciarne and Emily😊xxx

Sally & Wayne Powell
April 25, 2018 9:14AM

Hi Jed, hope you had a go at abseiling – looks awesome. Quiet without you here but I am sure that will be rectified when we pick you up and here all about your adventure. Can’t wait to hear and see you. Love you lots. Mum & Dad xo

April 25, 2018 7:56AM

It sounds awesome Finn!! We are so proud of you. See you soon, love Mum and Dad x

Les Adams
April 24, 2018 10:49PM

Hi Pat looks like spectacular country. Hope you are enjoying the moment and look forward to hearing all about it
Gran & Woolgie

April 24, 2018 8:12PM

Hi Ethan,
we are all hoping you are having a brilliant time! It looks amazing! Bethany wants you to take her on a high ropes course. We can’t wait to hear all your stories about your massive camp. We are all so so proud of you!
All our love,
Claire, Steven and Bethany

Nicole Ison
April 24, 2018 7:41PM

Hello Pat, hope its going well and you got a few salutes to the sun into your solo time. Not long now so see you soon xxx

Mark and Aileen
April 24, 2018 12:18PM

Hi Mitch, we hope your solo went well, and we hope you’ve had a great adventure. Nearly at the end we will see you on friday.

April 24, 2018 11:56AM

Hi Ethan!
It looks like you are having an amazing adventure!!! We can’t wait to hear about all the things you have done. Bethany wants you to take her on a high ropes course too. We are so proud of you taking on this huge camp!
All our love,
C, S and B

April 24, 2018 8:04AM

Hi Laura, ummm hope the sleeping accommodation is more comfy than it looks! Cant wait to hear all your stories, it’s been way too quiet here without you, boys arnt much company. See you Friday.

Boo Buzz Mustapic
April 23, 2018 8:47PM

tonight we are all just sitting here on the really good coach watching Bachelor In Paradise on the really big TV eating cookies and cream ice-cream. I really hope you are having a good time out in the wilderness eating roast bugs on a stick. I really miss you and so do Mum, Dad, Jade, Mali, Mack, Prin, Penny, Whitey and I.
Love your FAV sister BOOEY!

Dad Mustapic
April 23, 2018 8:36PM

Hi Tara, Hope you are having fun playing in the wilderness, we miss you, but it is quite without you lol.
Waiting to hear all about your exploring adventure, hope you have learnt to cook food for yourself. See ya soon.

Sophie Yates
April 23, 2018 8:02PM

Hey Benny
Hope your having a great time out in the

Love your lil’ sis


Jenny and Terry Delahenty
April 23, 2018 12:17PM

Hi Liv. Day 6 and 7 sound amazing. Yoga and meditation would of been right up your alley! Hope you enjoyed your solo experience. We really miss you, even your brothers. Absorb your remaining days. I’m on the countdown!! Xxxx Delas

Michaela Yates
April 22, 2018 9:20PM

It all looks amazing – immersed in nature!
Thinking of you every day Ben – what a great challenge, we are all really proud of you. Can’t wait to hear your stories. Pablo misses you. Love from Mum

Ruby Adams
April 22, 2018 7:16PM

Yeah Patty, hope you’re having a fun, we miss you 😊

Amelie Rudd
April 22, 2018 5:06PM

hey pat! hope you’re doing well and having fun. really missing you back home and can’t wait to have you back to here about it all. love amelie x

Trish Simpson
April 22, 2018 1:04PM

Hi Laura, hope u r not missing your phone too much. It looks like u r too busy to even think about it tho. Hope to c more photos soon. Have u survived your solo effort. Don’t be scared I’m scared enough for both of us!! Good luck your 1/2 way thru. Luv nan

April 21, 2018 9:37PM

Giles, I hope you’re having an awesome time! Thinking of you all the time and missing you lots. Love Bree x

Nicole Ison
April 21, 2018 6:44PM

Hi Pat, sounds like you are getting great weather. The stars must be fantastic. All the best with the solo adventure. Your team went well this week at socce, won 4 to 2 in the 2nd half. C u soon xxx mum

Sarah Young
April 21, 2018 2:06PM

Hey Sam! Hope your immensely cool beanie is enjoying the Aussie Alps… missed it at Gilgandra!! Keep on looking upwards and outwards… loving God and loving others… you got this!! 👊🏼👊🏼 ENJOY those great outdoors!! Mrs Young

The Mustapics
April 20, 2018 7:18PM

Hey Tara,
Your little brother misses you 🐱 but he has adopted Mum ! 😝 have fun on your solo, if you can’t sleep count all the stars ! Lol.
Lots of love Mum, Dad, Jade, Boo, Muz, Mack, Prin, Pen and Whitey xxxxxxxx

April 20, 2018 6:42PM

Hey Riley, we have been checking the blog (several times) everyday and, Wow, sounds like such an extremely amazing adventure is being had! cant wait to hear so much more about it when your back xx
Love mum,dad and mad

Lyn and Trevor
April 20, 2018 6:03PM

Ben, this looks awesome! It’s been great following the blog and keeping track of your adventures in those magical mountain landscapes. Love xx Nanna and Pop

Fiona Crain
April 20, 2018 6:02PM

Sounds awesome! Hope you are all having a great time & enjoying your adventures. Thanks for the blog & photo updates 😉 Look forward to hearing all about your trip next week, Corey. xox Mum, Dad & Georgie

Aileen whalan
April 20, 2018 5:52PM

We can’t wait to see the photos. I’m sure its been challenging and we are looking forward to hearing all about the trip.

April 20, 2018 11:30AM

Happy adventuring Dean! We look forward to reading more on the blog and hearing all about it from you next week. Have yourself lots of fun! Mardi and Michael

bill & judy crain
April 19, 2018 7:30PM

what a great adventure…enjoy every challenge..

Christine Trost
April 19, 2018 6:55PM

Hi Jackson,
Hope you are enjoying every opportunity and making memories. Can’t wait to see what photos you bring home!
Love Mum and Dad

Richard Yates
April 19, 2018 6:21PM

Hey Ben, sounds like fun, I hope the weather is being kind to you all.

Sally and Wayne Powell
April 19, 2018 6:06PM

Sounds like all participants are having a good time. Love the blog.
For Jed, keep enjoying yourself and create wonderful memories and friends.
Love you. Mum & dad.

Alex Robertson
April 19, 2018 4:59PM

Yeah Livy!!!!! Hope your having fun and that everyone is having a great time 😀

April 19, 2018 4:44PM

Hi mitch, we hope you are enjoying the views , enjoying the photos and reports coming through.

Nicole Ison
April 19, 2018 8:32AM

Hi Pat, it sounds daunting heading off on that walk. I hope the first days are going well and your seeing some beautiful places and enjoying good company. Georgie is constantly looking out the window waiting for you to return. See you soon xxx mum Good luck on the walk Pat love Ruby xx

Les Adams
April 19, 2018 6:58AM

Looks great Pat. Enjoy your time.
Gran & Woolgie

Ashley Bartrim
April 18, 2018 11:42PM

Sam, hope you’re having a blast like I did. I’m pretty sure that Chelsea was my instructor,except that she twisted her ankle halfway so that would be funny if you had her.
Make plenty of memories and keep dreaming of that nice hot shower at the end! Good luck!

Trish Simpson
April 18, 2018 6:02PM

Hi Granddaughter Laura, Bob and I are excited for you. We know you’ll love the two weeks away on Outward Bound. Ropes to start how good is that!!! We are watching all the updates. Enjoy!!!

Trish Simpson
April 18, 2018 5:52PM

Hi Laura, I am very proud of you even before u started. Enjoy every minute. We will be watching every day.

April 18, 2018 5:14PM

Hi Finn, we keep thinking about you and are so excited about the adventure you are having. I love to see the pictures.
Lots of love Mum xx

April 18, 2018 3:55PM

Hey Ethan what an adventure your having. It’s great to get the updates of your experiences. Missing your smiling face. Hope your having lots of fun. Mum and dad

April 18, 2018 2:05PM

Looks like heaps of fun, thanks for the updates, is it sad that I check multiple times a day?

April 18, 2018 12:57PM

Looks like everyone’s having a great time. Thanks for the updates, is it sad I’m checking multiple times a day??

Mel Mustapic
April 18, 2018 12:55PM

Hey Tee (Tara)
Great to see the pics coming through, it looks fun !!
Looking forward to seeing more of your adventures ! Nan says Hi 🙂
Love Mum xx

Jessie Sharp
April 18, 2018 11:52AM

Hi Tom and Liv! Hope you two are having fun I’m sure that you’re both enjoying it, best of luck and make the most of it! Xxx

Les Adams
April 18, 2018 7:57AM

Hi pat hope you are enjoying your time. Following with interest. Love Gran & Woolgie

Debbie Gibson
April 18, 2018 7:56AM

Looks like you are all having a great time. Shout out to Sam!! Have fun bud!

Jacob adams
April 17, 2018 10:46PM

Looks ng good Patrick Adams

Nicole Ison
April 17, 2018 7:20PM

Hi Pat, the pics of the ropes look cool. Hope you are going well. We look forward to seeing the updates Each day. Hope your walk goes well. Love Mum and Ruby

April 17, 2018 4:33PM

Looks like you guys are having an awesome time! Enjoy the walk in the mountains on your way back to base :o)

Jenny Delahenty
April 17, 2018 4:17PM

Thanks for the blog and fantastic photos of your adventures. Shout out to Livi Del! Keep smiling! Looks like you are having a blast. Xxxx Delahenty’s


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