11 young people on a 12 day adventure in sunny Northern NSW.
Welcome all to the Navigator – Rainforest blog for these July holidays. Check out these young adventurer’s news over the next 12 days. We’ll try our best to get some stories or photos posted every day but sometimes there is a bit of a delay so don’t forget to check in regularly. Stay tuned for more great stories of team work, big adventures, sunrise shots, fun times, and much more!
Everyone has arrived and settling into the program. After a yummy lunch in the Long House the team began their preparations for the journey. Preparations include sorting and checking their gear, learning new skills such as packing effectively into the backpacks, learning how to navigate and also beginning to get to know their team mates as well as their very excited instructors Rosie and Lucas. The weather is perfect hiking weather so far.
Once all the backpacks were ready the team had a short hike to “stretch the legs” to get to their first campsite.
After their first night under our 1 billion star hotel the team has continued a day of learning with some challenges thrown in for excitement. Today the team has been at the Giant Ladder. Stretching up into the trees this unique challenge requires pairs to work together to climb the wide apart rungs as high as they can while their trusty team mates belay them and keep them safe. Hopefully, they have learnt that greater success comes from working together – a necessary skill for this expedition. This afternoon they have been practicing their navigation as they hiked to their next camp site. They will have a mountain bike workshop today to give them some wicked skills for their mountain bike leg. We’ll upload some photos tomorrow!
After some practice on their mountain bikes yesterday afternoon the team are all set and starting on their full day of mountain biking. They’ve gone some hills to go up and down today but we know they will be up to the challenge and will totally enjoy it.
Here are some pictures showing off some very trendy high vis gear.
One of the great things about this adventure is that you never get bored with the mode of travel. Yesterday – mountain biking….Today – hiking!
Who would have thought though that surrounded by the wilderness there was food all around. This morning, Rosie became David Attenborough for a couple of hours and the team went on a native plant discovery including getting some hints and tips about the best bush tucker to be found which included the hearts of the Bangalow palm and bush ginger!
After lunch they have continued navigating towards their evening campsite – named Airstrip.
Day 5 and 6
The team definitely soared high on Day 5 – high up into Big Ben. Big Ben is a giant conifer that stands 20m tall. The team connects together via safety rope and spirals up the tree as high as they can go before spiraling back down. The spiralling ensures that the branches act as the sfety net and the lead climber has the added responsibility of connecting to the branches as they climb. This was a fantastic achievement which takes a lot of trust and respect for each other’s abilities.
After lunch the team took part in a wonderful service of tree planting along the riverside. This helps to stop erosion along the Tweed River and reconnect the ecological threads. Well done to all.
Apparently the team also had a surprise of a different kind. A bull showed a bit too much curiosity and Super Rosie our instructor made sure he knew who was boss. Watch out for Rosie!!
On day 6 the team arose at 3am to watch the sunrise atop of Wollumbin/Mt Warning and then went canoeing over to Crams farm across the reservoir. After a long day they deservedly had a chance to recuperate and reflect on their achievements so far with a short solo to enjoy the natural surroundings and rest before finishing the day.
Unfortunately we’ve had a hiccup with the photos but will upload more as they come in. Keep the comments going so we can send the great vibrations to the team!
Day 7 and 8
After a well earned solo the team headed onto the water to head across to the Gilwah abseil. As you can see a couple of paddling pairs enjoyed a bath – most likely learning how to right their canoes if they did tip over.
Here are some photos from the past few days including some photos from the bushcook they had on Monday night where they roasted meats and vegetables in the camp ovens.
After a late start which couldn’t be avoided the team planned a lighter day of hiking. Original plans were to go to the summit of Mt Jerusalem. Instead the team made a wise decision to contour around Mt Jerusalem to Prentice River flats to make their original camp in good time. Whilst this may seem a small thing it is important to recognize that good teams are able to adapt and modify plans as well as being resilient in the face of adversity. This team is definitely demonstrating these important skills and reached their campsite on a high.
Now with the end of the adventure not far away the instructors Lucas and Rosie are confident that their team are working together well and the team are stepping up into leading themselves with more confidence. Today they are hoping to hike well as they all take turns navigating. Spirits are good and the sun is currently shining – although we are predicted to get a bit wet this afternoon.
The team had a great morning and proven themselves as very efficient with their expedition as they have made the pick up point. The will head back to the base today to challenge themselves on the Pamper Pole. Wait for the photos to come in to see what that involves! Well done to all of the team members on such a big expedition and we hope they enjoy the last 24 hours of celebrations and excitement!
A quick update from the Program Coordinator:
Navigators are all in great spirits after smashing out the walk to Minyon Grass Falls in a little over two hours. An amazingly fast time. They are now jumping off pamper pole and having a great time and ready for a celebration dinner at the longhouse tonight.
Enjoying being back on base there was a sense of accomplishment as the team helped to pack away their gear and complete their final team service. The team planted a number of trees along the Tweed River to help regenerate the natural bushland. The replanting is a long term Shire Council project which Outward Bound is proudly taking part in through the brilliant efforts of all participants.
Reflecting on the program many of the young people noted that it was important to enjoy all experiences even if at the time they are very challenging with one participant saying that their advice to future participants would be to “Try and enjoy the first few days instead of just looking towards the end. To enjoy the journey and experience rather than the ending.”
We fare-welled the team with a final lunch and certificate ceremony together.
Congratulations to the Navigator – Rainforest July 2018 team!