Rainforest Family Program – Spring 2017

Welcome to the Blog for our September Rainforest Family Program which is starting on Monday 25 September from our Northern New South Wales Base Camp just outside of Uki. We have families coming from Queensland, Sydney and Victoria.

It is looking like a hot start to the Program with temperatures of mid 30s forecast for Monday and a warm and sunny week ahead. As per usual, summer is arriving early in the Northern Rivers.

From the comfort of your arm chairs – follow our families as they undertake a challenging and inspiring journey alongside our abundant Northern Rivers, through national parks and heritage listed Rainforest areas. Here you will find updates from the Program including a written account of each day’s events as well as photos.

Please join in and leave your comments – we would love to hear from you – please also share this link to facebook and instagram so your friends and family can see this unique adventure unfold.

Monday 25 September

It looks like a bit of a boys own adventure on this Family Program – we have six teenage boys, a couple of Mums, a Grand-father and some Dads. Despite planes being late from Sydney due to air traffic control issues and one family being stuck in Goulburn on their way up due to the roads being closed with bush fires down south — everybody made it on time and in good spirits to start the Family Program.

The first task of the day was to repack bags into back packs — all telephones and links to the every day left behind at Base Camp. These families are on an expedition now – spending time in our beautiful rainforest – connecting with them selves and spending some beautiful time in nature together with our fabulous instructors Bec and Forrest. After lunch everyone took part in our tradition the raising of the “Blue Peter Flag” signalling the start of a journey.

The afternoon was spent canoeing, the first part of this journey, to the first nights’ campsite in the picturesque Clarrie Hall Dam. Given the heatwave conditions, it was a very good way to start this Program.

Unfortunately, there is no cooking by the campfire this evening – a total fire ban is in force in the entire Northern Rivers. Conditions are hot and windy – we are in close contact with all of the authorities and are monitoring the situation. At the moment, all is going well and a cold dinner has been enjoyed by all.

More photos to follow tomorrow once they make their way out of the rainforest.

Tuesday 26 September

Sadly the photos are taking some time to get back to civilization — as soon as they arrive they will be posted.

Tuesday was a pretty strenuous day out for our Family Team. The day started with the last leg of the canoe voyage. At the edge of the dam, canoes were swapped as the mode of transport and everyone jumped on a mountain bike for the next leg of the expedition.

We are very excited about our mountain bikes and thrilled to see them in action as we received 2 brand new fleets last week just in time for this program.

This part of the journey was taken very seriously by some – Stuart and Felix in particular had their own version of the Tour de France happening – Felix was very chuffed to beat his Dad and walk away the winner of this session.

The day’s adventure finished with a hike up a hill – if you look at the featured photo you will see where our Families made their campsite for the night.

The good news is, that after such a big day out, and a well deserved dinner around the campfire everyone went to bed early again … It’s amazing how well you can sleep under the stars!

Wednesday 27 September

A cooler day than expected with some cloud cover came in handy on a big day of hiking through the world Heritage Nightcap National Park. The name Nightcap derives from the early settler days when this was considered a highway for trade between Lismore and Queensland and the area was used for night camps.

Our families broke into buddy walks along this trail .. this is a great exercise in connection and sharing all sorts of things that often get overlooked in day-to-day life.

It was a big walk and everyone was well rewarded with a bush cook to finish the day. A beautiful leg of lamb was cooked over the coals in bush ovens complemented by a host of roast vegetables.

Thursday 28 September

Today was the hot day of the Program — temperatures were in the mid thirties. Most of the hiking was under the rainforest canopy on the Minyon Falls Track. The waterfall is not flowing at its peak however our Families enjoyed a cold water dunk at the bottom.

Andreas and Adam took the lead navigating the Team navigating back to the last evenings’ campsite.

The last night of the Program is called a ‘duo night’. Our families separate from the group and set up camp together, prepare their meal and spend some quality time with just each other for entertainment with no distractions.

Friday 28 September

Another hot day as our Families made their way back to camp. A challenging high ropes adventure up the Giants Ladder and a bar-b-que lunch was the order of the day before the final lowering of the Blue Peter Flag and a well earned shower for everyone involved. Everyone is looking forward to comfortable beds and a home cooked dinner.

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