Australian Alps Navigator - January 2017 | Outward Bound Australia
January 09, 2017 12:00PM

Australian Alps Navigator – January 2017

High ropes course canberra

Australian Alps Navigator January 2017 | Youth Development Program

Welcome to the Blog for our Australian Alps Navigator program.  Follow along as these young adults undertake a challenging and inspiring journey through the Australian bush.  Here you will find updates from the program including a written account of each day’s events as well as photos.  You can expect the written portion to be quite up-to-date, photos may take a day or two as they are a little harder to get out of the bush!  Please join in and leave your comments – we’d love to hear from you!  Stay tuned for the first post!

Day 1

Whilst still waiting for the final member of the team to arrive the young Navigators are all smiles as they get to know each other and learn more about the exciting challenges ahead. The team will spend the day and night here at our National base getting to know each and testing themselves on the High Ropes before heading out into the wondrous Namadgi National Park. Stay tuned for more updates and we’d love to hear your comments.


Day 2

There is nothing better to bring people together than to have them helping each other on the high ropes course. Today has been a great opportunity for participants challenge to themselves and expand their comfort zones. They have shared that since the start of the program they have been learning to set up camp and work together to achieve the many tasks and challenges. They have even learnt a few things about effective communication in the process. Their instructors Jed and Alice share that already they are proving themselves as a team by completing the CUBE challenge in a speedy 22 seconds – even beating their own time by half in the process. The team is forming well with friendships already beginning.

Update on Day 2

All of the team felt proud to complete the ropes course and felt like it was a big accomplishment. The big learning for the team today was that for everyone to be successful they needed to work together and support each other. It’s great top see these young adults really having a go and we hope you like the picture from our Drone!! Stay tuned as Day 3 update is coming right up!!

Day 3

Today the team had their first introduction to Navigation. Using compasses and maps they check-pointed from camp down to a beautiful section of the Murrumbidgee River for a cool down. They worked together as a team to communicate and build a raft. Unfortunately their raft did break apart on its maiden voyage but this may have been planned with the hot weather so everyone could get wet again!! They enjoyed the recreational swim in the river in the hot part of the day before hiking to camp and enjoying a delicious bush cooked meal and hot chocolate. They had a good view of Mount Tennent from their camp. Tomorrow will see them going up and over this big mountain and they took the time over hot chocolate to to come up with a plan of how they would overcome this big challenge. The instructors report that the the team are starting to really communicate well in their debriefs and are excited to hike with them over Mt Tennent.

Day 5-7

Thanks for your patience and I know you are waiting in anticipation for the next blog but the carrier pigeons have been waylaid and we’re still awaiting photos and written correspondence to come back from the team. I can say though that reports via radio have been really good and the young adults have spent the last 12 hours on their overnight solo – a chance for them to reflect and recuperate. I expect photos to come through to me late this afternoon. Stay tuned!!

Finally! After hiking over Mt Tennent the team continued travelling south climbing up and up to Honeysuckle Ridge. They were excited as on Day 7 they had the opportunity to visit Lego land. Lego land is aptly named as Giant granite boulders fit together like pieces of Lego arching up to the sky on the edge of the ridge. Below to the south, the ground drops away 400m to the valley below. The team donned helmets and went exploring through the cracks and crevices and were amazed by the view from Pride Rock.Following this they journeyed along the ridge to have a go at abseiling. Camp was down in the valley so the team challenged themselves to head down a steep spur through dense forest making it to the valley floor by 6pm. However, another 4km of hiking top camp meant that the team had to dig deep and help each other. Even having to finish off the walk with their head torched on along the 4wd access track. Instructors Jed and Alice pitched in to cook up the young adults a dinner and everyone was relieved to make bed but also exhilarated at what they had achieved. 

Day 8

After such a big day, the group was ready for some rest and luckily today was solo day. Solo is an integral part of Outward Bound programs where participants get the chance to spend time alone reflecting on their own journey and setting themselves some goals. Instructors place participants in specific areas with basic food, shelter and water and whilst regularly checking them won’t interact unnecessarily for the 24hrs. Participants generally will write themselves a letter which will be posted to them in 6 months time. One participant wrote: “Most people were looking forward to having some time to reflect on the trip and everyone enjoyed the break from hiking and getting creative when constructing their bivvies (shelters). It was very relaxing!” Instructor Alice says that the participants made each other some little bush gifts or read out poems that they had written after the solo. The team was very happy to see each other again.

Keep checking in as the team gets ready for their final expedition!!


A few more carrier pigeons arrived in this morning with some older blogs written by the participants. Let’s travel back in time to get more of an insight to what has been happening….

Mt Tennant – Day 4 – the team woke up at 4am to get an early start before the heat. One young adult wrote: ” We made summit in good time and all made it to the top to see the view over Canberra and the rolling hills…some of us found Mt Tennent a physical challenge and others felt it was more mental. We were all proud and relieved to reach the top. Everyone motivated one another…we learnt that we are capable of so much more than we think and that there was no way we could have succeeded without supporting, encouraging and motivating one another”

Photos from Solo and Legoland

Day 9-11

This team should be so proud of themselves as we enter the final stages of the program. After completing solo and feeling a little refreshed, the team planned for their final expedition down to Yankee Hat. The expedition would take them over another ridgeline, through untracked scrub to Yankee Hat plains. Yankee Hat is one of the surrounding mountains that has wonderful examples of Aboriginal art work on a boulder at its foot. With the skills that they had learnt over the past 8 days, participants were now expected to lead themselves with the instructors Jed and Alice taking a back seat role maintaining a safe eye on them. The team pushed hard with early starts to avoid the heat and made Yankee Hat plains today by mid afternoon. They return to a National Base for their final challenge….The Giant Swing. 

Day 12

Congratulations Navigators on finishing such an epic adventure. You should be proud of yourselves! Here are some last photos.

24 comments for "Australian Alps Navigator – January 2017"

January 21, 2017 11:30AM

Very proud to be at the ceremony yesterday. Just a wonderful service. Ambrose was very satisfied. So proud of him and the young people who shared the journey.

Matthew Rogers
January 20, 2017 10:22AM

Well done Ben. Proud to be your Dad :))

Michele Nichols
January 19, 2017 8:02AM

I am so happy to see these photographs… any chance they can be shared with the family? It is amazing to think I will be picking up Holly the airport tomorrow! So excited to have some girl time with Holly and hear the wonderful stories. I am sure she will be back next time.

Grans and Grans
January 18, 2017 6:02PM

Congratulations Navigator team!
oops, last comment said it was waiting for modification?
Anyway, well done everyone! As armchair followers, we are in awe of your courage and determination and applaud your successes! Looking forward to seeing you all at certificate presentation on Friday.
Looking forward to more details of you adventures, Jemi! love from Grandah and Grans

Rebecca O'Riain
January 18, 2017 5:21PM

It’s great to read and see what you have all been doing. What an experience for you. Take care in the heat and it will all be over too soon. Love you Ambrose and so proud of you. Mum xx

Grandad and grans
January 18, 2017 5:18PM

Congratulations team! As armchair followers, we are in awe of your courage, determination and successes! Looking forward to seeing you on Friday at the certificate presentation. Can’t wait to hear the details, Jemi, love Grandah and Grans?

The Famalamb
January 18, 2017 1:23PM

Hey Jemi!
We hope you’re having an awesome time adventuring!
Hopefully you all are staying cool in this scorching weather.
Lots of love,
Josh, Mum, Clint, Ava, Sweetsie, GPR, Grans and Grandah 🙂

Dael Page
January 18, 2017 8:51AM

Appreciative of this blog as Grandma and Pa are wondering how Jackson is coping with this heatwave.

January 17, 2017 11:25AM

Hi, it’s jade Jakiahs mum and Jacob his brother. I have finally figured out how to follow the blog (so I learnt something too) I’m feeling very excited to see all the pictures and reading the daily blogs, as I went on a course two years ago I know that these kids would be learning new things each and everyday, building amazing friendships and learning a new respect for life on such a deep level. I’m truely so happy for these young adults. You all look like your having a great time. Only three more nights. See you at the blue peter flag ceremony.

Anita Brunni
January 14, 2017 10:37PM

Hi Charbel, we all miss u especially Buxa .. I hope that u have learnt some new skills and have met some nice friends .. We all look forward to hearing about your adventure .. I love u and I hope it’s been a good experience for u .. ❤️Mum

The Fam
January 14, 2017 10:20PM

We hope you’re having fun Charbel! Miss you

January 12, 2017 3:28PM

Looking forward to the next episode.

January 13, 2017 2:01PM

Looks great with happy young people. The river is your friend on those sort of days. Confident they performed well today and yesterday.

Val Troup
January 11, 2017 7:24PM

Hi Dan, enjoy your journey in Outward Bound, looking forward to reading about your endeavours.

January 11, 2017 6:52PM

Hi Cole,
Have a great time.
Love Grandma & Grandpa

January 11, 2017 2:59PM

Hi team, Ruth here, Bailey’s mum. Just hoping no one has melted down there! It looks as though it is as hot down there as it is in glorious suburban Canberra :(. I’m sure you can all soldier through. Take care!

Rebecca O'Riain
January 11, 2017 12:45PM

I feel nervous just looking at those high ropes because I really don’t like heights.
However; that being said I know you are in expert hands with your trainers. So go for it Young Navigators even if it’s outside your comfort zone. You can do it.
Rebecca, Ambrose’s mum.

Charmaine Page
January 10, 2017 2:19PM

Jackson’s Mum here, Charmaine. As this is the first time, my beautiful but grown up boy,has been away for this length of time, this blog is wonderful for me to see how he is doing. I know he will do fabulously well and will love learning new things and making new friends.
I can’t wait to see the daily updates and photos when they can be added!

Have an amazing time Jacko! Love mum xxx

January 10, 2017 8:21AM

Hi Jemi, have a great time and have lots of fun.
Love Steve

Matthew Rogers
January 10, 2017 6:02AM

Hi Ben
Have a great time.

January 09, 2017 7:01PM

Hi Young Navigators, especially Ambrose,

Good luck to you all and hope you have a great time.

Regards and love to Ambrose,

January 10, 2017 2:39PM

Well said. Looks like a good bunch of young people. He looks happy.

January 09, 2017 6:24PM

well it was nail biting getting her there with those airline delays, I look forward to checking in on this great bunch in the coming days. Woo Hoo ..

Dael Page
January 09, 2017 5:58PM

Hi, this is Dael, Jackson’s grandma. We met some mighty fine kids, Group Leaders, parents and grandparents today when we dropped Jackson off to be part of this slightly nervous and very excited group. It was inspiring to see how they used this energy in the most positive way to get to know each other. It was immediate, spontaneous and completely their own doing. And so it begins…….


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