Together with our Team Leaders, our local guides play a fundamental role in the success of all our adventures.
They come from a myriad of backgrounds and experiences so with their expert knowledge we know our adventurers are in the right hands to complete their charity challenges and achieve something they never knew they could.
The Mount Kilimanjaro Trek is an immense physical and mental challenge but the sense of accomplishment when you reach the summit of the world’s highest free-standing mountain is completely unrivalled! As one of our most challenging treks, the role of the local guides cannot be underestimated!
Mount Kilimanjaro won over his heart pretty early on – Emmanuel started hiking as a porter in 2011, and did 17 hikes before he decided he wanted to study to be a mountain guide.
He says he is very proud to be a guide in his home country – the natural scenery and mind-blowing cultural and historical attractions are what he loves.
Emmanuel thinks Mount Kilimanjaro is a beautiful place to work and what he likes about leading the trekking groups is ‘surprising and being surprised by others’.
Similar to Emmanuel, Antipas started hiking Mount Kilimanjaro as a porter and after six years, he decided he wanted to become a guide and took a guiding course run by the Kilimanjaro National Park.
He says he loves his country because it is endowed with many attractions such as Kilimanjaro, Serengeti and Ngorongoro.
What makes Antipas such a great guide, is his appreciation for the mountain – he believes it is among the most beautiful and peaceful places on earth.
Check out the upcoming adventures on our calendar!
In 2017 we’re excited to offer some brand new experiences, both in Australia and overseas. From kayaking the Great Barrier Reef to walking the rolling hills of Tuscany, where will your next adventure take you?
Yosemite National Park – California, United States
The vast wilderness and epic landscape of Yosemite makes it perfect for trekking and adventuring! From cascading waterfalls to rugged cliffs and scenic walking trails, there is a reason Yosemite is one of the most highly acclaimed destinations in the world. Within its almost 1,200 square miles, you have the opportunity to discover and trek through deep valleys, ancient sequoias and picturesque meadows.
Tuscany – Italy
Want to walk in the footsteps of history? Tuscany is a luxurious European destination, with wineries dotting the fertile regions, fields of olive groves and cities rich in art and culture. There’s the breathtaking town of San Gimignano with its medieval towers and the magnificent Siena, a historical, artistic, cultural and gastronomic gem. Your Inspired Adventure takes you along the Via Francigena, a pilgrim route running from France to Rome.
Cape York – Queensland, Australia
Cape York is one of the wildest tropical environments on earth, from the Great Dividing Range that forms the backbone of the cape, to its lush rainforests and coastal beaches, and its savannah woodlands, eucalyptus forests and mangroves. This adventure takes you through some of the most remote locations in the world.
East Coast of Tasmania & The Tarkine – Tasmania, Australia
Tasmania’s East Coast offers pristine coastlines, friendly locals and captivating wildlife. Home to the Bay of Fires, Wineglass Bay and Australia’s convict history at Port Arthur it is an incredible natural destination for adventurers.
The Tarkine is a lush and untouched temperate rainforest in Tasmania. It is home to a variety of wildlife and plants. As part of our adventure, you can trek through the rugged and remote wilderness, spot wildlife and immerse yourself in nature.
Great Barrier Reef – Queensland, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is Australia’s most precious natural wonder. At its heart are the postcard perfect Whitsunday Islands, 74 tropical islands renowned for their white sand beaches, clear turquoise waters, coral gardens and diverse marine life.
Explore the iconic Whitsunday Islands on this week long kayaking adventure in North Queensland!
Myanmar (formerly Burma)
Myanmar is a unique country, having survived under a military regime for over 50 years. The countryside is as yet untouched by Western influence, providing an environment where time seemingly stands still.
Both intricate and incredibly compelling, Beijing, China is one of those cities that leaves travellers stunned but likewise craving to experience more.
Beijing has recently received a bad rap due to its uninhabitable polluted skies. Interestingly, however, Beijing improved its air quality in 2015 despite the red alert that was placed on the city in December 2015. Now, China still continues to face pressure to reduce smog and make cities more livable for its citizens and the tourists who flock to visit this fascinating country.
We’re here to say don’t be put off by Beijing’s air quality. If we decided to not visit a country because X, Y and Z ‘bad’ things are currently happening there, we’d never leave our homes. And, as a country that is quickly developing and unfortunately losing much of its history due to the influence of Western modernisation, now is one of the best times to visit.
So why should you visit Beijing? Here are just a few reasons:
Though Beijing is rapidly becoming overrun by Westernisation, it still retains much of its inherent Eastern culture, typified by its stunning zigzagging Hutongs, an important part of Beijing’s local culture. Built in the 13th century, the Hutongs are in fact small public alleyways with private courtyard residences. If you want to experience the ways of old Beijing, Hutongs are it, offering a window into the traditional way of Chinese life.
798 Art District
A former arms factory, the 798 Art District has become synonymous of how old Beijing is being transformed into a modernised capital. Once a place for new artists to exhibit their work, the 798 Art District’s rising popularity caught the attention of the international art world which pushed the starving artists out who created the whole scene. Today, the district attracts art buyers and students, as well as many tourist groups.
You absolutely cannot go to China without taking the time to stop for a cuppa. Steeped in a rich history, partaking in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony is a must – along with a visit to Beijing’s thriving market where you can purchase all the oolong your suitcase can handle.
Chinese take-out once a week is a bit of an Aussie stock-standard, and for a good reason – it’s such a diverse and delicious cuisine. Now imagine eating a meal of Peking duck from where it all began, or authentic street-food that is peppered with Szechuan spices. Or you could try something completely new like the market food pictured below!
If that’s not your style, check out these restaurants for a tantalising and inexpensive feeds:
Little Yúnnán Address: 28 Donghuang Chenggen Beijie, 东皇城根北街28号
Beijing boasts a history that goes back more than 3,000 years. There are plenty of historical monuments and sights, including the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, the Ming Tombs and the mausoleum of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty. However, there are some places that you shouldn’t leave Beijing without visiting:
The Great Wall
Winding its way from its strewn remains in Liaoning province, to the Gobi desert and the sands of Xīnjiāng, The Great Wall is one of the most impressive sights in the world. Trekking the Wall is one of the most majestical and authentic ways to experience its beauty, however marvelling from afar is a breath-taking experience too.
Spanning around 440,000 sq metres, Tiananmen Square is the world’s largest public square. To stand in Tiananmen Square is to stand at the symbolic centre of the Chinese universe. Interestingly, despite being a public place, the square remains largely in the hands of the government, monitored closely by TV cameras and policemen. Despite the lack of seating, the Square’s iconic status means few people leave Beijing without making a visit. For an extra special experience, try visiting Tiananmen Square at night and watch its lights illuminate the dark sky.
If architecture is more your thing, don’t look past the Forbidden City, which harbours China’s largest collection of ancient buildings and the biggest palace complex in the world. Previously off limits for 500 years, the ethereal palace was home to two dynasties of imperial rule until the Republic overthrew the last Qing emperor. Now open to the public, don’t miss the chance to visit these insanely beautiful quarters.
Whether you’re after a city escape to the mountains or love the hustle and bustle of the ginormous metropolis, Beijing has it all. The rural plains in the southern provinces are a stark contract to the sprawling metropolis of Beijing, offering a quieter and more peaceful experience. Or, if you’re more of an adventurer at heart (and aren’t we all?) there are many mountain ranges found in Western China you can trek.
Just remember: explore China with an open mind and an open heart. It’s true that visiting this country is one of the biggest cultural shocks you’ll face, however if you go in remembering that different cultures are what make the world amazing, you’re sure to have an enriching and wonderful experience.
See all of our adventures to Beijing and trekking The Great Wall of China!
If you’ve ever heard anything about Nepal, it was probably something along the lines of “it’s one of the most beautiful countries with the kindest people”. And let us tell you, it’s one hundred per cent true. Nepal is one of our favourite places; from its mesmerising landscapes, rich culture, hospitable people and epic trekking trails and hikes. But we’re sure you already know this, right? Nonetheless, we’ve put together a few things to remember before heading to Nepal.
1. Nepalese are some of the most welcoming people you’ll ever meet
One thing we know to be true is that while the Nepalese don’t have much, they will give you all they have. Nepalese are some of the most loving and genuine people you will ever meet, and without a doubt you’ll leave Nepal with a very deep respect and admiration for them. Here are a few tips on how you can show your respect whilst in Nepal:
The traditional way to greet someone is placing your palms together in prayer style and saying “namaste” or “namaskar”
Be respectful with your clothing choices, cover knees and shoulders
Public displays of affection are often frowned upon so resist the urge to smooch your loved ones!
If you’re ever invited into a Nepalese home, remove your shoes before entering (same goes with temples)
2. It’s still in the process of recovering
On April 25th 2015, a devastating earthquake struck Nepal, killing over 8,000 people and leaving more than 21,000 wounded. It was the worst natural disaster to hit Nepal since the 1934 Nepal-Bihar earthquake. Hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless and entire villages were flattened across the country. Historic buildings were destroyed or left in ruins, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Durbar Square. To this day, many Nepalese are still in the process of rebuilding their lives, and a visit to Nepal can be quite confronting. However, it is also completely eye-opening to experience the tenacity and resilience of these people, and how despite all they have lost, they will welcome you into their country with open arms and unwavering kindness.
3. Tourism hasn't been impacted as much as you think
After the earthquake it’s understandable you might be a bit apprehensive to visit Nepal anytime soon, but tourists aren’t as impacted as you might think. Travel inherently brings risks but if you are alert and mindful, you will have an amazing experience. Today in Nepal, hotels and restaurants are still open, kids are going to school, street vendors are going to work each day, Kathmandu traffic is its normal loud and bustling self, people still pray and go about their normal days. You might hear some extra hammering and witness extra construction work but it should not deter you from travelling there. In fact, now is the perfect time to go and perhaps lend a helping hand.
In terms of transport safety, let’s just say it’s not required by law for motorists to wear a helmet. Most of the roads are unpaved and feature large potholes and mountainous terrain. Keep your wits about you and don’t do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing.
4. Dal-bhat will become your new favourite meal
The food in Nepal is nothing like you’ve ever experienced, with dal-bhat being the staple item of choice. Using a spoon in your right hand, prepare yourself for some (literally) finger-licking good food. Dal-bhat is basically comprised of steamed rice and a cooked lentil soup and whilst it doesn’t sound like much, it’s actually very tasty. And with no infiltration of McDonalds (who have failed to make their mark in Nepal, to which we say yay!), your best bet to surviving in Nepal is to eat and do as the locals do. Indulge in dal-bhat for brekky, lunch and dinner, alternating every so often for some delicious momos (dumplings).
5. It’s dry and polluted but utterly mesmerising nonetheless
Nepal’s climate is very dry, much drier than other countries in Southeast Asia. In addition to that, Kathmandu and the surrounding Kathmandu Valley are often quite dusty and polluted, but don’t let that stop you! It might take you a few days to get used to the air, but once you do, Nepal is your oyster. From insanely beautiful treks to heart-pumping adventure activities, taking the time to reflect in stunning temples and eating tantalising food, Nepal will leave you craving more.
6. You’ll leave Nepal forever changed
Nobody comes back from Nepal without being changed in some irrevocable way. The utterly spiritual nature of the country and its people will ensure you keep coming back for more, time and time again. It’s just one of those places that truly makes you appreciate the beauty of nature, culture, history and power of the human spirit. We love Nepal!
Time: GMT+5:45. Nepal is five hours and 15 minutes behind Australia (AEDT) Capital City: Kathmandu Primary Religion: Hindu Language: Nepali (but there are about 123 languages spoken there!)
Nepali (or Nepalese) is the official language of Nepal, however many traditional languages are still spoken. English is somewhat understood in major cities. Try communicating with locals using these common phrases:
How are you?
Tapailai kasto chha?
What’s your name?
Tapaiko naam ke ho?
My name is ____
Mero naam ____ ho
What is the cost of this?
Yesko kati paisa ho?
Yes (it is….)
No (it is not)
I know/I don’t know
Thaaha chha/thaaha chaina
See our departures to the Annapurna region here, and our treks to Everest Base Camp here
New York, New York. The city that never sleeps. The Big Apple. If you’ve ever been to this remarkable city, you’ll know how impossible it is to shake the empire state of mind once you leave. A trip to NYC is like none other you will take. This enthralling and culturally diverse city is so enchanting and unparalleled to anything like it.
Whether you’re there for a week, a month or a year, New York has so much to offer; from the smorgasbord of culinary hotspots, to its eclectic art scene, the bars and brunch spots where you leisurely spend an entire Sunday and, of course, all the trend-setting fashion.
If you can imagine it, New York has it. So, in no particular order, here are the top 10 things to do in NYC.
Held in Williamsburg, Brooklyn every Saturday and Sunday, Smorgasburg is every foodie’s dream turned into a scrumptious reality. With over 100 food vendors, your taste-buds will be awakened to all kinds of cuisines. For example? A grand serving of sweet and crunchy buttermilk fried chicken and waffles.
2. Empire State Building
If you go during peak hours, visiting the Empire State Building would be a total nightmare. However, early on a weekday morning is definitely the time to do it. Whilst some people think it’s a major tourist attraction and therefore a waste of time and money, the view you get from the top really makes you realise what a concrete jungle the city of New York is, and a beautiful one at that.
3. Statue of Liberty
There’s some indescribable feeling that overcomes you as Lady Liberty starts growing larger and larger as the ferry approaches Liberty Island. It’s one of New York’s biggest icons and she truly is a remarkable statue. Again, morning time is best to visit as the Island isn’t too crowded and you can get some alone time with the Lady.
4. Smalls Jazz Bar
Located in the East Village, Smalls Jazz Bar is an escape from NYC’s hustle and bustle into a world of woody saxophones and brassy trumpets. Playing jazz all night, it’s best to go on a Monday because that’s when it really kicks off.
5. Central Park
Perhaps one of New York’s most iconic tourist spots, it’s popular for a reason. One can’t understand the sheer size of Central Park until they spend the day riding or walking around its beautiful grounds. From brilliant buskers to some sensational artists, Central Park is a cultural hotpot. As you wander, don’t be surprised if you hear every language of the world in one day. Everybody goes to Central Park and I mean everybody.
6. West Village
Forget the Upper East Side, the West Village is where everyone who is anyone hangs out. With quaint cafes and plenty of boutique shops, the West Village is another quiet escape and a place to grab a cup of coffee and a good feed. Don’t forget to try the chocolate chip and sea salt cookies from the Sweet Corner Bakeshop – mind-blowing doesn’t even come close to explaining how good they are.
7. Washington Square Park
One of the best things to do in New York is to read in Washington Square Park. One of New York’s smaller parks, Washington Square Park is the perfect place to relax, cool off in the fountain or just listen to some fantastic jazz music that’s always echoing throughout the park. Or, try your luck at a chess game. There’s always a local willing to play.
8. Williamsburg Flea
Every Sunday in Williamsburg is the artist’s flea markets. You’ll find anything from paintings and furniture to jewellery and knick-knacks. Then, spend the day exploring Brooklyn – why New Yorker’s tend to snub this borough doesn’t make sense! Maybe because it’s more ‘suburban’ than Manhattan. Nonetheless, Brooklyn if filled with quintessential charm and loads of things to explore.
9. Times Square
Why New York is dubbed the City of Lights is blindingly (literally) obvious when you visit Times Square at night. Neon lights and colours burst in every direction and the buzz is palpable. Grab a hotdog, sit on the Times Square steps and let sheer craziness of it wash over you.
10. Brooklyn Night Bazaar
Another Brooklyn beauty – Brooklyn Night Bazaar offers artisan products of all kinds, food vendors and great live performances. Find a nice dinner spot in Brooklyn and then wander over to the Bazaar – its free entry and definitely worth a gander.
If you think New York is already full of life, imagine the incredible buzz and palpable energy that courses through the city in November during the TCS New York City Marathon. Even if you’re not a runner and are just there for support, there’s plenty of things for you to do too! Think: the Ceremony of Nations, the Dash to the Finish Line and a whole range of other incredible experiences!
Find out more about running the New York Marathon and the amazing causes you could support by visiting our calendar here.
Let’s face it—not many people really like winter. It makes noses red and runny, hands cracked and dry, and on particularly cold days it can turn your feet blue. Blue! Feet aren’t supposed to be blue.
If winter is not your friend and you’re itching (literally, your hands are so dry and itchy!) to chase the sun, below are our top destinations where your nose won’t run, your hands will be soft, and your feet will be a lovely shade of human colour.
Cali, as the locals call it, is a great destination to escape the winter blues. The Golden Sate is the place to be for the best surf and mostly year-round sunshine! You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to a prime spot of golden sands to relax on, as well as loads of cool local art galleries and boutiques to browse.
Puerto Rico is another wonderfully warm destination to escape to, and all you need is your Latino dancing shoes and a bikini (or budgie smugglers). Enjoy the pristine Caribbean beaches and sumptuous American food whilst soaking up some Spanish colonial history. Walk through the winding streets of Old San Juan or take a visit to El Yunque National Forest – the commonwealth’s tropical diamond that teems with noisy wildlife and jungle waterfalls. Oh, and don’t forget to try an authentic Pina Colada—Puerto Rico is famous for them after all.
Nha Trang, Vietnam
Nha Trang, the capital of Vietnam and only a hop, skip and a jump away from Australia, is a vibrant city dotted with tropical islands and sweeping crescent beaches. They’ve got cheap beer and plenty of tasty pho noodle soup. The best part? A holiday guaranteed not to break the bank. If you’re a keen surfer, there are plenty of waves to catch, or if you’re a cultural junkie, you can check out some of Vietnam’s oldest temples.
As soon as you arrive in Marrakech you’ll notice something very unique about the city: there is no predictability or sense of direction. However, in this vibrant town, you’re better off without them. Wander through the narrow alleyways and bright souks (markets) in the city’s Medina district. You’ll find plenty of sunshine to soak in and a plethora of delectable foods to be eaten.
If an international escape is not on your radar, perhaps something closer to home will do the trick. The Whitsunday Islands in Queensland enjoy an eternal summer, and winter is arguably the best time to visit. With the water at its clearest, it’s perfect for snorkelers and scuba divers. Take a day trip to Whitehaven Beach, home to the world’s whitest sand, or dive off the coast of Hook Island, the place where the oldest Aboriginal archaeological sites are found on the East coast of Australia.