Tag Archives: New Year

Inspired’s best travel moments of 2015

"Take only memories, leave only footprints" – Chief Seattle

It’s the small moments amongst the chaos of travel that we remember most. 2015 was a big year for Inspired in so many ways. We conquered mountains, we hiked incredible trails, we cycled across countries, we ran marathons, we renovated apartments, we bought houses and some of us got married and had babies! And of course, we travelled our little hearts out and boy did we create some incredible memories!

Here’s a few of our most special travel moments from 2015.

Theresa, Campaign Manager

I had an incredible year of travel and was lucky enough to go on 2 Inspired Adventures!! My favourite memory is from the Hike the Homelands with Amnesty International. We saw the sunrise over Mount Sonder in the Larapinta region from our campsite–it was truly breathtaking.

Kat, Campaign Manager

An incredible moment of 2015 was visiting the Treasury in Petra. It’s everything you’ve imagined. There has been such little excavation that you can’t help but want to reinvent your life and become Indiana Jones searching for mystery. The heat was intense but certainly worth it.

Kelsey, Campaign Manager

My travel highlight of 2016 was heading home to Minnesota and seeing the Northern Lights!

Laura, Fundraising Coordinator

At end of our 7th day in China we said goodbye to Jo, Marion and Megan after a long day on the wall at the cable car station, a few of us grabbed a quick ice cream and took on the challenge of trekking about an hour further to toboggan off the wall. I’m not exactly sure what happened next or if a challenge was ever propositioned but next minute the two Davids, Demi, Heidi, Hero and Laura are sprinting across the Great Wall, up and down flights of stairs, through watchtowers and almost knocking over tourists (Amazing Race style) in order to make record time to the our final destination.

There is some debate about what time we actually began but what Hero thought should take at least 60 minutes we finished in between 15 and 20 minutes. When we arrived at the toboggan entrance, they had just shut. Luckily, Hero convinced the ticket seller to remain open for our group to take the ride down from the top of the wall to the car park. We all jumped on our toboggans like little kids and raced on from our hardest day so far trekking. At the bottom we found the ladies enjoying an ice cold beer. We then took a shuttle back to our bus to meet out driver and our number one cheerleader, Margaret.

Sharni, Fundraising Coordinator

This year for the very first time I visited Australia’s Southern gem – Tasmania! 7 days of bliss road tripping around the island – relaxing by the Hazards in Coles Bay, eating Oysters & cheese on Bruny Island & enjoying a spectacular view from the top of a snow-capped Mt Wellington! But the highlight of this trip for me was definitely hiking the legendary Cradle Mountain NP, wombats, chilly weather and all. This experience has added another adventure to my bucket list – to hike the iconic Overland Track! Sometimes the most beautiful experiences, are right on your doorstep.

Kate, Campaigns & Partnerships Manager

This year I decided to turn my travel attentions to Australia and made it to every state and territory! I trekked the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, cruised the wild rivers of western Tasmania, and snorkelled with turtles on the Great Barrier Reef.

But the highlight was finally making it to the Red Centre and Uluru. The rich colours, stillness and vastness of this ancient land is breathtaking! I watched the sun rise and set over Uluru and Kata Tjuta and learned about the rich Indigenous heritage of the region. It’s a truly special and spiritual place.

This was my second trip to the Northern Territory and it’s firmly cemented it’s status as once of my favourite places in the world. My first visit in 2013 was to trek in Kakadu National Park, an unforgettable experience. In 2016 I will return to the Red Centre to trek the iconic Larapinta Trek and I can’t wait!

Ally, Copywriter

There’s nothing truly as mesmerising as snorkelling in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It’s honestly one of the most breath-taking places in the world, made even more special now that this beautiful reef is under threat. The best part of my snorkel? Swimming with not one, not two, but three turtles. It was an experience I will never forget.

Kate, Head of Client Services & Marketing

It’s so hard to choose just one moment. I had an amazing trip to Hawaii earlier in the year. But I’d have to say the Trek Towards a Cure in Peru with National Breast Cancer Foundation seriously life-changing. One of the best memories from the adventure was when 3 other trekkers and myself conquered Huayna Picchu (the mountain perched above Machu Picchu). It was a slog up there (it’s vertical in parts AND it had been raining so it was mud central!) but we persisted and made it to the top. The birds-eye view over Machu Picchu was breath-taking, and I really enjoyed the fact that there were so few people!! We had a little picnic, a few tears and breathed in the mountain air. It was a very special moment.

Serena, Campaign Manager

2015 has been full of incredible adventures both here and abroad. My highlight has to be this moment on a deserted Sri Lankan beach, with some of my best friends who had flown halfway around the world.

Feeling Inspired?

Create your own special travel moments in 2016 on an Inspired Adventure!


How to give ethically this holiday season

Hang on, are you telling me it’s nearly December!? With November almost over, it can only mean one thing … the giving season is upon us! No matter what you are celebrating, we have created a list of socially responsible gifts and tips to make sure you are doing your part for both people and the planet this year. You’re welcome!

Etsy’s handmade #makeforgood purchases support Plan International Australia

Etsy is an online marketplace for unique handmade and vintage goods. A couple of months ago, the folks behind Etsy teamed up with Plan International Australia to launch their #makeforgood campaign, where 20 per cent of all items sold online are directed towards the Because I Am A Girl initiative.

Creative entrepreneurs from all over Australia have joined forces with a common goal leading up to Christmas, which is to provide 150 micro-loans to Cambodian women to help them start their own businesses and lift their families out of poverty. With a huge range of one-off pieces including art, craft, jewellery and homeware, Etsy is the perfect place to tick off some items from your gift list.

Photo credit: Etsy

IKEA’s Soft Toys for Education supports UNICEF and Save The Children

Do you have a small child you need to buy for? Look no further than IKEA. Since the Soft Toys for Education launched 12 years ago, the program has raised the equivalent of AUD $115 million for UNICEF and Save the Children, while helping educate more than 11 million children.
For the first time this year, IKEA asked children around the world to design their own toys to feature amongst the range. This giving season when you purchase a toy in-store or online from November 1st to December 26th, you will help the IKEA Foundation to provide children living in poverty access education.


Photo Credit: IKEA

Grab your ugly Xmas rashie and support the Cancer Council QLD

With the weather warming up, are there any beach-goers on your gift list? The southern hemisphere’s answer to the daggy Christmas jumper is here … the Ugly Xmas Rashie.

Did you know? Two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer before they are 70. Perfect to ensure sun safety for the upcoming summer, the limited edition unisex rash-shirt was designed and manufactured locally in NSW by Kozii Swimwear.  All profits from the sale of the rashie go towards the Cancer Council QLD as they continue to fight life-threatening cancers.


Photo Credit: The Ugly Xmas Rashie

Put a gift under the Kmart Wishing Tree for Mission Australia and The Salvation Army

Before finishing your conscious shopping for the season, don’t forget to grab a gift for a disadvantaged Australian to add to their holiday cheer this year. A fixture of the Australian Christmas for almost 30 years, the Kmart Wishing Tree is our longest and most loved Christmas gift appeal.

Make sure to visit your local Kmart store before December 24th and place something special under the tree. All gifts will be distributed to those most in need by Mission Australia and The Salvation Army.  For 2015, Kmart is aiming to help their charity partners collect and distribute more than 500,000 gifts to at risk and marginalised people.


Gift wrapping for Lifeline

Now that you’ve got all your gifts, the last step is the gift wrapping. When you’ve finished your shopping this year, why not take a few hours to volunteer your time as a gift wrapper and help make an impact to the lives of Australians living with mental illness and support Lifeline?

If you can’t volunteer, consider taking your gifts to an All Phones stall set up in-store around the country. Shoppers can exchange their gifts along with a donation for beautifully wrapped Christmas presents. Funds raised from the wrapping appeal will help Lifeline fund their 24/7 crisis support line.



Purchase an OXFAM Christmas Tree

Once you have all of your gifts ticked off, they are ready to find their home under the tree! If you love the smell of a real Christmas tree and how it musters up that festive feeling, then make sure to get your Oxfam Christmas Tree order in by November 30th.

Available in NSW, VIC and SA for $89, your fresh pine tree will be delivered to your door in metropolitan areas between December 5th and 6th.  All funds raised from your tree will go towards assisting families living in poverty around the globe.

Photo Credit: Oxfam

Last but not least … get fundraising!

Whether you’ve signed up for an Inspired Adventure and are in the midst of your fundraising journey, or you admire the work of a charity, the giving season is a perfect time to let your friends and family know this year you would prefer a donation to your favourite cause.

The best place to start would be an email to your networks letting them know that this year you don’t want a traditional present. Include a short paragraph about why the charity is close to your heart these holidays and a link so everyone can support the cause with an online donation in your honour. If you have plenty of energy then it’s not too late to consider a fundraising Christmas party. Other ideas include swapping Secret Santa this year for a donation sponsorship, a Christmas bake sale at your workplace, or an end of year BBQ with your local sports or community club.

Feeling inspired?

  • Want to give back and fundraise for an amazing cause in 2016? Visit the  Inspired Adventures Calendar and find a charity challenge perfect for you.