Tag Archives: travel

Trail Etiquette: Rules Every Hiker Should Follow

Going for a hike seems like a pretty self-explanatory endeavour, right? Put one foot in front of the other, enjoy the scenery and navigate your whereabouts accordingly. While the motions are easy to put into play, there’s also such thing as ‘good hiking etiquette’ .

So before you lace up your boots, we’ve compiled some “unwritten rules” every good hiker should follow.

Leave Only Footprints

The most universal rule of hiking is to leave the untouched places you visit the way you would like to discover them. As the old adage says, ‘pack it in, pack it out.’ Dispose of waste properly and don’t leave anything behind – this includes organic waste like fruit peels, apple cores and seeds, and most notably, non-biodegradable materials such as plastic bottles, wet wipes, candy wrappers and so on. These waste products can pose great harm to native fauna and wildlife, pollute waterways and impact the experience your fellow hikers have on the trail.

Stop and Say Hello to Fellow Bushwalkers

This is probably an easy rule to follow, but we will say it anyway: you should always be polite and humble to others on your outdoor adventure. Your fellow hikers are a friendly bunch and often have some vital information about the trail they can pass on, like hazards ahead or camouflaged wildlife only locals know about.

Hike Quietly and Welcome the Sounds of Nature

Any experienced hiker will tell you that silence is golden while hiking. To enrich your experience on the trail, it’s recommended you try to keep your voice down, turn off external music devices and enjoy the great outdoors as Mother Nature intended.

Connect with your senses and listen to native birds chirping and water tickling down rocks, and soothe your nature- starved soul with the calming fresh air against your skin.

When Nature Calls…

So what do you do when nature calls and there isn’t a beckoning blue sign labelled ‘Toilets’ in sight? Unbeknownst to many, but there is actually toilet etiquette while hiking. It’s not too complex, but there are a few things to note. Before you seek out your location, ensure it is at least 100m away from water sources and campsites to prevent contamination – and also just to be considerate. Then simply dig a hole, do as natured intended and bury it with soil. If the inevitable strikes and you need to go number two, make sure you ditch the wet wipes and use biodegradable camp toilet paper – it will have a minimum impact on the environment you are visiting.

Set a Safe Pace

While it’s always encouraged to be relatively fit before you set off on a long pilgrimage, everyone’s fitness levels vary. Ensure you set a comfortable pace for the slower hikers so nobody falls too far behind. Alternatively, if people in your group prefer hiking at their own pace, choose a designated destination where you can all reconvene for refreshments or lunch.

Feeling inspired? Check out the upcoming challenges on our calendar and find your adventure!

5 Tips For Packing Light

Whether you’re about to embark on your first overseas adventure or you’re whisking yourself away for the weekend, the most important rule of thumb for travellers is to not weigh yourself down.

To help you travel light, we’ve rounded up 5 simple tips so that you can master the art of packing smart!

1. Don’t leave it to the last minute

While we understand that life can get busy and time can get lost, a common rookie error for travellers is leaving the packing to the last minute. If you’re rushing or tired, you’re more likely to forget the essentials – and we’re not talking about your toothbrush. Think important travel documents, medication and that incredible DSLR camera sitting beside your bed.

Give yourself enough time to thoughtfully process and plan out your checklist. This will also allow you to include smart staples to help lighten your load.

2. Opt for lightweight clothing

Your sightseeing capsule wardrobe should include lightweight, warm, versatile, wrinkle-free and quick drying pieces. Merino wool is a popular all-round natural fabric that will become your lifeline on the road. It will keep you warm in frosty conditions and cool in humidity – plus unlike synthetic fabrics, merino wool is odour resistant – so perfect for multiple wears!

3. Roll, don't fold

While rolling may not necessarily lighten your load, it will certainly help you maximise your space, combat creased clothing and help keep your bag organised. This simple tactic is perfect for your carry-on luggage where bulky culprits reside.

4. Minimalism is a must

Some like to stay stylish while they stride, but your time abroad will be infinitely easier if you just pack the basics alongside a few statement pieces. We’re not saying cute and cosy can’t co-exist; you just have to exercise your creative flair by mixing, matching and layering your garments.

What about your feet? Opt for a neutral pair of everyday shoes that are comfortable, waterproof and practical for your destination.

5. Choose the right luggage

Depending on the location, type and length of your adventure, try to limit the number of bags you’ll be carrying. Steer clear of awkwardly large and heavy suitcases that will drag you down while you try to navigate your way through busy crowds. If possible, try stick to luggage that is within the carry-on bag size limits (your arms will thank you!).

Did we just give you the travel bug? Check out the upcoming challenges on our 2018 calendar and find your next adventure!


Ten days in New Zealand’s South Island

Have you thought about making your way to New Zealand’s South Island for a trekking adventure, but don’t know where to go or what to do? Look no further! I was lucky enough to explore the South Island by campervan last December and have put together a 10-day itinerary, which includes trekking through mountains and valleys, gazing at glacier views, cruising Milford Sound, and a fair bit of driving. If you’re not keen on camping, this itinerary can easily be adjusted to drive between locations with overnight accommodation in hotels. If you have less time, base yourself in Queenstown and choose a few days from this itinerary to catch the highlights. Of course, there’s always the option of joining one of our New Zealand challenges next year as well!

Day 1: Christchurch to Arthur’s Pass National Park

Grab your campervan/car, stock your chilly bin, and hit the road towards Arthur’s Pass National Park. After about 2-3 hours driving up to the mountains, you’ll find yourself in Arthur’s Pass Village, where you can head to the Visitor’s Centre for some local insight on the available walking paths. If you’d like to fit in a few shorter treks, check out the Bealey Valley Trek for a 1 hour return walk. On this walk you’ll make your way through the valley before coming across a beautifully calm waterfall and creek where you can relax and take it in before heading back on the same route. After this, head over towards the Devil’s Punchbowl track for some stair-climbing and stunning waterfall views. Set up camp for the night in the campground across from the Visitor’s Centre or settle into accommodation at one of the town’s hotels.

New Zealand South Island
New Zealand South Island

Day 2: Arthur’s Pass to Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers

Start the day off with a drive towards the west coast where you’ll find Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier. If you’re looking to trek on the glaciers, you’ll need to book this in with a specialised tour group, but if you’re like me and want a cost-effective (read: free) opportunity to view the glaciers, there are other options! Both glaciers have self-guided walks available through the valleys with viewpoints of the glaciers. On each walk you’ll have lush green cliffs rising up on either side with flowing waterfalls. Keep in mind the lookout points for each glacier are dictated by weather patterns and glacial movements, so some days you’ll be able to get closer to the base than others.

Day 3: Franz Josef or Fox Glacier to Queenstown

Today, take the drive south from Franz Josef or Fox Glacier all the way to Queenstown. It’s a longer day of driving, but a beautiful one as you coast alongside Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea, both with picturesque views of the mountains in the background. Spend the afternoon relaxing in Queenstown along Lake Wakatipu and if you’re after a short walk to stretch your legs, head to the Queenstown Gardens where you can enjoy a nice stroll and stunning views of The Remarkables mountain range. If you’re camping tonight, drive to Moke Lake, just outside of Queenstown, for a scenic lakeside campground tucked away in the valley.

Day 4: Queenstown

If you’re looking for a thrilling adventure day, Queenstown is your place to do it! They’re known for their adventure sports and offer day tours from bungy-jumping to white-water rafting. If these activities aren’t for you, enjoy a more relaxed day on a Lake Wakatipu cruise to soak in the views, or explore the downtown centre. If you’re somewhere in the middle between seeking adventure or relaxing, the Queenstown luge is a fun (and less extreme) option!

Day 5: Queenstown to Fiordland National Park

This morning, start the drive south towards Milford Sound via Te Anau where you can stop for a picnic lunch on the lake and pop into the Visitor’s Centre for some local insight on the area. From here, keep driving towards Milford Sound and stop off for a beautiful hike on the Key Summit Trek. This trek is roughly 3 hours return with a steady incline up the mountainside until you reach Key Summit. At the top, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. There is also a self-guided nature walk with information on the local flora, fauna and glacial history of the region.

New Zealand South Island
New Zealand South Island

Day 6: Milford Sound

Today, make the rest of the drive to Milford Sound. The most popular activity here is to board a boat and cruise the Milford Sound, or consider booking in a kayak tour instead. This area of Fiordland National Park is not to miss, with cliffs stretching high to the sky on either side of the sound. If you’re lucky, you may spot the local bottlenose dolphins or spot a fur seal. After you take in Milford Sound, head for an afternoon trek up to Lake Marian where you’ll be treated to a clear glacial lake with stunning mountain surrounds. The trek is about 3 hours return and well worth it!

Day 7: Fiordland National Park to Wanaka

Hop back in the car for a longer day of driving and make your way from Fiordland National Park to the lakeside town of Wanaka. If you’re up for a short walk, check out the Mount Iron walking track, a relatively easy 1 hour loop providing views overlooking the town and lake.

Day 8: Wanaka to Mount Cook Aoraki

Spend some time in Wanaka this morning and begin the drive to Mount Cook. On the drive you’ll pass by Lake Pukaki, a bright turquoise lake with views of Mt. Cook/Aoraki in the background. Drive to Mount Cook Village and head to the Hooker Valley walking track. This is a relatively flat 4 hour return walk through the Hooker Valley. On the walk you’ll cross over three suspension bridges as you meander towards Hooker Lake with views of Mount Cook in the background. If you’re camping, set up camp at the campsite near the start of the walk and enjoy the clear skies for some stargazing tonight.

Day 9: Mount Cook to Christchurch

Hit the road again towards Christchurch to wrap up your adventure. Explore the city and check out the Re:Start mall in town for a unique shopping experience. Walk through the town centre and Cathedral Square and meander down Regent Street where you’ll feel like you’ve wandered into a town in Europe.

Day 10: Christchurch

Enjoy breakfast at one of the many cafés in Christchurch and board your plane back home to wrap up your adventure! Keep in mind that these are just a few highlights from the South Island. If you have more time to spare, I would highly recommend heading further up north and down south to enjoy the diverse landscape that the island has to offer!

A few tips to keep in mind for your adventure:

  • Always allow for extra time when planning your drive each day as the roads can be quite windy and narrow, meaning even Google Maps is not always accurate!
  • Summertime in New Zealand means the days are quite long. This is ideal when you are driving and camping as you’ll enjoy a few extra hours of daylight, with the sun going down around 9pm.
  • If you decide to camp, check out the app Campermate which will help you plan out where to stay each night. It can even be accessed when out of range, so is quite handy when you’re on the move and need to find a spot for the night.

Wherever you go, you can’t go wrong! New Zealand is a stunning destination with gorgeous views at every turn.

Feeling inspired?

Check out our calendar for upcoming adventures, or take a look at our New Zealand trips and plan your next adventure!

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New Inspired destinations for 2017

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.

Italy Tuscany Siena Piazza del Campo
Yosemite Reflection

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.



A local’s guide to San Francisco

So your flights are booked and you’re planning your holiday to the States! Or perhaps you’re daydreaming at your desk considering where to book your next adventure? San Francisco should definitely be on your list.

Of course, there are the obvious choices of visiting Alcatraz, checking out the sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf, or taking a cable car up the steep hills. These are all worth doing if you have the time, but I have the ultimate guide of things to do – straight from a local! Here’s a list of some lesser-known activities to check out while you’re in town.

San Francisco
San Francisco

Visit the Ferry Building

The Ferry Building is positioned right by the waters of the bay at the east end of Market Street. Pop in here and check out the marketplace that hosts many local treats and shops. Grab some delicious coffee, fresh baked bread, or sit and relax while enjoying wine and cheeses from the Napa Valley.

Relax in Alamo Square with a view of the Painted Ladies

You’ve probably seen the classic San Francisco photo of these colourful Victorian and Edwardian style houses many times. Bring a picnic to Alamo Square park and relax while taking in the views of these well-known homes with the city skyline in the background.

Take a walk through Land’s End

Wanting to take in a bit of nature without having to go far outside the city? Head to Land’s End where you’ll find a beautiful walking path situated near the Outer Richmond and Sea Cliff neighbourhoods. Stroll along this oceanside trail and you’ll forget how close you are to the city – that is until you catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge for a perfect photo opportunity!

Cycle through Golden Gate Park

Another great way to take in some nature within the city is by cycling through Golden Gate Park where you’ll be surrounded by the eucalyptus and pine trees that call it home. Start in Haight-Ashbury and you’ll get a glimpse of the neighbourhood that was home to the 60’s hippy movement. Rent your bike here and start on the eastern side of Golden Gate Park, making your way through the park to Ocean Beach on the western end. Expect to see beautiful gardens, many trees, the iconic windmills, and even buffalo roaming in their paddock.

 Explore the streets and food of the Mission District

If you’re looking for some authentic burritos, tacos, or papusas, the Mission District is the place to head! With many delicious taquerías, you’ll have no trouble finding a good spot to grab a burrito. Grab your food to-go and make your way to Dolores Park, where you’ll get a great view of the SF skyline and experience a favourite local hangout on a sunny day. The Mission is also known for their local boutiques, so if that’s more your style, you’ll find many great shops to pop into on Valencia Street.

Get dim sum and fortune cookies in Chinatown

San Francisco’s Chinatown is the oldest in North America and largest outside of Asia. Have a wander through these streets and stop in a restaurant for dumplings or dim sum. San Francisco lays claim to being the original home of the fortune cookie*. Head down Ross Alley to the Fortune Cookie factory, where you’ll find a small shop and get a glimpse into how these cookies are made. Also consider taking a walking tour of the neighbourhood to learn more about the history of the Chinese community in San Francisco.

*The origin of the fortune cookie is a debated topic as Los Angeles has also laid claim to the origins of the fortune cookie in the past.

Munch on some eats from a food truck

SF is known for their delicious food, and in recent years food trucks have become a favourite for many locals. Check out Off the Grid, an event put on in many locations around the Bay Area where food trucks gather and visitors get a chance to try many different types of food all in one spot! My favourite is the Presidio location, where you can relax on a beautiful green and take in views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay.


If you want to head out of the city for a few days...

Spend a day at Muir Woods

Make your way across the bridge to this National Park to spend the day among the redwoods. With many hiking trails to choose from, you’ll have the option to take an easy stroll along a well-kept path, or opportunities to take on some more rugged trails for a more challenging adventure. It’s an easy drive or bus ride across the bridge, so this can easily be done in a day. If you’re driving, start the day early to ensure you’re able to secure a parking spot at the park.

Drive down the coast for a beach day in Santa Cruz

Wanting to soak in some sun at the beach? Drive down Highway 1 on the coast, and you’ll be in Santa Cruz in under two hours. Here you’ll find a sunny beach and boardwalk with a small amusement park. The water may be cooler than Australian beaches, but it’s a nice place to enjoy the sun and take a dip on a hot day.

Trek through Yosemite National Park

If you want to take a few days away from the city, I suggest going to Yosemite National Park. If you’d like to stay in the park, there are options to camp, stay in basic cabins, or even a nicer lodge if that suits you more. Spend a few days hiking the trails and taking in the gorgeous views of Half Dome, Vernal falls, and Bridalveil falls. On those warmer days, float down the river through Yosemite Valley to cool off. Be sure to book your campsite or hotel accommodation in advance as it can get quite busy in the summer months.

Go camping in Big Sur

If you prefer coastal views, drive down Highway 1 to Big Sur on the central coast of California where the redwoods meet the ocean. Big Sur has many options for camping or lodging and has beautiful beaches and hiking trails that wind through the forest. This is another one to book in advance as this is also a popular destination!

Before you head off to San Francisco, I have one tip for you – bring layers! San Francisco is known for being foggy for good reason. Even on a clear sunny day the fog can roll in during the late afternoon and bring a chill to the air. Bring a jumper for the mornings and evenings and you’ll always be prepared

Feeling inspired?

Love an adventure? Check out our Yosemite trek.


Lares Trek vs Inca Trail

Machu Picchu is a site that gathers crowds, with thousands of tourists visiting on a daily basis. Trails wind up towards the mountain peaks over some incredible views of the rugged, ancient landscape. The Inca Trail is the popular tourist route we all know about, but there’s more than one way to get there. One alternative to the Inca Trail is the Lares trek, if you’re hiking Machu Picchu, both these trails offer exciting views and are equally as challenging to get through. Here is your guide to the Lares trek vs Inca Trail.

Lares Trek

Distance: 34 kilometres
Altitude: 4,550 metres

The Lares trek is by no means an “easier” trek compared to the Inca, it has a similar difficulty rating, making it an excellent alternative to the Inca Trail if you want to avoid the crowds. Despite its proximity to Cusco and other touristic spots, the area of Lares features a very traditional way of life. You’ll be taken off the beaten track through the spectacular Lares Valley. On the road less travelled, you have the opportunity to take a step back in time and experience a rural traditional life, as you pass through remote mountain communities.

You’ll likely witness locals carrying goods on horseback, which is the only form of transport in the area. If you’re looking for a more cultural experience, then the Lares trek is an excellent alternative. You will have the opportunity to visit and interact with the Andean communities, share experiences and learn about each other’s lives. This trek offers a real insight into the lives of the people of Cusco.


Lares is characterised by its wide, glacial valleys and Andean moorland. As you descend to lower elevations near the Sacred Valley the area is much greener. As with all treks to Machu Picchu the paths will be rocky, so it is recommended you wear hiking boots to protect your feet and support your ankles. You also need to prepare for the sometimes icy temperatures at night. There will be times where the elevation is higher, and you will often walk up sloped hills, so bear that in mind to avoid any injuries.


This area is much less visited than other treks to Machu Picchu, which means you likely won’t find it very crowded. The Inca Trail is known to get booked out well in advance of its peak season, so it’s great to have this trek as an option.

Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru

Inca Trail

Distance: 45 kilometres
Altitude: 4,200 metres.

Everyone has heard about the Inca Trail, because it is one of the most popular trails to Machu Picchu. However, it is only one part of the huge network of paths winding their way up the mountain.

The actual Inca Trail doesn’t start until day two or three of our adventure, as the original has been restored in most other parts. Day two is a tough day with a steep climb and plenty of steps, but you will be rewarded with stunning views into the valley when you reach the top. The declines can be steep, and hard on the knees. On day three, you’ll climb up and down with a view of the lakes and beautiful ruins below.


The trekking terrain is difficult and challenging you will have to walk very carefully. In the beginning, the terrain is quite flat but will gradually steepen. The terrain on day three is the most different from the other days, with plenty of lush greenery. Otherwise, you can expect rocky, uneven surface on your ascent. We don’t recommend you attempt the Inca Trail if you suffer from vertigo as there are many high spots with narrow walkways.


It can be quite crowded during peak season, and places usually fill quickly. There will be days when you don’t see any people, depending on the season you go, but there may be times when you see other tour groups along the way.

What our team says…


“Walking along the Inca Trail was one of the most majestic things I have ever done, and it made me fall in love with trekking even more.

An old family member of mine did the trek about 5 years ago, and I was so captivated by what she had been through, trekking at a high altitude, and seeing those beautiful ruins and views. She told me it was hard, and that she had to take it very slow, as breathing at that altitude was very tough. I couldn’t really understand what she meant until I actually arrived in Cusco. You step out of the plane and straight away the air is so thin that walking up a set of stairs is ten times harder than back home. However, with two acclimatising days in Cusco, the Inca Trail felt achievable.

Despite going at the busiest time of the year, it never felt overcrowded. You’d definitely come across different groups along the way, but everyone walked in a different pace and to be honest, it was nice to meet other people than just my tour group (which consisted of just me, my dad, and staff). It gave me a chance to talk to them about what they were doing here, if they’ve done any other trails that could go on my bucket list – and a chance for me to rest and breath!

I’m not going to lie; day two on the steep ascend and the peak at 4,200 metres was very long and tough. But once I got to the top, the feeling of what I had just achieved together with my dad was amazing. Overall, I didn’t find the trail too hard as everyday is so different, and you see so much along the way that you forget how hard it actually is.

If I was asked to do this trek again tomorrow – I would go in an instant. That’s how incredible it was.”


“When I decided to tackle the Inca Trail after hearing so many incredible stories, I didn’t really know what to expect apart from a difficult climb and a step back in time.

We departed from Cusco on the morning of the trail in what felt like the middle of the night. Arriving at the start of the trail was very exciting with a real busy buzz of activity from all the porters, trekkers and leaders, and not forgetting a donkey or two. Every turn and step revealed a stunning view or ancient ruin buried on the hillside, it was quite amazing. I had a lovely group of 15 people that came from the USA, UK and Germany. We all helped each other to climb the trail each day with encouraging words and advice.

Every night we gathered in the tent for the most incredible three course meals prepared by our phenomenal porters and chefs. I really don’t know how they carry such huge bags up the mountain especially as they seem to run most of the time! The second day was the most challenging in terms of climbing as there were a lot of steps and it was almost all uphill! But we all made it and cheered each other when we reached the top.

The final day required us to be up and out of our tents by 3am! We then sat in the dark waiting for the gates to open. When they did, it was a mad rush of people trying to get to the top first. After a fast hour and half climb, we made it! Machu Picchu was a marvel with so many nooks and crannies to explore. I loved every minute of this adventure!”

We hope our guide has made the decision a little easier, but your Machu Picchu trek will be amazing no matter how you choose to get there!

Llamas, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru

Feeling inspired?

Check out our calendar for 2017, and find your next adventure!

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Top tips for surviving a long haul flight

It has never been easier to travel the globe. Flights are getting faster and inflight entertainment is getting better. However, sitting on a plane for 24 hours is still no easy feat.

To help, we’ve put together a list of Inspired Adventures top tips for surviving a long flight.

Pole position

Ask to sit at the front of the plane, this means you’ll be fed first (and have a choice of meals before the good option runs out).

Travellers boarding flight
Plane in flight

Set your watch

Set your watch to the time zone you’re going to enter. This helps your body and mind prepare.

Pro tip: Work out a sleep schedule for your flight. If you’re going to arrive late at night then try to stay awake towards the end of your flight and vice versa.

Compression socks

This might seem like a strange survival tip, but these socks are amazing! Say goodbye to swollen legs and feet after a long flight. You can pick up a pair at most chemists and you wont regret it.

Water over wine

Lets get real. The free alcohol on international flights is a lovely perk. In saying that, you need to stay hydrated if you want to feel okay the next day.

Pro tip: Take your own water bottle. This way your hydration isn’t dependent on the refreshment trolley.

Move it!

Get up and keep your blood flowing! It doesn’t need to be much; just have a little wander on your way to the bathroom and then a nice stretch before going back to your seat.

Plane clothes

Yes, this is a category of clothing and I encourage you to fall deeply in love with it. Say no to jeans and tight jackets. Now is the time for you to bring out your comfortable pants and settle in.

Pro tip: If you’re going on an adventure make sure to take your trekking boots on the plane with you. That way, even if your luggage is delayed your adventure is not!

Dinner time

Unlike many people, I actually enjoy plane food. I think it’s the surprise of what the food trolley holds. However, if you are like the masses make sure that you bring a few of your favourite snacks for the flight. This is especially important if you have any special dietary requirements as we all know those meals can be less than desirable.

Control your sound

The headphones provided by the airline are always notoriously bad, so I would encourage you to invest in a good pair before you fly.

Pro tip: Earplugs are a great investment to block out background noise whilst you’re trying to sleep.

Airplane Flight
Long Haul Flight

Feeling inspired?

Check out our calendar for our 2017!


Adventurer of the Month – Amanda Cox

Amanda Cox

Cause: SANE Australia
Adventure: SANE Australia’s Great Wall Challenge
Social: @madcowsdiary

As our Adventurer of the Month, Amanda has scored herself a $100 Paddy Pallin voucher! To be our next month’s winner, make sure you’re uploading your journey to social and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired.

The Long Walk #FamilyDay #MadCowSANETrain #ivebeeninspired @inspiredadventures

A photo posted by Mad Cow (Amanda Cox) (@madcowsdiary) on

What inspired you to take on your Inspired Adventure with SANE Australia?

It was a combination of things really. I LOVE adventure and was looking for something exciting to do this year, and I really enjoy long walks in exciting places. I have wanted to visit the Great Wall of China since I was about 10 years old, and for the last decade and a bit, I have been an avid advocate for mental health, and particularly that of mums. A friend had recently done a trek to Peru with Inspired Adventures, so I did a bit of research and found this one; it was like all my personal planets aligned. I absolutely had to sign up.

(The lure of a duck dinner at the end of our trek, which also happens to fall on my birthday, was just a bonus!)

How are you feeling about the challenge ahead? Have you ever been to China before?

I’m really excited. A little anxious I may not have the fitness levels required to trek without slowing everyone up, but I think my excitement and anticipation for the trip will make up for that. I hope so anyway! I’m fascinated by the history of the area and of the Wall itself, and I just think the whole experience will be incredible.

I have been to Shanghai before – I was chosen to be a Live Positively Ambassador for a large global corporation, and was invited to visit a few of their corporate spaces in Shanghai. It was mostly a business trip, so we really only got a few hours to explore the city. It was amazing – as were the dumplings, which I still get cravings for even six years on.

"It is a constant reminder that I am making a small difference to someone and that support services like SANE Australia are very much needed"

What have been some of the highlights of your fundraising experience so far?

I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of some people. It’s really inspiring. I’ve also found people quietly opening up about their experiences of mental illness, and although that doesn’t really relate to fundraising, per se, it is a constant reminder that I am making a small difference to someone and that support services like SANE Australia are very much needed. It’s a little overwhelming and very humbling, but also extremely fulfilling.

Last one ... #FamilyDay #WerribeeGorge #MadCowSANETrain #ivebeeninspired ... 3 hours hiking, just less than 10km 🙂

A photo posted by Mad Cow (Amanda Cox) (@madcowsdiary) on

What have been your biggest challenges in taking on an Inspired Adventure? How did you overcome this?

I think my biggest challenge has been ensuring I can do enough training for the trek; I don’t want to struggle along but want to be fit enough to really absorb the whole experience. I work full time, and have a small writing business on top of that, I have three boys and a husband, too. So my days are busy.

I’ve overcome it by prioritising my need to train, and incorporating walking into my commute to and from work; each week I get off at a train station earlier and walk from there, and have pretty much set up a small wardrobe of work attire at the office to make life a little easier.

I also take the family along with me on Sunday adventures walking wherever we can (you can follow that progress on my Instagram, with the hashtag I’ve created especially for this #MadCowSANETrain). We get to spend time together, and I get to train – they pretend they hate it, but they don’t really.

Have you noticed any changes or transformation in your life since taking on your first adventure?

I have a lot more of a positive outlook on things, and have much less time for drama and negativity in my life. I also feel a lot more excited and inspired about lots of things – the proverbial “just do it”, which I have adopted because I’m just so busy and working towards a lot of things I’m enjoying doing, has taken a priority in my thoughts, which has been great.

Having the desire to do the trek as easily as I can has really meant I just do the training, even if I don’t feel like it, or it’s cold or raining, or I’m tired … and this attitude has spread to other areas of my life. I love it.

What are you most looking forward to about your upcoming adventure?

What I’m really looking forward to is feeling the whole experience. When I walk in places with incredible views, I just immerse myself in those moments, and that’s what I’m looking forward to. It’s almost overwhelming, and just an amazing sensation. That and being supported – and supporting – others as we go, people with similar desires to make a difference around a cause that is so important to me.

I also have to add – dumplings and duck! I’m so looking forward to those things!

"I feel a lot more excited and inspired about lots of things"

What advice would you offer to other people looking to complete a challenge like this?

I’d just encourage them to do the training, and keep the end goal in sight. Take it one step at a time (pardon the pun!), follow the recommendations for both the training and the fundraising, and just ask for help and support. Surround yourself with people who are willing to help you achieve your goals, and connect with like-minded people who are willing to accompany you as you do the physical training.

As for the fundraising – I’m of the belief that if you don’t ask, the answer is always no, so just ask and keep asking.

Be adventurous … it makes it all more fun.

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Become our Adventurer of the Month to win a $100 Paddy Pallin voucher

Take a picture whilst on your adventure or when you’re training and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired and your adventure hashtag. The most exciting use of the hashtag, with an adventure, and fitness focus will be our Adventurer of the Month – it’s that easy!


Food files: Nepalese teahouses

So, you’re going trekking in Nepal! That’s amazing. The mountains, the scenery, the people – it’s all incredible and you will have the time of your life.

Even though you are so excited and can’t wait for the adventure, I bet you are a little worried about the food … Maybe just a tad? Well, it’s your lucky day, because we’ve been there and created this handy guide on how to dissect a Nepalese teahouse menu! You’ll be a pro in no time.

How does it work?

Each night on your trek, you will be staying in local teahouses. Originally, teahouses were a place for hikers and mountain climbers to drink some tea (obviously), eat and sleep for free overnight (usually on the floor). Nowadays, it’s a bit more formalised and you book rooms or beds for a small charge with an expectation that you eat your meals at the teahouse. Most teahouses are family run, which means you get an amazing insight into the local culture.

So how does it all work? When you arrive at your teahouse each day, you’ll be given a key to your room and you can go dump all your things. Depending on your pace and how long you walk that day, you are usually there in the mid-afternoon so you’ll have a tea to relax. There are SO many options for tea – my personal favourite was Honey, Lemon and Ginger (which was sometimes spelt Zinger or Ginzer in the menu).

Usually, you put your order for dinner in by either 5.00pm or 6.00pm so the kitchen can prepare. You’ll let them know what time you want to eat – most people eat around 6.30pm – 7.30pm. There will be little notebooks that you can write down your order in with your room number on the top. You will also order your breakfast on the same page before you go to sleep and specify the time you want to eat in the morning.


I absolutely loved the options for breakfast! There was so much to choose from and I figured that since I’m here trekking and not just lying by the pool drinking cocktails, I was allowed to have some slightly unhealthier (but yummier) options!

My go-to was often porridge. Sometimes I’d have apple on top, sometimes just honey and cinnamon. It was easy to digest as well when I started to lose my appetite at higher altitudes.

My treat option was french toast! One day I even had it twice – once for breakfast and then again for second breakfast (yes, that’s a thing) in the mid-morning. If you trek to the Everest View Hotel (which is a beautiful view point of Everest a couple of hours walk from Namche Bazaar), make sure you have a coffee and french toast – it was literally one of the best things to ever happen to me.

You can also have eggs – fried or omelette are the most common. I also had toast with honey quite a few times.

Nepal teahouse breakfast: Porridge
French Toast Nepal

Lunch and Dinner

Dal Bhat is the go-to meal in Nepal. Locals will often eat two or even three meals of Dal Bhat per day. It will differ from teahouse to teahouse but generally, it’s made up dal soup, rice and usually a small mix of veggies in a curry style sauce. You will usually have pappadums or roti on the side too. It’s delicious and the bonus is that you will likely be served seconds … and thirds. No one’s judging!

Other than Dal Bhat, there are SO many options again. Most of the menus are very carb heavy – lots of potatoes, soups, noodles, rice dishes, pasta and of course, momos!

Sometimes you’ll even come across pizza or amazing dishes like Lasagne on the menus! If you are trekking with a guide, they will usually always tell you what the best food options are at each teahouse as they all have their specialities! One day in Tengboche, we were recommended the Lasagne and it was incredible (see the pic!)

*Handy hint* If you are hiking to Everest Base Camp, it’s best to avoid meat. All meat is flown into Lukla and then carried by porters or yaks, so you can pretty much guarantee it’s been out of a refrigerated environment for some time.

Lasagne Nepal
Nepal Teahouse Blog Dal Bhat

The costs

The prices at the Teahouses are much cheaper than you are used to in Australia. The rule of thumb is it will get more expensive as you climb higher.

For breakfast, you are looking at around 300-450 rupees per meal ($3-$4 AUD). For lunch and dinner, it will cost you anywhere from 400-900 rupees per meal (depending on what it is). That’s about $5-$12 per meal. So if you are taking the most expensive option it would be about $28 a day for your food and then including any snacks you get for morning or afternoon tea. Tea is about 80-120 rupees. I budgeted about $35-40 AUD per day for food/drink and it worked out well.

Nepalese Menu
Nepalese Menu

So there you have it! Trekking through Nepal is an incredible experience, and staying in the local teahouses makes it that much better because you really get to live like the locals, as well as learn more about their customs and culture. So next time you’re in Nepal, make this your new mantra:

Don’t eat the meat, try the french toast, drink all the teas and have fun! 

Feeling Inspired?

Check out our upcoming Nepal treks to Everest Base Camp or Annapurna!


12 years on with Inspired Adventures

IN 2016, we are celebrating ‘12 Years of Inspired Adventures’—12 years of incredible achievements, amazing stories and exciting adventures to enchanting destinations.

From our first dollar fundraised in 2004 to over $21 million raised last year, we know we would not have reached such heights without our charity partners, their incredible fundraisers and all the people who support them. The memories, moments and milestones we’ve shared over the last decade are what inspire us to aim higher and reach further as every year passes.

In taking on an Inspired Adventure, you make the decision to travel for good, to help change our world for the better. We find that many people who have returned from an Inspired Adventure go on to do amazing things. Indeed, it’s hard to come back from an Inspired Adventure without a certain shift in your soul. If you can scale mighty mountains, cycle across countries or trek through rugged jungles, all while raising significant funds for a cause you’re passionate about, what can’t you do?

But where did it all begin?

Inspired Adventures was the light-bulb moment of Justine Curtis, our CEO and Founder. In 2001 on a sabbatical to India, Justine met her hero and inspiration: Palden Gyatso, a former Tibetan political prisoner who was imprisoned and tortured for 33 years by the Chinese government. Mirroring the plight of many dedicated travellers, Justine returned to Australia wondering how to translate all that she had learned in India to something worthwhile and useful for the world. With a background in marketing, she helped launch a large street fundraising agency called Face-to-Face that empowered youth to fundraise for charities.

While sitting through a management training course, Justine had the crazy (yet inspired!) idea to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with three friends and raise $30,000 to fund a water pump for an orphanage in Zimbabwe. In 12 short weeks, she went from thinking climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was “literally insurmountable” to standing on top of the mountain, armed with a new vision for a business.

So in 2004, Justine started Inspired Adventures, a fundraising agency that raises thousands for charity while also taking people on the journey of a lifetime, physically and emotionally. She says, “I wanted to support people from all walks of life, so they could prove to themselves that they are greater than they ever thought possible.”

Blog India 2005
Blog India 2005

In tribute to her hero, Justine decided the first charity partner she wanted to work with was the Australia Tibet Council. She approached Paul Bourke at ATC, told him her idea, and the rest is history. The Australia Tibet Council went on their first adventure to India in 2005, where fundraisers who undertook the adventure raised a massive $50,000. The next few years saw Inspired Adventures and the Australia Tibet Council travel with passionate ATC supporters, taking on challenging treks in northern India. Then in 2013, Inspired Adventures and ATC began taking supporters on insight tours to Dharamsala, in northern India, where they could experience the rich Buddhist culture of Tibet with a group of like-minded people.

Now in 2016, we have again teamed up with the Australia Tibet Council for this year’s Dharamsala Insight tour. So what’s the experience like? On this two-week adventure, you will be immersed in the ambience of Dharamsala, the political and spiritual home of the Tibetan community in exile. You will gain unique cultural insights through visits to His Holiness, the Dalai Lama’s temple, the Norbulingka Institute, the Tibetan Children’s Village, the Tibetan Nuns’ Project, the Tibet Museum and so much more. You’ll hear the moving stories of life in Tibet from newly-arrival refugees, witness the enduring strength of the Tibetan struggle as you visit cultural and political organisations, and hear from young and passionate Tibetan activists about their dreams of a future Tibet.

Best of all, by joining this adventure, you will be supporting the important advocacy work of the Australia Tibet Council as they campaign on behalf of Tibet’s people, culture and fragile environment (your travel cost includes a $1,200 donation to ATC).

Insight 2013 HHDL-group4

Interested in joining the trip?

Contact Inspired Adventures or the Australia Tibet Council at insight@atc.org.au to learn more!

When you sign up, you will be able to provide a friend with $200 off their travel cost if they join the adventure. Also, if you’re a past Inspired Adventures participant and you sign up for this adventure, you’ll also receive $200 off your travel cost!