When you think of Australia, often the first thing that comes to mind is our stunning beaches, but if you head out west, you'll find views like no other along the Six-Foot Track in the Blue Mountains.
Emu Trekkers, a non-for-profit tour operator run by volunteers with a serious passion for the outdoors, know where all the hidden gems of New South Wales are. The best part is they're organising incredible scenic hikes like the Six-Foot Track all for a good cause with UNICEF Australia – helping the world's most vulnerable children, no matter where they are.
Finding inspiration overseas
The idea for Emu Trekkers began on a trip for founders, Tristan and Rutty, when they had the idea to start a not-for-profit organisation offering hiking tours to raise awareness and funds for children’s education programs in Central America.
"After days of hiking through the amazing volcanic ecosystems of Guatemala and Nicaragua with passionate guides volunteering their time, we kept asking ourselves the question ‘What would happen if we set up something similar in Australia...and would it work?’,”says Tristan.
"We rushed back to Sydney at the end of our trip to start setting up Emu Trekkers, drawing inspiration from the organisation that first planted the seed in our mind. Our mission, “Hike Australia. Help Kids”.
What you'll discover on the Six-Foot Track hike
Once Emu Trekkers was up and running, the next step was finding charities to support, one being UNICEF Australia. Since August 2018, Emu Trekkers has donated $50,000 in support of our mission to protect children's rights around the world.
To support UNICEF Australia, they've put together a two-day eco-friendly hiking experience in the Blue Mountains, with all proceeds donated to helping children and families who need it most.
Over the course of two days, you'll hike the best sections of the iconic Six-Foot Track, into the Megalong valley, cross over the Cox's river, and enjoy a slow-cooked meal and campfire under the stars at the Six-Foot Track Eco Lodge. You'll also finish the hike on day two with a gourmet lunch and wine tasting at a local boutique vineyard.
"It was so nice to escape the city and hike in the mountains for the day! The guides were chatty and informative, which made the hike even better. The track had a good mix of up and down hill which made it a great challenge."
Volunteers with a heart of gold
For Emu Trekkers volunteers Sandra and Brad, being able to take people through nature for a good cause is why they got involved with Emu Trekkers.
“My daughter told me that someone at the UNSW Outdoors Club was looking for volunteer guides for a new not-for-profit hiking organisation and suggested that I contact them - that was at the end of 2017, and I'm still here," says Sandra.
"Children are our future, but they cannot change their future without help. Every child deserves the same start in life."
“Not until I began traveling overseas and exploring Australia did I truly understand the inequity that exists for children around the world, especially in relation to education and healthcare,” says Brad. “It's vital that organisations like UNICEF Australia exist to help children and the fact we can support them in some small way via our hiking trips is a wonderful thing.”
Challenge yourself with Team UNICEF Australia
For Tristan, there's one message he has for all the hikers who participate with Emu Trekkers and help raise funds for kids: "I would just like to say thank you for being a part of this adventure with us and for helping to make a difference to kids experiencing disadvantage. It has been such a privilege to meet so many people from around the world on our hikes – each one keen to make a positive difference to this planet.”
With sunny days ahead of us, now is the time to lace up your hiking boots and explore the Blue Mountains for a cause. With hikes available all-year round, join Team UNICEF Australia and take a step for every child, everywhere.Register Today
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