Bay Of Fires
Stunning blue-green lagoons. Crystal clear waters. Pristine white sand. Breathtaking rock pools. Orange lichen-covered boulders. Invigorating walks, soothing quiet, connection, laughter and delicious food. Was I dreaming?
A trek with a group of strangers was never on my to-do list. But as soon as I received an email about a five-day walking trip at Tasmania’s Bay of Fires, an area I had long-wanted to visit, and which would also encourage me to get fitter and raise funds for BCNA, my decision was made. And I am so glad I took part.
Our trek group met in Launceston and from there we travelled further into the north east of Tasmania, a remarkable part of the world.
We were 12 trekkers, plus a team leader from adventure fundraising agency Inspired Adventures and three local guides from ParkTrek.
Mostly strangers (a few were family or friends), the trekkers all had some connection to breast cancer, whether as a survivor, or a relative or friend of a survivor or someone who had died from the disease, or (as in some cases, including mine) a combination. We were of varying ages and fitness levels but all managed the walks well. We were not rushed and we enjoyed plenty of rest stops which often included welcome cups of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Lunch breaks were long and relaxing.
Sights on the trek seemed more dazzling than the last and I wondered for how long that could continue? Then - how could it be? - the following day’s scenery was even more breathtaking. The exquisite turquoise lagoons, in particular, seemed out of this world to me.
These views, the feeling of adventure and the ability to complete the kilometres of walking each day, were fabulous rewards for having trained for this trip. Completing this trek gave me a sense of accomplishment and pride. There is also something very life-affirming about being immersed in nature. And I had a genuine desire to maintain my fitness level once I returned home.
We had long, long beach walks almost exclusively to ourselves. How many times in a lifetime do most people get to enjoy that? We were encouraged to space out, to walk alone if we desired - to enjoy the freedom - or to be with others if we preferred. We marvelled at wildlife - marsupials and an abundance of magnificent birdlife. We walked to the peak of Mount William, which one of our guides explained was also known by its Aboriginal name wukalina, meaning “breast”.
“How fitting,” observed one trekker.
The trip ran like clockwork but was also relaxed and calm. Our excellent guides were also our cooks, drivers, first-aid responders, photographers, and conversationalists. They were knowledgeable, entertaining, encouraging, helpful and kind.
On most evenings, when I was outside telephoning my family, other trekkers were inside playing card games and all I could hear emanating from that room was laughter, such a wonderful sound.
In order to be eligible to take part in this trek, we were each expected to fundraise at least $3,000 for BCNA prior to departure. Our group raised just over $70,000. The knowledge that our fundraising efforts would help others affected by breast cancer was the icing on the cake.
To my fellow trekkers and guides, thank you for the beautiful memories.
And would I encourage others to take part in a similar adventure - to have the chance to do something special for themselves as well as others? Absolutely I would, in a heartbeat.
The next Inspired Adventures trek will be from 8 – 14 September 2021 in South Australia. Register before 9 October and save $150 off your registration fee! To find out more and make a real difference for Australians affected by breast cancer, please visit: https://inspiredadventures.com.au/events/bcna-south-australia-2020/