How did you get into guiding & what did you do beforehand?

To be honest, it was a happy accident that I got into guiding. My background is in design and marketing, and I’d been working in the fashion industry for many years. One day, my partner and I decided to take a break from our careers and go travelling. We’d become a bit disenchanted with city existence and so we packed our life into an old Troopy and hit the road. We are intentionally slow travellers. We like to get to know a place, to meet the locals and get a true sense of an area. We fell in love with the Kimberley, which is a pretty easy thing to do! And it was there that we were offered the opportunity to guide. We both have a natural curiosity and have always loved the outdoors so something just clicked and we never looked back!

What fascinates you about the fauna & flora of the region? Anything specific?

The rainforest is my happy place. Due to its mind-blowing diversity and complexity, I find it endlessly fascinating and challenging. I love the fact that in an ecosystem with so much life, there is a space for everything; from moss and lichen, to fungi and ferns, vines and epiphytes and big old rainforest trees! For so long we thought of the rainforest as a competitive space, but it is quite the opposite, it is a community. I love finding out about connections between different species and how they help each other in ways that we never imagined. I learn something new from the rainforest every day. And after a 4 day hike, I never fail to leave happier and more relaxed than when I started.

Tell us about the sense of achievement you see people feeling by the end of the tour.

One of my favourite things about this job is getting to witness the transformation of each of our guests. When I meet people on the first day, they might be nervous or self-conscious or stressed. They might still be thinking about work or their family or other commitments. But by the end of the walk, all of that has disappeared and has been replaced by a sense of calm and happiness. The physical challenge of the walk is just one component. The sense of achievement comes from not only walking 60km but all the other things that they gain along the way.

What do you hope people take home with them when they leave?

From my perspective, my job as a guide is to facilitate a relationship between my guests and this particular environment. After working here for 3 years, I feel a real intimacy with this section of rainforest and I hope that I have the ability to share that in a way that resonates. I hope people take home with them a real connection with this place and with it, a renewed appreciation for their own natural surrounds.

What tips do you have for preparation?

So many tips! Firstly, make sure that you’re comfortable with the gear that you’ve got. I know that sounds pretty basic but it is the biggest complaint we have on trail. Whether it’s brand new shoes or boots that have been sitting in the cupboard for 5 years unused. So do some trial runs with all your equipment as there’s nothing worse than getting 2 hours into a multi-day hike and realising your bag doesn’t fit properly and you hate your shoes!

My other big tip is if you are doing some preparation walks, choose trails that offer a bit of everything! You want to do some uphills and downhills, and a few areas that will test your balance. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, just varied. There’s no use doing 20kms every day, if it’s flat pavement walking! Hop on AllTrails, or a similar app and get some inspiration for walks in your vicinity.