Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Happy birthday outdoor hobbits!!!
Kilometres from the sea and nine hundred meters above it, is the capital city of Venezuela, Caracas. Caracas is overlooked by the majestic mountain el Avila where my passion for hiking mountains started. A passion to hike up to a peak so I could contemplate the world below.
In 2004, I moved to Norway and in there I met a charismatic Australian from Victoria, who like me, shared a passion for hiking mountains. Our daughters were born in the land of the Vikings and since little, they adventured into the wild with us, exploring mountains around Bergen, searching for mushrooms, berries, snow and trolls.
Going hiking and exploring the great outdoors with children wasn’t something unique to us. In fact, connecting children with nature and going hiking with them from a very young age, is part of the Scandinavian lifestyle. A lifestyle we adopted and took with us to Australia. (Read the origins of the outdoorhobbits)
In 2015, we moved to Townsville and soon we started exploring our surroundings. However, choosing a place to go wasn’t trivial, especially being new to the area. And there was limited information available online, the logical go to place for information these days. Moreover, after being so long away from my extended family, I always wanted to write a blog about our adventures to share with them, but I could never make the time for it. One day, my inner writer decided to scribble notes every place we visited. That followed with creating my first blog about our trip to Wallaman falls which I shared with family and friends.
It continued like this until Sam, Pappa hobbit, who had been a stay at home Dad for two years, decided one day to grab my camera and take photos. It didn’t take too long for him to find his inner hidden photographer and he developed a passion for outdoor photography. He got books, learnt a lot about photography, bought a second hand semi-professional camera and went out with our daughter taking photos all over the place.
After one year collecting photos and with my growing desire to write more, we decided to combine our talents, and create a website with information of hiking trails to do with children and share this with the world.
In January, I started to put together our adventures in the website and we finally launched in April 2018, and our first post was Cockatoo Creek.
We have done 34 tracks in a year.
It has been an amazing year of adventures and I can't believe we have done 34 tracks in a year. One of our adventures was Mount Marlow here in Townsville. I can proudly say that our daughter Alessa walked 11 km that day (pictured below).
We also walked the Mount Stuart trail. Although the trail is challenging the kids managed to walk until the third hill. The trail to Mt. Stuart was fantastic I loved the way you could see Townsville from every single angle of the walk. When we reached the third hill, there was a bunch of chairs (thanks uni students) waiting for us. We sat for a while resting and enjoying the view.
We explored Castle hill, the guardian of Townsville using the goatless goat track in Castle Hill. It was a hard trail for Laila, but with patience, plenty of stops and by eating many biscuits, she eventually made it all the way up.
By far our favourite trails have been those taking us to refreshing water holes such as the trails In the Paluma Range National Park and Mt Halifax. Mount Halifax is 1063 m above sea level, and because it is challenging for children, we only did part of the trail. Hiding in the forest of this track, there is magic emerald blue water holes and waterfalls, our favourite was rope falls.
We went to Cardwell to explore Dalrymple gap, a trail that has a nice history to tell about Queensland’s past, and we also explored the trail leading to Artie Creek fall around the pine tree plantations in Cardwell.
One of our biggest adventure in June was the tablelands. During our trip in the tablelands we walked more than 20 km over a week long period. We went camping and explored one location at the time. There are three trails around Henrietta Creek taking you to a number of amazing waterfalls.
The green rainforest, the giant fig trees, and the spectacular falls make the tablelands a very special place to explore, and if you haven’t been there, add it to your bucket list. I think children should explore this area of Queensland to learn about the rainforest.
We did the world heritage rainforest walk at Lake Tinaroo, the Jungal jungal walk starting from Kauri creek. The trail follows the creek and takes you inside a magical rainforest. Although we got attacked by creatures such as ticks and leeches, it was a fun adventure.
We have also visited some of the trails in the misty mountains searching for new trails to explore with our kids. Sometimes we walked only 3 km and then turned around the same way we came, like we did when walking along the Gorrell track.
So where is all the walking taking us to? We are preparing a book for parents about trails to go with children around North Queensland. This book is linked to our other project Outdoorhobbits books which will hopefully become a self-publishing website for our stories.
We need to teach our children to love and care about our planet, because there is no planet b.
Hopefully our project can inspire other parents. I believe that we need to expose our children to nature and the outdoor more than ever, especially in this era of technology which pulls our children away from the natural world. We need to teach our children to love and care about our planet, because this planet is the only one we have.
Hope you are enjoying Outdoor Hobbits as much as we do. We thank you for your support and for you passing by and reading. Please share our project with other parents or support us by clicking on the adds (it is free for you but we get financial support when you do).
(The content of this post has been modified after Sofia's presentation at the PechaKucha vol.20 in Townsville)