The promise of every hill being the last

Nine Santa Sabina College students completed their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Silver Adventurous Journey hike during the school holidays. This journey involved hiking along the Six Foot Track from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves and was completed over three days and two nights. The rugged terrain of the track tested the girls’ physical endurance and mental stamina. 

One of the hikers penned this reflection on the experience: 

There were rolling hills to our left, and a beaming sun above. The sound of shoes scuffing against rocks kept to a steady rhythm as we hiked. And the promise of every hill being the last warranted cheers and excited bursts of song.

From Wednesday 4 October to Friday 6 October, nine Year 10 students completed their Silver Qualifying Adventurous Journey for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Program. The tranquil environment provided a much-needed escape from our busy city lives and provided us with an opportunity to strengthen our friendships and challenge ourselves physically as we hiked 45km along the Six Foot Track. This track is a popular three-day walk. It commences at the heritage listed Explorer’s Tree in Katoomba where Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth carved their initials in 1813.

We were well organised beforehand including arranging trains and taxis for transport, gathering our equipment, planning the route and meals. Throughout the hike we were encouraged to maintain a positive attitude, work cooperatively with one another to organise ourselves around the campsite, minimise our rubbish and navigate our way through the track with adequate breaks. Crossing The Bowtells Bridge – a swing bridge made of cables and wire that overlooks the Coxs river – was an exhilarating experience and provided us with a gorgeous view of the landscape.

Our group worked well together because we encouraged each other to hike at our own

pace, took frequent breaks when needed and were enthusiastic throughout the trip. At the end of the hike we received feedback from our leaders and reflected on our performance over the three days. I think I speak for all of us when I say that this hike was the hardest of all the tracks we have completed thus far. Overall it was a valuable experience that challenged us physically and mentally. It certainly gave us a lot of blisters, but the views and the sense of achievement that we gained through perseverance made it all worthwhile!

Alexandra Witting