Hiking our way around Australia
In celebration of their love for hiking, Teva speaks with Zane & Casey, a young adventure couple lapping their way around Australia. Zane & Casey share how they keep both their bodies and minds active whilst on the road, their favourite hikes along the way, and their must-have day hike essentials.
To begin, Hi! Can you tell us your names, a little bit about yourselves & how you like to start your day?
Hi! My name is Casey, I am a 26-year-old lover of the outdoors currently travelling Australia full time with my partner of seven years, Zane, in our trusty Landcruiser, caravan and tinnie. When I’m not snapping photos, you can usually find me in any body of water swimming, snorkelling, fishing or hiking up hills for the perfect sunset view. Zane is 27 years young and is the legend carrying us across the country. You can usually find Zane surfing, fishing, or enjoying a coffee with a view. We were both raised in a small town on the Mornington Peninsula – on the southeast coast of Victoria, Australia. We ALWAYS start our day with a coffee, it's a ritual we can’t go without and the first thing we do when we wake up!
We’d love to know the thought process behind your travels & what inspired you to explore Australia together?
I think from the moment we met we knew we would travel far and wide together and we would talk for hours over our mutual longing for adventure and travel. We both dreamed of one day travelling around Australia similarly to how Zane’s grandparents and parents had and still are! However, first and foremost we wanted to kick some personal career goals where Zane worked hard to become a Plumber and I studied hard to become a Critical Care Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit. We knew we wanted jobs we could work anywhere in Australia (which is exactly what we have been doing now).
We were always eager for our days off where we could spend time in the outdoors – going on hikes, surfing, water-skiing, snowboarding, swimming, and camping by rivers, lakes and beaches. We used every opportunity off work to explore the many inland and coastal landscapes in Victoria dreaming and slowly prepping of one day travelling Australia. After enduring some hectic lockdowns and busy years of work in our home state, we had a big realisation that it was time to make our dreams a reality and set off on our long-awaited ‘lap’ of Australia in November 2022.
How do you keep your minds active and motivated whilst on the road for long periods of time?
We are big believers that a change of scenery or location can be so transformative and a great motivator for our body and mind - as it opens the door to new places, new learnings and experiences. One of the most crucial things we have learnt travelling is to listen to our bodies - move if we want to and slowing down if necessary. Hiking and walking have been an incredible outlet for us on the road, it's been a healthy and fun way to ground ourselves in nature, submerse ourselves in a new area and keep our body and mind active in the process.
Do you have any advice for beginner hikers or adventure enthusiasts who are just starting out?
There really is nothing like being out in the outdoors. Stepping away from the chaos of life and submersing yourself in nature is both freeing, grounding and humbling. Our advice to anyone trying something new is to just get out there and give it a go, your body is capable of so much more than you think. For us it’s not about how high you climb or how many kilometres you can accomplish, it's about the incredible feeling you get from moving your body, the sights and things you see on the way.
Do you have a favourite hiking spot in Australia? Why is it special to you?
We really loved Western Australia’s second largest national park - Karijini National Park, it's truly the most rugged and breathtaking location we have ever hiked. We had the most special feeling being there that you just can’t explain unless you visit – being surrounded in eroded red rock that is over 2.5 billion years old. The national park has the most spectacular gorges and trail hikes with varying levels of difficulty for all hiker abilities. The steep rocky walks in /out, the endless rock scrambling and the icy cool swims in the natural pools made for a dream hike.
How do you think your passion for adventure has influenced other aspects of your lives?
Reflecting on our passion for adventure has made me realise just how significantly this has positively influenced our experiences in life – the experiences we have created for ourselves. We have learnt so much about ourselves and each other road tripping the country. I think our positive outlooks, our openness, and resilience have been directly related to the lessons we have learnt through adventure and the adversity that sometimes comes with it.
Being connected to nature and the outdoors must be very fulfilling, how much importance do you place on brands supporting sustainability & preserving the natural world?
We feel so at one with this wild world – evolving with nature and its elements every day. Being surrounded in nature has given us an even greater appreciation of our environment and the importance of minimising our impact to preserve our beautiful world. On our travels we have seen first-hand how an environment can be devastatingly impacted and hence we strive to work with and support brands that support sustainability and minimising their footprint.
Top 5 must-have day hike essentials?
2) Snacks – Our favourites are a vegemite and cheese sanga or a good old muesli bar
3) Comfortable hiking shoes
5) Sunscreen / hat – Protect your skin from those harmful UV rays.
The best hikes in Exmouth? Give us your hiking tips and tricks!
For us our favourite hike is Mandu Mandu Gorge trail which is a perfect mini hike for all abilities. It is a class 4, 3km return trail that offers some of the most spectacular views of the Ningaloo Reef. The start of the trail takes you through a white pebble creek into the gorge bed followed by steep descent to the gorge rim where you can enjoy the views on the Ningaloo reef and surrounding Spinifex, Kurrajong and rock fig. Some rocks are loose so supportive footwear is a must. This hike is best experienced at sunrise or sunset as you are almost guaranteed to see Black-flanked rock wallabies amongst the rocky ledges.
Other must do hikes in the area:
- Yardie Creek gorge trail (Class 4, 2km return walk)
- Badjirrajirra walk trail (Class 4, 6km return walk)
It seems like you have made some friends throughout your journey. How do you keep your relationship healthy and how much importance do you place on the value of community?
Being so far away from your own family and friends the importance of finding community and a sense of family on the road is so important. We are so grateful to have met so many likeminded people on the road with similar values, perspectives, and aspirations. The bonds you form on the road happen so quickly and are so authentic. Memories shared with others will forever be etched in our minds.
Where will you take your Teva hiking shoes next?
Our plan is to follow the sunny weather and head down towards the southwest coast of WA where there are some great inland ranges and hikes that we would love to tick off. Then we are so excited to travel back up towards the northwest coast of WA and spend a bulk of time in the Kimberley’s before adventuring into the Northern Territory.
Casey and Zane