Why I love GirlsTrek – Louise Yunker.
At GirlsTrek we embrace the philosophy of responsible tourism. This means that every place we visit our focus is on minimising the affects we have on the environment, economy and culture. We spoke to one of our regular clients, Louise Yunker about her experience with us.
Q.1 Preserving the beautiful trails and appreciating our natural world is always top of mind at GirlsTrek. How have you noticed this culture at work whilst travelling with us?
‘Most definitely. It’s in the details. The guides make sure we are educated about the importance of caring for the trails and that everything that goes with us must come out. They tell us how to handle our rubbish and provide us with bags to put it in. Morning tea and lunch comes from a container, not heaps of packaging – that sort of thing.
‘We always walk on official trails that are maintained and cared for. We know not to go wandering off into unmarked virgin bush land that is carefully managed by parks and wildlife’
Q.2 In a world that is becoming increasingly generic being able to access the authentic culture of place is more challenging than ever. How does GirlsTrek enable this for its trekkers?
‘A great example of this is the Larapinta trail in the Central Australian Desert. GirlsTrek bring in indigenous guides who teach us about the area. They tell us about the local bush tucker and what it is good for. You discover that the Aboriginal people have full respect for their country which allows you to experience the spirituality of the Dreamtime. After a while you start to get in their shoes and get a sense of how they have preserved their environment and lived in harmony. That is pretty special.
‘The other thing I love is being disconnected from wifi. After five days of sleeping under the stars and not having internet you feel like your brain has been defragged!’
Q.3 Supporting local businesses including artisans and foodies is a great way to contribute to a more sustainable tourism model. Have you had any special local experiences on our trips?
‘GirlsTrek go the extra mile to seek out the best suppliers from the region we are in. I really love the way all of the meals are supplied by the locals. The salads that go in our lunch box are always made by a local café and our accommodation is provided by small, often family-owned establishments.
‘They do all the research for us and provide a list of suggestions including where to dine and where the local cottage industries and artisans are. I have been to some incredible art galleries, especially on the Blue Mountains trek.
‘At every point you are in the hands of a local actually, including the bus driver who is always full of interesting knowledge.’
Q.4. How highly do you value the GirlsTrek commitment to responsible tourism?
‘I totally love the GirlsTrek approach. They are authentic and take you on an educational journey. Frith’s passion and respect for nature is contagious. Being in nature and having a physical goal with the comradery of the remarkable women I walk with makes me grateful. I always want to plan another one! GirlsTrek make the walking experience exceptional.’