TALES FROM THE TRAIL
JACOB and Walter Luke are on track to become the youngest people to walk the length of Australia.
Since December last year the two boys, their mum Carol Geraghty, and four horses have walked from Hillsville, Victoria to the North Burnett, on their way to Cooktown along the National Bicentennial Trail.
“I wanted to take my boys on an adventure,” Mrs Geraghty said, as the group stopped for a break outside Monto on Friday.
“And it has been. We have learnt so much. I’ve got such an appreciation for this country now, it’s a hard country but it’s stunning.”
Although Walter, 13, and Jacob, 15, said they had given up trying to do schoolwork, they were getting the sort of bush education they would have never got in a classroom.
“I’ve learnt how to track, how to find water, how to survive in the bush. To find water you really have to get your eye in and tune in to the types of vegetation and birds,” Jacob said.
“But I have to say, taps with running water are probably the only thing I miss about normal life.”
Each horse carried 20kg of pellets on Friday but keeping them well fed had been a tall order for the group sometimes.
“It’s been so dry that we can’t just rely on finding enough food for them to eat,” Mrs Geraghty said.
The family has also battled fire, drought, extreme cold and even snow.
“But what it made me appreciate was how tough the pioneers of this country were,” Mrs Geraghty said.
“I think that gives you a better understanding of the Australian psyche. It’s why the Anzacs were so tough even on a global scale. It has made me even more proud to be Australian.”
DETERMINED: Walter and Jacob Luke, at 13 and 15, are on track to become the youngest two people to finish the National Bicentennial Trail. They began the track in Victoria just before Christmas along with their mum Carol Geraghty.