TALES FROM THE TRAIL

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

PHOTO: EMILY SMITH

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.

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