"We acknowledge the many Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we hike and live. We wish to pay our respects to their elders: past, present and emerging. It is important for us to acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded, and no treaty has ever been signed."

"We acknowledge the many Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we hike and live. We wish to pay our respects to their elders: past, present and emerging. It is important for us to acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded, and no treaty has ever been signed."

Welcome is this simple

The first kilometre is such a great leveller. Everybody gets the same amount of tired. Everybody gets the same amount of hungry and so all of our differences fall away.

Restarting life in a new country is always going to be a daunting experience. Imagine being in an unfamiliar location, in a different culture, with few if any connections and no choice but to learn a new language. Now picture having to do this after fleeing your home because of violence or persecution. You may have nothing more than the clothes on your back. For most of us, this is inconceivable but for 25.4 million refugees worldwide, it is their reality.

In 2015, while hiking in Western Australia, Neil (himself an immigrant from South Africa) proposed a little idea to his mate. “Do you reckon we could take these youth from refugee backgrounds out on a hike with us?”

With that simple idea, ‘First Hike Project’ (FHP) was born.

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Our Stories

There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching out and lifting people up.

Cedric

My name is Cedric from Burundi, a country in the Eastern of Africa. My first time to hear about the First Hike Project (FHP) was at Technical and Further Education (TAFE) South Bank in Brisbane.

Hiking and camping with FHP was worth it because, I had much fun by learning different important skills such as setting up tents, chatting with and knowing other friends, swimming in beautiful creeks and more importantly knowing more about Australia, the country that I am currently living in.

I would absolutely recommend the FHP because it is an initiative that is showing a warm welcome to new migrants.

Jenila

My name is Jenila and my first experience was October 2018 when we went hiking at Mount Barney, it was an overnight hike. Everyone had a great time, especially me. Setting up my own tent, talking and building new friendships, exploring the mountain, enjoying nature — were the highlight of that hike. Great experience that I will never forget. When we reached the top, the tiredness that I was feeling just vanished. It was a spectacular view. I felt like I was healed, and that myself and mind were refreshed.

They provide everything for the hikers such as the transportation, food, water and etc. Now, the guides, they were so nice and very welcoming to us. They made us feel at home and safe. Lastly, they gave us an opportunity to know more about Australia through having fun in an overnight/a day hiking and as well as to get connected to the environment.

Majd

My name is Majd and I am from a Syrian background and I am a youth ambassador at the Multicultural Youth Affairs Network (MYAN). For me, First Hike Project sounded like a thrilling and unique experience and I decided to be adventurous and give it a go. It was an unforgettable experience that I never regret.

The hiking journeys we had were full of highlights and memorable moments, competitive soccer matches, swimming in the river, unique sounds, and wildlife, running and racing on a tough hill and absolutely stunning views.

I encourage people to go out and hike in nature, especially if they haven’t been before. The hiking trips with FHP are all about having fun. The First Hike Project provides a great platform for new arrivals to experience and understand the Australian bush as well as teaching them bush survival skills, tips, and best practices. The FHP volunteers are well-experienced and friendly, they are keen to listen to the participants’ stories and thoughts and are always happy to provide guidance and mentorship for new arrivals. I would absolutely recommend FHP to others, yes!

Farouq

For me, nothing was better than a hike with FHP, as I said before it’s one of the best things I have done in my life. If I have the chance, I would hike always with them. They are the best.

Mike

What I thought about the hike is that it is really helpful for newcomers to Australia, they get the chance to experience and learn about the bush which is great.

The project’s supervisors are also very kind and caring. Its fun getting around the boys, singing, dancing etc not forgetting a great, quiet evening in the bush.

It’s a fantastic project. Keep it going.

Ali

First Hike Project is one of the most welcoming things. Most of the people who participate in this project are newly arrived refugees or migrants.

Most of the people who we take hiking are my age or younger and all have beautiful smiles, most of them are a bit cheeky just like me, really look after each other, are really friendly and have a lot of fun together.

When they wake up in the morning, the first thing they say is “g’day mate!”. I love to be a part of First Hike Project.

Amine

The First Hike Project was really helpful for me who was one of the newcomers to Australia. I got the chance and experience to learn about bush and even also learn about other cultures.

The First Hike Project is not only about learning bush in Australia, it’s about making friends, doing many stuff such as dancing, eating of course, share conversations, etc and also being included in the environment with different people which is great.

First Hike Project is one of the best things that I have done.

Jospin

I’m very happy for the hiking, the hike taught me many things, first to know how Australia has beautiful nature like that, second about life, like to sleep in bush, in the tent it was very hard but I like it and the last one is we are very lucky to know you guys we are very happy.

I would like to say thanks a lot, I wish to go back, it was very good and very fun.

Cheers man.
Thank you

Jonathan

Hiking refers to the activity of going for very long walks for pleasure, knowledge and exercise. Back in 2016, I went hiking with my friends and First Hike project staff. It was full of pleasure and knowledge. It provided us physical as well as mental exercises.

Since then, I have felt that hiking is really beneficial for us. When I go for hiking, I feel as if I am going for a journey inside myself and it heals my soul. I like hiking with friends and more people because I can enjoy the beauty and sounds of nature with people around me. I like listening to people, making friends and enjoying my time with them. I enjoy hiking with very good companions in a big group.

Upcoming Hikes

What's Happening this year

State Trail Date Duration Distance
VIC Dandenong Ranges 03-12-2022 3 hours 2-3kms
VIC Lerderderg State Park 27-11-2022 3hrs 4-5km
QLD Mount Ngungun 05-11-2022 4 hours (excludes travel and lunch / swim) 4 kms
NSW Bundeena to Marley Head 07-05-2022 4 hours (excludes travel time) 11km
Join a Hike!

In union, there is strength..

Sometimes, hikes can be challenging but we all feel stronger after it. Stronger in our bodies, stronger in our minds and our friendships and connection to this land.

A typical overnight hike with First Hike Project looks something like this:
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These are the participants and the guides

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Split between two days... our day hikes are a lot shorter!

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To keep the event safe and all needs are taken care of

unlimited

Because enjoying nature together is the best thing we know!

Our Partners

May your dreams be larger than mountains and may you have the courage to scale their summits. - Harley King