What an amazing week on the Cape to Cape youth camp with the kids from Martu Youth, who are part of the Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa group from the Pilbara in Western Australia’s north! Our guides spent an inspirational week hiking the Cape to Cape Track as part of the camp that included all meals, accomodation, guiding and other activities in a packed program that took in the very best of the Margaret River region!

A break from the day to day challenges of life at home

“Part of the youth program offers participants a chance to experience life in other areas of WA on short one week long adventure camps,” says our schools and youth coordinator James Hartley. “This allows for a break from the day to day challenges these young men face living in remote communities. For many of the young people in the region crime, alcohol and substance abuse is an all too common part of daily life.”

James says the Martu visit to the Margaret River region with Cape to Cape Explorer Tours was designed to offer the chance to experience a range of challenging and different physical environments. Thus, creating opportunites to work as a team, to grow and be challenged. Two “unlces”, SJ and Gethan, provided leadership and support to the other boys who were aged 12-18.

Hiking, swimming and exploring the Capes region

Day 1 involved a spectacular walk in glorious weather with very low swell and tides. James and fellow guide Bree led the group from Yallingup to Wyadup Rocks. “Smiths Beach was stunning. We saw new rock pools being revealed in the very low tides. The Martu youth indulged in exploring the pools and seeking out the native fauna,” says James. The group headed onwards to Canal Rocks. the ocean was majestic in all shades of blue and green. Then, a Welcome to County with local Wadandi elder Bill Webb at Wyadup was followed by snorkelling at Yallingup Lagoon.

Spending time on the Margaret River with local elders

Day 2 began at Gracetown as the group walked south to Ellensbrook Homestead for a long lunch and a game of footy. “The Martu were blown away by the surf. And the playful dolphins enjoying the waves,” says James. “A few friendly humpback whales also made their prescene felt. The boys were spellbound by the marine action.” In the afternoon, the team made their way to the Wooditjup Bilya (Margaret River). Here, they met Josh from Margaret River Kayaks and Canoes. Wadandi elder Wayne Webb  also greeted the boys and welcomed them to the river. Then they tackled a 1.5hr kayak along the river in perfect conditions with Cape to Cape Explorer Tours guides Sophie and James. “We paddled through the paperbarks to the local rowing club jetty. We couldn’t resist jumping in the river, followed by games and races back at Rivermouth Beach,” says James. Another epic day!

Walking with whales and exploring underground caverns

Day 3 began at Redgate as guides James and Kristy led students on the stunning section of Cape to Cape Track towards Bobs Hollow and Contos Cliffs. “Again we were blessed with stunning weather. Plus, we saw whales, dolphins, lizards and cockatoos,” says Kristy. After lunch at the beach, it was onto the incredble subterranean caverns of Giants Cave. Kristy led the Martu for an unforgettable and challenging experience as they navigated their way through the stunning cave network. An afternoon in Augusta capped off Day 3 in style!

Team building and leadership for the Martu

The next day was filled with activities at Rivermouth Beach as part of the team building aspect of the trip. Then, it was off to Busselton as the Martu explored the town’s famous jetty and beaches.

Day 5 was hosted by our guide Cath who led a fun and exciting circus training exercise on the beach at beautiful Gracetown. “The Martu really enjoyed the challenge. And they were happily surprised by their athleticism and natural abilities,” says James. “The younger boys were supported by the elders. And the leadership challenges were a beautiful way to see the Martu principles in action, with all ages supporting and relying on each other.” A celebratory sausage sizzle capped off a wonderful week on Wadandi country!

Cape to Cape youth camp a profound experience

James described the week as a “wonderful experience for both the Martu and our guiding team”. “Being able to provide an opportunity to learn from and support one another outside of community has given these young men hope. And perhaps some of the skills and confidence needed to make choices that break old destructive cycles,” he said. “It has been a real pleasure. And one of the most profound experiences for me personally. I’m super proud of our schools and youth team for delivering this incredible program.”

That was echoed by Martu Youth coordinator Hunter Jackson. He said Cape to Cape Explorer Tours was “organised, professional and flexible”. He said our team was “well connected in the Margaret River area and have a range of capable staff with specific expertise”. “Overall, they’ve done a fantastic job giving Martu mob from the Western Desert a chance to see some of the beauty of Wadandi Noongar country,” Hunter says. Find our more about our schools and youth programs HERE.