Long Rider Carries the Guild Flag 5,000 kilometres along the BNT - Journey now continues to the end of the Australian continent
The Spirit of Adventure is alive in Australia!
The historic equestrian journey begun by Australian Long Rider Kimberley Delavere is about to begin the final and most difficult stage, when the equestrian traveller sets off to ride the length of Cape York Peninsula, a large remote peninsula located in Far North Queensland, Australia. It is the largest unspoiled wilderness in northern Australia and one of the last remaining wilderness areas on Earth.
The modern equestrian Odyssey began when the Guild received a message on March 23, 2015 that read, “Hello. My name is Kimberley Delavere. I am 24 years old and I am contacting the Long Riders’ Guild to inform you of my intention to ride from Wilson’s Promontory (the Southernmost point of the Australian continent) to the Tip of Cape York Peninsula (the northernmost point of the Australian continent), via the Bicentennial National Trail. As far as I have researched, a journey of this kind (solo female, on horseback, bottom of Australia to the top) has not yet been undertaken.”
She was correct. Of the thirteen equestrian explorers who originally attempted to travel the length of the Peninsula in 1846, only three survived. The others died from starvation, fever or spear wounds inflicted by hostile natives. While hundreds of people have travelled the length of the Bicentennial National Trail further south, the Guild has no record of any modern equestrian traveller ever attempting to traverse the notorious Cape York Peninsula.
Prior to her departure, Kimberley had only limited riding experience and realized that making this solo journey would expose her to numerous potential hazards including “poisonous snakes and crocodiles in the waterholes in Queensland.” But she was determined to try. In addition to receiving assistance from the Guild, Kim was mentored during the journey by a number of experienced Australian Long Riders including Sharon Bridgeman, Pia Hejgaard, Kathryn Holzberger and Sharon Roberts.
That part of the trip proved to be harder than Kimberley expected. She had expected the terrain and weather to challenge her. What she had not foreseen was that her horse, Clem, would be hit by a car. This resulted in Kimberley continuing the journey on Archie, an equine son of the Outback who displayed amazing resilience, courage and trust.
On August 7, 2017 after riding more than 5,000 kilometres, Kimberley Delavere and Archie reached the marker at the northern terminus of the Bicentennial National Trail. In a message to the Guild, Kim wrote, “It was hard, exciting, crazy, great and the best thing I have ever done in my life. Carrying the Guild’s flag was a responsibility; I hope I did the Guild proud!”
The extraordinary Long Rider has already made the Guild proud by riding the length of the Bicentennial National Trail. Yet now Kimberley will be riding 900 kilometres to Cape York, the northernmost point on the Australian continent. Strong storms create an annual rainfall ranging as high as 2,000 millimetres (79 inches). That heavy rainfall produces more run-off than all of Australia south of the Tropic of Capricorn. The landscape contains tropical rainforests, wild rivers and is extremely sparsely populated, with about half the population living in very small settlements and cattle ranches.
In a message to the Guild, sent before her departure, Kim wrote, “The Cape
York Peninsula is very isolated, with only a small town and a few road
houses. She who thinks the hard part is over is opening herself up to a
whole lot of dramatic irony.”
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