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Cocky Guides helps blind travellers conquer Kosciuszko

What seemed like an unachievable goal was made possible with the support of Cocky Guides.

Three blind and low-vision travellers accomplished their dream of reaching the top of Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, with the help of the team from Cocky Guides.

Low-vision traveller, Allan, explains: “You know it has been a great experience when you’re still smiling about it several weeks later! Trip Leaders Buck and Kellie supported our group in preparing us and then leading our walk to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko. We made a three-day round-trip from Sydney, which enabled us to have a relaxed and pleasant journey through Canberra, the day before our 13-kilometre return hike.”

White cane user, Andrew, adds: “Cocky Guides took us to the top of Australia! I had a tough climb to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko. Due to circumstances beyond my eye condition, Cocky Guides managed my safety with a higher support ratio on this trip. I loved that they planned this expedition with one trip leader for every two travellers, enabling me to achieve my dream to reach the summit without feeling I’d been a burden on anyone.”

Two people standing on a boardwalk overlooking an open expanse of hilly terrain at Mount Kosciuszko
For Allan and Andrew, climbing Mount Kosciuszko with Cocky Guides was a dream come true.

Hiking Kosciuszko with Cocky Guides

The climb to the top of Australia is achievable in one day via the Kosciuszko Walk from Thredbo. The walk starts at the top of the Kosciuszko Chairlift, a predominantly mesh walkway that protects the native vegetation and prevents erosion.

The hike to the 2,228-metre summit is a grade 3 track, suitable for most ages and fitness levels. However, it has short steep hill sections, a rough surface, and many steps.

This walk is unsuitable for travellers with an Assistance Animal, due to the chairlift ride and mesh walkway. The 18.5 kilometre grade 4 walk from Charlotte Pass, however, is open to dog handlers and will be supported by Cocky Guides from 2023.

Cocky Guides also conducts regular 10-kilometre hikes along Lady Carrington Drive in Sydney’s Royal National Park, to assist travellers in preparation for the summit walk at Kosciuszko.

Blind or low-vision travellers and their supporters can subscribe to a newsletter for updates and search for upcoming tours on the Cocky Guides website, or call the team on 1300 657 640.

This feature first appeared in Travel Without Limits. You can subscribe to the magazine here.

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