2022 has been a mammoth year at We Are Explorers. 


From floods and elections to farewelling some of our favourite staff (and welcoming some delightful, shiny new ones), there’s been a lot of change at WAE HQ.

But despite this, every single week it’s been our mission to bring you quality outdoor stories from around the country. We’ve dived headfirst into gear new and old, shared unique personal stories that are full of heart, kept you up to date on the latest exploration and environmental news, and of course, continued to scour the continent (and even the wider world) for adventures great and small. 

This wouldn’t be at all possible without our legendary and highly-valued Explorers who continue to tie up their hiking boots, grab their pens, paper, and cameras, and take us on a journey with them. 

Here are some of our favourite articles from 2022, handpicked by the We Are Explorers staff, who gobble up every single story we hit publish on.

1. How a DNA Test Helped Me Connect With My Country 

By Jackson Burke


‘Jackson’s story had each and every one of us enthralled for the entire four minute roller coaster ride this piece takes you on. Learning about an Aboriginal man’s journey to discovering his identity and growing up in white Australia is truly powerful and gives an honest reflection on the uncertain but rewarding path many others in Jackson’s position also have to take.’

Sian Brain, Digital Campaign Producer


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2. How I Got Into (And Out of) a Particularly Sticky Situation 

By Alissa Ward


‘Oh man, this story makes me squirm! Alissa talks about our worst nightmare, having a simple hike rapidly turn into an ordeal, and the simple decision which made it even harder. I really like how she owns her mistake, it’s a chance for WAE readers to learn what it’s like when things go badly south and hopefully avoid the same (even if it makes for a good story).’

Tim Ashelford, Head of Editorial


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3. How I Learnt to Respect My Body’s Limits Through Trail Running

By Maggie Garnett


‘There’s no simpler form of outdoor activity than running. You, the trail, and your thoughts. Cutting through this simplicity is a ‘from-the-heart’ piece from our very own Assistant Editor Maggie, that takes the reader on an emotional journey into self-discovery and respect. A must-read for anyone that enjoys the outdoors, in any way.’

Josh Fletcher, Sales and Partnerships Manager


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4. Mt Augustus: A Guide to The Summit Trail of the Biggest Rock in The World 

By Jane Pelusey


‘When Jane emailed us pitching stories about her experiences and knowledge as a trail assessor, it was going to be impossible for us to turn them down. Especially as she was keen to cover regions we’d barely even touched. Like, surprisingly, the biggest rock in the world.’

Amy Fairall, News and Features Editor 


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5. I Went Swimming Every Single Day for a Year – Here’s What I Learned

By Sophie Turner



‘This story spoke to me in so many ways. It’s a story about using nature to battle the bad thoughts in your head that tell you you can’t do it. Sophie uses the ocean as a kind of ballast, a stalwart part of her routine that keeps her afloat when her mind threatens to sink her…. I can relate. This is a must read.’

– Maggie Garnett, Assistant Editor


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6. Ensuring The Preservation of Culture on the Mitchell Plateau

By Matthew Birch


‘To me this article shone a light on how destructive colonisation continues to be on First Nations cultures. But Matthew hasn’t even uttered the word, instead, he articulately and beautifully focuses on the conversations he had with community on the challenges of passing on their ancient traditions and knowledge of Wunambal culture to future generations. It’s a localised look at a struggle many First Nations communities face across Australia.’

Jack Brookes, Social and Community Manager


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7. Italy’s Iron Way – When Via Feratta Routes Aren’t Quite as Straightforward as Expected

By Wendy Breure


‘We Are Exploring Italy now and boy it’s just as delicious as an authentic margherita pizza. Wendy’s experience of a Via Ferrata trail in the Dolomites will have you dreaming about scaling mountains in your sleep and Googling whether we have anything similar in Aus.’

Sian Brain, Digital Campaigns Producer


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8. Gatekeeping the Outdoors 101

By Kate Scott 


Family Fun on The Otago Central Rail Trail, Jessie McRae, New Zealand, woman, trail, gate, ride

Photo by Jessie McRae

‘WAE is about getting
everyone outdoors, and this piece takes aim squarely at the people who want to keep it all to themselves. Dripping in irony and drawing on personal experience, Kate takes down all of the personalities who, apparently, were never a beginner themselves.’

Tim Ashelford, Head of Editorial


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9. Underrated Gorges, Epic Hikes, and Wild Swims Along the Waterfall Way

By Tim Ashelford


‘I grew up exploring the Waterfall Way, so seeing content that was a truly accurate representation of one of my favourite areas in Australia gave me all the feels. I know the area like the back of my hand – and these truly are some of the most underrated (and wow-worthy) spots to visit. Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list there are plenty more to discover when you’re there, but us locals have to keep a couple of secret spots for ourselves right?’

Anna Wall, Senior Campaign Manager


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10. How Much Should You Spend on Hiking Gear?

By Wendy Breure



‘When it comes to outdoor gear, one of the hardest decisions is working out where to spend and where to economise. Wendy’s done the hard yards for us by literally hiking a 3000m peak in socks and sandals. In doing so, she learned that you should pay more than $9 for shoes, but you can save on meals and plenty else.’

– Matt Wiseman, Gear Editor


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11. Friendship and Freedom on a 9 Day Cycle From the Gold Coast to Sydney

By Tait Hearps


Cycling long distances is in my blood. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of exploring new places on two wheels with friends and this story encapsulates the spirit of bike adventures in a way that has me winking once again at my dusty touring bike. It’s time to hit the road again.’

Henry Brydon, Founder and CEO


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12. We Spoke to Bonnie Hancock in the Midst of Her Paddle Around Australia

By Amy Fairall


‘Ok ok, I understand this looks like I am COMPLETELY up myself, nominating an article I wrote, like who the fuck do I think I am? But I chose this article not for any of my own turns of phrase, but because of the unforgettable chat I had with Bonnie.
In-person! In Darwin! While she was halfway through her record-breaking paddle around Australia! It was mind-blowing stuff and I hope my words did her story a little bit of justice.’

Amy Fairall, News and Features Editor


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Feature photo thanks to @joshlynott