Meet Toni, Adventure All Stars TV cast member and Kokoda Challenger. We asked her to share her experience as a cast member and what she did to achieve it. Here’s what she had to say:
After completing the Kokoda Challenge in 2022 I received an email from Adventure All Stars asking me if I’d like to participate in their TV show and of course I said yes because I love adventures!
I began my fundraising by making a post on Facebook (Adventure All Stars helps you by giving you templates). Also, some of the funds I made was by asking my local IGA if I could have sausage sizzles there, which was a big help because they provided the BBQ, gas, tables and of course the customers, I just had to buy their sausages, bread and ice which I took out of the earnings at the end of the sausage sizzles. It was hard work but worth doing. Going into the places and introducing yourself personally I believe made a huge difference rather than sending emails. I also helped with selling raffle tickets with the Kokoda Youth Foundation at an RSL which I found contributed a lot to the balance and I got to meet the lovely ladies of the Foundation.
Organising a Beach yoga session through my local yoga studio was a great turnout and also received donations from people who saw my post but didn’t want to do the yoga so just donated anyway. Asking family, friends and work colleagues was a huge help too.
The destination of our adventure was going to be was unknown till a few days before the departure date, we flew to Sydney and basically started filming straight away. The crew had us cast members walk side by side through the Sydney airport with our luggage in tow, which we did a couple of times, we then jumped on a bus and headed to Katoomba in the beautiful Blue Mountains where we stayed at the KCC.
Day 1: Our first activity for the day was with the Blue Mountains Climbing School. We set off through a bush, with a little inkling of what we were about to do because we had to carry with us some climbing shoes, a helmet and a harness, after a bit of bushwalking we made it to some rock faces, one of them being 75 ft and of course, we had to climb! It was an amazing experience and the rock climbing instructors were great and talked us through what we needed to do. We then went back to our accommodation where we did some team bonding challenges which included Archery, rap song battles, and basketball challenge Fun Fun Fun!!
Day 2: The morning started with a visit to the Megalong Creek winery where we were treated to their award-winning wines and an amazing cheese platter with the most spectacular scenery of the Blue Mountains. In the afternoon we travelled to the Centennial Glen stables where we all jumped on horses and had the most relaxing ride with stunning views of the escarpment.
Day 3: My favourite day . . . The morning kicked off with a practice abseiling session before heading down the most astounding canyon called the Juggler Canyon, so to get down it there were a few abseils, rock scrambles and also a zipline above crystal clear bodies of water all the while taking in the alluring surroundings of the greenery and big rocks and cliff faces, once we had reached the bottom we hiked back up via Point Pilcher track.
Day 4: We got to do a 4×4 track to the ‘Lost City’ in the ‘Wombat’ which is an open-air ex-Australian army Land Rover which was quite the experience! After travelling on the 4×4 track which felt like about an hour of bumps and humps we popped out at the Lost City and the views were breathtaking, almost like being on another planet with just big rock formations and trees as far as we could see. That afternoon we strolled on over to Scenic World where we were harnessed up and told to hop onto the cable car that runs across between two mountains 270 metres up, the cable car then stopped in the middle and we climbed a ladder onto the top of the car, surprisingly it was very peaceful and serene with a view of the 3 sisters (mountains) and the Katoomba falls in the beautiful Blue Mountains.
Day 5: We spent the morning filming our final interviews and having a bit of downtime with the cast members then in the afternoon we hit the town for some cocktails and chats about the amazing journey we had all just embarked on.
Filming was done all throughout the adventures and also we gave interviews before during and after the activities.
My overall experience was way more awesome than what I ever could have imagined, the cast members came from all around Australia so we had all come from different walks of life and getting to know each other and bonding through doing these extraordinary adventures together is a time in my life that I will treasure always, and not just the cast members but Troy Grey and the film crew were amazing and really do make you feel at ease and make the experience unforgettable.
I love doing adventures so the biggest challenge for me was speaking in front of the camera which you soon get used to pretty quickly, you learn that they can always do a retake if you say something wrong.
I feel as though I am a more confident person doing Adventure All Stars not only from the adventure part but also working towards raising money for a foundation that truly is working towards helping the youths of Australia has made me feel as though I am making a difference too.
If you are thinking of taking this journey I say 100% do it! You’ll thank yourself after!
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