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Episode 70: One Woman's Wild at Heart Journey Through the Australian Bush

Alienor le Gouvello Photo: Ellen Keidge

Meet the adventurous and brave Alienor le Gouvello who challenged herself to walk Australia’s 5300km National Trail. Ask Alienor and she says her journey wasn’t a solo one - she was part of a team that included her three tamed brumbies and her faithful dog Fox.

Alienor’s journey started in Victoria’s wild and snowy high country alps and ended after 13 months of emotional highs and lows in the country’s humid tropical far north.

Along the way, she witnessed spectacular landscapes and experienced the kindness and generosity of the people she met. She also battled isolation and the elements, building a profound bond with her big-hearted horses.

The National Trail follows the foothills of the Great Dividing Range and the Eastern Escarpment, offering distance trekkers a uniquely Australian adventure. As it winds along the eastern seaboard, the trail provides access through some of Australia’s wildest, most inaccessible country and the opportunity to experience unique fauna and flora.

Map Courtesy of Equestrian Explorer

Originally conceived as a route for the long-distance horse trekker, the trail is now enjoyed by cyclists and hikers as well.

Born in Paris, France, Alienor has seen more of Australia than most, after arriving, aged 20, for a three-week holiday and falling in love with the vastness of the outback.

She went on to work in indigenous communities in the central and western deserts for 12 years, developing a deep appreciation for the land and for indigenous culture and traditions.

Having been a competitive horse rider from a young age, Alienor also learned about Australia’s wild horses, often known as brumbies. She explains how discovering the plight of these wild heritage horses inspired her to undertake the length of the National Trail with three brumbies she would humanely train herself.

Her story is one of preparation, stamina and indomitable spirit embodied by Alienor and her beloved horses - Roxanne, River and Cooper.

Click here to listen. We hope you enjoy their inspiring tale.

If you’re interested to read more of their adventures and to perhaps be inspired to plan your own wild adventure, grab a copy of Alienor’s book Wild at Heart, with beautiful photos by renowned adventure photographer Cat Vinton.


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