After the hiatus of schooling and family life – she took it up again when becoming a leader as her own daughters became guides.
It was then that her passion for hiking started all over again and it has led her on more adventures than many experience in a lifetime.
“It’s so fabulous, just being outdoors, especially in wildflower season,” she said. “Even hiking through the bush in the rain has its uniqueness”.
“When my husband and I first retired we did quite a bit of hiking in New Zealand and then in South America, from Machu Picchu in Peru to Antarctica. And of course all around Australia. We’ve been to all seven continents on the earth now.”
Although she’s been hiking, kayaking and bike riding trails all around the world, Pauline still raves about her Western Australian adventures the most, talking with particular excitement about the Bibbulmun Track.
“I’d done bits of it with my daughters, but then I set myself the goal of doing the whole thing by the time I turned 60,” she said.
“A friend of mine and I soon realised to meet this goal, we pretty much needed to do the last 400kms in one hit, and I arranged to finish it in Albany on my 60th birthday, with celebrations being held at the caravan park.”
“Then my friend was unable to join me and I ended up doing the bit from Pemberton to Walpole on my own. I had 17kgs on my back, my husband was my trusty crew and there was a deviation at one point for a controlled burn, and mostly I was worried about falling”
“But I became very determined. It was a really big occasion to finish and a great feeling to have finally done the whole 1000km (from Kalamunda to Albany).”
Every year for the past 14 years Pauline has celebrated her birthday on the Bibbulmun with friends, doing day walks and hosting afternoon tea at the end of it – with the kettle on in the camper van.
Another favourite trails activity Pauline regularly participates in is the Over the Hill events, run by the Bibbulmun Track Foundation, specifically for over 55s.
“These are great because they are day hikes, with experienced guides who can show us short cuts to more unexplored areas. It’s also great to meet up with other walkers in this age group and explore together and hear about their hiking stories.
“At my age I just find it very enjoyable and it can all be done on a social level. You can make it as intense or as easy as you like. My doctor says it’s the best thing for you, because it’s less impactful on the body than other things.
“I never got picked for the sports teams at school. Most of my friends who did, now have hip and knee issues and I’m still hiking trails….but I do reckon the hills are getting slightly steeper every year.”
Check out the Trails WA website for information on hundreds of trail adventures for all ages and abilities at www.trailswa.com.au
For further information contact, Carrie Parsons on 0433 472 947 or [email protected]