On her The Paddle of Aus website, Bonnie Hancock rightly observes this: If someone told you they were going to attempt to paddle around Australia, 16,000km of coastline to be exact, your first question may very well be: why?
Such a reaction, she says, is very valid and probably how she would have reacted a few years ago.
Then Bonnie says: But what if we reframed it and asked a different question: why not?
On the 19 December 2021, Bonnie set out from the shores of the Gold Coast to attempt to become just the 5th person in history and only the second female to paddle around Australia on a surf ski. If successful she will be the youngest. She’s also aiming to be the fastest.
The Paddle of Aus will see her attempt to complete the adventure in 6 months or less, covering 50-100km a day. And she’s doing it in a clockwise direction, flying passed Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Fremantle, Darwin, Brisbane and then home again to Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland.
Well, believe it or not, Bonnie Hancock has just arrived in Fremantle after an epic paddle across the Great Australian Bight.
Here’s a great gallery of the action so far – you just have to love the playful dolphin pod!
Bonnie is using The Paddle of Aus as a fundraiser for Gotcha4life, a mental health charity which helps Australians to establish meaningful mateship, build emotional muscle and social connection.
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Bonnie kindly chatted to our editor, Michael Barker, about the Paddle thus far, the lows and highs, where to from here, and what happens when the journey is over. It’s a wonderful, generous interview. Here it is. Enjoy!