Meet Dr. Kate Grarock, the adventurous environmental scientist.
Hello fellow outdoor adventurers! I’m thrilled to introduce myself and share a little about my world of hiking, solo explorations, YouTube and television adventures, and a deep passion for all things nature and environmental conservation. So grab your favourite trail snack, spark up the JetBoil, and let’s embark on this journey together.
I’m an environmental scientist who is passionate about creating YouTube content focused on equipment, techniques, and hiking. Being in the great outdoors brings me immense happiness and my goal is to help anyone else looking to deepen their connection with nature. I firmly believe that spending time in nature yields significant mental health benefits, and by nurturing our connection with the natural world we can inspire greater efforts to protect the environment.
I have a deep passion for all things nature and environmental conservation. Image: Elsie Percival
Throughout my journey, I’ve had the privilege of hiking numerous trails across Australia, including the Cape to Cape, Larapinta, Jatbula, and the Great South West Walk. However, my favourite hiking experience was an informal 700-kilometre trail that follows the New South Wales coast from Sydney to Mallacoota in Victoria, often called the Great South Coast Hike. I had to plan the route I’d take each day, including working out how to cross the many rivers along the way. Sometimes I’d get lucky and I could hitch a lift with a local fisherman or jet ski rider, but other times I had to inflate my airpad and paddle across with my backpack. These days I love off-tack walking around NSW, especially Morton National Park. The self-reliance and the profound connection with nature that solo hiking offers is addictive. However, I also find a lot of joy in car camping with my loved ones, sharing the experience of connecting in nature with them.
I’ve had the privilege of hiking numerous trails across Australia. Image: Jimmy Walsh
Capturing the emotions of my hiking adventures and sharing them with the world is something I love doing. On my YouTube channel, I document my hikes, and try to capture the essence of what it’s like to be out there, the stunning views, wildlife encounters, the highs and lows of hiking. I’m also passionate about helping people get outdoors, so I share videos on hiking skills and equipment reviews – from how to go to the toilet outdoors, to what’s in my pack and how to dehydrate your own food. I love making these videos. From the discussion that these videos generate, I’ve also learnt a heck of a lot from the YouTube community.
Want more on that? Ben and Lauren sit down with Kate Grarock in Episode 55 of the Snowys Camping Show:
When I’m not out hiking, I’m an expedition Leader at Bush Blitz. We travel to remote parts of Australia looking for new species of plants and animals. My work revolves around learning more about the natural world, which aligns perfectly with my love for hiking and nature. We work with a range of land managers and it’s so special to be in a County with Traditional Owners and see their connection to the land. This work helps me realise there is so much more to learn about the natural world and that’s exciting. I’m dedicated to understanding our environment and advocating for its protection.
My work revolves around learning more about the natural world, which aligns perfectly with my love for hiking and nature. Image: Jimmy Walsh
On my YouTube channel, I document my hikes and try to capture the essence of what it’s like to be out there.
One of the highlights of my outdoor journey was the opportunity to test my survival skills on the SBS television show ‘Alone Australia’. Ten people were dropped in the wild in lutruwita (Tasmania) in winter – all alone, with ten items to survive for as long as they could. I had to build my own shelter, find my own food, and self document it all with a camera and a couple of GoPros. It was both a deeply rewarding and challenging experience. Witnessing the impact I had on that small patch of land was eye-opening to me as an environmental scientist. When do we ever camp in one spot more than a few nights? I very quickly had to start walking further and further to harvest plants for food and collect firewood. It was shocking to think about the impact we must have in our modern day lives, when I was seeing significant impacts in my little area after a few days. Sadly, we are so disconnected from the environment and our impacts in our modern day lives – for example, we don’t see where our rubbish gets taken or how our power is generated.
My time on ‘Alone’ was truly life changing. In our fast-paced lives we seldom get time to stop, think, and reflect on how we are living our lives and what, if anything, we might change. Living without basic things such as running water, a bed, food, or even people was incredibly powerful. It helped me appreciate everything I have in the modern world. It has also deepened my connection to nature. I love getting outdoors whenever I can.
In our fast-paced lives we seldom get time to stop, think, and reflect on how we are living our lives and what, if anything, we might change. Image: Elsie Percival
Watch This Space…
I have recently started a project to help people get out into nature. I knew when I wanted to start hiking there was a very steep learning curve around what gear I needed, how to plan a trip, and how to stay safe. So I want to help break down some of these barriers so people can enjoy their time outdoors. Seeing the joy people get from being in nature is what inspires me to keep working hard. I believe hiking is a great way to deepen our love and curiosity for the natural world.
So get out there and get curious about all the amazing places we have here in Australia. What do you love most about getting outdoors?
I’m an Ecologist, Hiker, YouTube Creator, Speaker, Mum, and ‘Alone Australia’ Season One participant.
I’m passionate about the Australian environment, and I hope to share this passion through my videos and encourage others to get outdoors and sleep under the stars!