Sophie Matterson named the recipient of Nancy-Bird Walton sponsorship

By Jess Teideman May 21, 2020
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Sophie Matterson won the sponsorship for her Coast to Coast project, a 5000km camel journey across Australia.

The Australian Geographic Society has awarded Sophie Matterson the 2020 Nancy-Bird Walton $5000 sponsorship for female adventurers for her project Coast to the Coast, a 5000km camel journey across Australia.

Sophie has spent four years learning everything she can about camels and how to train them, spending time in Australia, the USA and India to do so. In January last year, she mustered five wild camels from the Northern Territory and has since been training them to carry her and her supplies and equipment.

5,000km, five camels, and a whole lot of outback terrain. Brisbane woman Sophie Matterson (Coast to Coast Camel Trek) has embarked on an ambitious solo expedition, leading five camels across the continent, from Shark Bay, WA, to Byron Bay, NSW.

“Several other individuals have crossed Australia with camels. However, as far as I’m aware, I’ll be the first woman to do so solo. My journey will likely take me nine months and I’ll traverse some of the most remote reaches of Australia including the Great Victoria, Strzelecki, Tirari and Sturt Stony deserts,” Sophie says.

“It will be a trip that pushes me physically and mentally. I hope the experience will give me a feeling of empowerment and lead me to being more connected to this land I call home.”

Sophie and her five camels (Mac, Delilah, Charlie, Jude and Clayton) will start their journey heading east from Shark Bay in WA and finish in Byron Bay, NSW.

Sophie will travel 5,000km from Shark Bay, Western Australia to Byron Bay, New South Wales

You can follow Sophie’s journey via her website or instagram