Limitless 2019

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Limitless 2019 drawing to a close

We now find ourselves back at Kenilworth for the last few days of Limitless 2019.

The groups completed expedition 3 which was a huge challenge. 10 days, 9 nights sleeping in a tent, hiking, biking, canoeing, soloing, cooking, cleaning, navigating, leading… the list of challenges was long but the students excelled and returned to Kenilworth with huge smiles on their faces. They can be very proud of their achievements and the demands they overcame during the time spent traveling the Brisbane valley rail trail.

But the challenges haven’t stopped with their return to the homestead. Yesterday all the groups completed the ‘leap of faith’ high ropes activity. This involves getting harnessed up, climbing a 10m high pole and leaping out to touch a ball. Definitely not for the faint hearted but an activity the students really enjoyed. This morning we finished off the physical activity session with a 5km run (actually ended up being 5.84km). It was fantastic to see all students set themselves a goal and push their limits to finish the run. All the activity the students have been involved in over the last 6 weeks has definitely paid off!


Paddling to the end of the canoe section of expedition 3.


Numabulla pulling a sad face as they finish expedition 3, obviously not happy that it is all over.


More serious faces from Hinka Booma as they are preparing to take on the ‘leap of faith’


Bonyi all prepared to serve their last breakfast. The teams have become very efficient in their dinning hall duties.


The limitless team set off on the 5km challenge, the last physical activity session of this year’s program.


A final bonfire down on the beach of the Mary river, a time to relax and reflect on the last 6 weeks. Jon is giving some words of wisdom to the students here, a common occurrence during the program.

Tonight we have our final dinner and performances. It will be a time of celebration for all that has been accomplished and a chance to say farewell to the staff and facilitators at Higher Ground. Tomorrow morning we have a 3am wake up for a 4am departure as we will make our way back to Hong Kong. It is with heavy hearts we leave the Kenilworth homestead but a real sense of excitement to be reunited with friends and family back in Hong Kong. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at the airport on Friday evening.


Half way through expedition 3

The groups are now half way through expedition 3. The last 5 days have seen the students  journeying along the Brisbane Vally Rail Trail. So far, hiking and biking have been the modes of transport and they are moving towards lake Wivenhoe where two days of canoeing will provide some variety. A 12 hour solo will allow the students time to reflect on their experience to date. The picturesque settings of the campsites will help to make this a special experience. The groups are traveling extremely well, in high spirits and with a real togetherness, which is heartening to see. We’re sure all groups will continue to succeed in their journey and arrive back at Kenilworth on Tuesday with a real sense of achievement.

Rod giving a final motivational speech prior to expedition 3 departure.


Read to set off for the Brisbane Valley rail trail.


Hinka Booma with their serious faces on as they prepare for a 14km cycle leg.


Bonyi chilling at the Toogoolawah show grounds after a long hike.


Numabulla have camp set up early after setting a record pace on their day of cycling.


We’ll post again when the groups arrive back at Kenilworth for the last few days of Limitless 2019!

Phase 3 leading into the third and final expedition

Working towards the third and culminating expedition the students participated in three different activity days. Each day involved the groups participating in either mountain biking on the Noosa trails network, rock climbing or abseiling, both at the Brooyar State Forest. These activities were designed to challenge each individual and push them out of their comfort zones. The students took to the challenges with real zest and encouraged each other to help all group members complete the tasks. The venues for each of the days gave the students another opportunity to experience the unique and stunning landscapes here in Queensland.


Bonyi doing their pre ride checks.


Numabulla pause for a photo at a picturesque lookout.


The technical trails provided a challenge for the groups. Here is one of the many creek crossings.


Hinka Booma on a snack break at the top of the abseiling cliff.


Conner teaching the techniques of abseiling before the students go over the edge.


Virgile demonstrating courage and bravery as he abseils down the rock face.


Enjoying the view from the top.

Yesterday, after the activity days, the students had a day to rest. This was a chance to relax and recover from the previous weeks activities. It also gave the students a chance to get any final laundry done and organise themselves for the final expedition. Today was the final expedition preparation day, an important time for each group to get ready for the 10 days they will spend on the rail trail. Packing lists were checked off, group equipment was divvied out, meals were planned, food was split up and maps and routes were examined. Once all was prepared and after dinner, a quiet relaxing night was spent with a movie night in the barn. At 9am tomorrow morning the three groups will board a bus and make their way to the trail head.  From here they will  embark on the expedition that they have been working so hard to prepare themselves for success in.


Expedition 3 will take the groups along the length of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.

The students will make their way along the rail trail via hiking, mountain biking and canoeing.


All packed and ready to go tomorrow morning.


Food packs ready to be divided into meals and distributed to the students to carry for the first few days of expedition 3.

We will post on the blog at the half way mark of the expedition to keep you up to date with how they are progressing.

Community Service Project – Kenilworth

 Over the past two days, the Limitless students have been busy preparing for an exciting opportunity to visit a local Primary School in the Kenilworth area. Groups Hinka Booma, Numabulla and Bonyi were challenged with the task of presenting to a group of school children ranging from the ages of 6-11. The project falls in line with the 3 key phases of the Limitless programme, these phases ask the questions, Who am I? Who are You? and who are We?  The students, closely with their facilitators to help, reflect on what makes them unique as a group of students from Hong Kong and on what legacy they would like to leave to the children of Kenilworth. Their groups were split into a further sub-group A and B enabling them to offer a wider selection of themes and activities related to Hong Kong.

One group chose to focus and present on City life in Hong kong, in particular using Chinese New Year celebrations to demonstrate what this festival means to them.  They explained some of the history of this time of year and presented some facts and statistics about Hong Kong. They read and acted out traditional stories and the students made Red Packets using chinese calligraphy to decorate them.  Another group chose to teach the students a game called ‘Lobster’ which is often played by Hong Kong school children. They combined their presentation to include teaching them some of the hand gestures and cantonese words and numbers, that are used to play and score the game. Lion dancing was another fun activity that saw the children decorating and dancing with a Lion mask. They used whatever resources  they had available to them on camp to help reinforce their themes. Some groups even bought ingredients to make Chinese vegetable dumplings and noodles, practicing how to make them back at camp, then involving the children in a cooking lesson. These were then cooked and tasted by all the local school children.

The preparation and time that was involved in ensuring this day went smoothly, is testament to the dedication of the facilitators, but also to each student who showed a great deal of enthusiasm throughout these past few days.. They were determined to share who they were, and were passionate about leaving something behind in Kenilworth that would be memorable for the local children. Our students were obviously very proud of their chosen topics and presented their legacy with a pride and determination. The response received by the children and staff at the primary school was overwhelmingly positive and they are excited to invite them back at some time again in the future.

It was great to see all the Limitless groups working together, collaborating, discussing, being creative and very clearly enjoying this project. The photos below really capture what we all consider to have been a very successful and enlightening experience, as well as being fun and engaging. We have all come away with a strong sense of togetherness and accomplishment in succeeding to leave behind a legacy.

Charlotte celebrated her birthday this week which will be the fifth and final time we will get to sing happy birthday on Limitless 2019.


Hinka Booma presented to Prep and Year 1. They made some noodles with the students and played a fun game of ‘Lobsters’ which the local students really enjoyed.


Bonyi presented to Years 2, 3 and 4. They taught the Lion dance and had the local students join in with their own decorated masks. They demonstrated how to make dumplings, giving the local students a chance to make their own. They then had some pre-made for everyone to try. The group even found time to teach some local Cantonese expressions.


Numabulla presented to the Year 5 and 6s stories of Chinese New Year and made red packets with the children. They then taught the local students about life in Hong Kong, focusing on the food, the housing and the plastic pollution issues.



We are now ready to be faced with more challenges over the next few weeks and feel further equipped with confidence to do so.

Groups return from Expedition 2

Yesterday saw the return of the groups from expedition 2. This was a big step up from the first expedition both in length (5 days) and difficulty. Each group planned their own route around the trails and campsites of the Conondale National Park which borders the Kenilworth homestead. The students set off from the homestead, with the guidance of their facilitators, after packing all the essentials they would need for the trip into their backpacks. Each day the responsibilities were divided between group members, with responsibilities including leader, navigation, motivation food preparation, chef and clean up. Hikes of up to 13km were completed each day over some beautiful but hilly landscapes. The groups were self sufficient from the time they left the homestead, only relying on water and food drops (along with a birthday cake each for Tilly and Felix) at their respective camp sites each evening. The groups returned in great spirits although understandably tired and looking forward to a shower and a comfortable bed after 4 nights in a tent.

It was great to hear the stories from the students of their adventures along with the reports from the facilitators of how the groups are learning to work together as a team to achieve the objectives of any given day. We did a strengths spotting activity during DEAR time yesterday evening and here are a few of the examples some students shared of the strengths they observed in themselves and others of their time on expedition:

Teamwork – I was able to get things done which no-one wanted to do but had to be done.

Self-regulation – one of our group was good at knowing their own pace and knowing that they had to start a bit earlier on the hike so the group could run smoothly.

Resilience – Even though they weren’t the fittest person they still did their best and kept walking.

Teamwork – Throughout the walks/hikes and even at the campsite we were all working as a team to achieve everything!

Judgement – Our navigators worked well together and with the map to find out the correct path to take at confusing junctions.

Leadership – Throughout the whole expedition I believe everyone showed leadership attributes in their efforts to encourage and direct the team.

Perseverance – A lot of people in our group struggled with the mental and physical challenges of the hike but pushed through to the end.

Zest – one of my group was always able to look on the bright side of any situation.


Hinka Booma finishing off their breakfast and tidying up at the first campsite.


Bonyi all ready to depart the campsite on day 2 of expedition.


Numabulla having their breakfast in a sunny spot on morning 2 of expedition.


The groups settling in to a day of hiking in the Conondale National Park.


Working together to safely cross the Mary River on the way out of Kenilworth homestead.


Almost home… the students change out of their water shoes on the return to the homestead.

Back at the homestead after 5 days adventuring out in the wilderness.

Students unpacking and sorting out the equipment on their return.

Prince celebrating his birthday the day before his group departed for expedition.

Today is a rest day and the students will be writing letters home where I’m sure they will enjoy sharing their experiences for expedition 2 with you.

Moving into Phase 2 of Limitless

Week two of limitless saw the groups depart on their first expedition. Here is on outline written by the students:

Expedition one:

Day 1: We carried our backpacks that we had prepared with our belonging as we made our way on the bus to our first Limitless expedition. We were split into 3 teams, the cooking team, the hygiene team and the leadership team.

We arrived at a town called Boreen Point by a lake called Coolola. The leadership team planned the path that would take us to our destination, Enlanda point. It was around 3 kilometres away but with the wind blowing in a certain direction a group plan was made to curve slightly in the wind. Estimates were made that it would take around 1 hour 15 minutes, but in reality it took around 1 hour.

During the canoe section of the expedition we learned a lot about the ‘Rudder Paddle’ which enable is to turn the boat in a different direction. When we arrived at Elanda point we were greeted by kangaroos that promptly hopped off into the forest. We soon found a patch of land to set up our tents that was not to close to other campers. It was quite late when we arrived and we had dinner and played games.

Day 2: We made our oatmeal breakfast and prepare our lunch for the day before heading out to the information centre on a place a called Kinaba island. We explored the island and then had a lunch that we had carefully prepared earlier in the morning. We explored some of the creeks around the island learning about the local plants and animals. We headed back to the campsite, prepared and cooked our dinner, which was pasta and bolognese. We finished of the day cleaning our dishes and had some time to watch the stars and tell stories.

Day 3: Our final day saw us hiking to Mill Point. As a group we walked to Mill Point and had a final reflection of our experience whilst looking out onto Lake Cootharaba. We were surrounded by lots of green countryside and some very nice views.

Some thoughts from the students:

The canoeing was very adventurous and something that the majority had never done before and it was a shared group experience. The rough waves and changing weather patterns put us through a truly challenge experience and gave us all a very accomplished feeling. After canoeing we felt like we had learned many more skills, and our knowledge of the lake was broadened due the depth of information from both our facilitators and the information centre staff. – Max

This was new experience for all of us and in a new environment. We all worked together as a team to work through our struggles and use the challenge by choice principle to truly push ourselves to  our stretch zone. The environment and views were really something. Our group, Numabulla, visited fig tree point as the facilitators were excited to show us. It was really stunning, the plants and the trees were far beyond we could have imagined. – Noah

Our group really enjoyed the cooking experience, using the stove was fun apart from the fact that we put too much water in the rice which made it a little soggy, so we tried to add other ingredients to make it less soggy. We found using the camp equipment a little challenging to work out as there were many components to the cooking stove. This is something that I would like to master by expedition 3. – Erica


On return from expedition one we move on to phase two of Limitless. Groups continue to develop mountain bike skills as well as learn about the local environment through studying invasive species. The first community service experience saw us head out to Noosa North beach for a beach clean up for the Australian Marine Debris Initiative.  We contributed our findings to a large data base to help address the issue of plastics and other debris in the oceans and beaches.



Students busy writing their first letter home on their rest day.


We celebrated 2 birthday’s this week, Andrew and Damian. They got a card and a cake to share with their group.


Preparing for expedition one. Groups will be out for three days so they need to ensure they have everything they need.


Students taking a break during a canoe leg of expedition one.


Students are continuing to practice their mountain bike skills around the homestead. They will use these skills on a day of mountain biking on the Noosa trail network in phase 3 of Limitless.


Students here at Noosa North beach doing a beach clean up for the Australian Marine Debris Initiative. Each group will categorise their findings and add it to the database to help local authorities identify sources of litter in the beaches.


Back at Kenilworth categorising findings. 


Card games are popular during down time.


We have a rest day tomorrow where the students will write their second letter home. This will be followed by the preparation and departure of expedition two. This is a five day expedition that will see the students hiking and camping in the Conondale national park.

The next post will follow the return from expedition two in just over a weeks time.

One week in…

As we approached the end of the first full week on Limitless, the activities became more adventurous and also started to focus on expedition training in preparation for the first expedition which departs on Sat 18 May.  There is a growing feeling of togetherness as the team is becoming well-cemented and everyone is settling into the routine of the program.

Under the expert guidance of the six facilitators; Wesley, Rachel, Amelia, Connor, Ben and Matt, the three student teams of Bonyi, Numabulla and Hinkabooma, undertook a carousel of activities.  Mountain biking around the homestead focussed on pre-cycling safety checks and techniques for team cycling and body positions for downhill and uphill riding.  The canoeing took place on the Mary River which gently winds its way along the western edge of the homestead.  Students were taught how to wear the required safety equipment, paddling and steering techniques and emergency drills in the event of a capsize.  The climbing wall was also in action with students learning climbing techniques and also how to belay and the importance of climbing as a team and trusting your belaying partner(s).  The expedition training has focussed on camp-craft and camp cooking and how to safely use the camping stoves.  There has also been navigation training with map and compass teaching students how to orientate a map and use the map on simple orienteering exercises around the homestead.

On Wednesday afternoon there was a walk into the local town of Kenilworth and a research project looking at the history and the population of Kenilworth and this led into a team presentation on Thursday afternoon.  After dinner on Thursday there was a wind down night with the film Plastic Oceans which is an environmental awareness film which serves an introduction to an environmental project later in the programme.  Friday was the first rest day but of course there is still plenty to do with animals to feed, communal areas to clean and a chance to catch up with laundry on a beautiful sunny day.  On Friday morning the students also wrote their first letter home.

Learning the ropes of climbing.


Up the creek (Mary River) with one paddle each.


Basic mountain bike skills before hitting the bike trails.


Morning physical health continues under the blue Australian skies.


Learning how to use the cook stoves they will using while on expedition.


More camp-craft. This time it’s putting up the tents we will be using.


Walk into the local town of Kenilworth to find out about the area we are living in.


Researching the local area the old fashioned way with a trip to the Kenilworth library.


Presenting our research findings into various aspects of the history of the local area.


After a tie in the local area quiz, rock-scissors-paper was the only way to decide the winning team.

The groups depart on the first expedition tomorrow. We will update the blog with some reports of how it went in around a week.

We’re getting into the swing of things here at Kenilworth.

Day 2 & 3 has seen our students settling into their new environment and routines. Jon (our program director) has introduced and explained the daily timetable of activities that each group will take part in over the next few weeks. There is a daily rota of jobs, which is part of the community living module. The morning physical health exercise class helps to prepare and improve the student’s fitness levels in preparation for the upcoming expeditions.

Each day has started early, but we have been welcomed each day with a hearty breakfast and mostly perfect weather conditions so far. Group formation activities has been the main focus over the last two days, which have seen the students working together to overcome a variety challenges in a new context. The skills they are learning will be important over the next coming weeks and will help them to become more independent and  accomplished as the programme progresses.

It has been a busy first few days and the students have been positive and enthusiastic, embracing the daily challenges with a maturity that has been commended by their instructors and the staff here at higher-ground. We are however, very much looking forward to REST day on Friday!


Feeding the animals is part of the community living activities we complete each morning.


Learning horsepersonship with some of the local residents on the homestead.


Morning physical activity helping get everyone ready for the riggers of upcoming expeditions.

Lunch time! Duty team serving up another feast.


Adventure activities developing the cooperative and teamwork skills which will be essential as we move through the program.


Hinka Booma team being put through their paces by their facilitators.


DEAR (drop everything and reflect) time happens every afternoon. Here students writing in their journals in the barn.

The next few days the students will move on to learning the skills of mountain biking, canoeing and climbing which they are extremely excited about. We’ll post an update later in the week as the students prepare to depart on their first expedition.

We made it!

After a long flight from HK and a two hour bus journey the pioneering Limitless group arrived safely, if not a little weary, at Kenilworth Homestead, Queensland, Australia. We were greeting with beautiful blue skies and the picturesque setting that will be our home for the next 6 weeks.

The day was a busy one, filled up with introductions, groupings, team building activities, orientation, unpacking, dinning, a campfire and finally a well deserved early night. The group were superstars across the board and all went to bed buzzing with anticipation for what lies ahead.


Getting introduced to the facilitators.


Team 1: Numabulla


Team 2: Hinka Booma


Team 3: Bunya


Duty group serving up a feast.


First meal in the dinning hall.


Stories by the campfire.

Stay tuned for the next update in a couple of days as the groups bond and enter into phase one of Limitless 2019.

Not long now…

We hope everyone is all packed and excited about the Limitless departure on Friday evening. A reminder that we are meeting at Terminal 1, check-in counter J at 5.30pm. We look forward to seeing everyone there.