Our Story

Di Westaway’s Mid-Wife Crisis

Twenty years ago, Di Westaway was fatigued, fed up and seriously unfit. With nothing but an impending 40th birthday and bottomless washing basket to look forward to, she started wondering: is this all there is?

Then, out of the blue, an acquaintance invited her on a hiking expedition to remote South America. It wasn’t just any old hike… it was climbing Mt Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere. Impulsively, surprising even herself, she said yes. She was a former athlete, how hard could it be?

Di and kids

A Big, Fat, Fail

The mountain climb was a big, fat, fail. They didn’t get to the top.

But the experience transformed Di’s life. She realised there was more to fitness than sweaty, soul-destroying gyms or pounding the pavement.

Di Aconcagua resting

OMG, Fitness Can Be Fun

Di discovered that fitness allows you to get to places most people can’t go. When you’re hike fit, you can enjoy a cuppa tea on a remote mountain top, plunge naked into a glacial lake surrounded by squealing friends, jump off a waterfall in the shadow of an active volcano or scale a jagged rock tower in time for the sunrise.

Di skilled up and started ‘Trek Training’ for women in her local national park. She trained coaches and clients, and together they travelled the world hiking iconic trails such as Mt Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu.

Develop Resilience… And Find Real Joy

When you’ve been on the side of a mountain, thinking you might die, things like whining teenagers and impending divorce are a mere trifle. You’ve faced far tougher challenges before sunrise, and you see the world through a different lens. One that says: Don’t f**k with me. 

But it was more than that. Di had discovered something that made her really, really, ridiculously, annoyingly happy. Even at 6am. She’d found that ‘something to look forward to’ she’d been missing, and it turned her world technicolour.

Wild Women Coaches and Everest

We Need A Goal For Everyone

The thing is, we can’t all jet off overseas to climb mountains. But Di knew she’d discovered something magical and she wanted to shout it from the mountaintops! 

Di wanted the exhilaration she felt to be accessible to all women, so she developed an event that took the best bits of her adventures (Views! Giggles! Friends! Chocolate! Champagne!) and crammed them into one epic hike along the coastline of Sydney. Coastrek was born!

Coastrek 2010

Where Coastrek Is Today

Coastrek is now Australia’s premier charity hiking challenge for women. You can choose to trek 50km, 30km or 20km along Australia’s most spectacular coastlines to get fit with friends and raise funds for heart health.

Together, our community of 70,000 trekkers has raised more than $48 million for charity.

Coastrek 2021

2000 It starts with a big fat fail

Di fails to reach the top of Mt Aconcagua but has a life-changing adventure. She returns home and tells her astonished children she’s starting a fitness business.

2001 A movement is born

Di bakes some roasted almond and chocolate chip cookies, puts two kids and a baby to bed, dusts off her coaches cap and grabs a head torch to train a small group of women in the dark in Sydney Harbour National Park.

2004 Di picks a name

Wild Women On Top is registered and, over a glass of bubbles at a sunset Christmas picnic at Clontarf, 10 wild women decide they should attempt to climb the highest mountain on every continent and raise money for the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Hospital.

2005 - 2008 Seven Summits Season

Wild Women climb Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Elbrus, Mt Kosciuszko, Mt Aconcagua, Mt Fansipan and Denali in partnership with World Expeditions. Mum-teen teams climb Mt Rinjani and Mt Kinabalu and raise funds for The Fred Hollows Foundation.

2009 The first Sydney Coastrek

Starting at La Perouse at twilight, 40 wild women armed with photocopied maps and track notes, veggie wraps, chocolate and vaseline, attempt to trek 126km in teams of four. They survive midnight storms, blisters and exhaustion to arrive at Palm Beach 30 hours later. They raise $200 for Fred Hollows.

2010 We’re famous... sort of!

Comedians and radio presenters Adam Spencer and Julie Mcrossin become Coastrek Ambassadors and support us to get our message out there!

2012 Coastrek raises first $1 mil

Sh*t gets real! More than 1300 Coastrekkers, including Olympian Susie O’Neil, hike 50km or 100km from Palm Beach to Balmoral or Coogee. Together we raise more than $1 million to restore sight. Di does the world’s highest handstand on Mt Ama Dablam in the Everest region of Nepal. We do cartwheels… literally and figuratively!

2014-2018 Trek Training grows

Our Wild Women On Top community expands! We partner with World Expeditions and take Wild Women on iconic hikes such as Machu Picchu, Patagonia, Iceland, Mongolia and Mustang.

2015 Melbourne gets moving

With the support of the Mornington Peninsula community and comedian and radio presenter Libbi Gorr, we launch our Melbourne Coastrek, hiking 30km or 60km from Cape Schanck to Point Nepean.

2017 Coastrek hits 25,000 trekkers and $20 million raised

Olympian Libby Trickett joins CEO, Di Westaway, to announce the inaugural Sunshine Coastrek, hiking from Caloundra to Noosa. We celebrate 25,000 trekkers and $20 million raised for charity.

2018 We join forces with Beyond Blue

We announce a new partnership with Australian mental health charity Beyond Blue. Former Prime Minister and Beyond Blue Chair Julia Gillard launches Adelaide Coastrek. Celebrated journalist Jennifer Byrne becomes our Patron. Coastrek turns 10!

2020 Founder & CEO Di Westaway is awarded an OAM

Founder & CEO Di Westaway is awarded an OAM for services to women’s health, fitness and charity services! She humbly accepts the accolade for doing the work she loves.

2021 We smash our goals

After a challenging year of postponed events and COVID lockdowns, Coastrek events go ahead in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide (and Brisbane in July!). We raise over $5.5 million for Beyond Blue.
Di Westaway Headshot

Di Westaway OAM

Founder and CEO
Di Westaway OAM is a global leader and award-winning woman of influence who has inspired her team to create life changing adventures that get women walking in nature for good.
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Susannah Miall

Susannah Miall

General Manager
Susannah is our General Manager. Her favourite thing about the Wild Women Community is seeing women inspiring each other to lead lives that focus on health, wellbeing and thriving in nature.
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Ronnie Masters on the coastline

Ronnie Masters

UK Operations Manager
Ronnie loves nothing more than spending time on the coast, running, hiking or swimming with friends. Ronnie has completed the 630 miles of the South West Coast path and has recently started at the beginning again with her teenage children, (they are delighted 😉)
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Sally Smith

Sally Smith

Event Director
Sally is our Event Director. She is super passionate about sport, and on the weekend you’ll find her watching or playing a game of footy with her mates!
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Sasha Reid

Marketing Director
Sasha is our Marketing Director. When she’s not in the office or kid wrangling, you’ll find Sasha enjoying the beautiful bush near her home. Hiking the Himalayas is at the top of her bucket list!
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Katherine Rothwell

Event Manager
Katherine is our Coastrek Event Manager. On a Sunday morning, you'll find her running a trail or walking her Border Collie Midnight and her Jug Macie to get a coffee. Katherine loves that at Wild Women we have an emphasis on getting women out in nature!
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Yvette Peverell

Yvette Peverell

PR Manager
Yvette is our PR Manager. On a Sunday morning, you'll find her walking her dog Libby on one of the many stretches of coastline we are lucky enough to enjoy in Sydney.
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Donna Freak

Donna Freak

Marketing Specialist
Donna is our Marketing Specialist and resident yogi. When she isn’t being a mumma you’ll find her beside the ocean, surfing, SUPping or doing yoga.
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Erika Bates

Erika Bates

Marketing Projects Specialist
Eri is our Marketing Projects Specialist. On the weekend you'll find her out camping, at the beach, or enjoying a quiet morning of arts and crafts with her kids at home.
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Brigette Banks

Customer Service Specialist
Brigette is one of our Customer Service Specialists. She loves that our Wild Women Community is such a supportive, inclusive environment with women supporting women. Her best adventure was travelling in a truck down the East Coast of Africa from Uganda to South Africa with her best friend!
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Lachie O'Donnell

Lachie O'Donnell

IT Systems and Data Analyst
Lachie is our IT Systems and Data Analyst. Whether he’s going on a hike with 20 wild women or trying canyoning for the first time, Lachie always brings a can-do attitude and a sense of adventure.
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Linda Leong

Linda Leong

Linda is our sensational bookkeeper. She loves spending time with her fam and taking any opportunity to literally chase the kids riding the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail! The best adventure she's ever been on is exploring Iceland in the midst of winter.
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Hayley Kowal

Hayley Kowal

Content & Social Media Coordinator
Hayley is our Content & Social Media Coordinator. The best adventure she's ever been on was hiking a volcano in New Zealand with her sister. On a Sunday morning you'll find her on a morning stroll with her pups before venturing off to watch her siblings play sport!
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