Di Westaway

Di Westaway is the Chief Adventure Chick and Founder of Wild Women On Top and Coastrek. She is a global leader and award-winning woman of influence who has inspired more than 25,000 people off the couch through shared hiking adventures, while raising over $20 million for charity and helping women lead adventurous lives they love.

She does work she loves with people she loves the way she loves and she’s keen to help families, friends and workers do the same.

When she’s not freaking us out by doing handstands on knife-edge summits, Di leads her team on a mission to connect, inspire and empower each other and our community.

She is passionate about motivating women to lead adventurous lives they love, creating pleasure, power and productivity from hiking adventures.

Di is an adventure coach, mother, motivational speaker, 2017 NSW Telstra Business Women's Awards Finalist, 2016 AFR/Westpac 100 Woman of Influence, world-record holder and author of Natural Exhilaration and How to Prepare for World Class Treks.

She is also a columnist for Great Walks Magazine and has written for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Brisbane Times, The Canberra Times, HuffPost Australia, Mamamia, Essential Kids, The CEO Magazine Australia, The Hoopla, Thrive Global and AG Outdoor.

She has climbed many extreme altitude peaks and holds the record for the world’s highest handstand on Mt Ama Dablam, 6,982m, Nepal.

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What’s your role in the WWOT team? 

I am the luckiest duck becauseI get to be the Chief Adventure Chick (CEO) at Wild Women On Top. That means I lead the strategic planning for both business and adventure, which I love. I also lead our awesome team to help them be the best they can be at inspiring and empowering women to lead adventurous lives they love. 

What is your favourite thing about the WWOT community?

My favourite thing is seeing the smiles on the faces of women when they immerse themselves in nature’s challenges and discover that they are capable of far more than they ever imagined. That look of exhaustion combined with natural exhilaration that comes from overcoming fear and going wild. 

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

The top of my bucket list is to touch the lives of a million women to create a happier world through shared hiking adventures. I have bucket lists of bucket lists and live the dream by challenging myself with at least one super scary adventure and bunch of mini adventures every year. That’s what keeps me sane.  

Where will we find you on a Sunday morning?

I love Sunday mornings because I get to indulge in physical activity in nature. Most often you’ll find me dangling off a cliff, riding trails, sipping hot tea on a lookout or hiking hills with wonderful wild women at sunrise. 

What’s the wildest adventure you’ve ever been on?

My wildest adventure ever was doing the world’s highest handstand on Mt Ama Dablam 6,978m, in Nepal. It was by far the hardest and scariest. I only succeeded because I paid a porter to cart my gear, slept with the guide (he was my partner at the time), and got an sms from wild woman, Danae, on summit night that said “Toughen Up Princess”. Like all my wild adventures, it’s the team that matters.

What motto or mantra do you live by?

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

 

Previous posts

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Staying inside your comfort zone is easy. Safe. Comfortable. And that's a lovely thing. But if you do it too much, it can make life feel stagnant, monotonous and unexciting. The longer you stay there, the smaller it gets. The more uncomfortable things feel. Stay there too long, and you lose your ability to deal with challenges, to cope when life hits you with things that hurt. You lose your resilience, your ability to bounce back. This week, we're going to teach you how to build your resilience so you can feel strong, confident and joyful. Let's do this! 
Mustang team
Step, breathe, step, breathe, step, breathe… This is the meditation mantra of our Wild Women team of Himalayan hikers, who recently trekked from Jomsom, the gateway to the hidden Kingdom Of Mustang, to Lo Mantang, near the Tibetan border, in search of adventure, tranquillity and the ancient Tiji Festival. After 12 days of thin air, heat, dust and heavenly views, our tent-based hikers compiled this list of tips, to help both newbies and seasoned hikers fine tune their packing and performance for a more fun and fabulous Himalayan adventure.
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There’s nothing quite like a partner, kid or friend accusing you of ‘PMS-ing’ or being ‘hormonal’ when you’re grumpy, especially when you are. In fact, I reckon there’s a special store of rage reserved for anyone who dares comment on the state of your hormones, particularly when they’re right. But is it okay to occasionally pick a fight with your partner because they're breathing too loud? Science says yes.
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Getting lost when you're out on the trail is a lot easier than you think. When you lose your way in the wilderness, it's easy to descend into panic. Your mind goes fuzzy, your heart starts pounding, you start rushing, then running. Di Westaway tells us what to do if you get lost on a hike, and how not to get lost in the first place.
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Most of us have grown up thinking that losing strength and gaining weight are just part of growing old. We think that with each birthday after forty, we’ll get a bit saggier, a bit softer and a bit flabbier. But is weight gain really a fact of ageing?
Wild Women jumping into water
Mostly, I feel like I’m totally the boss of my body. It does everything I ask it to, gives me energy, clarity, pleasure and calm, doesn’t hurt or feel sluggish, stagnant or stale. Sometimes, though, it’s the opposite. Here's how I get back on track.
NYE Adventures
Planning a New Year’s micro-adventure in nature isn’t as hard as you might think. With a few simple steps you can ignite your adventurous spirit to celebrate the old year and kick off the new year feeling fresh and fab -- and ready for even more adventures. Here's some of my favourite ways to see the new year in.
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You are going to love this recipe. It's one of those recipes you'll be cooking on repeat, particularly for those dinners where you want to be gourmet, but you don't have a whole lotta time. It's also an excellent mid-week staple, because it's so quick and easy to make. Enjoy!
As I wondered what I was going to do with all this stuff, some of which I would never use, it hit me that the experiences and adventures I was given bring me far more joy than stuff.
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I used to think I was tough but I’m not. I realised this not when I was climbing a particularly painful mountain, navigating a challenging divorce or even in childbirth. I realised it when my knee started to hurt and I couldn’t damn fix it.
Not Fitness HERO
Recently, as I stood at the finish line of Adelaide Coastrek, our first event in partnership with mental health charity Beyond Blue, I realised our business had found its true heart. We weren't only walking for fitness, were walking away from fear, anxiety, hopelessness, depression, desperation and overwhelm, and towards hope, resilience and recovery.
Ama Dablam 50!
We often hear that women feel invisible after fifty, but I refuse to accept that my worth has a “use-by” date. I know I’ve got many more fabulous years ahead to serve, to laugh, to love, to climb, to bike, to hike, to travel and to explore this magnificent earth. Plus, I often wear entire outfits of purple and ride my bike through the shopping centre, so I really don't blend in. Here's how you can put more life into your later years.
Luvmyhike HERO
Badass hikers aren’t born, you have to train to become one. In addition to learning advanced hiking and backpacking skills, you need to train your bum, legs and core as well as keeping your body supple. Here are five functional exercises you can do to become a badass hiker.
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I’m a morning exerciser. Every day, my alarm goes off when it’s dark and I leap out of bed, full of enthusiasm and energy, ready to take on the day. Except I don’t. Ever. In reality, my brain sounds a little something like this when my alarm goes off...
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Here at Wild Women, we're all about adventures - travelling to far-flung places and getting out of our comfort zone - and enjoying the wild ride that follows. But overseas adventures can also mean long-haul flights, dodgy plane food and not enough sleep - leaving you feeling less than your best. Here's how I stay healthy while I travel. 
Walk in the park
In Australia and all across the developed world, we've got a serious obesity crisis. We all know exercise is good for us, but many of us can't bring ourselves to do it. Well, Di Westaway thinks she's found a way to make it not only easy, but fun.
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Do you often exclaim to others (or yourself) that you're just SO busy? Do you feel like you're constantly time poor? Are you stressed, tired or wrung out often? That used to be me. Here's why I stopped wearing busy as a badge of honour.
Beach Walk
From the time I quit gymnastics at 16 until my early forties, I was constantly beating myself up for not exercising regularly. I struggled to find workouts I could sustain long term. The gym was okay for a while. Then I had kids, and fitting in the gym became impossible. Just packing the nappy bag took too much time and energy. So I ditched it completely and I've never looked back...
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When the alarm kills delicious dozing on a dark winter’s morning or your lover tempts you with a glass of red as you snuggle up together on the couch, it takes an iron will to honour your commitment to a walk in the cold. Despite knowing how exhilarated you’ll feel when you’re out there, and how satisfied you’ll feel when it’s over, getting active outdoors in winter is a tough gig. Our brain tells us to snooze that little bit longer, stay indoors after dark and slow down. But our body needs to move.
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My first taste of hiking came from the world of men. A world in which we raced silently through the bush; no clifftop cuppas, no plunging in mountain streams, no photo shoots, no inhaling wildflowers, no giggling, no exploring little side trails and definitely no gourmet food. It almost frightened me off, until I realised hiking was not the problem, these men were.

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