• The young girl from Broome took her Aboriginal flag all the way to Mount Everest (Supplied, Jeremy Elliott )Source: Supplied, Jeremy Elliott
Yawuru / Ngarluma girl, Sarafina Elliott recently returned from her extraordinary trip to Mount Everest base camp where she left a piece of her heritage for future trekkers.
By
Rangi Hirini

18 Oct 2017 - 3:23 PM  UPDATED 19 Oct 2017 - 2:24 PM

The day Sarafina finished her final year 11 exam, the 16-year-old took off to Nepal to climb the world’s tallest mountain.

Although, she didn’t make it to the summit, the Broome girl did make it to the base camp after walking 60 kilometres to get there.

“It was nothing how I thought it was,” she told NITV News.

This high school student, who just started year 12, was joined by her dad on the journey.

Sarafina is a long way from her hometown of Broome in Western Australia

Jeremy Elliott told NITV News it was a “joint decision” by the pair to go on this trip.

“It’s definitely a spiritual experience, it's quite life changing,” he said.

However, the 16-year-old had come up with the idea to take on Mount Everest two years earlier when she had completed a high school project on the mountain.

Mr Elliott said his daughter’s assignment also showed her holding the Aboriginal flag.

“Part of her project, she made a little picture of me and her on Everest with an Australian and Aboriginal flag. So we did the same thing in real life,” he said.

The Yawuru / Ngarluma girl said it was important for her to leave a piece of her heritage behind.

“I thought everyone knows Australians go there and I don’t think the Aboriginal flag has been up there,” she said.

Her dad was also a big supporter of Sarafina taking the Aboriginal flag with her.

“I don’t know how many Aboriginal people had been up there before, so I thought it was important that she take an Aboriginal flag and take some pictures and maybe inspire some other Aboriginal people or young women to do the same sort of trek,” Mr Elliott said.

Leading up to their big mission, the duo spent a lot of time planning and training for the big journey ahead.

It took Sarafina eight days to get to the base camp but she said it was all worth it

The pair planned for around 12 months to make sure they had all the equipment they would need, as well as mentally preparing for their trek. 

“During the last year I’ve been going to the gym and the months leading up to going, every week we went to gym twice and six kilometre walk on the weekend. We just wanted to be prepared,” Sarafina said.

However, the two weren’t as prepared for how cold it was.

Sarafina said it took her eight days to get to the base camp, although she did say it was “technically six” because she had to spend a few days getting use to the cold climate, but said it was well worth it in the end.

Sarafina said arriving at the base camp was surreal.

“It was like walking on top of a rocky iceberg and there was just snow on the floor and rocks everywhere and flags everywhere,” she said.

“Once you get there everyone’s like ‘congratulations, we made it. It’s like a very friendly attitude and atmosphere up there.”

The high school student, who has travelled quite a bit overseas, said the people in Nepal were some of the best people she’s ever come across.

“Whenever you past someone you’d be like ‘hello, namaste’ and sometimes people would stop and they always try to accommodate you,” she said.

Up next for this 16-year-old are hopes of returning to Asian to finish off exploring that continent.

“The next holiday would be more relaxed,” she said.

For now Sarafina will be starting her last year of high school after ticking off one of the boxes on her bucket list.