Camp Life with your Host Laura

Meet Your Host: Laura Waters, Adventure Woman & Travel Writer

In the lead up to the highly anticipated 2024 Banff Mountain Film Festival we welcome you to a series of ‘Get to know your Host’! Today, we’re thrilled to introduce you to Laura Waters, one of our enthusiastic film tour hosts. Laura is a true adventurer at heart, constantly seeking thrilling experiences that take her away from the noise and busyness of modern life. When Laura is not hosting for us, she is a highly sought after travel writer! While she travels all over, her favourite hosting spot is in the vibrant city of Melbourne. Let’s dive into our interview with Laura to learn more about her remarkable adventures and inspiring journey.

1. What kinds of adventures do you seek?

 I love anything that gets me out in nature and away from the noise and busyness of modern life, especially adventures that challenge me a bit (or a lot!) and let me surprise myself with what I’m capable of.

2. What sports do you enjoy or what are your hobbies/ interests? What goals are you working towards in that space?

For a long time, hiking has been my number one passion and while I still love it, kayaking is now nudging for the top stop. I love the hypnotic sense of peace it brings when the paddle slices the water and the feeling of the boat skimming quietly across the surface. Then there’s the fact that you can cruise quietly past wildlife without disturbing it, and also carry a whole lot more than in a backpack (hello luxuries like the occasional glass of wine!)

My next mission is paddling the length of the Murray River – the world’s third longest navigable river. I’ll be starting in spring and I’m allowing up to three months for the entire 2,356km from Bringenbrong Bridge to the ocean.

3. Tell us 3 interesting facts about yourself:

1. I’ve hiked the entire length of New Zealand on the 3,000km Te Araroa Trail. It took five months and was utterly life changing.

2. That adventure led me to change careers from corporate to travel writer and author. I now write for major newspapers and magazines and have two books out: Bewildered (award-winning memoir about the NZ hike) and Ultimate Walks & Hikes Australia.

3. I once trained with former US Vice President Al Gore to be a climate presenter.

Laura on the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand
Laura on the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand

4. What drives/ motivates you?

I’m a seeker. I love learning and growing as a person but I also want to help make the world a better place. I’d love to see more people connect with nature, consume less and care more for our incredible planet.

5. What’s your favourite film/ tv show?

I love a good doco. You Can’t Ask That is absolutely fantastic for understanding other people’s worlds. I also enjoy Insight and Anh’s Brush with Fame.

6. Tell us 3 of your favourite places you’ve travelled to and where’s next on your list?

1. I love Uepi Island in the Solomons. It’s super remote and the scuba diving and snorkelling right offshore is epic.

2. The wilds of New Zealand will always have a special place in my heart. There are soooo many spectacular hiking trails to explore.

3. The hiking in Japan is insane. I had no idea there was so much epic terrain there but I’ve visited three times in the last six months and have loved the super wild volcanic landscapes of Hokkaido as well as the thick forests in Kyushu down south which are packed with hidden shrines and temples.

4. Next on the list is riding the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, which is around 150km from Yackandandah to Harrietville. (There may be some amazing food and wine sampled along the way!).

Climbing 'El Misti' in Peru
Climbing ‘El Misti’ in Peru

7. What’s the best part about working for Adventure Reels?

I love the variety and the opportunity to travel around and meet loads of like- minded people. Everyone comes pumped for a good time. What’s not to love?

8. Why should everyone see one or more of our AR festivals this year?

Inspiration is the biggest reason. Each show is three hours of seeing interesting people do cool stuff on the big screen, plus they offer a chance to rub shoulders with other like-minded people. It’s not only good entertainment but an opportunity for a re-set and consider your own adventure goals.

Laura hosting the Ocean Film Festival 2024 at the Capitol Theatre, RMIT Melbourne
Laura hosting the Ocean Film Festival 2024 at the Capitol Theatre, RMIT Melbourne

9. What’s one thing on your bucket list?

I want to set myself up in an overwater bungalow in the Maldives and go scuba diving. It seems like the kind of place I should share with a ‘significant other’ though so I need to find him first (applications welcome).

10. What’s your favourite inspirational quote/ motto?

My motto, relevant to all adventurers, is just do it. We’re capable of so much more than we realise and few of us actually take the leap and follow our dreams. Be bold. Don’t let fear get in the way. Make it happen.

Laura will be hosting our upcoming Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival screenings throughout Victoria so buy your tickets now and make sure you say hi to her!

Find tickets here: – They are selling fast!

Want to get to know our other Film Festival hosts? See below:




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