NORTHHOLM Grammar School student Sam Dessen left last week to walk the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea.
The school captain, along with seven other students and two teachers, took $13,000 and 230 kilograms of donated clothes with him.
"It's pretty exciting," he said.
"Personally, I really like the history aspect."
The 17-year-old, who helped co-ordinate the trek, collected donations with his friends ahead of the trip through discos: "we're all close mates, and we all DJ at parties". But most of the money came from businesses: "there was a lot of letter writing".
They also collected old sports clothes from the Hills Hawks football club, which changed its uniform this year.
And the company that makes Northholm's uniforms donated 11,000 brand new school shirts, which Qantas agreed to fly over for free.
Unlike some other Australians, the group is beginning their walk in the north and ending in Port Moresby — the "retreat walk".