It’s time to hit the trail – but what do I need to pack? There is no straight forward answer – it depends on the duration and remoteness of the hike, the season, the terrain, and any other risk factors. Gear lists are personal, what’s essential to you might be unnecessary extra weight to me. Here’s a check list for you to think about as you pack. What else would you take? … [Continue reading]
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A group of seven of us ventured to New Zealand for what seems to have become an annual destination to complete one of their Great Walks. After walking the Heaphy Track last year, this time the Routeburn Track was selected. This track is generally a 2 night/3 day tramp and is located in the Fiordland and Mt Aspiring regions, not far from Queenstown. The Routeburn Track is possibly the next most popular walk in New Zealand (after the Milford Track) and it’s stunning scenery deserves such a reputation. It covers 36km of scenic alpine vistas, lush moss and lichen filled forests, spectacular and abundant waterfalls, lakes (in that wonderful azure glacial blue), gorges and mountain views.
Encounters on the Edge
Each day, 48 hikers set off from Port Arthur on this popular four day walk on the Tasman peninsula. The Three Capes Track should be walked slow with friends or family: resting at the whimsical story seats, admiring the craft of the track makers, immersing your senses in the diversity of flora and dramatic cliff top views across the southern ocean…. [Continue reading]
Trip full – waitlist operating
Maria Island is located on the east coast of Tasmania. It is famous for its convict heritage, abundance of wildlife, pristine beaches, sweeping bays and dramatic cliffs. There are several hiking trails and cycling paths which make it a great destination for 3-4 days. We will be visiting the island for 4 nights in mid November 2018. Originally inspired by a few friends who have done the 4 day guided walking tour, but I have come up with a cost-busting alternative designed not to break the bank but still see all the sights and have a lot of fun in this beautiful national park.
We are scheduling this walk to occur during the week commencing 12 November 2018 with a view to leaving Hobart on Wed 14th Nov so that we finish on Sunday 18th Nov in time for people to return to work. You will need to arrange your own flights with a view to meeting in Hobart on the evening of the 13th November in time for the shuttle bus the following morning.
The trip is planned intentionally to be flexible – it offers day pack walks for those not wanting to carry a full pack; there is the option of carrying a full pack (with tent) for those looking to travel further afield or alternatively some bike riding. My only concern is that I might not have planned enough time to simply do nothing and take in the wildlife and history of this place. Let’s see how we go!
More details are covered in the itinerary below. If you are interested please contact Fee to discuss further. Numbers will be limited and a deposit for accommodation will be necessary. Commitment needs to be made by mid May 2018 to secure accommodation bookings. After this time a waitlist will be operating.
Once numbers are confirmed, there may be options to include some activities in Hobart including a possible climb to Mt Wellington.
Maria Island Itinerary
Day 0 – Tuesday 13th Nov
Arrive in Hobart by Tuesday evening.
Day 1 – Wednesday 14th Nov
Bus transport to Triabunna via Shuttle bus or via Maxi Connect. Aim to take 7.15am bus to arrrive for 9am ferry. $30pp one way. Maximum $45pp if taking maxi Connect. May hire cars depending on numbers and cost. Will also look at other operators as times not that flexible
Ferry to Island through Encounter Maria. $50pp return includes National Park entry fees. Plus luggage fees ($10-15). Can also hire bikes through Encounter Maria
Accommodation at Maria Island Penitentiary in Darlington. These are dormitory style facilities with a maximum of 6 in each room but the intention is to keep it to 4 per room. There are communal cooking facilities and hot showers nearby ($1). The rooms cost $44 for 2 people per night and $64 for 4 – equivalent to $16 per person per night for 4 in a room. All room bookings will be done centrally when they open in May. You will be asked to pay a non-refundable deposit of $64 to cover the cost of accommodation over the 4 nights. If you do drop out, this may be reimbursed at the discretion of someone else taking your place.
In the afternoon, we will walk the northern end of Maria Island to Bishop and Clerk summit coming back via the Fossil Cliffs if time permits. This is a day pack walk of about 4 hours return to the summit of Bishop and Clerk (some scrambling involved) with an extra hour or so to visit the Fossil Cliffs
Day 2 – Thursday 15th Nov
Visit Mt Maria. Mt Maria Track is about 6-7 hours and includes some rock scrambling.
If time permits also visit the Painted Cliffs. Timing will be dependent on when the tides permit us to explore the Painted Cliffs as this is best done within 2 hours of low tide. The Painted Cliffs walk is about 2 hours, 4.4km This will be a very full day but there will be opportunities to visit the Painted Cliffs at other times if timing does not permit it this day
Overnight at the Penitentiary
Day 3 – Friday 16th Nov
Explore Pt Lesueur and The Isthmus including convict ruins.
Either walk with full pack to camp at Frenchs Farm or Encampment Cove. Walk takes approx 3 1/2 hours.
Or bike ride to join us at Frenchs Farm/Encampment Cove. Bike ride takes approx 2 hours via inland road. Those who elect to bike ride can either bring their own bikes (extra cost to bring over on ferry) or hire their own. Cost of bike hire is $33 per day (less if more than one day). Cycling on Maria is mainly covered on the 4WD tracks although soft sand on the isthmus will mean some pushing (approx 4km of it!)
Overnight will be either at The Penitentiary or camping
Day 4 – Saturday 17th Nov
Walk to Haunted Bay via The Isthmus with daypacks . Return to collect tents/full packs and walk back to Darlington. Another full day. Bike riders welcome to join us
Overnight at Penitentiary
Day 5 – Sunday 18th Nov
Return to Hobart via Ferry to Triabunna and then use either shuttle bus or Maxi Connect
Shuttle bus departs Triabunna at 5.15pm and returns to Hobart at 6.45-7pm. Cost is $30pp. Maxi Connect can be booked at any time and will cost more but it will depend on when your flight is as to which option you take.
Opportunities for visiting anything we have missed before we catch the ferry! PLUS I will also investigate a circumnavigation cruise of the island (estimate of cost is $185pp)
As there are no shops on the island, visitors are required to bring everything with them eg food, warm gear etc. There is a trolly to transport gear to our accommodation once on the island. There is no power on the island although there is gas cooking facilities at our accommodation.
Wombats can be seen around the island, as well as pademelons, Forester Kangaroos, Bennetts wallabies and Tasmanian Devils.
The waters around Maria Island include a Marine Nature Reserve and are visited regularly by seals and whales. The abundant marine life and clear waters makes for spectacular diving and snorkelling.
Growing up, I desperately wanted to be a Boy Scout. I wanted to hike, camp and sail away on a home built raft. All of that was denied to me, as I was a girl. Now that I am older, and society has renegotiated gender boundaries, I am able to enjoy participating in mixed groups. But I also support the rise of women only adventure communities, and was delighted to see the arrival of the first Australian adventure magazine for women, Travel Play Live…. [Continue reading]
The final steep climb up to the 3726m summit of Mt Rinjani in Indonesia is relentless loose scree. I’m exhausted, desparately counting out slip-sliding steps upwards between rests. We left our crater rim camp at 3am, and have already climbed over 1000m. The summit is within sight, but I am doubting I can manage the remaining stony climb. As my friend passes me, she reaches into her pack and gives me her last five jelly beans. I eat them. Slowly. One brightly coloured sugar-laden jelly bean at a time…. [Continue reading]
Safety is important. We walk in the Sydney metro bush and are very rarely out of mobile coverage and seldom far from a road, but injuries can still happen.
- Carry sufficient water, food, first aid and appropriate clothing and shelter. Wild Endurance have a list of compulsory gear which is a handy reference for day walks in national parks. Equip sell a variety of first aid kits suitable for bush walkers. We advise you to skill up to complement your kit – St John runs courses in Remote Area First Aid.
- Carry communications gear: a charged mobile phone, and if appropriate and available, an emergency beacon (PLB). Blue Mountains Police offer loan PLB’s for free. Check Telstra mobile coverage when walking in bush areas.
- Check the weather before you walk.
- Check for Park Alerts – such as park closures due to fire or flood.
- Check the RFS website for fire danger ratings, fire bans and current fire incidents.
Don’t get lost
- Carry maps and leave your route details and return time with responsible friends and family.
- You can find useful maps and track notes for many local walks at the Wild Walks website. Detailed maps of the walking tracks in Lane Cove Valley and Middle Harbour are available from STEP. Detailed maps of the Great North Walk are also handy for our local area walks in the Lane Cove and Berowra Valleys.
- 1:25000 topographical maps of NSW suitable for walking are available from the NSW Land and Property information online store in both digital (PDF) and printed form. Memory Map also sell digital NSW topographic maps in a format suitable for their software.
- Get yourself a compass and a whistle. A dedicated GPS or GPS watch is useful, or you can use a GPS tracker on your smartphone.
We observe courteous bush walking behaviour, be nice and look out for each other. Good bush walking etiquette is based on respect for the leader and for each other, and includes:
- RSVP by text message to the leader by 8pm the night before the walk,
- be ready to leave on time,
- inform the group of any injuries or illness,
- don’t chat on mobile phones on the walk except for emergencies,
- wait at intersections, river crossings and obstacles for others,
- keep your eyes on the path and don’t turn your head back to talk,
- don’t follow too close (if you are flicked by a branch, you were probably too close),
- don’t wave your trekking pole ends around.
Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time.
Please read our disclaimer on Responsible Walking before using any GPS tracks or other information on this website.
“Our vision is for a world where no one is needlessly blind, and Indigenous Australians enjoy the same health and life expectancy as other Australians.” Fred Hollows (1929-1993) was an inspirational Australian whose work restoring sight is continued by the Hollows Foundation. Coastrek is a challenging annual Sydney endurance walking event organised by Wild Women on Top that is a significant fundraiser for the Hollows Foundation…. [Continue reading]
I’m running through my mental checklist as I head out the door to go bushwalking: Backpack, map and compass, first aid, water, food, rain jacket, head torch… and phone. Especially my phone.