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 slowly 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]
After our successful walk in 2016 on the Kepler Track, in 2017 we selected the Heaphy Track, once again expertly organised by Mary. The Heaphy Track is an easy, scenic 80km walk located in Kahurangi National Park in the north west corner of South Island. The final day is a stunning 17 km walk on the wild South Island west coast. … [Continue reading]
The Kepler Track is a 60km circuit, starting from Te Anau. It is one of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks supported by the Department of Conservation to protect and preserve the unique and delicate natural environment in which these walks are located. In February a group of seven Sole Sisters (Caroline, Debra, Marna, Susan, Mary, Louise and Liz) set off to tramp the Kepler Track circuit over 4 days with 3 nights staying in the huts on the track…. [Continue reading]
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]