A few weeks ago Australia’s Outdoor magazine published a list of the top ten multday walks in the country.
I was quite chuffed to discover I’ve done six-ish of them – Queensland’s Thorsborne Trail on Hinchinbrook Island and Fraser Island Great Walk and Tasmania’s Overland Track (a couple of times), Eastern Arthur Range (I’ve done some of the Eastern Arthurs walk – into and up Federation Peak and out), Western Arthur Range Traverse, and South Coast Track.
The list made me think there’s plenty more walking I’ve got to do and also about what would be on my list of top overnight walks.
So while the ones I’ve mentioned above are certainly in my list of top walks, here’s a few others that have made an impression on me and I’d recommend.
1. Mount Remarkable, South Australia – Walking through the eastern side of this park presented some beautiful landscapes that, for me, are the picture of what I like to imagine the Australian bush is. It’s a romantic picture but one I like to daydream about. Open spaces dotted with big old gnarly trees and massive blue skies overhead. If you time it right and go around when the area gets rain, the ground is covered by a blanket of green grass and the streams at the bottom of steep gullies are running.
2. South-west circuit, Tasmania – This was my most recent big walk and it was the subject of some of my first blog posts. It had everything – amazing coastal views, challenging terrain, beaches, mountain ranges, strenuous walking and the feeling of utter and total independence and being away from everything.
3. Mount Bartle-Frere, Queensland – This was the first overnight walk I ever did on my own. I had no idea what I was doing but it started a lifelong passion for the outdoors. I was living in Atherton, my home town on the Tablelands in Far North Queensland at the time, and walked from the western side of the mountain. The mountain is covered in dense rainforest. So dense that when I went off track for a bathroom break, I had a moment of panic when I went to return to my pack I’d left on the track and couldn’t find it. After some deep calming breaths and a careful retracing of my steps I found the track again. I don’t think I’ve felt a sense of relief like that since. The climb is a physical challenge but apparently the view from the top is worth it. The weekend I was at the top it was covered in cloud and I didn’t see a thing. Here’s a link to a map of the walk.
4. Walls of Jerusalem, Tasmania – One of my favourite places in Tasmania. Passing through Herods Gate into the walls is like walking into another world. You’re surrounded by high imposing peaks – King Davids Peak, The Temple and Solomons Throne are just some. Then walk down into the penicil pine forest of Dixons Kingdom and its old trappers’ hut and resident wallabies. Wonderful.
5. Blue Gum Forest, New South Wales – Another early bushwalking experience that showed me the beauty of the Australian bush. A beautiful stand of tall blue gums in the Grose Valley in the Blue Mountains. It was saved from the axe by a group of bushwalkers who bought it in the 1930s to save for future generations. Inspiring bush and an inspiring story.