Over Easter 2021 Gill and I headed out towards the Broken Hill region in far western NSW to hike some of the more remote National Parks. Over a period of seven days we drove over 2000km, visited Mutawintji and Mungo National Parks, and did some hikes that we weren't expecting to be as good as they were; there really are some hidden gems if you know where to look. This episode consists of a series of recordings undertaken both 'on road' and 'on trail' as well as our summation of the overall trip. Over the coming weeks we will be releasing several trail reviews so keep and eye out for some doozys!
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There are literally thousands of marked or signposted hiking trails across every state and territory of Australia and even the keenest hiker is unlikely to ever hike them all. Having said that sometimes you just want to do something that is just a little bit different. In my case when recently doing a local walk I realised that by being creative I was able to combine two seperate walks into one, creating the opportunity for a different experience that the individual walks didn't provide individually.
In this episode we look at simple opportunities for creating your own hiking adventure that with a bit of basic knowledge and planning almost anyone can do.
To get the best from this podcast allow along on written article of this podcast that contains maps and images of what we are talking about here.
Being a relatively small country on the world stage Australia often punches above its own weight in so many areas. One area where we under perform is the product range available in retail stores and this includes hiking gear. Is this because the product doesn't exist or are manufacturers and importers missing the mark? In this episode we discuss possible reasons for this apparent mis-step. www.australianhiker.com.au
Whenever we go hiking we make decisions about the equipment we carry. These gear choices can be broken into two broad categories; those pieces of gear that we need from a safety perspective (i.e. the necessities) and those that aren’t really necessary but we want to carry (i.e. luxury items). In this episode we discuss the key luxury items that I see on the trail but having said that this category is endless. www.australianhiker.com.au
Operation Flinders is an Australian organisation that exists to provide young men and women who have been identified as being at risk, with demanding outdoor challenges and support. The aim of this organisation is to help participants develop their personal attitudes, self-esteem, motivation, teamwork and responsibility, so they may grow as valued members of the community. In today’s episode we talk to Brendan Raets about the Operation Flinders organisation and the programs that they run. www.australianhiker.com.au
Whether you are new to hiking or have been doing it for years, deciding on what walk you are going to do will depend on a number of factors. Surprisingly the answer you get when you work through these factors may differ each time you have to make this choice. While some of these factors cross over with general hiking planning there are also a number that are purely subjective. In this podcast episode we look at seven main factors to consider when choosing a hike to get the best outcome for all concerned. www.australianhiker.com.au
In this episode we interview author Paul Barach about his epic journey on the 1200 km Shikoku Pilgrimage Trail in Japan. This was a trail I hadn't heard of until talking with Paul and reviewing his book Fighting Monks and Burning Mountains : Misadventures on a Buddhist Pilgrimage but now it’s firmly on my to-do list. This is a great episode that showcases this Japanese pilgrimage trail and provides an insight into Paul’s adventure that is both informative and amusing. www.australianhiker.com.au
The walk to Schlink Hut in Kosciuszko National Park (NSW) starts at the Guthega Power Station visitor car park. This is a great day walk or as an overnight option and because it contains a series of three alpine huts, you have the option of 'choosing your own adventure' to suit your skills and ability.
This episode consists of a series of on-trail reviews recorded on our recent two day trip. To get the most out of this episode, open our written trail review here for more details and images.
The human connection with animals is timeless. First as food, then as working partners that carried our loads, helped us hunt or managed and protected our herds, and then evolved into companions. Animals have become an integral part of our lives in one way or another so it’s not surprising many of us want to include them in our hiking activities. While taking domestic animals on hikes is much more common in the USA, this is also starting to become more common in Australia. In this podcast episode we look at the options for taking animals on the trail from an Australian perspective. www.australianhiker.com.au
When it comes to hiking there really is no ‘one way’ to get involved. Some people stick to shorter hikes that can be completed in a day or less. For others it may mean hiking that includes day hikes that expands out to those lasting multiple days, weeks or even months either as a solo or group activity. Even then there is a decision to make about whether you are doing all the organisation and logistics yourself or taking part in a guided hike. In this podcast episode we look at being part of a guided hike including the pros and cons to help you to determine if this is an option for you. www.australianhiker.com.au
Everyone has their own reason(s) for hiking; exercise, solitude and scenic views are just some.For many people photography also forms a key part of getting out bush. Sometimes this will be the main reason with the focus being to take photos of wildlife and sunrises. At other times it may be a minor reason with the odd photo being taken as a means of remembering the trip but for many its the lure of social media. In this episode we look at the negative impacts of social media and discuss ways in which we can minimise this. www.australianhiker.com.au
At home we tend to take the availability of water for granted, we walk to the tap, the fridge, or if we are out and about the store, and drink as we need. When we are hiking, particularly in remote areas the availability of water becomes a more complex issue. For short hikes we may just carry a water bottle or we may wait until we get back to the car or trailhead to rehydrate. For overnight hikes we can often carry what we need. The problem arises when we start to do multi-day hikes and it becomes impossible to carry all the water we need for multiple days because of the weight and the bulk. It’s at this stage we need to top up on water as we walk. This requires us to know how to find water which may not always be easy. In this episode we discuss hydration as hikers and then look at sourcing water when we are out hiking. www.australianhiker.com.au
In November of 2020 Tim commenced his journey on the 260 km Great North Walk which runs between the Australian east coast cities of Newcastle and Sydney. This journey ended up being a very short walk as he pulled the pin on this hike just prior to lunch on day 2 for reasons he discusses in this podcast episode.
In this episode we provide an introduction to this trail, bring you recordings made on 1.5 days on the trail before discussing reasons for halting this hike. www.australianhiker.com.au
In 2016 well known research company, Roy Morgan, undertook a study on hiking (bushwalking) and unsurprisingly found that the proportions of Australians who participate on a regular basis was on the increase and in 2015 accounted for 27.3% of the population (more than 5.3 million Australians). From my perspective these figure are backed up by the increased number of people that we are seeing on the trail and while many of the people may only hike every now and again this is definitely the Australian pastime, and one that people do throughout their lives.
This podcast episode is aimed fairly and squarely at new hikers and is designed to provide a simple overview of the considerations to get 'out bush', in a manner that will hopefully increase your enjoyment, as well as reduce any anxiety/fears that you may have. www.australianhiker.com.au
2020 is likely to be a memorable for so many reasons! I had planned to be walking the Australian Alps Walking Track in mid November but between the fires and COVID, this track is off the menu and likely to be so for the next few months. The term 'flogging a dead horse' comes to mind in my attempt to do this walk. As this podcast goes to air it's one month out and it's time to make a decision. In this podcast episode we discuss the planning process for this walk, what I have decided to do and why, and what my November adventure now looks like. I am not alone in this process with so many hikers around Australia going through a similar experience. Is this you? www.australianhiker.com.au
Most of us we start life reasonably fit and healthy and as we get older we start to collect various injuries and illnesses along the way. In most cases we aren’t talking about major medical problems that are going to stop us from hiking altogether but rather issues that may only be minor niggles but either in isolation, or in combination, they injuries can become more of an issue making life just that bit more difficult. In addition to these pre-existing issues we can also collect new ones when we hike. Dealing with these injuries can be a real learning curve but it’s worth being aware of what they are and how best to manage them, otherwise your enjoyment level will be greatly impacted.
In this podcast episode we discuss the key considerations for hiking with pre-existing injuries as well as managing any new ones you pick up on the trail. www.australianhiker.com.au
If you are in the armed services, you will be familiar with the Soldier On organisation. However, if you’ve never had family or friends in the military you may never have heard of them. Soldier On’s mission is to enable veterans and their families to thrive and they do this by offering a holistic and integrated set of services to Defence personnel, veterans and their families.
While this may seem to be an odd interview for a hiking podcast, you may be surprised to learn that one of the programs offered by Soldier On, March On, is all about doing hikes of varying lengths.
In this week’s episode we catch up with Soldier On CEO, Ivan Slavich to find out about this organisation and their March On program. www.australianhiker.com.au
When we think about hiking we create a picture in our mind of what the day looks like and if there is an overnight stay involved the camp forms part of the picture. The thing we need to remember is that hiking is different for everyone and there is no right view of the image we create. How we come to hiking and camping will generate this mental picture. Are we life long hiking enthusiasts that started as part of a family activity? Are we new hikers who have only just started? Are we the occasional hiker who does an adventure every so often and wants to just turn up rather than doing any of the organising or planning? Or maybe we don’t fit into a single style of hiking and will choose our own adventure based on what we feel like.
In this podcast we discuss what the common types of hiking/camping styles. Where do you fit? www.australianhiker.com.au
Physical preparation is a part of getting ready for any hike. For shorter easier hikes the training may be almost non existent while for longer and or more complex hikes you may spend weeks if not months preparing. Training for longer hikes involves many different physical aspects including cardio and weight training, as well as lots of walking/hiking both with and without a pack. In this podcast we talk about the do’s and dont's of pack training to help you get the most out of your hike. www.australianhiker.com.au
Over the past three years Australian Hiker has attended the annual Outdoor Retailer Australia Show. This show is a chance for Australia’s outdoor wholesalers and manufacturers to showcase their new and existing products to Australia’s outdoor retailers and allied media. Due to the pandemic the show was cancelled for 2020 but rather than let the opportunity pass us by we managed to catch up with a number of suppliers for an update. In this, the first of two episodes in this series, we bring you two interviews.
In our next episode, episode 156, to be released next week, we will bring you our remaining interviews. As a follow up to our discussions with the various suppliers, in the coming year we will be undertaking a number of gear reviews that will be of interest to you. www.australianhiker.com.au
Bungonia National Park is located in southern NSW near the inland city of Goulburn and is an easily accessible drive from both Sydney and Canberra. There are five main designated walking tracks located within the park and they all start from the short spine road that runs from the visitor centre, all within minutes of each other.
This podcast episode consists of a series of recordings taken on the Red Track which as a walk under 6 km, ranks as one of the most physically demanding I have ever done; I've had 40 km days that have been easier. We talk about things to consider when hiking the Red Track before briefly touching on the other walks within the park. Read our written write ups on the Walks of Bungonia National Park Here
Peak bagging is the practice of climbing to the summit of a hill or mountain in an attempt to collect peaks in a particular region. I must admit that from my perspective the whole concept is just plain strange. My view on hiking is that I will follow the designated trail and if the trail goes over a summit, I will follow it but if it doesn’t, then there needs to be a really good reason to head up hill. In this podcast episode we look at the concept of peak bagging and discuss some Australian options for those of you who are into peak bagging. www.australianhiker.com.au
In episode 138 we talked with Craig Sheather who writes hiking guide books and in episode 135 we caught up with adventure photographer Danyal Taylor. In this week’s episode we continue the theme and talk with Gary Tischer about what it takes to be a contributor of both photography and written articles to the Australian outdoor magazines.
Gary has been contributing to some of Australia’s best known outdoor magazines for nearly 40 years and while you may not know his name, chances are you have read his articles over the years. Today we find out how he became involved in writing and photographing for outdoor magazines, and how the needs of magazines have evolved over the years. www.australianhiker.com.au
It's now mid-June 2020 and at long last the restrictions around coronavirus are easing, seemingly at a rapid rate. Pending a second wave of the virus, the ability to travel, while not yet back to normal, has been greatly relaxed and we can now travel further afield and do some longer and more complex hiking. In episode 145 we discussed things we can do when we can’t hike, or our hiking has been greatly curtailed for any reason, but what should we be doing now we can get out and about? In today’s episode we discuss things to consider as you get back into some more serious hiking to ensure you enjoy yourself and stay safe. www.australianhiker.com.au
In 2004 Liz Byron undertook a 2,500 km journey on the 5,300 km Bicentennial National Trail. As Australia’s longest designated shared trail, her story would not be too unusual until you realise she did her trip with the assistance of two donkeys, Grace and Charley, who acted as her pack animals and her companions. In this podcast episode we catch up with Liz not long after the release of her book, The Only Way Home, that details her amazing journey.
This is a great episode and one that provides an unique alternative on the traditional human powered hike. www.australianhiker.com.au
In today’s episode we discuss the Japanese Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trail. This trail, which was included on the World Heritage list in 2004, is a network of several ancient pilgrimage routes that converge on Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine, in the mountainous heart of Wakayama Prefecture. Apart from the shrines, the landscape itself is one of the key highlights that everyone talks about.
In today’s episode we combine a series of three interviews and each of our interviewees provide a different perspective on this amazing trail system. We hope you enjoy! www.australianhiker.com.au
Australia like most countries, has a series of legends and myths that form part of our cultural identity. While some of these are based on fact, and others have at least some basis of truth, there are a number that are just downright fabrications. Whatever degree of truth is involved is doesn’t stop us from talking about them and where possible, having fun at the expense of gullible people, mainly overseas tourists The following myths and legends are Australia’s best known although I’m sure there will be some that you may never have heard of. www.australianhiker.com.au