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Australian Hiker

Jul 2021

AH 190-In the Footsteps of the Cannibal Convict

In 1820 Irish thief, Alexander Pearce, was sent to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) to serve a seven year sentence for stealing shoes and if the story ended here, it wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy, but rather than just one of many similar stories. Where is becomes interesting is in 1822 when Pearce and seven other convicts escaped from their penal colony in western Tasmania and made their way eastwards  across some of the most rugged and inhospitable terrain in Tasmania in a break for freedom. Starvation pressed the party into a series of grim decisions including cannibalism with Pearce being the sole survivor of the group.

In 2008, 6 hikers recreated this walk, covering 170km in 23 days on an amazing journey. This trip from Coal Head in Macquarie Harbour to Ouse, closely retraced the 1822 footsteps of Alexander Pearce across what is now the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. In today’s episode we catch up with one of those hikers, Paul Le Fevre, to find out about this unique journey and why he and his friends chose to undertake this trip. This really is a choose your own adventure.

To get the best out of this trip go to our show notes for episode 190 to see images, map, and elevation chart to show you just how difficult and how amazing this trip was.


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Jan 2021

Episode 174-Schlink Hut Walking Track

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.

Aug 2020

159-Back country touring

In our last podcast episode, episode 158, we talked about snowshoeing in the Australian Alps. But for those that want to go a step further there are other options including skiing and snow camping. In this episode we catch up with Gary Tischer and find out about options for skiing, and snow camping away from the resorts. We talk about safety and logistics in the back country in general, including more than you every wanted to now about what to do with toilet waste in the snow! To round off this episode we catch back up with Bruce Easton from Wilderness Sports about options for getting a taster in backcountry.

Aug 2020

158-Snowshoeing in Australia

Hiking, bushwalking, whatever you want to call it is all about hiking outdoors in nature. While Australia doesn’t have the same sort of extreme winters as Europe and North America the Australian Alps are usually covered in snow and for many of us it means some of our favourite hiking destinations have gone to sleep and we need to look for other options. Buy why is that? Recently we tried snowshoeing to see if this ‘walking option’ provided an alternative to hibernation for accessing the alpine regions during the colder months.

This three part episode consists of a discussion on the basics of snowshoeing, a series of recordings we made on the day of our snowshoe tour, and finally  an interview with Bruce Easton, owner of Wilderness Sports in Jindabyne. For more information read our write up here.

Jul 2020

153-Peak Bagging: the what and why

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.

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