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
On 11 November 2020 Australian Hiker celebrated its fourth birthday on what has been a difficult year. In this episode we reflect on our past year, a difficult one, and where we are heading into the future. www.australianhiker.com.au
It’s that time of the year again when you start to consider gifts for the special hiker in your life. In this article we focus on the best and brightest products including those released over the past year. Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you have to spend up big, in fact you may not even have to spend any money at all. It’s best to avoid grand gestures unless the gift receiver has been really specific with their request. Think of this from your perspective of getting an expensive gift you don’t really want. If you’re not sure, stick to small presents, or give gift vouchers.
In the following podcast episode we discuss gift ideas in price categories with something to suit all budgets ranging from not spending money at all through to some big ticket items.
To get the most from this podcast go to https://australianhiker.com.au/advice/christmas-gift-ideas-for-hikers/ to see images and the links to the full reviews on the product that we have discussed.
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 hikers will have an injury or two that they have collected over their lifetimes but when this goes beyond being just a minor issue and becomes a permanent disability the ability to continue hiking can be greatly impacted, or in some cases not even an option. In this week’s episode we interview hiker Jenny Woodhouse who talks about hiking whilst managing permanent spinal disability. 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
Australian Hiker is all about walking and when Jono Lineen, author of the book Perfect Motion, contacted me a few months ago to talk to talk about doing a review for his book ‘Perfect Motion’ it not only made sense to review the book but also to interview him for the podcast as well.
As a keen long distance hiker this book resonated with me in so many ways, particularly in the way that I feel when doing my big hikes. Perfect Motion was the culmination of his journey that was set in motion with the death of his younger brother, Gareth, eventually resulted in a 2700-kilometre solo trek across the Himalayas.
In this episode we talk to Jono about the impacts of walking and find out more about his amazing background, his trip though the Himalayas, as well as discussing his book Perfect Motion. www.australianhiker.com.au
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. www.australianhiker.com.au
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.
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.
This is the second episode in this series in which we bring you a further three interviews. As a follow up to our discussions with the various suppliers, in the coming year we will be reviewing that will be of interest to you. The first episode in this series, episode 155, was released last week. 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
One of the most common complaints I hear from hikers who camp overnight is the inability to get a good night's sleep. And while some of this can be put down to gear related issues, more often than not it can be a state of mind. The first time you camp in the bush, in particular by yourself, every little sound is magnified. The slithering or crunching just outside your tent, the movement of your tent when there is no wind, can all combine to make hikers a bit agitated.
In this episode we discuss those issues that impact on our sleep on the trail, focusing on the non equipment related ones, and look at what we can do to get a better nights sleep. www.australianhiker.com.au
It's mid April 2020 and already this has been the the strangest year that we have had in a long time and we still have most of the year to go. In this episode we just wanted to provide a bit of an update as Covid 19 is in full swing about how some of the people we have been following, along with the outdoor industry in general, is going. www.australianhiker.com.au
It’s early 2020 and Australia has had a hell of a start to the year. First we had a summer full of bushfires that have impacted much of the country, destroying large sections of the bushland that we as hikers spend so much of our time exploring. If that wasn’t enough just as the opportunity to return to the bush presented itself we have the Coronavirus and with it, the ability to access many of our walks has again been curtailed but clearly for a different reason.
There are so many other more mundane reasons within our day to day lives that prevent us from hiking. So when you find yourself unable to hike, what can you do to keep yourself engaged with the outdoors? Let’s look at some options. www.australianhiker.com.au
The Bondi to Manly Walk was officially opened in December 2019, formalising a pre-existing route into a standalone walk. It showcases Sydney Harbour and includes water views, bushland, residential cut-throughs, historic and Aboriginal heritage, and beach sections. This is truly one of the worlds great urban walks, all within the city confines.
How you choose to walk this trail is up to you and it is very much a ‘choose your own adventure'; you can take as long as you like. This episode discusses my three day trip, day by day, and to get the best from this podcast follow along with the written review here.
In this episode we catch catch up with musicians Mickey and Michelle who are currently hiking the 3,000km New Zealand Te Araroa Trail, playing gigs as they go. When we first caught up with them in episode 124 they were just about to start this amazing trail and now around five months later they have completed just over 2,200km with around 750 km left. Find out about the trail, the highs and lows, the scenery, and the people as they head towards the finish line. www.australianhiker.com.au
It's Saturday morning and the weather is perfect so you decide to head off to a local National Park with friends to do a hike. Nothing complex, but it's more than just a 20 minute walk and you may or may not have a phone signal so you start thinking about what you will take with you. This hike won't require any overnight equipment such as a tent or sleeping bag but you're not really sure what you should take. This is where it can get confusing - take too little or take the wrong things and you may not be comfortable. Take too much and the result is the same.
So what should you take on a day hike?
In this episode we catch up with Lucy Barnard and Wombat from Tangles and Tail as they make their way from the bottom of South America to the top of North America. This 30,000 km journey will take Lucy around 5-6 years to complete and if successful, she will be the first women to do so.
The last time we caught up with Lucy and Wombat was in September 2019 when they were just about to enter Ecuador. So it's been four months since our last chat with Lucy and she has now completed just on 10,000 km. Today we catch up with her in Tulcan, Ecuador in early March 2020 prior to her last leg in South America before entering Colombia and progressing on to Central America.
You can listen to our previous episodes with Lucy here:
108-Tangles and tail: an interview with Lucy Barnard May 2019
126-Catching up with Tangles and Tail: September 2019
In this week's episode we catch up with Annie Connor who is a keen Canberra-based hiker and who has spent over 20 years hiking throughout Australia, New Zealand and overseas including treks such the Larapinta Trail and the Annapurna Base Camp. Towards the end of 2019, Annie completed the Everest Base Camp Trek and as this trek sits on many people’s bucket lists, we wanted to catch up with Annie to find out all about her experience. www.australianhiker.com.au
If you hike with children or are just into board and card games then this is the episode for you. There are literally hundreds of choices available for playing games when out hiking and in this weeks podcast episode we look at some options that wont weight you down and are simple to learn and to play. While you wont necessarily take all of these with you on a single hike having one or two of them in your pack may save your sanity if you are tent bound for an extended period due to bad weather. www.australianhiker.com.au
In episode 135 we discussed what the life of an adventure photographer/videographer was like. In this weeks episode we talk to Craig Sheather about about being a travel and guide book writer including what's involved with getting articles and books to print, and how he got into this field. Www.Australianhiker.com.au
In this our first episode for 2020 we take a look at the impacts that the current bushfires gripping many parts of Australia at the time of this podcast are having on hiking and what this may mean for the longer term. In addition, hiking is receiving a boost from state governments so we review proposed walking trails due to open later in 2020 as well as others scheduled for future years and discuss why the NSW Government in particular, is investing in these new trails. www.australianhiker.com.au
Mobile apps have become such a familiar part of life that there is an app for just about everything. And hiking is no exception. In this episode we have collected together a range of apps for hikers to make your life easier. Our list isn’t exhaustive by any means with the options only limited by your imagination! Listen to our episode to find out more. www.australianhiker.com.au
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a professional adventure videographer and photographer? To wander the world and be paid to video and photograph some amazing scenery and individuals doing some amazing things. In this episode we talk to Danyal Taylor whose job is just that and find out a bit of what his life is like and what it takes to do his job. www.australianhiker.com.au
The problem when choosing a sleeping bag is the huge range of choice we have available on the market. There are hundreds of bags available in the retail stores and online. When choosing a sleeping bag there are some key considerations that come into the mix and in this episode we discuss what to look for in selecting a sleeping bag for your camping needs. www.australianhiker.com.au
Located on the far southern coast of NSW the 31 km Light to Light Walk is one that while well known by many, still remains a bit of a hidden gem. Over the weekend just gone we chose to do this amazing walk in a single day but for most people a 2-3 day version is the norm. In this episode you can hear our on trail recordings of how our day went and at the end of the podcast we discuss logistical issues surrounding transport and accomodation and make recommendations on options that will suit all levels of hikers.
We recommend that as you listen to this podcast you follow along with the written version of this walk that contains plenty of images of what we are seeing. The written version complete with images of this walk can be found here.