Great Walks

December/January 2022

Great Walks is packed with gear guides, product reviews, advice on the best travel destinations, inspiring real-life accounts from seasoned walkers and practical information on specific walks and their accompanying maps. From features on the country’s best bushwalks to reviews of the latest outdoor gear, Great Walks is about discovering our amazing national parks and coastline – anywhere where there’s a walking track. Filled with lush photos, detailed walk notes and aspirational overseas destinations, Great Walks is designed to entertain and inspire.

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in this issue

3 min
one step beyond

READING the interview on German long-distance hiker Christine Thürmer (pg 62), who – having hiked over 53,000km – is regarded as being the most hiked woman in the world, reminded me of a world record my mates and I attempted in the mid ‘80s. However, it was less about endurance, more about stupidity. We attempted to break the record for the most people in and on a Mini Minor. We squeezed people inside and on top of the car, and then more people hung off those people. Everyone had to be attached to the car and no feet were allowed to touch the ground. Don’t worry, the car didn’t have to drive. And we broke the world record! Somehow we squeezed 29 people in and on a Mini! This got me wondering…

1 min
bellarine peninsula, vic

Victoria has some amazing lighthouse walks, think Cape Otway Lightstation on the Great Ocean Walk. Another lovely one is the 12km return walk between the lighthouses at Queenscliff and Point Londsdale (pictured). Queenscliff, a 30min drive from Geelong, is a pretty seaside town on the Bellarine Peninsula. The walk can be done in either direction but if you want to feel the sand between your feet go at low tide else use the walking path. Queenscliff’s famous Black Lighthouse is one of only a handful in the world that is unpainted black stone, and it’s the only black lighthouse in the Southern Hemisphere. The current lighthouse at Point Londsdale was built in 1902 replacing a number of navigational aids that have been around since 1852. Both lighthouses cover a treacherous area…

2 min
home among the gum trees

I’VE driven the road over the Blue Mountains many times on trips between Sydney and Bathurst. I have become so familiar with this drive that I know exactly how long it takes and where each signpost is that points towards the various hiking trails and lookouts. Even though I am tempted to go exploring I always have some excuse as to why I need to rush between my point A and B. After all, with this national park being so close to home I can always just visit it next time. This cycle went on for years, until ‘next time’ finally came in 2020 when I was reminded that now is the perfect time for a hiking holiday at home in the beautiful Blue Mountains National Park (GRWApril-May 2020). The well-marked…

7 min
in history’s footsteps

IT appears as a marble on the horizon, taking form as I inch ever closer, nestling into prominence in my imagination as a serrated dragon’s spine. I envision walking along the rocky ridge of Perrins Bluff and peering over the sheer drop at the end. Unfortunately, it’s too far away to reach on this trip, especially given the melange of flora and boulders sprawling before me. Speed isn’t necessarily an ally in this part of Tasmania. I’ve come here with my friend Steve. We’re five days into a six-day sojourn following in the footsteps of Florence Perrin. She was reportedly the first white woman to climb many of the peaks in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair region (home of the iconic Overland Track, see break out). Between 1914-17 she climbed Mt…

1 min
walk notes | cradle mountain-lake st clair np

Time: 6 days (this could be extended to incorporate Pelion West and Perrin’s Bluff) | Distance: 53km | Grade: Moderate/Hard (mostly off-track; navigation required) Day 1: Approach using the Arm River Track – the only major route from the east to the central part of the Overland Track. Follow to the junction of Mt Oakleigh Track (just past Lake Ayr), detour to Mt Oakleigh summit for wild-camp; 12.5km Day 2: Retrace steps down Mt Oakleigh, head to Pelion Hut. Follow Overland Track west towards Frog Flats for roughly 500m. Look on the left-hand side of the track for a tree with a vague mark – this is the turn-off for Paddys Nut. Follow a vague track through bush until coming out onto plains, then SSW (roughly) until a plateau east of Paddys…

1 min
overland track

Beginning at the iconic Cradle Mountain and ending at Australia’s deepest lake – Lake St Clair, the 65km/six-day Overland Track takes you through the heart of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, part of the magnificent Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Most bushwalkers finish their journey at Narcissus Hut at the head of Lake St Clair where they board a small privately run ferry (prior booking required) to reach the Lake St Clair Visitor Centre at Cynthia Bay. Or you might choose to walk the 17.5 km length of the lake through rainforest to the visitor centre, extending your journey by a day. The Overland Track features glacially carved valleys, ancient rainforests, fragrant eucalypt forests, golden buttongrass moorlands and beautiful alpine meadows. Optional side-trips take you to cascading waterfalls…