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Glenn Burns on Carnarvon Great Walk
Photo taken on the Consuelo Tableland, Central Queensland. The weather had been cold and misty for several days hence my favourite beanie and old woollen coat got an unaccustomed outing.
Portrait of Abel Tasman. Attributed to Jacob Gerritsz, 1637
Portrait of Abel Tasman. Attributed to Jacob Gerritsz, 1637

The journals that follow come from my experiences of five decades of bushwalking with friends and family.  They are accounts of bushwalks and kayak trips that range from  long distance treks… occasionally arduous, through to easy day walks or maybe even just an a hour or two poking around in my sea kayak. For those of you addicted to those interminable  blow by blow navigational track notes, track logs and lists of waypoints, look elsewhere.  But if you share a geographer’s  enthusiasm for maps and journeys across landscapes, read on. I hope you find them informative and perhaps entertaining. And as that great 16th century Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman noted: He who might wish to know his country must first walk over it.”

Most recent Journals and Articles: follow these links:

Journey's end. The Twelve Apostles. Victoria’s Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s best known and most picturesque long distance walks: the 104 kilometre Great Ocean Walk. Here is an account of the walk done by one of my bushwalking friends, Sam Rowe, as part of a fund raising challenge for Diabetes Queensland.

View from The CastleThe Castle is a spectacular and challenging peak in The Budawangs, New South Wales. The views from its summit are said to be outstanding.

 

Bernard in his BeachComber ultrlight KayakRead about Bernard Weitkuhn’s 2400 kilometre kayaking trip down Australia’s Murray River, from source to sea.

 

Mt Meharry WAClimbing Mt Meharry. W.A.s highest mountain.

 

Wild Dog Creek   A Winter Walk in The Walls of Jerusalem.

Some thoughts on bush navigation.

Using a map and compass is a basic skill that should be mastered by any walkers who intend to venture away from marked tracks and trails. There is nothing mystical about the map and compassuse of a map and compass or a GPS for that matter. These skills are very easy to learn and there are numerous publications and web sites that can give assistance.  My favourite publication is  a little booklet published by Geoscience Australia: Natmap: Map Reading Guide (Geoscience Australia, Canberra. 2013).  I confess to using  GPS regularly,  usually to clarify tricky navigational issues. While I like my map and compass for navigation, I was an early adopter of GPS technology and have been using a GPS and mapping/ GIS software ( OziExplorer, Mapinfo and ArcView) since the early 1990s. In addition to a map and compass my walking kit contains either a Magellan GPS using Tracks and Topo software or my Android phone using geo-referenced map files.  Call me old fashioned, but I urge walkers to occasionally forego their GPS screens, waypoints and track logs. Unfold that printed map sheet and get a feel for the elements of the broader landscape and enjoy the unpredictability of an unknown path through the bush.

IMGP0164Bushwalking NSW has a very good tutorial webpage covering the basics of map and compass navigation.

 

 

Gear and Food Lists

Dessert prepared on a hike by a bushwalking friend Sam Rowe.
Dessert prepared on a hike by a bushwalking friend Samantha Rowe.

Follow this link to my Gear and Food Lists.

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