The Walks/Blog

Grandview Mountain Track, Lake Hawea, Otago

One thousand metres of ascent and descent along a vehicle track to the summit of Grandview Mountain provides good views of nearby rugged country, and then extensive views over Lake Hawea and distant high peaks.

On entering New Zealand in March 2020 we were soon hit with increasingly severe restrictions due to the Covid 19 epidemic. Before the complete lock-down we snuck in a final hike to the summit of Grandview Mountain at the southern end of Lake Hawea, a new walk for us. The views from the top were indeed grand, although I most liked the views of rugged country we passed by along the way in the Grandview Creek Conservation Area. Continue reading “Grandview Mountain Track, Lake Hawea, Otago”

Queens Drive – Wye Creek Circuit (autumn), Remarkables Range NZ

The Queens Drive-Wye Creek circuit is a great walk high up in the Remarkables Range, with unparalleled views of the Queenstown area, steep drop offs, and rugged alpine scenery. Not one for those with a fear of heights!

Our second time to do this really excellent circuit walk, which offers extensive views over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, rugged alpine scenery, and enough exposure on the Queens Drive portion to get the heart pumping. You won’t find many more dramatic and yet accessible day-walks than this. Continue reading “Queens Drive – Wye Creek Circuit (autumn), Remarkables Range NZ”

Princes Rock Walking Track, Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains NSW

You can get good views of Wentworth Falls, in the Upper Blue Mountains, on three excellent circuit walks: via the National Pass, Wentworth Pass (no separate post for this), and via Hippocrene and Vera Falls. But if you want to see the falls in all their glory without much effort, then I can highly recommend the short walk down to Princes Rock Lookout from the Wentworth Falls picnic area.

I had stopped by the Princes Rock Lookout on one other occasion, when the falls were being blown upwards by very strong winds. On this occasion heavy rain had swelled the falls so they were at their most spectacular. There’s nothing else to see on this track except for the views at the end, but it will perhaps take you 30 minutes and is worth this small effort. More info on the NPWS website.

Princes Rock Walking Track: The Scenery

Just pictures of the falls here, but there are also good views of the Jamison Valley towards Mount Solitary and along the Kings Tableland. I included those views in other posts.

Princes Rock Walking Track, Wentworth Falls
Wentworth Falls

Princes Rock Walking Track, Wentworth Falls
The most impressive I’ve seen Wentworth Falls look.

Princes Rock Walking Track, Wentworth Falls
Such a good looking waterfall, and a nice little rainbow to boot.

Princes Rock Walking Track, Wentworth Falls

Princes Rock Walking Track, Wentworth Falls
The Wentworth Falls ampitheatre.

Princes Rock Walking Track, Wentworth Falls
A panorama of this impressive area.

Minnamurra Rainforest and Falls Walk, Budderoo National Park NSW

A shortish walk through attractive remnant rainforest to view Minnamurra Falls in Budderoo National Park.

I don’t think I’d ever visited Minnamurra Falls before, or if I did it was a very long time ago when I was young. I’d driven past a few times and perhaps missed it out because the walk is quite short, an easygoing 4 kms roughly. I’m glad I stopped by with family though, because it’s a very charming and picturesque walk. Although the falls are the main reason to visit this patch of remnant rainforest, I actually found the rainforest itself to be the highlight.

Continue reading “Minnamurra Rainforest and Falls Walk, Budderoo National Park NSW”

Belmore Falls Walking Track, NSW Southern Highlands

A short walk culminating in views of the very attractive Belmore Falls, near Robertson in the NSW Southern Highlands.

I’d seen Belmore Falls on Instagram, and was surprised I hadn’t visited them before, because they are a very attractive two tier waterfall. The walk to see them is very short (1.8km return), and in fact we visited with my 81 year old mother-in-law in tow, and did an even shorter walk than that described on the NPWS site (just a couple of hundred metres from the car park probably). They are well worth the visit if you are in the area (Robertson in the NSW Southern Highlands), and were particular good when we visited, as there had been heavy rainfall in the preceding few days. Continue reading “Belmore Falls Walking Track, NSW Southern Highlands”

6 Great Bushwalks in Victoria, Australia

Six of my favourite hikes from three occasions walking in the state of Victoria, Australia. From easy to hard, so something for everybody.

Until Christmas 2017 I hadn’t walked anywhere in Victoria, perhaps thinking it wouldn’t be so different from NSW. I was pleasantly surprised on that first trip, so much so that we stopped by Victoria on two subsequent trips to Tasmania. The walks we’ve done have been of a high quality, and included experiences that can’t be had in NSW.

These include climbing almost 2000m high mountains from the bottom in a day, such as Mt Bogong (1986m) and Mt Feathertop (1920m). Nearby Mt Buffalo (1723m) and the further flung Grampians Range are unique and rugged landscapes that have numerous walking tracks. And the small but prominent Cathedral Range in Central Victoria offers another unique walking experience.

Continue reading “6 Great Bushwalks in Victoria, Australia”

10 of the Best Day-hikes in Kosciuszko National Park

Ten of my favourite bushwalks in the unique alpine and sub-alpine landscape of Australia’s Kosciuszko National Park.

Kosciuszko National Park contains mainland Australia’s highest ground. The area looms large in the Australian imagination, an exotic landscape tied to the frontier spirit through epic poems like The Man From Snow River.

The highest ground of the Main Range contains all of the nation’s ten highest peaks, and lies in the southern section of the park. It’s a unique alpine landscape of grasslands, herb fields, and delicate sections of bogs, fens, and stony fjeldmark vegetation. The peaks are generally not very prominent, that is, unless you venture over to the Western Ranges, and my first pick of the walks takes in those vistas. There are glacial lakes, and Blue Lake is a real highlight visited on three of my top ten walks. At lower elevations there are iconic snow gums, one of Australia’s most distinctive and hardy eucalyptus trees.

Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Snow gums near Charlotte Pass.

The northern section of Kosciuszko National Park is not so elevated, and perhaps lacks the glamour of the alpine region. Nevertheless, we discovered some excellent short walks taking in spectacular and atmospheric gorges and waterfalls, so it’s definitely worth a visit.

Continue reading “10 of the Best Day-hikes in Kosciuszko National Park”

Hike Me Happy!

Studies have shown that outdoor activities like hiking can benefit our mental health in a variety of ways. In this article I consider some of the ways hiking has been good for me.

Hiking and Mental Health

A recent review of numerous scientific studies shows that physical exercise in the natural environment can improve our mental health in a variety of ways. Activities such as hiking, snow sports, surfing and outdoor climbing can reduce negative mood states, increase positive psychological experiences, improve self esteem, and contribute to psychologically healthy ageing.

As a keen hiker myself I can relate to many of the positive experiences people report, such as (quoting from that review): “pleasure and enjoyment, meditation, independence, basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence and relatedness, experiences of flow, comfort and intense emotions, enhanced feeling of body, discovering the pleasure of achievement, vital strength and a higher will to live…, and… an intense nature experience” (page 7).

Hiking has become a mild obsession for me nowadays, and after reading this study I had a think about why I enjoy it so much. Below are the results of my musings…

Continue reading “Hike Me Happy!”

Bullocks Flat Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park NSW

A pleasant circuit walk along a stretch of Thredbo River at Bullocks Flat. We saw quite a bit of wildlife in the area despite other walkers and cyclists.

The Bullocks Track is an easygoing walk along the banks of the Thredbo River. There are views up 800m to the Ramshead Range, and over picturesque sections of the Thredbo River. We encountered quite a bit of wildlife along the way, despite it being a fairly busy area with a major camp site at Thredbo Diggings. Not a spectacular walk but good one with children or if you need a rest from longer walks up in the alpine areas. Continue reading “Bullocks Flat Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park NSW”

Porcupine Rocks, Mt Duncan & Mt Wheatley, Kosciuszko National Park

Visit the big boulders called Porcupine Rocks on this popular walk starting on the edge of Perisher Village. You can extend the walk to bag two nearby peaks, Mt Duncan (1926m) & Mt Wheatley (1877m).

The Porcupine Rocks Track is a popular walk to big boulders high up in the Ramshead Range near Perisher Village. There are views over the Thredbo Valley, about 700 to 800m below. If that’s not enough for you then you can walk off-track to nearby Mt Duncan (1926m), and along an impact track and poled route to Mt Wheatley (1877m). All walking is through attractive alpine meadows, heath and snow gums.

Continue reading “Porcupine Rocks, Mt Duncan & Mt Wheatley, Kosciuszko National Park”