The Regions

Here are summaries of the main regions in which I’ve done my hiking. In Australia I’ve walked most in the bushland around Sydney, but also in regional NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania. ‘Tramping’ in New Zealand’s South Island has been a delight, and I’ve done a smattering of walks in Korea and Japan.

Australia is an ancient and eroded continent containing a wide variety of unique plants and animals. The protected areas of the south-eastern corner are mostly forest or woodland dominated by eucalyptus trees, with areas of heath and a few pockets of alpine vegetation. The coast offers a seemingly endless supply of sandy beaches. It’s a pretty flat country, but there’s plenty of remote areas to get lost in, figuratively or literally.

I’ve become a little obsessed with New Zealand’s South Island. Pointy snow-capped mountains abound in the Southern Alps, with a number of glaciated mountains that I can only look at, not look from, because I’m not a crazed mountaineer (…not that there’s anything wrong with that). There are azure rivers, beech forests, plains of golden tussock grass, and foreboding rocky summits.

We’ve only done a few walks in South Korea, but it’s a fairly mountainous country, and with the population crammed into the flat lowlands, the mountains remain largely unspoilt.