Throughout Australia remain vast tracts of wilderness, protected from the ravages of modern man by their ruggedness and the conservation work of previous generations. Within these wild places, often hidden from all but the most determined and persevering walkers, lie hidden secrets that only a handful of lucky people may set their eyes upon; their beauty kept shrouded from those who dare not step foot.
It is these wonderful places, full of towering cliffs, plunging ravines, and unique flora and fauna, that gave birth to the uniquely Australian culture of ‘bushwalking’. Fighting through impenetrable scrub, scrambling loose scree slopes, seeking passes through towering cliffs, navigating trackless untrodden routes, it is a pastime with magnetic appeal for lovers of nature and of incomprehensible madness to all others.
Bushwalking, and its offshoots of canyoning, caving and climbing, are not ‘adventure sports’. They are not a battle to conquer nature – the Aussie bush is far too rugged and wild to let that happen – but a journey to discover its hidden beauty. The true ‘bushwalker’ does not place bolts, cairns or signs. Tracks are not ‘cut’, but minimised as much as possible. The bushwalker seeks to experience nature in a way which leaves it virginal for future generations, giving other walkers the same feelings of awe and discovery when stumbling upon these special places for the first time.
This website doesn’t seek to be a guide to these places, rather an inspiration to step out and explore. We don’t try to provide notes on navigation, abseiling or other skills required, rather we want to share a glimpse into some of the special places we have had the privilege of visiting. If you do take the challenge, remember that the Aussie bush is no place for the unprepared. Always carry map and compass, and know how to use them. Never underestimate the risks. Be confident in your ability to deal with them. Most importantly, always abide by the bushwalkers code of ethics and leave our wild places as you find them.
“We cannot really live for commerce alone, nor will our civilisation be deemed great until we thoroughly recognise the fact that the bushlands and all they naturally contain are gifts of Nature far transcending in value all monetary and commercial considerations. The humanising gifts of Nature are necessary for our interest, education, adventure, romance and peace of mind. They constitute the antidote for the evils of our semi-artificial existence. As we destroy our bushland environment we destroy just so much of ourselves. The balance of Nature is finely adjusted; upset it, and there will be a desert at our doors. All the glory of the canyons, caves and rolling plateau of our great Blue Mountains is not nearly so much a commercial asset as it is Nature’s heritage for legitimate enjoyment, and our own gift to posterity.”
Myles Dunphy, The Katoomba Daily, Friday 24 August 1934