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USA - Hiking the PCT and Olympic Naitonal Park in Washington State

Louis Marshall in Olympic National Park

In August 2009 Franco Darioli, Louis Marshall and myself traveled to Seattle, Washington in the USA to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Snoqualmie Pass to Stevens Pass and then a shorter hike in Olympic National Park.

New Zealand - The Impossible Dream

Up high in Nelson Lakes

One of my favourite areas to hike in is in the north part of the South Island of New Zealand. The weather isn’t as bad as the areas further south and there are some great passes and mountains to climb.

How To Look Good In A Bikini

Snowman on Mt Donna Buang

As winter sets in, it's easy to put on a few extra kilos. Rich fattening food naturally offsets the effects of this winter's freezing weather but it isn't good for the tummy. So, in order to help you look great for summer, I have put together some training tips in this video. Not only is winter a great time to train for the summer months, it also presents a fantastic opportunity to do some snow hiking in the foothills near Melbourne. In this episode, Louis Marshall and myself climb Mt Donna Buang on a cold winter's day. Only one and a half hours from Melbourne, it presents a magnificent opportunity to shed some pounds whilst enjoying the fresh mountain air.

Brumbies in the Murray Headwaters at the Cobberas

Plane wreck at Cowombat Flat

It was the Queen's Birthday June long weekend and Louis and I decided to go up to the Cobberas. This was a walk in a remote mountain area right at the headwaters of the Murray. We had boiled Wombat for dinner and saw lots of wild brumbies roaming the alpine plains. If you are short of pet food, I suggest you get up there and knock a few off – the damage they do to the bush is considerable.

Scrub, Snakes and Curses at the Prom

Chopper rescue at Johnny Souey Cove

Ian Waldron and myself ventured to the Northern Prom over the Labour Day weekend for an epic adventure that involved really tough scrub and a helicopter rescue. This is the fastest I have ever walked – we beat every other walker to our nightly campsites by a mile. And that’s what I enjoy, getting out there and going for it and then relaxing with a nightly cigar as you watch the slow coaches get into camp.

Lake Barracoota

Lake Barracoota

I was feeling pressured but Labour Day weekend was around the corner. The weather was set to be perfect so Louis and I decided to head down to Mallacoota and hike the stretch of coast between Lake Barracoota and Howe Hill. What a top trip. See the rest on YouTube.

The Walls of Jerusalem Fall Down

Two months in the planning, all the food bought and ready to go, plane fares purchased and... the trip doesn't happen. No one goes hiking in Tasmania and I am left disgusted and embittered. See the rest on YouTube here. Enough said.

Mutiny on Mt Bogong

As a lead up to the walking season over Christmas, I thought it would be a great idea to organise a really tough training hike up Mt Bogong. The route I selected is called “Mt Bogong Twice” in the guide book 100 Walks in Victoria, by Tyrone Thomas. I rated the walk hard and this immediately deterred a large number of YHA bushwalking club members. In fact only John Belfio decided to come. Along with black belt karate trainee Louis Marshall, we set off to tame the circuit. The YouTube videos tell the story of the appalling mutiny that followed.



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Pike Fishing in Lithuania

Here are some photos from my friend Redas from Lithuania. Over there the most sought after fish is Pike and he has scored a few beauties more...

The Spectacular Cathedral Range

This is considered the best mountainous weekend walk you can do near Melbourne. The Cathedral Range is a short drive from Melbourne (just near Marysville) and the walk traverses the top of a very spectacular ridge from start to finish. Because the ranges are so close, we left on Saturday morning – this is much more pleasant than our usual drive up in the middle of the night ordeals on Friday evening more...

Desertion and Mutiny on the Five and a Half Passes in New Zealand

Nearing the Summit of Fiery Col

This is the third year in a row that I attempted to do this walk. I am a persistent little bugger, aren't I? On my first attempt, Little Katie and I encountered four days of sold rain which made the planned hike most unappealing. The rain would have destroyed any views and made camping miserable. So Little Katie and I decided to do the hut-rich Rees Dart track instead. That was a good idea as if she knew how tough the route was going to be she would have killed me anyway.

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Paradisial Views and Celebrities in the Heart of the Alps

The Viking

The weather was great, the views were fabulous and the sense of humour was as dry as the parched earth we were walking on during this fantastic hike. I would rate it is as the best overnight hike I have done in the Alps to date. Not only that, we were surprised to meet one of the most famous hiking celebrities in Australia.

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Road Bashing, 4WD's and Dirt Bikes on the Road to the Avon River

This was a weekend walk to what I thought was a remote part of the Avon River on the way to the Avon River wilderness. We were to follow a number 4WD tracks and then venture off track to try and access a remote part of the Avon River where we would camp. My objectives were to see what the river was like and if there were any trout to be caught. In addition, I wanted to do a little bit of bush-bashing as there’s nothing more fun than that more...

Bitter Disappointment in New Zealand

Fish of the trip

After two failed attempts, this year I was determined to complete an off track walk in the South Island of New Zealand and I planned the trip to take all possibilities into account. I took decent gear and made a five day weather allowance giving us plenty of time to sit out rainy weather. To make sure we could get reliable weather forecasts we took the YHA Bushwalking Club's satellite phone as well as a transistor radio. Everything seemed to be in our favour when we landed in Queenstown, the weather looked good and nothing seemed as if it could go wrong. Or could it?

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High Adventure and Near Death at Federation Peak

Lake Geeves

This trip had it all - primeval wilderness of the first order; horrendous weather; dangerous cliffs and waist deep mud. It was the most arduous 9 days of hiking I have experienced. Then there was Federation Peak itself. Climbing Federation Peak is extremely dangerous and one member of our party was lucky to escape with his life. No wonder they call this the toughest track walk in Australia and a must do trip for Australian bushwalkers.

This walk was orgainsed by Simon Wallis through the YHA Bushwalking Club. It was a great adventure that took me to the limits of my endurance.

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Weekend Hike to Mt Magdala and Mt Howitt

When I saw Chris Bennett was leading a walk to Mt Magdala, Mt Buggery and the Crosscut Saw I had to jump onboard. This is one of the most spectacular walks in the Victorian Alps and is said to be one of the best weekend walks in Victoria.

The weather did not look good when we arrived at the campsite late on Friday night. It was raining and I was wondering how dry I would be under my tarp. In fact I was wondering why I didn't take notice of the weather forecast. Geez I am stubborn sometimes.

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Moroka Gorge Trip Report

I found this walk in a small booklet called Australia's Ten Best Gorge Walks which was included in Wild April-June 1991, no 40. John Chapman described the walk as one of Victorias classic mountain traverses. He said the suggested four-day walk was fairly tough and only small parties should attempt it. It all sounded good to me so I organised the hike through the YHA bushwalking club.

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