The Tarcoola Track – An Experiment

tree colours 2

When this twentieth century of ours became obsessed with a passion for mere size, what was lost sight of was the ancient wisdom that the emotions have their own standards of judgement and their own sense of scale. In the emotional world a small thing can touch the heart and the imagination every bit as much as something impressively gigantic; a fine phrase is as good as an epic, and a small brook in the quiet of a wood can have its say with a voice more profound than the thunder of any cataract.                                   – Henry  Beston, Northern Farm

Continue reading

Coffee Waffle and Sunstroke – Wivenhoe Trails and Spillway Common

“Accept the abundance,” the Cormorant Bay Café waitress ordered with a bow after placing a complimentary freshly brewed coffee next to my meal. Abundance sums up my three explorations in summer of the Wivenhoe Dam area, 80km west of Brisbane. To be honest, I would have been satisfied with much less abundance of sunshine and sweat while attempting to walk the 16km of trails. Continue reading

Celebrating Charlotte – A Spider Special

Halloween is being celebrated in some parts of the world and creepy spider images are often featured. This gives me a perfect excuse to share pictures  of my much maligned  eight-legged garden friends along with a backyard news update.  Actually, the real reason I am writing a creature post is because my Lamington National Park walk photographs were poor quality and I’d like to revisit the area to improve on them. If you like blood sucking parasites and reading about  lycra man suffering stay tuned for that story. Continue reading

Frogmouths, Banksias and other Party Surprises – A Year of Blogging

I’ve been blogging for a year! How did this happen?  It’s only  due to the kind support  of my readers, friends and family so thanks all!  It’s been a rewarding venture and enabled me to meet  wonderful people from all around the globe. Will there be another year? I have no idea. I’m grateful for the last twelve months of interactions though and especially thankful to those experienced bloggers who gave up their precious time to impart advice and encouragement to a technophobe.

In keeping with a celebratory  one year blogging theme and since I haven’t a long hike to write about,  I’m sharing a virtual party with you. I’ll also be adding a few reflections as is common when one reaches a milestone. There may even be another survival story going back hundreds of years if you stay awake for the ending… Continue reading

Deception and Delight: Brisbane Winter Wonders

“People trust their eyes above all else – but most people see what they wish to see, or what they believe they should see; not what is really there” – Zoe Marriot, Shadows on the Moon

I’ve discovered a rare species and as you can imagine, I’m thrilled! Here in the heart of Brisbane city I spotted the rarely seen Penguinadae deceptor-dartus, so named because of its amazing ability to transform from a roly-poly penguin… Continue reading

Castle Hill and the Dragon’s Revenge – Hiking at Blackstone

Have you ever wished you could foresee the future? I’ve decided I don’t want to know what lies ahead. Fear can be a powerful force and even if I knew about the happy events, perhaps the over-riding desire to avoid pain from other happenings would leave me mentally paralysed – unable to act? I wonder if the young Welshman, Lewis Thomas, would still have ventured to Australia if he’d known what the future would bring. Continue reading

Insect Whispering and Sour Plums – A Celebration of Native Species

“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.”    Jane Goodall

I’ve recently returned from an attempt at hiking to the summit of Mt Maroon in Mt Barney National Park, south- southwest of Brisbane, but haven’t had time to write up a report. The attempt was “interesting.” It didn’t quite go to plan, but none of my long hikes ever seem to!  My hiking partner and I are alive which is the most important thing. Here are a couple of pictures of what is to come at a later date. Continue reading

Fabulous Fungi and Other Treats at Denmark Hill, Ipswich

If we collect moments rather than things, these are ours to keep. ”

– Ann Brasco

While pondering this blog post the word “change” sprang to mind. Change can happen gradually, rapidly or not seem to happen at all.

Denmark Hill in Ipswich, near Brisbane has an interesting history. For thousands of years the  Indigenous population inhabited the area and the local landscape remained relatively unchanged. Continue reading

Pleasure and Pain – Mt Edwards, Moogerah Peaks

“Perhaps there’s no better act of simplification than climbing a mountain. For an afternoon, a day, or a week, it’s a way of reducing a complicated life into a simple goal. All you have to do is take one step at a time, place one foot in front of the other, and refuse to turn back until you’ve given everything you have.” -Ken Ilgunas

In my last post I was disappointed to miss out on attempting the Mt Maroon summit. What a difference a week can make to one’s mood. I’ve had the opportunity to de-stress with a mountain walk, make some nature discoveries on an old mining site and enjoy a sunrise walk at a new beach. I also had the pleasure of meeting  a Brisbane blogger I follow, who also enjoys photography and walking. So this week I am in the joyful position of having something fresh to write about… Continue reading

University Daze and Riverside Ramblings

Jacaranda skies

Well, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks here. A few highs and lows which are a natural part of life. Since surfing these emotional waves is not my forte, I planned to climb a mountain for some nature therapy.

I was hoping to regale you with sweaty tales of danger and delight as I scaled the summit of Mt Maroon, a class 5 walk requiring high fitness, navigational skills, and some rock scrambling with a 360 degree view as a reward. However, my dreams were short-lived as the heavens erupted the night before and I woke up to a warm, humid day with even more showers  and storms predicted.

Storms and rock scrambling do not mix. The weather probably saved my daughter from having to write an obituary post anyway. Disappointed but not defeated, I rang my son and asked him if he’d like a walk in Toohey Forest Park on the weekend. I woke  before my alarm went off as I do every time I’m going to a new hiking destination. While dunking my sugar and fat filled gingernut biscuits  into a mug of organic, ethically grown healthy green tea (they balance each other out) I was anticipating being able to write a riveting blog post about venomous snake encounters and fluffy koalas. A twinge in the abdomen as I left the house was ignored. Continue reading

The Geese Have Gone and I Am Cheering: Sherwood Arboretum and Wetlands

Sherwood Arboretum Wetlands

Sherwood Arboretum Wetlands

Well, there has been some drama of late. A family member was struck by a car recently while cycling home from work. He was fortunate to survive the incident but now has injuries which will take about six months to heal.   The driver of the car was  at fault according to the police report and unfortunately this is not uncommon where I live. I’m quite disheartened by the car-centric culture in my country although there have been some improvements.

As Michael Reilly recently wrote in an article explaining 18 Reasons Why Registering Bicycles  is a Bad Idea, “Even among people who don’t ride for transport, a survey showed 60% would like to do so – but many say they are too scared.”  Yes, here in the Lucky Country, many of us are too scared to ride a bicycle. After a few close calls I have even curtailed my own cycling activity.

Now  let’s move onto something more cheerful… Continue reading

A Tale of Two Tortoises: Greenes Falls Rainforest Track – Mt Glorious

rainforest-trees

I contemplated calling this post, “The Slowest Hike in the World” as it took 4 ½ hours to cover a mere 4.3 km. New readers might be thinking it must have been an arduous hike involving rugged terrain, steep climbs or waist-deep mud. Older followers know me better than that. There’s a  reason why I am called mildly extreme rather than plain  extreme. Continue reading

Hiking to Heal – The Beginning

Childhood-memories-1979

A rare photo of me with my brothers as children. 1979

As it says on my header, this blog is about “Survival stories of a directionally-challenged hiking hermit.” Although it comes rather late in the piece, this is actually my very first tale of survival. It is the one that began my life-long passion for the outdoors.

There are many reasons why I enjoy hiking. I often write about it being my escape from city living. This is not the complete picture though. The natural world is like an addiction for me. It’s been that way since I was a young child. Continue reading