As well as writing picture books, novels and short stories I’m also a contributing writer/photographer to two outdoorsy magazines, ‘Wild’ and ‘Great Walks’. Over the past few years my articles have included stories about wilderness hikes to the source of the Murray River and the Cobberas Wilderness Area in NE Victoria; hiking England’s longest national trail, the South West Coast Path, a whopping 1014kms; and working as a Volunteer Track Ranger for Parks Victoria. My most recent article was about an eight day hike on Victoria’s Great Ocean Walk which appeared in ‘Great Walks’. My next article tells of a recent trip to Ireland where my wife and I walked the Wicklow Way.
I’ve also been fortunate enough to have a couple of stories published in the prestigious ‘The School Magazine’, a publication of the NSW Education Department that celebrated 100 years in 2016.
Here’s a bit about our trek on the Great Ocean Walk, following Victoria’s coastline from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles…
A short walk takes us out of Apollo Bay and soon we’re walking with the ocean on our left and rural farmland on our right. It’s warming up so after an hour we hit the nearest beach for a refreshing dip followed by some nifty rock scrambling around Storm Point to Three Creeks Beach where we strip off, find a deliciously cool rock pool and dunk our sweaty bodies. After a leisurely lunch we head inland through shady coastal forests, slog our way up the track and by mid afternoon we’re at the Elliot Ridge campsite.
After a night filled with the screeches of nocturnal creatures we head off early following a wide, undulating management road through towering forests of Mountain Ash until we descend onto the beach at Blanket Bay. After lunch the afternoon alternates between lazing on the beach and swimming.
We reluctantly farewell our slice of Paradise next morning and begin the gentle climb to Point Lewis Lookout, continue through coastal forests and make the steep descent into the Parker River Inlet where we cool our feet in the river before tackling the 300 stone steps out of the inlet. It’s not long before our heaving bodies are crying out for another swim. When Crayfish Bay looms into sight we can barely contain our excitement as we discard packs and clothes. The water is crystal clear, the sun is a golden orb overhead and we wouldn’t be dead for quids. We spend an agreeable hour on the beach before continuing on and soon the Cape Otway Light Station bobs up on the horizon and a little later we’re trudging through tea tree to our next campsite.