The Ways of the Bushwalker: On foot in Australia by Melissa Harper
Australians have always loved to step out in nature, whether off-track or along a marked route. Bushwalking – an organised long-distance walk in rugged terrain that requires maps and camping equipment, or a family day out – is one of our most popular pastimes. This landmark book, now updated, was the first to delve into its rich and sometimes quirky history.
From the earliest days of European settlement, colonists found pleasure in leisurely strolls through the bush, collecting flowers, sketching, bird watching and picnicking. Yet over time, walking for the sake of walking became the dominant motive. Walking clubs proliferated, railways organised mystery hikes attended by thousands, and Paddy Pallin established his equipment business. Bushwalking – serious walking – was invented. Whether you are inclined to put on your walking boots and pack your sleeping bag, or would rather stay in a luxury hut, this sure-footed and witty book reveals how the ordinary act of walking can become extraordinary.
‘An absorbing exploration of the story of bushwalking in Australia. It’s a well researched history, not just of walking, but of our changing relationship to the natural environment, of coming to know its unique beauty and its power to both inspire and restore the body and spirit. A compelling read for anyone who loves the Australian bush.’ — Patti Miller ‘…a splendid social history, one so entertaining and revealing that you wonder why it hasn’t been done before.’ — Amanda Lohrey ‘Slip this book in your swag – and step into adventure.’ — Tom Griffiths