WALKS IN AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Below are some photographs from places I have visited in Australia and New Zealand. Click on the thumbnails to see larger images:


MILFORD TRACK:

At the end of 1983 I walked the Milford Track in New Zealand. This was the first of my overseas walking holidays. The scenery was spectacular and the weather was fine for the whole walk. Highlights of the walk were the views from Mackinnon Pass and the Sutherland Falls.



Six Mile Hut Six Mile Hut. After travelling by boat up Lake Te Anau and staying overnight at Glade House, we started the walk up the Clinton Valley the next day past beautiful forest and rivers. We had lunch at Six Mile Hut, then continued on to the Pompalona Huts.


Mackinnon Memorial
Mackinnon Memorial and Mt Elliot in the background. The track climbs over the Mackinnon Pass at 3600' then into the Arthur Valley. On the pass there is a memorial to Quinton Mackinnon who was the first to cross the pass and discover the route to Milford Sound.


Pass Hut - Mackinnon Pass
Pass Hut - Mackinnon Pass. Mt Hart in the background. We had lunch in the hut to get away from the keas. There was still snow on the pass even though it was late December.


ClintonCanyon Clinton Canyon from Mackinnon Pass. The views from both sides of the pass were great. This view shows our route of the previous day. This area is notorious for wet weather and we were very lucky to have fine days throughout the walk.


Sutherland Falls Sutherland Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in the world (about 1900'). The sound and spray of the water at the base of the falls was overwhelming. The next day we walked along the Arthur Valley to Milford Sound.


Milford Sound Milford Sound. We reached Sandfly Point, the end of the track, then caught a boat to the Milford Hotel where we spent the night. The next day we did a cruise on the fiord, one of the wonders of the South Island.


TASMANIA:

In April 1994 I went walking with friends in Tasmania for two weeks visiting various National Parks, including Cradle Mountain, Walls of Jerusalem, Mt Field and Freycinet.



Spirit of Tasmania We travelled to Tasmania with our car on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry. Bass Strait was fairly calm during the voyage.


Walls of Jerusalem
Pencil pine forest at the Walls of Jerusalem. After we arrived in Devonport we spent a few days walking and camping in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, visiting such places as Lake Salome and Dixon Kingdom's Hut. Then we went to Cradle Mountain.


Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain from Hansen's Peak. The first day we walked around Dove Lake via Ballroom Forest in the rain, then we did another day walk around Dove Lake in better weather - this time via Hansen's Peak, Artist's Pool, Cradle Mountain and Marion's Lookout. The forests were a highlight of this area.


The Acropolis
The Acropolis from the Labyrinth - just north of Lake St Clair. We went by boat from Cynthia Bay to the top of Lake St Clair then camped for three nights at Pine Valley Hut. One day we climbed onto The Labyrinth, the next we climbed The Acropolis.


View from the Acropolis
View from the top of The Acropolis. The climb to the top of this peak was difficult in places but the views were worth the effort. From the top we looked down onto The Labyrinth and could see Lake St Clair and Frenchman's Cap in the distance.


Wineglass Bay Walking along Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park. We went to Mt Field National Park, Lake Peddar and Hobart then north to the Freycinet Peninsula. We camped at the southern end of Wineglass Bay and climbed up Mt Graham. One of the most picturesque beaches I have seen.


LORD HOWE ISLAND:

In February 1996 I spent a week on Lord Howe Island with friends doing various walks and outdoor activities. This is one of the most beautiful places I have been to. The island is a two hour flight northeast from Sydney.



View from MtEliza
View from Mt Eliza across the lagoon to the southern mountains. We did a day walk across the northern part of the island from Malabar Hill to Mt Eliza. The sea bird life was prolific and the scenery was superb.



Mt Gower
Mt Gower and lagoon from Transit Hill. In the foreground is the golf course, in one of the best locations. We never got to the top of Mt Gower as it rained on the day we were scheduled to go there with the guide.


View from The Goathouse
View of the island and lagoon from the Goat House on Mt Lidgbird. The Goat House is a small cave halfway up Mt Lidgbird that contains goat droppings as well as great views of the island and out to Ball's Pyramid.


Mt Lidgbird & Mt Gower Mt Lidgbird and Mt Gower at the southern end of the island. Mt Gower rises to a height of 875 metres. The tops of the peaks are often covered in cloud.


Cloud over Mt Lidgbird & Mt Gower Mt Lidgbird and Mt Gower under a mantle of cloud. We had a few days of bad weather on the island. The strong winds caused amazing cloud formations over the mountains.


MT COOK:

In August 1996 I went to the South Island of New Zealand with friends and went walking in the Mt Cook area and skiing at the Waiorau Nordic Centre near Wanaka.



Mt Cook
Approaching Mt Cook. We drove from Christchurch to Mt Cook on our second day in New Zealand. The mountains became more spectacular as we approached Mt Cook National Park. Driving alongside Lake Pukaki we had a great view of the huge peak in front of us.


Mt Cook from Kea Point
View of Mt Cook from Kea Point. On our first day at Mt Cook we did a short walk from The Hermitage to Kea Point - a spectacular vantage point overlooking the Mueller Glacier and the Hooker Valley.



Mt Sefton
Mt Sefton. The next day we walked up the Hooker Valley towards Mt Cook in the shadow of Mt Sefton, which dominates this valley.


Mt Cook & Hooker Valley
We reached a glacial lake at the terminus of the Hooker Glacier. The scenery was spectacular - with icebergs stuck in the frozen lake, and Mt Cook directly above.


Waiorau After two days at Mt Cook we headed south to Queenstown and went skiing at the Waiorau Nordic resort situated in the Pisa Range between Queenstown and Wanaka. This area is similar to the NSW Snowy Mountains Main Range, with treeless rolling terrain. We skied on the groomed trails to various huts and went in the Merino Muster Ski Race.


Queenstown Queenstown. We stayed in this picturesque town for a week while we went skiing nearby at Waiorau. This town is the tourist mecca of the South Island.


CENTRAL AUSTRALIA:

In May 1998 I flew to Alice Springs then spent the next five days doing a Sahara Tours 4WD trip around Central Australia.



Sahara Tours vehicle
The Sahara Tours 4WD vehicle. The trip was a mixture of driving to different places, doing short walks, and camping at night. On the first day we drove south from Alice Springs along the Stuart Highway, then along the Lasseter Highway to Yulara village, where we arrived at midday. After lunch we headed into Uluru National Park.



Uluru
Uluru. During the afternoon we spent a few hours at Uluru. Some people climbed to the top of the rock while others walked around the base. I climbed about a third of the way to the top, from where this photo is taken, then descended and did some walks around the base. The climb to the top is quite steep and dangerous in places. At dusk we went to view the sunset on the rock with the hoards of other tourists.


Valley of the Winds walk
Valley of the Winds walk. The next morning we went to Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and did the Valley of the Winds walk. This 6km walk is very spectacular and has a lot of variety. This area was more impressive than Uluru. During the afternoon we drove north to Kings Creek station.


Kings Canyon north wall Kings Canyon. We spent the next morning doing the walk around the rim of the canyon, visiting The Lost City and Garden of Eden. There are many domed rocks here which resemble the Bungle Bungles. During the afternoon we drove along the Mereenie Loop road to the aboriginal village at Wallace Rockhole, where we stayed the night.


Walking in Palm Valley Palm Valley. Next day we headed into Finke Gorge National Park to Palm Valley. This is a spectacular area of gorges and ancient palms which survive in only a small area. We did a short walk here, then drove north past Gosse's Bluff to the West Macdonnell Ranges.


Ormiston Gorge Waterhole at Ormiston Gorge. We stayed overnight at Ormiston Gorge in an excellent campground, then the next day returned to Alice Springs via Glen Helen Gorge, The Ochre Pits, Ellery Creek Big Hole and Standley Chasm.


In June 2007 I spent seven days on the Larapinta Trail in the West MacDonnell Ranges, on a guided trip with World Expeditions.



Old Telegraph Station
The Larapinta Trail walk commenced at the Old Telegraph Station on the northern outskirts of Alice Springs.



Support Vehicle
The World Expeditions support vehicle was used to transport all our camping gear, food and water, in addition to transporting the group between some of the track sections.


Euro Ridge
Euro Ridge. On the first day we walked along Section 1 of the track from Alice Springs to Wallaby Gap in cold, rainy and foggy weather. Euro Ridge was the most spectacular part of the days walk, even though the views were obscured by the low cloud and rain.


Near Rungutjirba Ridge The next day we continued walking along Section 1 from Wallaby Gap to Simpsons Gap, and had some great views of the West MacDonnells from near Rungutjirba Ridge.


Simpsons Gap Simpsons Gap is one of many beautiful gorges in the West MacDonnells. From here we were driven to Standley Chasm, then on to Serpentine Gorge Bush Camp where we camped for three nights.


Walking in Section 7 On the third day we walked Section 7 of the track from Ellery Creek Big Hole to Serpentine Gorge. This was a very rocky but very spectacular section of the track along the base of the range.


Counts Point Counts Point. The next day we walked Section 8 of the track from Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Gorge Bush Camp. This section involves a 300m climb onto a ridge followed by a long traverse along the ridgeline to Counts Point lookout, which provides great views of the parallel ridges of the West MacDonnell ranges, Gosse Bluff and Mt Sonder in the far distance.


Serpentine Bush Camp Having afternoon tea at Serpentine Gorge Bush Camp. The food on this trip was excellent and there was plenty of it.


Ormiston Gorge Ormiston Gorge. The following morning we walked from Serpentine Gorge Bush Camp to the Ochre Pits, then were driven to Ormiston Gorge. During the afternoon we walked Section 10 of the Larapinta Trail from Ormiston Gorge to the Finke River Camp.


Finke River Camp We spent two nights camped on the Finke River near Glen Helen Station. This was a great campsite that provided excellent views of Mt Sonder.


Finke River One of the large waterholes in the Finke River provided good early morning reflections of the rock walls at nearby Glen Helen Station.


Mt Sonder Mt Sonder at sunrise, from the Finke River Camp.


Climbing Mt Sonder On Day 6 we were driven to Redbank Gorge and walked Section 12 of the track - a 16km return walk to the summit of Mt Sonder. The walk provided extensive views of the surrounding countryside and the high peaks to the west, including Mt Zeil and Mt Razorback.


Mt Sonder Summit Looking east from the summit of Mt Sonder towards Ormiston Pound.


Mt Sonder Summit Looking across to the high peak of Mt Sonder from the summit cairn.


In Ormiston Pound On the final day we were driven to Ormiston Gorge and spent the morning doing the Ormiston Pound walk, before heading back to Alice Springs.


SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE:

In February 1999 I did a very short but spectacular walk to the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge with the BridgeClimb company that runs guided walks on the bridge. The walk goes along the catwalks under the roadway, up a ladder, then climbs to the top of the arch 130 metres above sea level. The views of the city and harbour are fantastic, especially on the perfect day I did the climb.



Sydney Harbour Bridge
The view from the lookout on the southeastern pylon of the main arch of the bridge. We walked up the eastern arch on the right then crossed over at the top and descended the western arch.



Group photo
Group photograph at the top of the bridge, with the Sydney Opera House below.


Family photo
Photograph of myself with my parents and brother.


At top of bridge Photograph of the group on the catwalk between the two arches. We could look down on the cars below. Another group can be seen in the background. There is a continuous procession of groups climbing the bridge, about 5 minutes apart.


Descending the bridge Group descending the western arch of the bridge, with a view of the road and city beyond.


MT BUFFALO:

In April 2001 I spent 4 days walking at Mt Buffalo in the Victorian Alps. This spectacular plateau contains a large variety of walks, interesting rock formations, alpine ash and snowgum forest, and great views of the surrounding area.



The Cathedral
View of The Cathedral, taken from The Hump. This short walk provides some of the best views of the plateau.



Walking near The Horn
Walking to the Back Wall. The sharp peak of The Horn dominates this area and is the highest point on the plateau. The Back Wall consists of 200m high cliffs at the southern edge of the plateau.


Alpine Ash forest
Alpine ash forest near View Point. There are many stands of these tall trees on the plateau.


At the Chalwell Galleries The Chalwell Galleries contains many huge boulders and interesting rock formations, and is situated close to Lake Catani.


Mt Buffalo Gorge Buffalo Gorge. There are many short and easy walks around the gorge, close to Mt Buffalo Chalet.


The Horn View of The Horn from South Buffalo. The walk to South Buffalo is one of the longer and more interesting walks.


WARRUMBUNGLES:

In April 2002 I spent 4 days walking in the Warrumbungle National Park, located near Coonabarabran in central New South Wales. This spectacular mountain range contains spires, peaks and domes that are the remnants of the interior of a large volcano. The best walks in this park contain a lot of variety and involve large climbs to great vantage spots.



View from Macha Tor
View of the Grand High Tops from Macha Tor. This is a short walk that provides good views of the higher peaks such as the Breadknife and Belougery Spire.



Belougery Split Rock
Belougery Split Rock at sunset. This is one of the most distinctive peaks in the park. The Split Rock walking track climbs up and around the peak, and there are good 360 degree views from the summit.


View from Split Rock
View of the central cleared area of the park from the summit of Belougery Split Rock. In the distance is the Siding Springs Observatory and immediately below is the National Park Visitor Centre and Camp Blackman, the main campground.


Belougery Spire Belougery Spire. The walk up to the Grand High Tops provides close-up views of this large volcanic plug.


Crater Bluff Crater Bluff and Tonduron Spire. These volcanic plugs are located to the south of the Grand High Tops.


The Breadknife The Breadknife is a volcanic dyke and is the most famous landscape feature in the park. It is about 100 metres high and only 2 to 4 metres wide. The track to the Grand High Tops passes alongside this peak.


Bluff Mountain Bluff Mountain is the largest lava dome in the park. It is reminiscent of Frenchman's Cap in Tasmania. There are great close-up views of this peak and it's sheer north face from the trail along the Dows High Tops.


KOSCIUSZKO NATIONAL PARK:

I have done many walks in Kosciuszko National Park over the years. There are many things to see, including the peaks and the summer wildflower displays on the Main Range, the frost hollow plains in the north around Kiandra, numerous mountain huts, twisted snowgums, and limestone caves and gorges.



Carruthers Peak
Wildflowers on Carruthers Peak. The Main Range is a great area to walk during summer, for the views, glacial lakes and the great wildflower displays.



North of Mt Jagungal
Walking north of Mt Jagungal. This peak dominates the central part of the national park and is a mecca for walkers.


Summit of Mt Jagungal
The summit of Mt Jagungal provides good views of the surrounding plains and of the Main Range and Grey Mare Range to the south.


Wheelers Hut Wheelers Hut. There are many old cattlemens, mining, skiing and SMA huts throughout the park which provide good walking destinations. Wheelers Hut is located west of Mt Jagungal and is one of the more interesting huts.


Walking near Grey Mare Walking along the Grey Mare fire trail. The mixture of open valleys and forested hills is typical of many areas of the park.


Old Currango Old Currango homestead was built in the 1870's and overlooks the vast Gurrangorambla Plain and the distant Brindabellas. There are many huts and large open plains in the northern part of the park.


Clarke Gorge Clarke Gorge and Cave Creek. This spectacular area is located at Blue Waterholes, a region of limestone caves and gorges on the western side of the Brindabellas.


Snowgum The snowgum is common to the higher areas of the Australian Alps. Many trees are twisted into fantastic shapes by the wind and elements and the bark can be very colourful, especially after rain.


THE BUDAWANGS:

The Budawangs are located in Morton National Park in NSW and provide fantastic scenery and great bushwalking. This is a region of gorges, cliffs, rocky peaks, and thick forest. Access to the best features often requires a demanding day trip or an overnight or longer walk. These photos were taken in 2003 and 2004.



Pigeon House
Pigeon House Mountain was named by Captain Cook and is one of the most distinctive peaks in The Budawangs. Steep ladders provide access to the summit.



View from Folly Point
Looking south from Folly Point towards Pigeon House and Byangee Walls. Folly Point is reached via a long walk from the Sassafras entrance past Newhaven Gap. The views of Hollands Gorge, The Castle and the central Budawangs from here are fantastic.


View from Mt Bushwalker
View of The Castle and Clyde Gorge from Mt Bushwalker. Access to Mt Bushwalker is from the east via Little Forest Plateau. This is a short and easy walk yet the views are similar to those from Folly Point. Mt Bushwalker seems to provide the best views for the least amount of effort in the Budawangs.


Corang Arch Corang Arch and Corang Peak. This area is in the western part of The Budawangs and is reached via the Wog Wog entrance.


Monolith Valley The Green Room is a beautiful part of Monolith Valley that contains moss covered rock walls, with tree roots, ferns and rainforest.


Gorge near Mt Owen From the eastern side of Mt Owen there are great views of the gorge between Mt Owen and Mt Nibelung.


The Castle from Mt Owen The Castle from Mt Owen. A walk along the flat summit to the southern end of Mt Owen provides this great view of The Castle.


WILSONS PROMONTORY:

In December 2003 and December 2004 I spent a week in Wilsons Promontory National Park in Victoria, doing various day walks. This is the most southerly landmass of mainland Australia. This area offers great variety - including beaches and coastal scenery, large granite boulders, mountains and forests, and is one of the best bushwalking areas I have visited in Australia.



Beach at Norman Bay
Beach at Norman Bay, with Mt Oberon behind. This beautiful beach is located at Tidal River, which is the main accommodation centre for the Park.



View from Mt Oberon
View from Mt Oberon. This peak provides good views of the western coastline of the Prom, including Norman Bay and Tidal River Campground directly below.


Forest near Darby Saddle
Forest on the Tongue Point walk near Darby Saddle. In addition to the beaches and coastal scenery, forests are a highlight of many of the Prom walking trails.


View from Lookout Rocks
Lookout Rocks on the Tongue Point walk provides great views of the western coastline of the Prom.


Beach at Sealers Cove Sealers Cove. One of the best day walks at the Prom is from Telegraph Saddle over the range to Sealers Cove on the eastern coast. The track passes through beautiful mountain forest and descends to Sealers Swamp, where boardwalks are used for the last few kilometres to the secluded beach.


Grass Trees above Tidal River Grass trees located on the Tidal Overlook trail.


Mangroves at Millers Landing Millers Landing located at the northern end of the Prom on Corner Inlet contains the world's southernmost mangroves.


Lilly Pilly Gully Rainforest on the Lilly Pilly Gully Nature Walk.


Little Oberon Bay Little Oberon Bay is located on the western coast just south of Norman Bay, and has a white sand beach and turquoise coloured water.


View from Mt Bishop The walk to the top of Mt Bishop provides great views of Tidal River and the western coastline and islands.



Contact "alanlevy at pcug dot org dot au" for more information.

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