Friday Foto: Lake Pukaki

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Lake Pukaki has long been the dream viewpoint in New Zealand’s South Island, peering across glacial waters to Mt Cook, the highest peak in the country. Most people drive here, but it’s now also part of the route for the Alps 2 Ocean cycleway, one of 18 new cycle routes being carved throughout New Zealand. Continue reading

Top 10 MountainTreks: (#4) Larapinta Trail

My amble through the world’s great mountain treks continues, and finally I come close to home. Cross the Great Dividing Range along Australia’s east coast and the continent flattens into a vast and empty plain. But it’s not universally flat. There are mountain ranges dispersed through the deserts, and few are more spectacular than the West MacDonnell Ranges. It took a long time before somebody realised the West Macs were almost custom designed for a multi-day hiking route, but eventually the Larapinta Trail was born. It was worth the wait. Continue reading

Friday Foto: A Portfolio of Finalists

As I mentioned in my last post, I was last weekend named as a finalist for travel photographer of the year by the Australian Society of Travel Writers (the prize was won by Rod Eime). The award is judged on a portfolio of three published images across a 12-month period. It seemed appropriate to run the three images together this week as my Friday Foto.

Walker among ice formations on Moreno Glacier

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Travel Writing Awards

Last weekend the Australian Society of Travel Writers held its annual awards, and I was honoured to pick up two gongs: one for the best story about Australia (over 1000 words), and the other for the best international story (under 1000 words). I was also a finalist in two other categories, including travel photographer of the year. Continue reading

Friday Foto: Mawson Mud

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When you’re on the road, things don’t always go to plan. A couple of winters ago I set out alone to cycle the Mawson Trail, a 900-kilometre mountain-bike route from the city of Adelaide deep into the Flinders Ranges. It’s arid country mostly – South Australia likes to call itself the driest state on the driest inhabited continent – and I left with the expectation that water might be my biggest issue. But I expected too little water, not too much. Continue reading

On the Trail of Tim Cope

Last night I went to a presentation by one of Australia’s finest adventurers, Tim Cope, speaking about his three-and-a-half-year journey on horseback across the Eurasian steppe. As he talked about horse thieves, intense heat and cold and his Chatwin-like fascination for the nomadic people of the steppe, it set me thinking about pathways. Not the paths we walk or ride, but our pathways in life. Continue reading

Friday Foto: Mt Amos

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As I write, I’m on Tasmania’s Freycinet Peninsula, researching my umpteenth feature on one of the island’s most famous locations. Wineglass Bay overshadows everything here, with its perfect white curve having become one of the signature scenes not just for Tasmania but also for Australia. Continue reading

Top 10 Mountain Treks: (#5) Tour du Mont Blanc

The Tour du Mont Blanc – No 5 in the list of my 10 favourite mountain treks – takes me back to my origins, to my first real extended hike. It was an accidental kind of journey that sprang from the desperation of the ABC – Another Bloody City – of my European backpacking days. This walk truly cured all, introducing me to one of the world’s classic mountain hikes and seeding my passion for mountains and the outdoors. Continue reading