Off the Beaten Track

'Robert Croll on a walk to Mount Bogong, c.1915 nla.pic-vn3637999, National Library of Australia'

Early walkers saw no shame in sharing the burden

For a long time Australians didn't go bushwalking. When they went for walks in the bush, they called them tramps, rambles, hikes, knapsack trips or exploring excursions. It wasn't until the 1930s that the term bushwalk took hold, and even then people meant different things by it. In her readable and copiously illustrated history The Ways of the Bushwalker: On Foot in Australia (UNSW Press), Melissa Harper shows how one style of bushwalking came to be seen as the most authentic one, and its practitioners as the bush's truest spokesmen.


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