Bushwalks and rambles

Examining Australian walking habits
by
September 2021, no. 435
Buy this book

The Ways of the Bushwalker: On foot in Australia by Melissa Harper

NewSouth, $34.99 pb, 381 pp

Bushwalks and rambles

Examining Australian walking habits
by
September 2021, no. 435

At what point does a ramble or meander through the bush become a bona fide bushwalk? Was my two-hour stroll near Wolli Creek during semi-lockdown – when I locked eyes with the now-maligned fruit bat – a bushwalk or just a ramble? Answers to these questions vary wildly according to the conflicting approaches to bushwalking detailed in Melissa Harper’s updated version of The Ways of the Bushwalker (2007).

Harper suggests that the casual strolls early settlers took for the purpose of pleasure developed into the distinct category of ‘bushwalking’ in the late 1800s. Colonial expansion had opened up previously ‘impenetrable’ landscapes, and European ideas around the physical and spiritual benefits of being in nature had begun to filter into the minds of a growing middle and upper-middle class.

Caitlin Doyle-Markwick reviews 'The Ways of the Bushwalker: On foot in Australia' by Melissa Harper

The Ways of the Bushwalker: On foot in Australia

by Melissa Harper

NewSouth, $34.99 pb, 381 pp

Buy this book

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