Australian Bushwalking Books

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Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby Bushman_Craig » Wed 14 Sep, 2016 7:14 pm

I have a book case full - from 1890s how-to guides dressed as fiction through to much more recently published track notes for various areas in Australia.

Excluding the various overseas-published "hiking", "tramping" or "trekking" books, what are some Aussie bushwalking books which have educated, guided and/or inspired you? Books, pamphlets, magazines, journals... all written by Australians about bushwalking or otherwise revolving around bushwalking trips.

From this thread I hope to learn about Australian bushwalking books I haven't yet heard of and I hope other readers here might find books in the thread they haven't yet read.

Here's a few of mine to start with since I already have the pics on the computer:

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Original first edition of Landlopers by John Le Gay Brereton 1895 - Can be read online here - http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks13/1300671h.html and has been reprinted on Amazon. Still, original editions aren't too expensive when you can find them
It's a fictional but semi-autobiographical tale of a recreational swag walk from Hunter's Hill to Katoomba to Jenolan Caves to Wombeyan Caves to Mittagong to Fitzroy Falls to Kangaroo Valley to Berry to Kiama and then back to Sydney. It's all about bushwalking as pure freedom from the pressures of (then) modern life. Brereton was a literature professor and good mate of Henry Lawson. Great book - well worth reading if only for Brereton's 1895 opinion of the modern tourist trap of Berry. :lol:

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Original first edition of With Swag and Billy by HJ Tompkins for the NSW Tourism Bureau 1907 - the 1910 second edition can be read online here - http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks13/1301331h.html and has been reprinted on Amazon. Originals are very expensive collectors' items, so read it online.
With Swag and Billy is a guidebook for day walks and multi-day walks in the area around the greater Sydney region. HJ Tompkins was a member of the Warragamba Walking Club which was originally dedicated to what we would today call power walking, but members branched out into bushwalking as well, which is what this little book is all about. Lots of "trad" walking tips for those so inclined.
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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby Bushman_Craig » Wed 14 Sep, 2016 7:16 pm

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Original first edition of The Open Road in Victoria by RH Croll 1928 - Can be read online here - http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks14/1402821h.html
Bob Croll was at the time the Vice President of the Melbourne Walkers club. He set about writing The Open Road in Victoria as a guide book for various day trips, overnighters and multi day expeditions in Victoria at the time. Hailing from North of the border as I do, I don't know if any of the routes are still feasible, let alone still used.

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Original first edition of Along the Track by RH Croll 1930 - Can be read online here - http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks14/1402831h.html
Bob Croll's second book about bushwalking in Victoria in the early days is a nostalgic look at the people, places and methods of the Melbourne Walkers during the 1910s. Vivid descriptions of places and characters seen along the way on various trips are interspersed with the bushman's lore routinely used by these early bushwalkers. A must-have for the "trad" walking enthusiast.

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Original first edition of Bushwalking and Camping by Paddy Pallin 1933 - You'd be lucky to find a copy of this one, but if you're looking, take note of the price on the cover. Later editions had the same picture, but cost more and were more gear-focused rather than being about techniques and bushwalker's bushcraft.
Paddy Pallin needs no introduction. Has been criticised by some as little more than an attempt by Paddy Pallin to create and grow the market for his fledgling gearmaking business by writing a bushwalking book loaded with Paddymade gear ads purely to drive sales. Who knows? But at the end of the day Paddy Pallin put together an awesome little how-to book on bushwalking and camping by writing what he knew and then bringing in experts to write the stuff he didn't know. The first edition compares very well to my 1954 Eleventybillionth Edition. Any of these early editions are great books. Don't know about the more later editions.
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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby Bushman_Craig » Wed 14 Sep, 2016 7:18 pm

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Fitzroy Falls and Beyond by the Budawang Committee 1988 - If you have one of these, hang onto it. Out of print so expect to pay at least $40 for a copy.
This is an outstanding examination of the social history, natural history, topography and geography of the Morton National Park area in Southeastern NSW. A must-have for folks who venture into that area.

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The Ways of the Bushwalker by Melissa Harper 2007 - I believe this one is still in print.
A social history of bushwalking in Australia from the time of the First Fleeters to the present day. An amazingly well-done book on bushwalking by a self-confessed non-bushwalker. I'm forever grateful to Ms Harper for leading me to writers such as Brereton, Croll and Tompkins which in turn helped fan the flames of my passion for traditional style bushwalking.

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On Track - Searching out the Bundian Way by John Blay 2015 - Still in print. Jou can read/listen to an interview with author John Blay here - http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2015/ ... 284097.htm
The amazing story of the author's search for the route of the Bundian Way, an ancient 300km long Aboriginal songline and trading route between Kosciuszko and a small bay near Eden on the NSW Far South Coast. The route is being assessed for its astounding heritage values with a view to opening The Bundian Way as a long distance bushwalking experience in the near future. Awesome book.
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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby newhue » Thu 15 Sep, 2016 6:44 am

I heard about the discovery and hopeful making of the Bundian Way a while ago on the wireless. Nice to hear it sound like it's kept going. Some of NZ's great walks were made of Maori trade routes, so can't see why our locals didn't have a great walk or two. I have nothing in my camp that you are seeking, but will keep an eye out as I wander the odd second hand book shop.
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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby stepbystep » Thu 15 Sep, 2016 8:11 am

Really cool...any spare copies laying around I'd love them...
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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby Bushman_Craig » Fri 16 Sep, 2016 9:14 am

A couple more modern ones...

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The Rucksack Bushwalker & Camper by Milo Dunphy 1980. Milo Dunphy was Myles Dunphy's son, and like his dad, Milo was a tireless conservationist and an avid bushwalker for his whole life, from the day Myles and Margaret first pushed him in a specially kitted out pram up to Kanangra Walls. This book is unique in Australian bushwalking literature as it was the first to really capture and distil the "how" of low environmental impact bushwalking, predating the NOLS "Leave No Trace" doctrine by at least ten years. Aside from its environmental focus, the book is packed with bushman's lore and bushwalker's bushcraft.

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Bushcraft by Bill Stoate 1991. Not a book about sitting in a group under a parachute shade canopy and carving wooden spoons. This book contains some bush survival info, is big on pre-GPS land navigation skills, but more than that it's seriously like an outdoor rec course in a book and most of it still stands up today.
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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby awildland » Wed 02 Nov, 2016 1:29 pm

What a fantastic collection!!!!!! Thanks for sharing although I am a little jealous...some of those old ones look terrific.

I often find the old, out-of-print books have some secret gems hiding in them in terms of little known or forgotten walks. A local one we turn to at the moment for ideas is Bushwalks in the Hunter Valley by Greg Powell published in 1989. Sorry no picture available but it is full of enticing destinations and great stories. Really entertaining read.
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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby Rlgm12 » Tue 24 Jan, 2017 6:06 pm

Just finished
John Le Gay Bereton's
Landlopers

A nice read.
It speaks of caves in NSW, wouldn't mind visiting those someday.
Overall a very good read if you're interested in life back in 1899(?).
Cheers
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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby DaveNoble » Mon 30 Jan, 2017 5:24 pm

Some classic books there.

Here are a few more -

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From the 1960's with chapters on Bushwalking, Climbing, Canyoning, Canoeing, Caving etc. Very good material. I used to borrow it from my school library. I met a bushwalker once who was a recent migrant from the UK. It was in his local library too (In England) - so he knew about canyoning before he got in Australia.

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The classic guidebook to Kanangra Country and around Yerranderie, published by Sydney University Rover Crew, largely written by Athol Abrahams who later became a distinguished geographer in USA.

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Rick Jamieson's original guide from the 1960's - it has a lot of useful stuff on bushwalking.
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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby juxtaposer » Sat 04 Mar, 2017 6:12 pm

What about these two anthologies of bushwalking poetry? The one on the left was published by Envirobook in 1989 and is long out of print. Its companion on the right came out in 2015.

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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby Bushman_Craig » Wed 04 Jul, 2018 4:43 pm

Fantastic books guys!

@Dave, I note with interest that the Gundungurra book is available online as a PDF file. What a top read that one is! I'm a big fan of the Kowmung country and Yerranderie in particular. "Rope and Rucksack" is on my to-acquire list.

@juxtaposer, thanks for posting the poetry tomes, I shall keep an eye out for them!

Here's some more books and pamphlets in the collection - apologies for any doubles-up :-)

Remember how I said I had an original first edition of Paddy Pallin's "Bushwalking and Camping"? I thought it was, but it wasn't. There's no National Library catalogue listings for these early editions and most of the early ones don't have a publication date. Here's what's "probably" a first edition circa 1933.

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Here's the contents:
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Here's a line up the three vintage editions I have -
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Second edition of RH Croll's "On the Open Road in Victoria" circa late 1920s.
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"Bushwalking" by Harry Frauca circa late 1960s. It's a bit by the numbers this one.
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A 70s era classic - "Bushwalking and Mountaincraft Leadership"
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"The 10 Bushcraft Books" by RH Graves. Back in the 50s and 60s he was quite a controversial figure in the bushwalking community - an absolutely hated enemy of Alex Colley, but a lifelong best friend of Paddy Pallin.
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"Shack Country and the Old Burragorang" by Jim Barrett circa mid 1990s. This book is mainly about the Catholic Bushwalkers Club's campsite at New Yards on Scott's Main Range, but it also delves deep into the history of the selections and homesteads in the area both before and after the valley was inundated. Great read.
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"Place Names of the Blue Mountains and Burragorang Valley from Aboriginal and Convict Origins" by Jim Barrett also circa mid 1990s. Fascinating book with the stories behind the various place names. I picked up the two Jim Barrett books from the NPWS kiosk at Wombeyan Caves while passing through several weeks back.
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"Equipment for Bushwalking and Mountaineering" by the Melbourne University Mountaineering Club. Circa early 1970s. As you can imagine, this tome geeks out on the now-vintage bushwalking and mountaineering gear. Informative.
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Incidentally, folded up in my copy of the above book was this listing of outdoors books then available at the Council of Adult Education Library in Melbourne.
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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby mikethepike » Tue 02 Jul, 2019 9:39 pm

This thread was posted 3 years ago and I'm glad I finally caught up with it if for no other reason than coming across RH Croll's 'The Open Road in Victoria' which is available online. The book has wonderful descriptions of the countryside and of bushwalking of almost a century ago and is a real pleasure to read so thank you Craig! It's certainly worth checking out!
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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby Glen_1 » Thu 25 Feb, 2021 7:46 am

'The Ways of the Bushwalker' by Melissa Harper (see an earlier post in this thread) has a second edition, published in October 2020.
https://www.amazon.com.au/Ways-Bushwalker-foot-Australia/dp/1742236677

ABC has an interview between her and Trevor Chappell on 'Overnights', 7 December 2020. Podcast: The history of bushwalking in Australia
https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/overnights/the-history-of-bushwalking-in-australia/12957498

Worth a listen if you are interested in history. She has some interesting facts about the terms bushwalking and hiking, and the Sydney walking scene before WW2. It has some boring bits but what do you expect from overnight radio! :)
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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 25 Feb, 2021 10:25 am

Mellisa Harper may have been a member here for a short while when she was doing her research. I did loan some books to somebody a few years back but I don't recall it being her
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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby tas-man » Fri 29 Jul, 2022 2:01 am

A revised and updated edition of "The Ways of the Bushwalker" was released in October 2020, and author Melissa Harper gives an fascinating interview about the new edition in this Youtube video -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VCoAnrqU3E
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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby bernieq » Fri 29 Jul, 2022 2:42 pm

Here's a few from our library. As well, somewhere there is a Hypothermia pamphlet that has the same layout / look as the MUMC Equipment pamphlet above.
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published 1979
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published 1978
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published 1989 (reprint 1997)
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I reckon the 1st & last you will have seen. The Fred Halls book is a little less well-known. He was a keen Melbourne Bushwalkers Club life-member.

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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby garekabark » Thu 28 Dec, 2023 4:18 am

It sounds like you have a real treasure trove of Australian bush adventure books! Among Australian works on bushwalking, I recommend paying attention to “The Complete Guide to Bushwalking in NSW” by Matthew Hinds.
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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby garekabark » Thu 28 Dec, 2023 4:24 am

Bushman_Craig wrote:A couple more modern ones...

Image
The Rucksack Bushwalker & Camper by Milo Dunphy 1980. Milo Dunphy was Myles Dunphy's son, and like his dad, Milo was a tireless conservationist and an avid bushwalker for his whole life, from the day Myles and Margaret first pushed him in a specially kitted out pram up to Kanangra Walls. This book is unique in Australian bushwalking literature as it was the first to really capture and distil the "how" of low environmental impact bushwalking, predating the NOLS "Leave No Trace" doctrine by at least ten years. Aside from its environmental focus, the book is packed with bushman's lore and bushwalker's bushcraft.
I recently read Bushwalking in Australia by John and Victoria Sismore - a practical guide with details of many of the treks and useful tips for those wanting to immerse themselves in the Australian bush. She's just incredible. Lately I’ve been reading less because I needed to know how to write summary of article, then I found usefull tips on article summary writing and everything went according to plan. Now I have a lot of free time. I want to read another book. "Into the Heart of the Wild: A Journey of Healing and Adventure" by Christian Donnelly is the story of the Australian author and her solo journey through the wilderness.
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Bushcraft by Bill Stoate 1991. Not a book about sitting in a group under a parachute shade canopy and carving wooden spoons. This book contains some bush survival info, is big on pre-GPS land navigation skills, but more than that it's seriously like an outdoor rec course in a book and most of it still stands up today.

It's inspiring that you have such diversity with centuries of history. I also recommend "Tracks" by Robin Davidson - a classic documenting his journey through the Australian desert. You may already have them, but if not, these could be fun additions to your collection!
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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby north-north-west » Thu 28 Dec, 2023 6:01 am

garekabark wrote:
Bushman_Craig wrote:A couple more modern ones...

It's inspiring that you have such diversity with centuries of history. I also recommend "Tracks" by Robin Davidson - a classic documenting his journey through the Australian desert. You may already have them, but if not, these could be fun additions to your collection!


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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby peregrinator » Thu 28 Dec, 2023 8:42 am

north-north-west wrote:
garekabark wrote:
Bushman_Craig wrote:A couple more modern ones...

It's inspiring that you have such diversity with centuries of history. I also recommend "Tracks" by Robin Davidson - a classic documenting his journey through the Australian desert. You may already have them, but if not, these could be fun additions to your collection!


Her.


Yes, thank you north-north-west. Wrong pronoun and the author is Robyn. A brilliant book, published in 1982.
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Re: Australian Bushwalking Books

Postby ChrisWebber » Thu 04 Jan, 2024 4:15 pm

Hi, I have just released "Mountains Mishaps: death and misadventure in the BLue Mountains". This is a 150 year history of 620 search and rescue operations in the Blue Mountains, that caused 235 deaths. It tells you what happened and how to avoid it happening to you. It has some fantastic stories of survival and heroism. it also has a history of the Blue Mountains train line in 53 incidents, and 42 aircraft incidents. It covers the regional history of snowfalls, storms, fires, rock falls, floods, and earth tremors as they might affect bushwalkers. There's a geological history and a history of the local emergency services. For more information go to www.mountainsmishaps.com.au or visit a Blue Mountains bookshop. The research for the book won the AFAC21 conference award and is sponsored by the NSW Government and the SES Volunteers Association.
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