I was very interested in the article in “Nature NSW” Spring Edition 2016 by Barry Tomkinson which promotes the concept of “Walking Tourism”. The concept is not new and it is not without a number of concerns. There is today a clear push from Government to expand tourism into our reserves and national parks estate wherever possible. The National Parks and Wildlife Act was established for the protection of nature. With the objective to make the reserve system “commercially” self-sufficient the value of nature protection has the potential to be downgraded, if not forgotten.
Brian Everingham, NPA Executive Committee and walks leader
Gilbert White used to take gentle walks around his parish of Selborne and often was distracted by the little things about him. Indeed he was known to be found kneeling on the ground, often for hours, exploring the behaviour of such creatures as the simple earthworm. His book, The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, became an early companion of mine, and an inspiration.
Social media power leads Illawarra Branch and Bushwalk the ‘Gong to decide to work together to launch a Walk of the Month program in the Illawarra.
For a few years, the NPA has been offering a Sydney based Walk of the Month program in conjunction with Wildwalks.com. The walks are advertised to the public through the internet and this magazine. Illawarra Branch have been keen to replicate this program in our region with the view to promoting bushwalking, enjoyment and knowledge of the Illawarra bushland.
The branch has been watching with interest the success of a new local initiative called Bushwalk the ‘Gong which was established in 2016 and has enjoyed good local media coverage. Recently an opportunity arose for us to join forces with Bushwalk the ‘Gong to offer a Walk of the Month style program in the Illawarra. We expect this will widen the participation and reach of the branch.
Byarong Creek Cascades – 3-4hrs
“An urban adventure following the footsteps of my Grandfather up to the cascades and waterfall,” says Jenae Johnston from Bushwalk the ‘Gong.
“When I recently hiked this trail I was the fourth generation to retrace the steps (fifth if I could’ve convinced the kids to come!) of my Great Grandfather Mr. Percy Kennedy. A keen amateur geologist and an active citizen of Wollongong, Percy was convinced of evidence of an extinct volcano under Mt Robertson as he explored the beautiful Byarong Creek and its cascades in the early 1930’s. Today I set out to do a reconnoitre with my Dad in town, with some vague directions recalled from the 1950-60’s from his own personal adventures as a kid.”
Leave No Trace
Dr Helen Smith, Activitives Officer, National Parks Association of NSW
Nothing is more heartbreaking than seeing natural areas trashed by current and previous visitors. Particularly when we all work so hard to protect natural places through our campaigns at the NPA. But protecting natural areas isn’t just about being loud through media coverage and campaigns. It also comes down to setting a good example to others when we’re out exploring.
We know we’re preaching to the converted here, but it’s worth refreshing the Leave No Trace Principles so you can clearly articulate them and their importance to others. Leave No Trace Australia is an organisation dedicated to inspiring and promoting responsible use of the outdoors through research, partnerships and education. The Leave No Trace guidelines describe best practice for visiting natural areas. They consist of seven principles: