Australian vacations: what to know before you get off the trail

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Richelle Olsen has a clear message for those who want to hike this summer – don’t plan your trip off Instagram.

The hiking guide said people often make plans after seeing beautiful photos on the social media site of famous walks like the Razorback Trail to Mount Hotham in the Victorian high country.

“What people don’t realize is the Razorback walk, for example, it’s an epic walk, it’s beautiful, it’s gorgeous, it’s probably intermediate and it’s 11 kilometers each way. “, she says.

“That means it’s a 22-kilometer walk – for a beginner, that means he can bite more than he can chew.

Ms. Olsen’s outdoor adventure company runs hikes and body expeditions for women and non-binary people – with a focus on hikes that are suitable for those who have never hiked before.

She said she expected more people to head out for bush walking and exploring remote areas of Australia this summer due to COVID restrictions on overseas travel, and had some simple tips for those who were new to the hike.

Richelle Olsen has hiked all over the world and now leads tours in Australia.

“What I’m suggesting to people is that you can do sections of these epic walks,” she says.

“Just because you go to Razorback doesn’t mean you have to do all of Razorback.”

Ms Olsen said it was important for beginners to also know that they don’t have to take a long, difficult walk to enjoy the outdoors.

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His suggestion for beginner overnight hikes in Victoria included parking along the Warburton Rail Trail in the Yarra Ranges, not too far out of town, and walking to spend the night there.

Another idea was to take the ferry to French Island and travel the six kilometers to the campsite.

Ms Olsen said the rookie mistakes she often saw (and hikers should try to avoid) were people who were dehydrated or severely sunburned while walking in the bush, suffering from a fatigue injury or starting a day of hiking too late in the afternoon and not ending until dark.

She said joining a suitable hiking group was a great way for people new to the outdoors to meet other hikers and improve their fitness and skills.

Learn how to reverse a trailer before you take it out

Tim Bates runs 4×4 tours through Victoria’s High Country and expects some busy roads and campgrounds this summer, with newcomers to caravanning and 4×4 trips venturing out into areas for the first time. remote areas of the state.

This view is supported by the Australian Trailer Industry Association, which earlier this year noticed a boom in caravan sales in all states, with reports of an increase in the number of newbies. in camping and caravanning.

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Mr Bates said that for those planning trips remotely, it was important to pay attention to the days of a total fire ban, listen to TBEN Radio for bushfire updates, be aware of the risk of snakes and leave someone a route.

He also recommended that anyone traveling outside of areas with telephone reception consider purchasing a personal locator beacon in an emergency.

“If you’re in trouble, it’s not a question of whether someone is coming, it’s a question of when,” he says.

The beacons transmit a distress signal to the emergency services via a satellite system.

Tim Bates says it’s important to be prepared for long road trips and not rely on online maps, which don’t always show whether a road is a rough 4WD track.

But before the new bush travelers leave, Mr Bates said booking a 4WD course to learn how to drive over rough terrain could help.

“You will drive your own vehicle with a licensed instructor by your side and walk through the basics of 4WD operation,” he says.

For those considering towing a trailer for the first time this summer, Mr Bates said it was essential that they learn how to reverse their van before setting off.

“It’s a big problem. It is amazing how many people cannot reverse trailers and caravans. You see this often, ”he says.

“So reversing is a very important skill to know how to do and to be comfortable doing it.”

Check your safety gear and avoid drinking alcohol while on the water

Wesley Chandler is the President of the Knox Boating Fishing Club, based in Wantirna, in the far east of Melbourne.

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He said it was common to see people with their first boat rushing to get into the water, before they had properly prepared.

Wesley Chandler says it takes time for people to build their confidence and skill level on the water.

“People are rushing in, more worried about going fishing and not worried about the safety aspects of the process,” he said.

He had some important tips for those who had a new boating license.

“The main thing is to check your safety gear to start and make sure the weather conditions are right,” he said.

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