Hiking the Great Southern Land is the perfect way to really get a feel for Australia. Whether it is hiking along the fertile coast, through the bush or the sparse and dry desert it is a way to connect to country.
Yet each year tourists and hikers go missing by not being properly prepared. Some farms, or stations, as they are called are the relative size of Belgium and hikers often get lost due to the size of the country and not being adequately prepared for the climate.
In order to stay safe and enjoy your time, here are the key tips all girls should know before hiking through Australia:
Always tell someone where you are going
This is the most important as it means that if you go missing people will know roughly where to look.
If you are traveling solo then consider telling a friend in your dorm room at the hostel of your plans, sending a quick message to someone back home or informing a worker at the place you are staying.
If you are on a van or camping holiday and don’t have anyone to tell then leave a note in your tent or campsite detailing where you are going, time and date you left and how long you thought you would be.
Mobile phone reception is not wide spread throughout remote areas of Australia so don’t count on having phone reception during your trek.
Take enough water and food
The Australian climate is harsh and strong and many a hiker has under estimated hiking in the country.
Temperatures in summer can reach over forty degrees Celsius so always take more water than you think you will need. Becoming dehydrated can lead to disorientation and in many places shade is sparse and the heat will make you feel worse. Also take a supply of food as you never know how long you might be gone for and if you get lost you will be glad to have been prepared.
Ensure that you have a hat and appropriate hiking gear, including a light jumper as temperatures can get cold quickly at night if you are in the desert. Most trails or hikes will not have toilets or any facilities along the way so bring toilet paper with you.
If you have your period make sure to be prepared for it and bring along enough sanitary supplies and a bag to take them with you. Never bury them or leave them behind and make sure to dispose appropriately once you are back in the nearest town.
Do your research
Make sure you take a map or at least look at a map before going.
Estimate how long you will have to complete the hike before nightfall remembering that Australia is a large and hot country and time and distance is very different there from Europe for example.
Make inquiries and ensure that there are no areas that are quarantined or undergoing pre-bushfire season burn offs around the time you want to hike. Know of the key dangers to look out for too. Are there crocodiles in the area if you are hiking in the north of the country? What do the poisonous snakes look like in the area and do you know what to do if you are bitten?
Hiking through Australia is a great way to see the country and understand what makes it such a unique place. With a little bit of preparation and common sense you can ensure that your hike should be care free and worry free too.
Have you hiked through Australia? What dangers did you come across?