Overnight bushwalking

Font Size:

Four stars?  Five stars?  How about a trillion?  Star ratings go through the roof when you remote camp, and getting there under your own steam only ups the wow factor.  There is nothing like sitting under the Milky Way with friends – or alone if that’s your thing – after putting kilometres of mountains, beach or outback between you and your car. 

Then again, perhaps you want a real bed at day’s end and someone else to cook your dinner.  Doing an overnight walk doesn’t have to involve channelling ‘Bear’ Grylls and hefting a heavy pack over interminable distances. 

With planning, most people who have done some solid day walks can step up to an overnight hike.

Don’t be too ambitious:

  • leave long-distance hikes for later (or for others), start with a one-night walk
  • if pack-carrying, choose a walk with days shorter than 8 km if hilly and 12 km if flat.

Keep your pack weight down:

  • aim for under 12 kg;
  • only take the equipment needed to be safe (this allows you to carry some good food and wine)
  • wear the same walking clothes each day – everyone will smell alike
  • double up in tents and share the gear between you.

Three great first-time overnight hikes:

Ritchies Hut, VIC

There’s no more beautiful river than the Howqua, out of Mansfield, and few more appealing camping spots than at Ritchie’s Hut, where you have grassed tent space, a fire pit and a drop toilet beside a reconstruction of a 1940s timber-plank fishing hut.  Walk the high track in for 6 km of river views and wade across the river twelve times, coming out on the low track. 

Carnarvon Gorge, QLD

Fern gardens, aboriginal art, sandstone cliffs, countless birds and mostly-flat walking make Carnarvon Gorge, in central Queensland, perfect for getting your overnight-hiking legs.  Walk 10 km up Carnarvon Creek – further with detours to waterfalls, etc (leave your pack on the trail) – and camp at Big Bend (composting toilet, no fires).  Coming back, explore the features you skipped going in.

Bass Coast, VIC

Walk the Bass Coast Rail Trail west from Wonthaggi through farmland and along ocean coast, coming in to Kilcunda (10 km) over the town’s historic trestle bridge.  Having dined at the pub, slept in a cabin in the Oceanview Holiday Retreat and breakfasted at the General Store, tread the spectacular George Bass Coast Trail to Punchbowl, near San Remo.  (While this walk requires a car shuffle there is no heavy pack or cooking!)


How to pack a backpack video

Carnarvon Gorge

Bass Coast Rail Trail

Kilcunda accommodation

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


Total Comments: 0



    continue reading

    Finance News

    What is the value of your time?

    A perceived lack of time is one of the biggest factors affecting our sense of wellbeing, according to research conducted...

    Aged Care

    Is the government considering a new tax to fund aged care?

    If we learnt anything in the short time since the monumental aged care royal commission report was released last week,...

    Age Pension

    How to sell excess land and keep the Age Pension

    Kathy wants to know whether selling excess land can stop someone from receiving the pension. Q. KathyA friend of mine...


    Pelvic floor exercises and other bladder myths

    So you’ve done pelvic floor exercises for most of your life – as your doctor advised. And that means you...


    Maple Cinnamon Grain-free Granola

    I really have a problem paying so much for cereal and the cost of quality granola can be outrageous. I...


    How to … fall back asleep

    Waking up at night and struggling to get back to sleep can be stressful and exhausting. According to WebMB, around...


    Curing the incurable: Why some patients make astounding recoveries

    As a GP and someone who works in the holistic health field, Dr Jerry Thompson has long been interested in...


    The 'ism' that's rife and no, it's not okay

    Ageism, like all 'isms', creates a social hierarchy and disadvantages people based on an aspect of their diversity. Compared to...