Australia’s Great Outdoors

Walking along the craggy cliffs at Point Nepean

Hi All! I’m writing this after a long weekend hiking the National Park around Point Nepean, about two hours’ drive from Melbourne.

This morning, I walked along the spine of the peninsula to the Point, a craggy cliff walk from which you can eventually view the heads of Port Philip Bay. Apparently this is one of the narrowest shipping channels in the world – and I can well believe it, as I watch the Spirit of Tasmania (the ferry that plies the route between mainland Oz and Tassie) cut its way carefully through the channel and out to sea.

Yet again, as I enjoy a full day out in the fresh air, walking pristine beaches and tasting the salt in the breeze, rambling overgrown tracks along the coast that are brimming with noisy birdlife and all manner of tiny creatures foraging in the undergrowth, I’m reminded of how wonderful it is to be in the great outdoors. This is my little corner of Australia. I come here a lot – a stone’s throw from where I live, it’s a great bolt-hole for when city life gets too much (which is most of the time, actually!). Getting back to nature like this isn’t just good for the health – it’s good for the soul. 

The Spirit of Tasmania sails through the heads at the entrance to Port Philip Bay

The outdoors is something Australia does really well, I think. Although only a couple of hours from the city, the beaches here feel raw, untouched, wild. The walks are well-signposted but still overgrown and rough, giving the illusion of tracks yet to be explored by human feet. And it’s peaceful – just the rise and fall of the waves against the shore, and  birds stirring in the bushes as I pass. A solitary hang-glider passes noiselessly overhead – up there with the seagulls, he must be getting a brilliant view.

After a weekend of walking, I’ve come back with renewed vigour to take on another trekking expedition this year. It’s been just over a year since my Sahara UNICEF trek in Morocco…definitely time to get the maps out and plan the next one!

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