Category Archives: Hiking

KASBAHS – stay in one before it melts

A fairytale sandcastle, melting into the desert.

A fairytale sandcastle, melting into the desert.

We’ve never been to Morocco before, so everything seems wonderfully exotic. And our first night’s accommodation is extraordinary.
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MULES IN MOROCCAN MOUNTAINS

Chalid leads the way...though I'm ahead of him on this occasion.

Chalid leads the way…though I’m ahead of him on this occasion.

“One of the world’s most famous places that nobody knows about,” says my Dutch hiking friend Bert.

We’re perched on a ridge above a wild canyon that drops several hundred metres to a dry river bed. My stomach is dropping with it; heights are not my strong suit. Away to our right is a patch of bright green, surrounded by clay houses camouflaging themselves by matching the ochre of the surrounding hills.

It is an amazing sight, and we have it all to ourselves. We don’t even know the name of the canyon or the village.

Is there anywhere else in the world to compare to this?

Is there anywhere else in the world anything like this?

That’s the appeal. Spectacular though it is, few people visit this part of Morocco, a six hour drive from Marrakesh. At the height of the trekking season we’ve met only one other group on our five-day adventure. For a combination of scenery, exotic culture and a sense of adventure, this trek in Morocco’s Ouarzazate region is as wild as anything I’ve ever done.

The full story on this blog will have to wait until I’ve made proper efforts to sell it. Meanwhile, here’s an assortment of pictures to whet your appetite. It was hard to choose! Continue reading

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PRESERVING THE POINT – Lake St Clair

Is there a better destination anywhere in the world? We'll be staying at Pumphouse Point. Yes, in that little building at the end of the causeway.

Is there a better destination anywhere in the world? We’ll be staying at Pumphouse Point. Yes, in that little building at the end of the causeway.

Backtracking: My article about our recent trip to Tasmania has now been published in mainstream media, so the full story can now be released on the blog…

There was bound to be opposition. The friendly Wilderness Society volunteers we meet at Hobart’s Salamanca Markets don’t like the idea that a few privileged people can fly into remote Tasmanian lakes in a seaplane and ‘spoil things for everybody else’. Continue reading

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GOING GREEN IN HONG KONG – Lamma Island

Looking down on Sok Kwu Wan fishing village, where a seafood meal awaits.

Looking down on Sok Kwu Wan fishing village, where a seafood meal awaits.

Yes, it is possible to escape the madding crowd in this town.

For one of the most densely populated parts of the planet, Hong Kong has a surprising amount of green space. Most people live literally on top of each other in high rise apartment towers, concentrated along the shore of Hong Kong Island.

Behind them are forests leading up to the Peak, which absolutely must be scaled, by foot or by cable train, by every visitor. Except for us.

We find our Hong Kong green space on one of the outer islands. Continue reading

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HOW COME WE’D NEVER HEARD OF THIS NATIONAL PARK?

Minnamurra Rainforest, NSW.

Minnamurra Rainforest, NSW.

It’s only a short drive out of Sydney, a 400-hectare pocket of dense jungle at the foot of the escarpment. And it’s a little treasure. Continue reading

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OUR SECOND OLDEST NATIONAL PARK – and the most beautiful?

Russell Falls started it all.

19th century interest in Russell Falls started it all.

Australia’s oldest national park is the Royal National Park south of Sydney. Mt Field wasn’t far behind.

It was declared a nature reserve in 1885 and became a national park in 1916. It also has a dubious distinction as the place the last known Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, was captured in 1933; they’ve changed the rules about taking nearly extinct species out of national parks since then.

Now it is one of Tasmania’s most popular parks, partly because it is only 64km from Hobart, and partly because it contains some of the most beautiful and varied terrain in the state, the country or indeed on the planet. We were happy to join the day-trippers on a short walk to the gorgeous Russell Falls – carrying the camera of course. Continue reading

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WALKING BY TASMANIA’S LAKE ST CLAIR

It's called Platypus Bay, though we're unlikely to spot any in the middle of a clear day, Dusk and dawn are platypus times.

It’s called Platypus Bay, though we’re unlikely to spot any in the middle of a clear day, Dusk and dawn are platypus times.


The weather is changeable and we’re not well equipped for a serious hike.

Fortunately there are short walks from the Lake St Clair Visitor Centre that suit us perfectly.

As more intrepid adventurers stride in, drop their packs and order pizzas, having completed their 7-day trek along the famous Overland Track, we set out for a stroll along the lakeside to Watersmeet, carrying nothing but a camera. Continue reading

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