Its walking season. And people are getting out, despite some crazy weather. A friend has just left on the Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT). Another is about to leave. A work mate is planning to walk it in autumn.  And I am seeing many posts from people who were out on the track during recent epic snowfalls. It seems like our premier long distance trail is getting a lot of love at present.

Many of the usual issues will remain, like sections that are hard to find in the hill and valley country in the south (although in early 2023, the section of the AAWT from Mt Sunday to Low Saddle, which has been problematic for walkers for some time has now been cleared by volunteers from Bushwalking Victoria). In the northern end, the heavy rains are making it hard to do river crossings in places like the Murrumbidgee and Eucumbene rivers and Morass Creek. Fire regrowth in some areas is also making for some hard navigation. And the road from Mt Beauty to Falls Creek will be closed through summer, making support and food drops on the Bogong High Plains slightly more problematic (you can reach the High Plains via Omeo). Because of heavy rains, there are many local road closures in the mountains.

But, as always it is a great adventure.

Some inspiration

Josh from music duo Life Dreamers walked the AAWT in late 2022/ early 2023. There is a story about the walk available here. His plan was to take his time and write an album on the way – apparently that is currently being produced. And there is a video of his ‘test run’ walk from Harrietville to Thredbo available here.

A recent story/ video on the AAWT comes from Tom’s Outdoors in Tumut, who have released Wake Up and Walk. A ‘documentary short film following Dominic Erbacher’s 23 day, 700km Australian Alps Walking Track journey and the ups and downs of solo hiking’.

Last winter Huw Kingston did a winter crossing of the full length of the Australian Alps Walking Track, visiting all ski resorts along the way as part of his Alpine Odyssey.

Alicia Crossley recently walked it solo. This is her reflection.

Some information

The AAWT facebook group is a great place to see who is on the track or planning to walk it.

The AAWT Track Angels group, run by Mick Webster, is a great place to connect with people if you’re looking for a ride, help with a food drop, or just some ‘trail magic’.

There are lots of resources on the AAWT including track reports here.

A new version of the AAWT guide, written by John Chapman, Monica Chapman, John Siseman has been released (version 5, 2022). Info here. You can purchase it online and in some outdoor stores like Bogong in Melbourne.

Keep your eyes open & report what you find

1/ If you’re walking the section of the AAWT between Mt Bogong (Warkwoolowler in the Waywurru and Dhudhuroa languages) and Mt Wills it would be great if you could post an image from the planned logging coupes on Long Spur. Full details here. Please use the hashtag #ProtecttheAAWT.

2/ please keep an eye out for snow gum dieback due to beetle infestation and report it to researchers here.

3/ please keep an eye out for loss of snow gums (fire killed trees with no regrowth) for this citizen science project. Details here. Or you can post images on facebook here.

If you’ll be on the track this summer I would love to hear how you’re going – drop us a line or post on our facebook page.