Great Outdoors

Insider hiking tips for beginners with Australian Hiker

Are you looking to explore more of the Queanbeyan-Palerang region on foot but not sure where to start? We sat down with Australian Hiker’s Tim Savage to chat about all things hiking to find out his recommendations for those looking to get started with exploring the area.

The Canberra-based Australian Hiker was established in November 2016 by Tim & Gill Savage. The goal was to become the go-to independent and knowledgeable source of first-hand information on hiking trails, gear and related advice. The idea came about a couple years earlier, when Tim started planning for the couple’s Larapinta Trail trip that would take place in 2016. As someone with a keen attention to detail, Tim was researching information about the trail for months. After browsing through countless guide books and websites, he still felt he had questions left unanswered.

“That’s when I realised there was room for a website like this, providing first-hand experience of the practicalities of each trail individually,” Tim explains. The rest is history. Today, their hiking podcast is Australia’s most downloaded and longest running, with the most episodes released each year.

Why hiking?

“I started hiking at eight years old. I always enjoyed walking and getting out in nature and visiting national parks,” Tim says. For him, walking is more than just getting from point A to point B. “It is a way to connect with the world in an almost primal manner, as well as allowing me to tune out of the modern world. Most of my ‘spiritual’ moments throughout my life have come from being in the outdoors and it’s where I love being the most,” he goes on to describe.

Tim also adds, “It’s an easy hobby to start with low cost. You don’t have to go and spend money to get started. As long as you have a pair of runners, you’re good to go. If in time you get more into it, it’s worth getting better gear, but there’s nothing stopping you from wearing whatever to make a start with it.”

Trails for days

“My idea of an enjoyable walk ranges from a short walk to work through to multi-day hikes, and even multi-week hikes covering 100s of kilometres,” Tim says. To date, Australian Hiker has covered upwards of a 150 trails in Australia, with most of them in the Canberra region. Locals can easily get started with hiking without having to venture too far out from home, but the region is also highly recommended for travellers wishing to explore the great outdoors thanks to its reputation as the ‘bush capital’.

The trails of Queanbeyan-Palerang have also received their fair share of coverage on Australian Hiker. It’s a great region for hikers old and new, with many great walks for beginners right through to more experienced hikers. In-depth trail reviews of the region’s most popular walks can be viewed on the Australian Hiker website, including the Big Hole and Marble Arch walking tracks, the Queanbeyan River Loop, the Googong Foreshores Walks, as well as the Blue Tiles Walk.

Jerrabomberra Lookout

Getting started

If you’re new to hiking, Tim recommends taking on shorter, easier walks and making sure they are signposted well. “Googong Foreshores have a lot of great little trails perfect for getting started. There’s something for everyone, no matter what your experience level is,” he says. The Googong Walks range from 2.6km all the way up to 20km. “There’s a walk to suit everyone’s fitness level and interest including birdwatching, heritage and fishing for those inclined,” Tim adds.

So, strap on your shoes, hop in your car, and drive out to the beautiful great outdoors to get started with your hiking journey. Please note that due to the recent weather conditions and the bushfires of 19/20, many of the local national parks and reservoirs may still be affected and experience closures from time to time. Check with NSW National Parks and Parks ACT for the latest information on park closures.

If you’re interested in hearing more, head over to Australian Hiker’s website to catch their podcast #142 covering all you need to know about getting started with day-hiking. And as always, if you’re hiking through the Queanbeyan-Palerang region, don’t forget to share your experience with us by tagging @visitqueanbeyanpalerang on Facebook & Instagram.


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