One of the personal benefits of studying at university is that I have always made a point of celebrating the end of each semester with a few days off to go adventuring. The first semester of my adult and vocational education degree starts tomorrow and I’m super excited about it. And today I booked myself an end-of-semester adventure.
From 2 – 16 July I will be hiking the 250km (155 mile) Great North Walk from Sydney to Newcastle here on Australia’s east coast. The walk starts in the middle of Sydney’s CBD and finishes at the former steel city of Newcastle, which is the second largest city in the state of New South Wales.
The walk will be a fantastic introduction to multi-week walking and gives me something to work towards. So far, the longest multi-day hikes I’ve completed have been 3-5 days in duration so this will be a bigger logistical challenge. That’s why I’ve chosen the Great North Walk because it is one of Australia’s easier long hikes. The walk is well-marked, passes through some towns along the way and traverses relatively safe territory (i.e. no desert or alpine areas). It also helps that I was able to use my airline loyalty points to pay for the flights to and from the trail heads.
So, now I just have to fit some pack hiking training in amongst my adventure race and Audax training. I’m sure I’ll find a way. I also have to decide whether I’ll be buying hiking or trail running shoes for the walk or whether I’ll do it in my Merrell Trail Gloves, Vibrams or Dunlop Volleys. That’s probably going to be my biggest decision now that I’ve booked to go.