Frenchmans Cap: Two Lakes and a Summit

“May contain nudity and some coarse language.” So reads our logbook entry in the Lake Vera Hut, on the last morning of an epic three day trip into Frenchmans Cap. For myself and my brother, who was visiting from Victoria, it was the last morning of six days of bushwalking. We’d already raced up and…

Bungonia Canyon

“It’s like walking through an Annika painting” mused Josh as we scrambled down the much-maligned Bungonia creek gorge. Having spent the previous weekend at the Blue Mountains canyons of the Wollemi, and discussed extensively during the 5 hours of driving in each direction that the Blue Mountains really are quite a long way away, this…

Main Range Extravaganza

What do you get when you throw together a kayak, a volleyball and blue food colouring, a packliner sack race, two firn-gliders and nineteen people in a tent? The Main Range Extravaganza! Quickly dubbed the most extravagant extravaganza yet, the 2015 Australian National University Mountaineering Club Main Range Extravaganza was run by our super-keen (and…

Crowded House on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

In the world of an arts PhD candidate, living on less than minimum wage, it is worth making the most out of the one extra source of candidature-related finance available: conference funding. Last year I managed to wring enough out of two funds to get to a Victorian Studies Conference and Steampunk festival in England,…

Constructing the Roof of Indochina

The roof of Indochina – the last foothill of the Himalayas before the ocean and the highest peak of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam – is a construction site. By the time you read these words, these images from Christmas Eve of 2014 will be almost irrelevant. The speed of change and the appetite for construction…

Mt Wilson Canyoning

“Geronimo!” So screamed Glen Robinson on the third abseil of this Wollangambe River canyon, as he sailed past in a single jump. Our own trip there had much lower water, so we all chose to forego this tradition,* but we appreciated the sentiment of enthusiasm. We’d actually been a party of five members, driving two…

Newnes Canyoning Extravaganza

In March 1913, the crowds waited anxiously for the Lady Denman to speak. The fate of the pronunciation of the new Capital of the Federation of Australia rested on her utterance, and so the Governor-General’s wife sealed its history with her two syllable word, Can-bra. Just over a century later, of course, almost nobody cares.…

Cat Ba: Exploring Ha Long Bay without a cruiseship

“Well, it’s definitely cheaper. Instead of being locked up on a boat we can choose a new place to have dinner every night!” The speaker gestures at the waterfront strip of restaurants with his 5,000 dong beer*. “And we get to do different things each day, like kayaking and rock climbing and motorbiking. Yeah, being…