Seeking information

Thorough research on the likely conditions in any given area at the time of year the trips are to be undertaken is essential for ensuring groups are properly prepared for the conditions. The Bureau of Meteorology provides average temperature and rainfall information for all parts of Australia by month of the year, which can be an excellent guide to likely temperature and rainfall. This information is also printed on some topographic maps.

However, in most cases, the best sources of local knowledge will be employees or contractors engaged by the department responsible for managing the area proposed for the trip. A telephone call to the local rangers’ office will usually connect you with someone who has detailed knowledge of the area and current information on the likely availability of water, whether creeks are flowing, alternative sources of water and so forth. These personnel tend to work in such jobs because of their fundamental love of the land and out of concern for its management and conservation, so they are mostly more than happy to assist bushwalking parties to get the most out of their trips. Also, such personnel are usually an excellent source of advice on road conditions, access, scenic highlights and similar issues which can be the difference between a smooth running enjoyable trip and one which is beset with logistical problems.

If you are seeking information from these sources, it is worth commencing your work a few weeks prior to the planned trip date. Usually there will be one best person to contact and it may take a while before they are available to speak with you due to the nature of their work.