Bushwalking is a popular pastime and favourite outdoor activity in Tasmania. Many of Tasmania’s spectacular wilderness and natural beauty can be reached by bushwalking and camping. Enthusiasts regard bushwalking as the best way to see nature, favouring it over the use of vehicles of any kind because the bushwalkers senses are not intruded upon by distractions such as windows, engine noise, airborne dust and fellow passengers. Tasmania places significant importance on preserving its natural wilderness, and has set aside a large number of National Parks where use of recreational vehicles such as motorbikes are banned.
Bushwalking over long distances or over difficult terrain requires both the physical ability to do the hike and the knowledge of the walk and any associated pitfalls. In Tasmania, the Overland Track is a classic example of a multi-day walk that can lead to problems for the in-expereinced bushwalker, of the walker who fails to prepare adequately for Tasmania’s often challenging weather conditions and terrain.
Bushwalkers are naturally drawn to Tassie’s beautiful natural environments in which to enjoy the pursuit of bushwalking. Many of Tasmania’s environments are fragile and walkers may accidentally destroy the environment that they enjoy. While the action of an individual may not strongly affect the environment, the mass effect of a large number of hikers can degrade the environment such as been the case in many of Tasmania’s more popular walks where years of over-use, combined with poor maintenance or low investment in infrastructure by Governments has left many walks or sections of walks in need of repair.
Such problems are caused by numerous bushwalkers activities. For example, gathering wood in an alpine area to start a fire may be harmless if done only occasionally, however years of gathering wood can strip an alpine area of valuable nutrients and cause irreparable damage. Generally, protected areas such as parks have regulations in place to protect the environment and Tasmania is no exception, with increased spending in recent years ensuring that damage to natural heritage and sensitive areas is minimised. If all bushwalkers follow such regulations, their impact can be will continue to be minimised and leave these pristine areas free for other walkers to enjoy for generations to come. Such regulations include total bans on wood fires, restricting camping to established camp sites, disposing or packing out fecal matter, imposing a quota on the number of bushwalkers who can do certain walks, such as is the case with the Overland Track.
Bushwalking is one of the fundamental outdoor activities on which many others are based, such as caving, camping, kayaking, rock climbing and canoeing. And Tasmania is no exception. Some of Tasmania’s walks rank as the very best in the world. So what are you waiting for? Get a few mates together and get on down to Tasmania and enjoy its natural beauty by getting back to nature.
See also: Camping Tasmania