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Happy is the [wo]man who has acquired the love of walking for its own sake!

- W.J. Holland

 (1848-1942), “Walking as a Fine Art,” in The Moth Book:

A Guide to the Moths of North America. 19O3.


This page of WalkGPS is dedicated to the benefits of walking in general and bushwalking in particular. 

Modern technology and seemingly sophisticated lifestyle choices encourage us to overlook the wide-ranging benefits of walking.  Regular walkers, including bushwalkers,  need no convincing of the many quality-of-life benefits they obtain from the humble but very fulfilling activity of walking.  

Over 60 quotations from the famous and not-so-famous are included under several of the headings below.   Some of these may seem corny or dated (and most are already widely cited elsewhere on the internet) - but if it's inspiration you are seeking, then hopefully you will find one or two little gems here for you!  (Many are from American authors. If you know of worthy local quotes -  anything from poetry to talk-back - I'd be glad to add them if you let me know.)

If you are new to the idea of regular walking then search below to see what benefits there may be for you.  Fitness campaigns and numerous websites proclaim the physical health benefits, but many walkers are motivated just as much by broader, often-overlooked benefits - especially for maintaining work-life balance,  allowing time to reflect and to develop a sense of place.  The notes and quotes below focus especially on these other benefits.  - Dave Osborne




  WHY WalkGPS?

Also see:     Why Walk?   Why Bushwalk?   Why Cross-country Walk?   Why Day Walk? 



The purpose of this site WalkGPS is to encourage anyone who can walk, young or not-so-young, to discover the great wealth of opportunities for bushwalking close to Perth. (Note: This is also a non-sponsored, non-profit site and has no commercial function whatever, such as advertising, promotion or sale of GPS units, software, maps or books, or guided commercialised walks. The "GPS" in WalkGPS stands for the acronym Global Positioning System,  not an abbreviation for 'groups'.) 

Bushwalking is the objective. ‘GPS’ is simply a tool that can help walkers navigate accurately and confidently. The forested terrain of the Darling Range (or Plateau) is very gentle and undulating in many areas, with few prominent landmarks to assist visual navigation when cross-country  walking. Traditional map and compass navigation on its own in those areas can often be unreliable for locating subtle natural features along an intended, meandering walk route; which is not to say you can't have fun trying! - For many, that opportunity to be 'temporarily geographically challenged' is a vital part of bushwalking, while for others such frustrations may greatly detract from the enjoyment of a walk. Using GPS, the latter group find those same subtle route markers can be easily located.   

So for some, GPS navigation may appear to remove from bushwalking the ‘adventure’ and resourcefulness that comes with the uncertainties of compass navigation; of often not knowing exactly where you are, nor exactly where you have been, nor exactly where you are going. On the other hand, GPS users can choose to wander freely, to explore away from their planned route, not keeping to a compass-bearing, but being able to navigate back to the known route at any time from wherever they may be.  In that sense, GPS navigation offers both freedom and adventure.  It is also ideal for walkers who simply seek solitude and relaxation in the forest, rather than adventure.

It's not a case of a 'right' or a 'wrong' way to navigate, but one of 'horses for courses'; finding what 'style' of navigation best suits you personally, and applying it with commonsense. Those who prefer compass navigation and no GPS will be able to adapt and simplify the WalkGPS walk routes to suit their own needs.


There is no orthodoxy in walking. It is a land of many paths and no-paths,

where every one goes his own and is right.”

- G.M. Trevelyan

(1876-1962), British historian.


 “...'real' bushwalkers have developed a tenacious sense of their historical mission.

Some have been almost obsessive when it comes to positioning themselves as the inventors of a new recreation and the practitioners of the most authentic way of walking.”

- Melissa Harper

Australian researcher; from "The ways of the bushwalker: on foot in Australia", 2007.


 “Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.”

- Thomas A. Edison

(1847-1931), American inventor & businessman.


“I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas.

I'm frightened of the old ones.”

- John Cage

(1912-1992), U.S. composer of avant-garde music, philosopher & writer.



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Also see:    Why Walk?    Why Cross-country Walk?    Why Day Walk?    Why WalkGPS?




Bushwalkers gain all of the benefits of walking and more:


“..people were walking in the bush for pleasure long before the first club had ever been thought of,

or before the first tourist track was ever laid.

..bushwalking can be traced back to 1788.” 

- Melissa Harper

Australian researcher; from "The ways of the bushwalker: on foot in Australia", 2007.


“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” 

- John Muir

(1838-1914), Scottish-American wilderness preservationist; from Steep Trails, 1918.


“I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least - and it is commonly more than that - sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.”

- Henry David Thoreau

(1817–1862), American philosopher, author, naturalist.


“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.”

- Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850-1894), Scottish writer, critic, naturalist.


“My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.”

- Aldous Huxley

(1894-1963), British writer.


“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and places to pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.”

- John Muir 

(1838-1914), Scottish-American wilderness preservationist & naturalist.

"The Hetch Hetchy Valley" Sierra Club Bulletin, Vol. VI, No.4, Jan. 1908.


“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

- John Muir

(1838-1914), Scottish-American wilderness preservationist; from Our National Parks, 1901, p.56.


“Not to have known - as most men have not - either the mountain or the desert is not to have known one's self. Not to have known one's self is to have known no one.”

- Joseph Wood Krutch

(1893-1970), American writer, critic, naturalist.


“The wilderness is a place of rest - not in the sense of being motionless, for the lure, after all, is to move, to round the next bend. The rest comes in the isolation from distractions, in the slowing of the daily centrifugal forces that keep us off balance.”

- David Douglas

American writer, water issues advocate;

from Wilderness Sojourn; 1987


“Away, away, from men and towns,
To the wild wood and downs,
To the silent wilderness,
Where the soul need not repress
Its music.”

- Percy Bysshe Shelley

(1792-1822), British poet. The Invitation; 1820.


“When we walk, we naturally go to the fields and woods:

what would become of us, if we walked only in a garden or a mall?”

 - Henry David Thoreau

 (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist.

From “Walking” (1862), in “The Writings of Henry David Thoreau”, 1906, vol. 5, pp. 210-211.


“Of course it is of no use to direct our steps to the woods, if they do not carry us thither. I am alarmed when it happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit.... What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?”

- Henry David Thoreau

(1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist.

 From “Walking” (1862), in “The Writings of Henry David Thoreau”, 1906, vol. 5, p. 211.


“For me and for thousands with similar inclinations, the most important passion of life is the overpowering desire to escape periodically from the clutches of a mechanistic civilization. To us the enjoyment of solitude, complete independence, and the beauty of undefiled panoramas is absolutely essential to happiness.”

- Bob Marshall

(1901-1939), Co-founder of the Wilderness Society (USA).


The tendency nowadays to wander in wilderness is delightful to see. Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”

- John Muir

(1838-1914), Scottish-American wilderness preservationist & naturalist; Our National Parks, 1901.


“Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.”

- John Muir

(1838-1914), Scottish-American wilderness preservationist & naturalist;

The Life and Letters of John Muir, 1924; (Letter to wife Louie, July 1888).


“Simplicity in all things is the secret of the wilderness and one of its most valuable lessons. It is what we leave behind that is important. I think the matter of simplicity goes further than just food, equipment, and unnecessary gadgets; it goes into the matter of thoughts and objectives as well. When in the wilds, we must not carry our problems with us or the joy is lost.”

- Sigurd F. Olson

 (1899-1982), American author, environmentalist, wilderness advocate; from The Singing Wilderness; 1956.


“Riverbanks lined with green trees, fragrant grasses: A place not sacred? Where?”

- Proverbs, Sayings and Songs, Zen Forest Saying


In the country it is as if every tree said to me, ‘Holy! Holy!’

Who can ever express the ecstasy of the woods.

O, the sweet stillness of the woods!

- Ludwig van Beethoven

(1770-1827), German romantic composer; July 1814, note on visit to Baden.


How happy I am to be able to wander among bushes and herbs,
under trees and over rocks; no man can love the country as I love
it. Woods, trees and rocks send back the echo that man desires."

- Ludwig van Beethoven

(1770-1827), German romantic composer; note ca.1812-14.


 “For I have learned
  To look on the nature, not as in the hour
  Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
  The still, sad music of humanity,
  Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
  To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
  A presence that disturbs me with the joy
  Of elevated thoughts; a sense of sublime
  Of something far more deeply infused,
  Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
  And the round ocean and the living air,
  And the blue sky, and in the minds of man:
  A motion and a spirit, that impels
  All living things, all objects of all thought,
  And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
  A lover of the meadows and the woods
  And mountains, and of all that we behold
  From this green earth, of all the mighty world
  Of eye, and ear  - both what they half create,
  And what they perceive, will be pleased to recognize
  In nature and the Language of the sense
  The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
  The guide, the guardian of my heart and soul
  Of all my moral being.”

- William Wordsworth

(1770-1850), English poet.

Excerpt from: Composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey,

on revisiting the banks of the Wye during a tour. July 13, 1798.



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Also see:    Why Walk?    Why Bushwalk?   Why Day Walk?   Why WalkGPS?


Many bushwalkers most enjoy cross-country walking in the more remote areas lacking existing paths or trails.  They gain all of the benefits of bushwalking, but their off-track walking also adds a special sense of freedom, of exploration and adventure, and a heightened appreciation and valuation of wilderness. Often they are seeking greater solitude, away from popular existing trails.

Cross-country bushwalking in the Perth region’s open jarrah forests and wandoo woodlands is a minimal impact activity.  It doesn't create worn ‘tracks’ or ‘trails’ - the walkers are in very small numbers (especially in comparison to kangaroos, emus, feral pigs and illegal trail-bike riders!) and rarely follow precisely the same route, which in any event is very difficult to do, even with GPS and/or compass as navigational aids. Despite this, the future of traditional bushwalking in the region has recently been under serious threat: See related access issues  and related land-use issues, this page. Also more quotations.


I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in.

Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?”

- Aldo Leopold 

(1887-1948), ecologist, forester, environmentalist, co-founder of The Wilderness Society (USA); 

considered to be father of American wildlife management.


The more that’s done for hikers in the forests and woods and mountains, in that far do they fail to get the most out of it... We must retain the challenging character of the wilderness.”

- Walter O'Kane 

American guidebook writer, 1935.


Every man needs a place where he can go to go crazy in peace. 

Every Boy Scout troop deserves a forest to get lost, miserable, and starving in....

- Edward Abbey  

(1927-1989), American author & essayist; from The Journey Home; 1977.



Why get lost in the Tweetersphere when you can find yourself in the wilderness?

- Dave Osborne

@WalkGPS Tweet, 25 Nov. 2011.


Always in big woods, when you leave familiar ground and step off alone to a new place, there will be, along with feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is the ancient fear of the unknown, and it is your bond with the wilderness you are going into. What you are doing is exploring. You are understanding the first experience, not of the place, but of yourself in that place. It is the experience of our essential loneliness, for nobody can discover the world for anybody else. It is only after we have discovered it for ourselves that it becomes common ground, and a common bond, and we cease to be alone.”

- Wendell Berry

(b. 1934),American writer & poet; The Unknown Wilderness: Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, 1971.


“If a walker is indeed an individualist there is nowhere he can't go at dawn and not many places he can't go at noon. But just as it demeans life to live alongside a great river you can no longer swim in or drink from, to be crowded into safer areas and hours takes much of the gloss off walking - one sport you shouldn't have to reserve a time and a court for.”

- Edward Hoagland

 (b. 1932), U.S. novelist, essayist. repr.  in “Heart’s Desire” (1988).

“City Walking,” New York Times Book Review (June 1, 1975).


“What is there that confers the noblest delight? What is that which swells a man's breast with pride above  that which any other experience can bring to him? Discovery! To know that you are walking where none others have walked”

- Mark Twain [Samuel Clemens]

 (1835–1910), American humorist, satirist, writer, lecturer.


There is a pleasure in the pathless woods."

- Lord George Gordon Byron

(1788-1824), English poet;

from "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"; 1814.


“Don't think you're on the right road just because it’s a well-beaten path.”

- Author Unknown


The wisest men follow their own direction."

-  Euripides

(484-406BC), Greek tragic dramatist.


People say that you're going the wrong way when it's simply a way of your own.”

- Angelina Jolie

(b.1975), American actress.


“The contented person enjoys the scenery of a detour.”

(or more recently "Embrace the detours" - version attributed to Kevin Charbonneau)

- original Author Unknown 


“Let your walks now be a little more adventurous.”

- Henry David Thoreau

(1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist.


“It is not down in any map; true places never are.”
- Herman Melville

(1819-1891), American novelist, essayist, poet; from Moby Dick; 1851.


“One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight, for a very long time, of the shore".

(often misquoted as "Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore".)

- Andre Gidé

 (1869-1951), French author, Nobel Prize winner in literature 1947; 

from "Les faux-monnayeurs" (The Counterfeiters); 1925.


“Happiness is a direction not a place.”
- Sydney J. Harris

(1917-1986), American journalist.


“I just wish the world was twice as big and half of it was still unexplored.
- David Attenborough

(b. 1926), British broadcaster & naturalist.


Still round the corner there may wait

   A new road or a secret gate,

   And though I oft have passed them by,

   A day will come at last when I

   Shall take the hidden paths that run

   West of the Moon, East of the Sun.

- J.R.R. Tolkien

(1892-1973), English philologist & writer;

from one of several walking songs from Lord of the Rings; 1954-55.


“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.”
- J.R.R. Tolkien

(1892-1973), English philologist & writer; from Lord of the Rings; 1954-55.


Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

  I took the one less traveled by,

  And that has made all the difference. 

- Robert Frost

(1874-1963), American poet;

from "The Road Not Taken"; 1916.




more quotations below




  RELATED ACCESS ISSUES    - The State Government's Walking Strategy for Western Australia for 2007-2020  ("Walk WA") is intended to encourage all Western Australians to walk more and to develop environments in which the decision to walk is easier. Yet regulation in W.A. appears intent on decreasing rather than increasing access to bushwalking (and camping) opportunities across large areas of our Darling Range water catchments which contain 80% of the total of traditional bushwalking areas near Perth. (See upper inset map or pdf  map; 300KB)  These areas, covering 4500 sq km, not only contribute to Perth's drinking water supply, but also to intensive phased State Forestry harvesting operations across the region. They also include several National Parks. (See lower inset map and WalkGPS 'Parks, Reserves & State Forests' map; 61KB pdf.) While planning to block access, W.A.'s Department of Water (DoW) has contended "there is a vast array of National Parks, Reserves and State Forest in W.A. that people may traverse" (DoW, 3 Feb. 2006).

We live in an age when the community needs every encouragement and opportunity to pursue active, healthy, and stimulating lifestyles rather than risk being placed in ‘mothballs’ by its State servants and protectors.  The value to the community of access to water catchments must be assessed objectively and transparently and weighed against the potential costs to the community of any perceived risks such as to biosecurity and water quality.  Narrowly focused, regulatory zealotry should not supplant the broader community interest.

Enlightened wilderness and park managements in many areas around the world recognize that off-track walking has a low impact on the environment, is sustainable and has high recreational value. They provide for it in their park management policies. In less enlightened cases of park or land management, community access to recreational amenities may be barred as a result of over‑regulation, bureaucracy and misconceptions.

Aspiring walkers and all others interested in the promotion of healthy recreation in this State need to be aware of the following:

The DoW in 2007 recommended as a water quality protection strategy the prohibition of all traditional cross-country bushwalking opportunities across the full extent of drinking water catchment areas, far beyond the limits of  existing or proposed 2 km-wide Reservoir Protection Zones (RPZs). DoWs intention was to restrict bushwalking to “designated trails,  which are currently non-existent over most of the catchment (away from the Bibbulmun Track). The DoW evidently considered walking “off marked trails” as synonymous with walking in“undisturbed environments.  Such environments presumably do not include that majority of areas of the catchment where other ‘off-track’ human and animal activities are ongoing and often intensive e.g. forestry operations; recreational activities such as orienteering, rogaining and geocaching; and animal movements (kangaroos, emus and feral pigs).  The DoW recommendations were not justifiable“precautionary" measures and lacked objectivity and balance. (e.g. See "Mundaring Weir Catchment Area Drinking Water Source Protection Plan" (DWSPP), June 2007; Report # 69, Dept. of Water, Water Resource Protection Series; 3MB pdf version; Pages 41-42 are of particular relevance.)

If ratified, the DoW strategy and recommendations revealed in 2007 would in effect have prohibited walking (other than along the Bibbulmun Track) within most traditional bushwalking areas within the Perth region, including most of the walk areas featured on WalkGPS. By March 2008, the DoW had been persuaded to reconsider its published position. The new Policy of 2012 refrains from banning traditional bushwalking in the outer catchments. The community, including visitors to WalkGPS, need to remain vigilant to ensure that commonsense continues to prevail over regulatory zealotry.

Perhaps a recent more collaborative approach between representatives from various relevant Government bodies (DoW, DEC, DSR, DoH, Tourism WA, Water Corp.) will lead to more enlightened recreational outcomes for the community, including the removal or adjustment of any unnecessary regulatory barriers to bushwalking activities.  Such impediments have been inconsistent with the Government and community's aim of increasing the amount of walking in W.A.

(See WalkGPS  "Future Access?" for more on the issues and link to WalkGPS submission to the Inquiry. Also see WalkGPS "Related Land-Use Issues: The impact of bauxite mining in the Darling Range".)      - Dave Osborne




Wilderness management is 80-90 percent education and information

 and 10 percent regulation.”

- Max Peterson 

(b. 1927), Chief of the U.S. Forest Service; 1979-1987.



If every citizen could take one walk through this [Sierra] reserve, there would be no more trouble about its care; for only in darkness does vandalism flourish.”

- John Muir

(1838-1914), Scottish-American wilderness preservationist & naturalist; Our National Parks, 1901.


“When all the dangerous cliffs are fenced off, all the trees that might fall on people are cut down, all of the insects that bite are poisoned... and all of the grizzlies are dead because they are occasionally dangerous, the wilderness will not be made safe. Rather, the safety will have destroyed the wilderness.”

- R. Yorke Edwards

Canadian biologist & environmentalist.


Consider, for example, the question of "accessibility".  An area that cannot be reached is obviously not being put to use.  On the other hand, one reached too easily becomes a mere "resort" to which people flock for purposes just as well served by golf courses, swimming pools, and summer hotels.  Parks are often described as "recreation areas" and so they are.  But the term "recreation" as ordinarily used does not imply much stress upon the kind of experience which Grand Canyon, despite the flood of visitors that comes to it, still does provide  namely, the experience of being in the presence of nature's ways and nature's work.

- Joseph Wood Krutch

(1893-1970), American writer, critic, naturalist.



Preserving Our Natural Resources for the Public, Instead of from the Public. .”

–motto of the Blue Ribbon Coalition,1987; promoting responsible use of public land in California, USA.



All power being derived from the people: therefore all officers of government, whether legislative or executive, are the trustees and servants and in all times accountable to them.”

- 1776 Pennsylvania Declaration of Rights.



more quotations below





Ironically the low impact of 'off-track' (or cross-country) bushwalking in W.A.'s conditions, including the absence of  worn “trails” in popular traditional bushwalking areas, and the lack of  published 'route' maps for most areas, can be mistakenly taken to suggest such areas are seldom visited and have no special recreational amenity value to the community and bushwalkers in particular.

Several cross-country walking areas on WalkGPS will eventually be affected by an expansion of a major bauxite surface strip-mining project within the southeastern headwaters of the Canning River and Mundaring Weir water catchments, along a corridor stretching 55 km from Albany Highway in the south to beyond Brookton Highway in the north (see map). These areas have high recreational value to the community for bushwalking. They are:  Bannister Hill Walk, Geddes Rock Walk, Gibbs Rocks Walk, Upper Dale River Walk, Qualen Road Walk and Christmas Tree Well Walk.  

See WalkGPS video, "Bannister Hill -once was a Conservation Park"  and WalkGPS photomovie, "Disappearing wandoo woodlands & laterite breakaways" for  examples of the current and future impacts of bauxite mining.

The Department of Water (DoW), in its "Mundaring Weir Catchment Area Drinking Water Source Protection Plan" (June 2007; 5.5Mb pdf) presents its views on the potential water quality risks of bushwalking and camping activities (Table 1, p.39-42) but makes no mention of future mining within that same catchment. The DoW's "Canning River Catchment...Plan" (WRP#77, June 2007; 5Mb pdf) notes that "bauxite mining does not currently occur in the catchment" but will be "acceptable if operated in compliance with conditions..." The mining expansion plans were known, and have since been approved, yet the DoW Plan mentions only ALCOA's separate mining lease and entirely ignores the more relevant, future Worsley operations; Table 1, p.25.  

In an  article "Bauxite Mining in Jarrah Forests" (8 August, 2007; blog) a former General Manager of CALM, Roger Underwood, noted that "Apart from the loss of native forest, there has been a significant loss of run-off into streams and dams in the mined-over catchment areas. Pits have been designed to retain rather than shed rainfall, so run-off to forest streams is close to zero, and in many cases old mine pits cover nearly 50% of each sub-catchment. This has obvious impacts on water resources and aquatic ecosystems."  However, it seems that the DoW remains more concerned with the impact of bushwalkers than with bauxite miners.

Worsley Alumina (*) bauxite mining expansion Environmental Review and Management Programme (ERMP), May 2005  stated there are only “a small number of recreational sites within and near the proposed mining areas” and “most of  the identified sites are in the area around the Bibbulmun Track” (from ERMP Executive Summary, p.23). The ERMP did acknowledge a number of the walk areas that are included on WalkGPS (refer ERMP Vol. 1, Chap. 3, Section 8.2.2). 

Worsley, in consultation with the State, has a right to expand the mining on its lease which was awarded in 1983. The State's Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has in turn a responsibility to the community to ensure that “existing and planned recreational uses are not compromised” (refer ERMP Executive Summary, p.52). The EPA is an independent Authority with the broad objective of protecting the State's environment.

The EPA in February 2008 gave final approval for the Worsley expansion to proceed.  Interestingly in late 2009 the former Chairman and CEO of the EPA (1986-1993 and part 2007), Barry Carbon, was appointed Chairman of start-up company Bauxite Resources Limited (ASX-listed in late 2007) which is currently the largest holder of bauxite-prospective acreage in the Darling Range. Prior to his time with the EPA Mr Carbon also led environmental activities for bauxite miner and alumina producer ALCOA in W.A. Mr Carbon is (in 2010) an active spokesperson for Bauxite Resources and a champion for the bauxite miners' claims of globally unparalleled excellence in rehabilitation of mined forest areas.   

Despite claims to the contrary, post-mining rehabilitation of mined areas can never re-create the intrinsic aesthetic value and variety of the original ancient forested landscape, even in the long-term. The community can only hope that the new mine areas will be minimised so that as much as possible of that value is not lost forever but is preserved to benefit future generations; They will undoubtedly have an even greater need for the amenity and will more widely recognise its value.

Meanwhile, ALCOA is also expanding its operations in the northern Darling Range at a forest-clearing rate of over 900 ha/year to add to the 20,000 ha (200 sq km) of native forest already cleared, mined, 're-landscaped' and 'rehabilitated' . See WalkGPS short video, "Changing the Mt Solus landscape" for another example of the current and future impacts of bauxite mining. Also see Mt Solus Walk page on WalkGPS.

A WalkGPS submission of August 2005 to the EPA (5MB pdf) and a WalkGPS submission of Nov. 2009 (9MB pdf) to the W.A. State parliamentary inquiry into recreation activities in drinking water catchments included summaries of the future enduring impact of bauxite mining on walk areas.  (See also blog posting "Bauxite Mining in Jarrah Forests" of 8 August 2007 by Roger Underwood, a former General Manager of CALM).     - Dave Osborne, WalkGPS.com

(*) Note: Worsley Alumina is a joint venture operation, with BHP Billiton holding 86% interest).





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Also see:    Why Walk?    Why Bushwalk?   Why Cross-country Walk?   Why WalkGPS?



·       Designated Camping policy – For many bushwalkers, the most satisfying walking involves backpacking over a number of days and camping out, to become immersed in the ‘wilderness’ experience. However, camping is currently banned within most of the forested walk areas within the Perth region of Western Australia. Around 80% of the total traditional bushwalking areas close to Perth lie within the extensive water catchments of the Darling Range where camping for walkers is restricted to 15 designated campsites along the Bibbulmun Track between the Kalamunda Terminus and Dwellingup townsite. Within a larger part of these forest areas totalling around 4500 sq km, bushwalkers are therefore limited to day walks only (see map). Unfortunately that will be the case for as long as current State regulations and policies remain unchanged (see related access issues and land-use issues, this page).

·       Time & Convenience – Many walkers today can’t make the time commitment needed for extended walks involving backpacking and camping whereas a day walk may be possible for them most weekends during the walking season.  By definition a day walk is completed within a single day including travel to and from the start point of the walk. For most walks detailed in WalkGPS, walkers can leave Perth at 8.00am and be back well before 5.00pm, having completed a fulfilling, but not exhausting day walk. Minimal advance preparation is required, whereas more extended overnight walks require more time on planning and provisioning. 

·       Light load – A very light day-pack is adequate to carry the day’s requirements (i.e. at least water, food, compass/GPS, map, first aid kit, sunscreen, hat, rain jacket).

·      Low cost  – Equipment requirements are quite modest. Car fuel costs to reach most walk areas are not excessive.

·       Comfort and suitability – Some may not have the enthusiasm or maybe the capability to carry the heavy backpack required for more extended, overnight walks; they may prefer to return to the comforts of their home after a bushwalk, to a hot shower, a home-cooked meal, and a comfortable bed. For their needs, day walks are an excellent compromise.

·       Variety – A stimulating change,  away from your regular exercise and walk routines close to home.

·       Sense of well being and accomplishment – The completion of a good day walk leaves most walkers feeling great!

·       Plus all the benefits of walking and  bushwalking as above.


I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown,

for going out, I found, was really going in.

- John Muir

 (1838-1914), Scottish-American wilderness preservationist & naturalist; 1913;

in John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, L.M. Wolfe, ed., 1938, p. 439.


The walking of which I speak has nothing in it akin to taking exercise, as it is called, as the sick take medicine at stated hours … but is itself the enterprise and adventure of the day.

- Henry David Thoreau

(1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist; Walking, Atlantic Monthly, June 1862.


'I think," said Christopher Robin, "that we ought to eat all our Provisions now,

 so we shan’t have so much to carry"

- A.A. Milne

(1882-1956),  English author; from "Winnie-the-Pooh", Chap. 8, 1954.


Why not seize the pleasure at once? How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!

- Jane Austen

 (1775-1817), English novelist; from "Emma", 1815.



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Also see:   Why Bushwalk?   Why Cross-country Walk?   Why Day Walk?   Why WalkGPS?




   15 good reasons:





  1   Opportunity to Socialise

  2   Opportunity for Solitude, Time to reflect, or Meditate

  3   Increased ‘Sense of Place’

  4   Experience the outdoors

  5   Work-Life balance

  6   Physical health benefits

  7   Healthy appearance

  8   Non-stressful, non-competitive fitness building


  9   Relaxation & improved mental health

10    Improved Sleep

11   Sense of achievement

12   Safe

13   No barriers (or excuses!)

14   Adaptable

15   Low cost




  1.  Opportunity to Socialise




The true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking. The walking is good to time the movement of the tongue by, and to keep the blood and the brain stirred up and active; the scenery and the woodsy smells are good to bear in upon a man an unconscious and unobtrusive charm and solace to eye and soul and sense; but the supreme pleasure comes from the talk.

- Mark Twain  [Samuel Clemens]

 (1835–1910), American humorist, satirist, writer, lecturer; In A Tramp Abroad, Ch. 23 (1880).




  2.  Opportunity for Solitude , Time to reflect, or Meditate


  • Many walkers enjoy walking alone at least some of the time.

  • A chance to ‘slow down’ and find yourself, to take time out, to find some space.  Leave the mobile phone and iPod at home!

  • Some walkers also practice Walking Meditation, initially focusing on a physical awareness of the body’s motion and rhythm and of the senses; experiencing the moment while freeing the mind of everyday thoughts and cares;  allowing new thoughts to flow; achieving ‘mindfulness’ and a sense of contentment and fulfilment; a more ‘spiritual’ dimension of walking.


All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.

- Friedrich Nietzsche

(1844–1900), German philosopher


I can only meditate when I am walking.  When I stop, 
I cease to think; my mind works only with my legs.

-  Jean-Jacques Rousseau

 (1712-1778), Genevan philosopher; from Les Confessions.


“To find new things, take the path you took yesterday.
- John Burroughs

(1837-1921), American naturalist.


“Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”
- Henry David Thoreau

(1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist.


The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts.  This creates an odd consonance between internal and external passage, one that suggests that the mind is also a landscape of sorts and that walking is one way to traverse it. A new thought often seems like a feature of the landscape that was  there all along, as though thinking were traveling rather than making. 

- Rebecca Solnit  

American writer, historian, environmental activist; from Wanderlust: A History of Walking, p. 5; 2000.


“I was the world in which I walked.”
- Wallace Stevens

 (1879-1955), American modernist poet; from Tea at the Palaz of Hoon, in Collected Poetry & Prose, p.51.


Solvitur ambulando
(Translation: "It is solved by walking.)
- Latin proverb


“Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along,

 listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.”

- A.A. Milne

(1882-1956), Pooh's Little Instruction Book, publ. Methuen 1996.


It is not talking but walking that will bring us to heaven."
- Matthew Henry

(1662-1714), English non-conformist clergyman.


“Walking meditation means to enjoy walking without any intention to arrive. We don't need to arrive anywhere.  We just walk. We enjoy walking.  .....  Usually in our daily life we walk because we want to go somewhere.  Walking is only a means to an end, and that is why we do not enjoy every step we take. Walking meditation is different.  Walking is only for walking. You enjoy every step you take.  So this is a kind of revolution in walking.  You allow yourself to enjoy every step you take.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh

 (b. 1926), Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, author, peace activist; from Resting in the River


  If you look for the truth outside yourself,
    It gets farther and farther away.
    Today walking alone, I meet it everywhere I step.
    It is the same as me, yet I am not it.
    Only if you understand it in this way
    Will you merge with the way things are.

 - Tung-shan Liang-chieh

(806-869), ancient Chinese Zen (Ch'an) master.


“On the path that leads to Nowhere I have sometimes found my soul!”
- Corine Roosevelt Robinson

 (1861-1933), poet, lecturer, orator.

From the poem The Path that leads to Nowhere

in The Poems of Corinne Roosevelt Robinson. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1921.


“One step at a time is good walking.”
- Chinese Proverb



Walking alone;

Happy alone.”

 - Masaoka Shiki

(1867-1902), Japanese author, poet, critic;  'Haiku' poem.


Nature is shy and noncommittal in a crowd. To learn her secrets, visit her alone or with a single friend, at most. Everything evades you, everything hides, even your thoughts escape you, when you walk in a crowd.”

 – Edwin Way Teale

(1899-1980), American naturalist, photographer, writer;

Circle of the Seasons: The Journal of a Naturalist’s Year - May 4. (1987).



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  3.  Increased ‘Sense of Place’



      Improve your knowledge of your local environment and feel a part of it.


The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, 

but in having new eyes.”

- Marcel Proust

(1871-1922), French intellectual, novelist, essayist & critic.



Where the track curves out of sight

between the fire-scarred jarrahs,

shadowy among the shadows but noisy

for the forest litter, kangaroos

are rising and retreating. An awe,

an ache, this glimpse. Proceeding,

I discover where they dozed beneath

the grasstrees. I feel their desertion.

I wonder if I should go on or go back.

Either way, who will give me welcome?

 - © Andrew Lansdown

 (b. 1954-), West Australian poet; from Birds in Mind (Wombat Books, 2009).

Visit andrewlansdown.com


“We shall not cease from exploration

 And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.”

- T. S. Eliot

 (1888-1965), American poet, dramatist, and literary critic; from Little Gidding.


“It is not enough to just "love nature" or want to "be in harmony with Gaia." Our relation to the natural world takes place in a place, and it must be grounded in information and experience.”

- Gary Snyder

(b.1930), American poet, essayist, environmental activist.


“The country was all wrong and I felt cheated.  This wasn't what I had come back for; where were the ferntree gullies, the high plains, the trout?  All the plants scratched your legs.  The jarrah was a grotesque parody of a tree, gaunt, misshapen, usually with a few dead limbs, fire-blackened trunk, and barely enough leaves to shade a small ant.  If you went camping in the summer, you carried water – you couldn't take a running stream for granted. It was slowly borne in on me that I wasn't an Australian at all, but a Victorian…. Slowly I came to understand the land better.” 

- George Seddon

(1927-2007), Australian academic; writing of Western Australia in the Foreword to his “Sense of Place”; 1972.


One of the most interesting anomalies in Australian environmentalism is that the alumina industry is destroying the jarrah forest - and nobody seems to care. At least, nobody is complaining.   .......

...there will come a time in the not-too-distant future when West Australians realise what has gone on, and the extent and cost of the ecological damage which has occurred. Then perhaps they will look back on the government, agency and NGO-supported destruction of the jarrah forest by bauxite mining as one of the greatest conservation blunders in our history. 

- Roger Underwood

former General Manager of W.A. Dept. of Conservation & Land Management (CALM); from blog post, 8 August, 2007.


“There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country.  A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo.  Even a bicycle goes too fast.” 

- Paul Scott Mowrer

  (1887-1971), U.S. newspaper correspondent; from The House of Europe; 1945.


“If a certain assemblage of trees, of mountains, of waters, and of houses that we call a landscape is beautiful, it is not because of itself, but through me, through my own indulgence, through the thought or the sentiment that I attach to it.”

- Charles Baudelaire

(1821-1867), French poet.


“If the day ever comes when they know who
They are, they may know better where they are.”
- Robert Frost

(1874-1963), American poet; from A Cabin in the Clearing; 1951.


“The beauty of nature includes all that is called beautiful, as its flower, and all that is not called beautiful, as its stalk and roots.  Indeed, when I go to the woods or the fields, or ascend to the hilltop, I do not seem to be gazing upon beauty at all, but to be breathing it like the air. I am not dazzled or astonished; I am in no hurry to look lest it be gone. I would not have the litter and debris removed, or at the bands trimmed, or the ground painted. What I enjoy is commensurate with the earth and sky itself. It clings to the rocks and trees; it is kindred to the roughness and savagery; it arises from every tangle and chasm; it perches on the dry oakstubs with the hawks and buzzards; the crows shed it from their wings and weave it in to their nests of coarse sticks; the fox barks it, the cattle low it, and every mountain path leads to its haunts. I am not a spectator of, but a participator in it. It is not an adornment; its roots strike to the centre of the earth.”


- John Burroughs

(1837-1921), American naturalist; from Birds and Poets, 1877.


I thought how sadly beauty of inscape was unknown and buried away from simple people and yet how near at hand it was if they had eyes to see it and it could be called out everywhere again.

- Gerard Manley Hopkins

(1844-1899), British poet, Jesuit priest; from Journal, July 19, 1872.

  4.  Experience the outdoors



Away from the internet and sedentary lifestyle diseases.  Stimulate the senses and perhaps help the kids discover nature. (See also The Sandgropers blog-Bushwalks for family inspiration.)

Discover also that a place need not be "stunning", "splendid", "spectacular", "breathtaking" or "iconic" to reward the walker (and the family) with a 'great' walk!

Also see Why Bushwalk?”.


“Go outside and walk a bit, long enough to take in and record new surroundings.  Enjoy the best-kept secret around - the ordinary, everyday landscape that touches any explorer with magic.”

- John R. Stilgoe

 Outside Lies Magic: Regaining History and Awareness in Everyday Places, 1998.



for Naomi, aged three

‘Do Kookeeburras

eat cookies?’ she asks. The bird

laughs again, rattling

it out. We are bushwalking.

She holds my hand, my heart.

 - © Andrew Lansdown

 (b. 1954-), West Australian poet; from The Grasshopper Heart (Collins/Angus & Robertson, 1991).

Visit andrewlansdown.com


Bad weather always looks worse through a window.

- Tom Lehrer

(1928-), American singer, satirical songwriter, mathematician.

  5.  Work-Life balance



Walking is a natural and gentle discipline - while exercising the body it also slows us down and takes us out of the ‘fast lane’ for a while.  While it may not provide the level of excitement and technical and physical challenges of modern competitive sports and many other recreational activities, it does offer the simplest and surest means of maintaining a balance in our increasingly frenetic modern lifestyles.


“After a day's walk everything has twice its usual value.”

- G.M. Trevelyan

(1876-1962), British historian.


“Above all, do not lose your desire to walk.  Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness.  I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.” 

 - Soren Kierkegaard

(1813-1855), Danish philosopher & theologian.


“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

 - Mohandas [Mahatma] Gandhi

(1869-1948), Indian political and spiritual leader.


“Walking takes longer... than any other known form of locomotion except crawling.  Thus it stretches time and prolongs life.  Life is already too short to waste on speed.”

 -Edward Abbey

(1927-1989), American author & essayist; from The Journey Home; 1977.


“I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes, my rage, forgetting everything.”

- Pablo Neruda [Ricardo Basoalto]

(1904-1973); Chilean poet & politician;  translated; from poem "Walking Around".


  6.  Physical  health benefits



·       Regular moderate to brisk walking decreases risk of :

-        Heart disease and stroke (by boosting ‘good’ blood cholesterol and lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol, and reducing blood pressure). Walking half an hour a day will reportedly reduce your risk of developing heart disease by around 30% compared to not exercising.

-        Type 2 Diabetes (by improving the body’s ability to produce insulin).

-        Osteoporosis (by increasing bone density).

-        Osteoarthritis (due to beneficial effects of weight loss).

-        Some cancers (e.g. colon & breast cancer).

·       Increases metabolic rate (therefore burns calories).

·       Reduces risk of falls and injuries (including leg or hand fractures) - because joints have a better range of motion, the muscles gain more flexibility, and the bones are strengthened.

·       Increases physical  fitness

-        Posture, muscle tone, strength, mobility, flexibility, and stamina.


“Walking is a man's best medicine.”

- Hippocrates

(c.460-370BC), ancient Greek physician & "the Father of Medicine".


“Of all exercises walking is the best.”
- Thomas Jefferson

 (1743-1826), third President of the U.S.A.


 “I have two doctors, my left leg and my right.” 

- G.M. Trevelyan

(1876-1962), British historian; from Walking, essay in The Art of Walking, 1934.


  7.  Healthy appearance



·        Gets and keeps you looking good. 

·        Reduces excess body fat & weight naturally, without unrealistic dieting (provided that food intake also isn't increased!).


  8.  Non-stressful, non-competitive fitness building



·      Build fitness comfortably and steadily as an alternative to more vigorous forms of activity.  

·      No need for a punishing exercise regime (the old "no pain, no gain" adage).  -  A "brisk but comfortable pace" is sufficient to raise the heart rate to recommended levels. Low impact but dynamic activities such as walking are also more effective in burning fat in the healthiest manner.  The fat-burning effect apparently kicks-in about 30-40 minutes after the start of walking.

·      No pressure to perform. 

·      Set your own goals.  

·      At your own pace, in your own time.  


“If a man does not keep pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.”
 - Henry David Thoreau

 (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist,

 in “Walden’ (Conclusion).


“Slow down and enjoy life.  It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast

 - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”
- Eddie Cantor

(1892-1964) U.S. comedian, singer, actor, songwriter.



  9.  Relaxation & improved mental health



Regular walking:

·        Reduces stress, anxiety, tension.

·        Enhances confidence and sense of well being. i.e. Helps you feel positive and lifts the spirits.

·        Combats depression.

·        Builds self-esteem.


We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it.

We get it rough enough at home, in towns and cities.
- George W.Sears

 (1821-1890), U.S. adventurer & early conservationist; in "Woodcraft", 1884.


“A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.”
- Paul Dudley White

 (1886-1973), U.S. pioneering cardiologist.


“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God…I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”

- Anne Frank

 (1929-1945), German diarist and Holocaust victim.


If you want to know if your brain is flabby, feel your legs.”

- Bruce Barton

(1886-1967), U.S. author, advertising exec., politician.


“Now shall I walk
or shall I ride?
‘Ride,’ Pleasure said:
‘Walk,’ Joy replied.”
- W.H. Davies

 (1871-1940), Welsh poet and writer,

 who for most of his life was a tramp in the USA and UK.


 The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy; walk and be healthy.

The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose.” 

- Charles Dickens

(1812-1870), British novelist.


  10.  Improved Sleep



Regular moderate-intensity exercise such as brisk walking can result in improved quality of sleep.


 .…[the] brisk exercise imparts elasticity to the muscles, fresh and healthy blood circulates through the brain, the mind works well, the eye is clear, the step is firm, and a day's exertion always makes the evening's repose thoroughly enjoyable. 

- David Livingstone

(1813-1873), Scottish explorer.

from "The Last Journals of David Livingstone in Central Africa, from 1865 to his Death"

(journal entry of 26 Mar. 1866); ed. H.Waller, 1874.


  11.  Sense of achievement



Steadily and naturally build up your fitness through increased walking distances and/or reduced times. 


  12.  Safe



·        Low risk of injuries. Not hard on joints. Low risk of muscle strains.

·        With basic fitness, simple skills and sensible preparation (including some essentials for bushwalking) , the risks are minimal.


  13.  No barriers (or excuses!)



·      Age, ability and  background not relevant.

·      No special athletic skills or training  required – just get started! 


Early one morning, any morning, we can set out, with the least
possible baggage, and discover the world.

- Thomas A. Cook

(b.1944), Scottish poet, from the poem "In Praise of Walking" (1988).


“My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. 

She's ninety-three today and we don't know where the hell she is.” 

- Ellen DeGeneres

 (b. 1958), U.S. actress, stand-up comedian, talk-show host.


  14.  Adaptable



·      Solitude or social interaction according to your personal choice. 

·      Easy to fit into a schedule.  

·      Walking opportunities are almost anywhere, anytime. 


“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready, and it may be a long time before they get off.”

- Henry David Thoreau

(1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist.


I can enjoy society in a room; but out of doors, Nature is company enough for me. ......

The soul of a journey is liberty, perfect liberty, to think, feel, do, just as one pleases.” 

- William Hazlitt

 (1778-1830), English writer & essayist, from "On Going a Journey" (1822).


  15.  Low cost



·        No expensive equipment or amenities required and no (or minimal) fees.

·        Key essential is a pair of proper, comfortable walking shoes (or boots, plus additional requirements for Bushwalking).   


"Walking is the exercise that needs no gym. It is the prescription without medicine, the weight control without diet, the cosmetic that is sold in no drugstore. It is the tranquilizer without a pill, the therapy without a psychoanalyst, the fountain of youth that is no legend. A walk is the vacation that does not cost a cent."

Aaron Sussman & Ruth Goode

from "The Magic of Walking", 1967.


"Your possessions should set you free like a boat or a pair of hiking boots.

If you work for your possessions and they don't set you free, what are you working for?"

- Billy Harris


"It is good to collect things; but it is much, much better to go on long walks and collect experiences."

- Anatole France

(1844-1924), French author.



ON THIS PAGE:               Why Walk?      Why Bushwalk?     Why Cross-country Walk?     Why Day Walk?     Why WalkGPS?



Many of the boxed quotations on this page are from secondary sources including : 

Quotegarden     American Trails 

Others are sourced from the original works.

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This page was last updated  :   24 March, 2017

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