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Overland trek guide for young adventurers


Of the 8000 people who tackle the world-famous Overland Track each year, almost one in ten is under 18 years old.  A new publication from the Parks and Wildlife Service recognises that the experience is different for children.

While most adults recall the six to seven- day hike through Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area as a life-changing event, for children and teens, it’s also a formative experience – a rite of passage. My Overland Track Journey – For Young Adventurers is a trek guide for 8-17 year olds to celebrate their remarkable journey through one of the world's most pristine and spectacular wild places. It is designed for their eyes, which often see the walk differently to those of the adults they accompany on the journey.

Interpretation officer and guide author, Fiona Rice, said the challenge to create a product to appeal to such a wide age range was met through careful use of language, graphic design and photograph selection.

“The result is a guide that is inspiring, engaging and interactive. It contains a great balance of things to do and read, with individual and group activities, natural and cultural, easy and hard, indoor and outdoor. Every page invites a response from the reader,” Fiona said.

The guide includes a daily reflection journal on the physical, natural and emotional highlights of each day.

 It also contains myriad other activities to do during the day:  things to find, to feel, to smell, to engage with, to conquer; things to share, and laugh at, and be amazed by.  And in the evenings, activities to do with other walkers:  quizzes and puzzles, stories of those who've trod the path long before them, nocturnal life and night sky adventures.

Some activities are solo, some are shared. Some encourage them to talk with other walkers, or to engage with track rangers and trackworkers. Some activities help them see the value of wilderness and their role in caring for wild places.

The trek guide also celebrates their achievement. It includes a certificate on completion to be collected at the visitor centre, signed and stamped by a ranger, while the book itself is a share-point for those at home.

The authors consulted with children and teens, their parents, teachers and track rangers while developing the guide. Here are some comments from reviewers.

"A brilliant resource. So comprehensive and thorough. Makes me want to do that walk all over again – with my kids!" (Jane Graham-Smith, Primary School teacher and parent, Hobart)

"Incredibly impressive product. I asked the girls from years 7 to 10 who recently did the Overland Track to review this product. They want to do the walk again – with the book! (David Witcomb, Outdoor Education Teacher, St Michaels Collegiate School, Hobart.)

"I think you are under-estimating your audience. 20 to 30 year olds will want this too!" (Rhys, Overland Track Ranger.)

The Trek Guide is provided complimentary to under-18 year olds walking the track during the booking season. For others, it’s $10 and is available from Cradle Mountain or Lake St Clair Visitor Centre, and from the Parks online shop at www.parks.tas.gov.au/shop

Overland trek guide for young adventurers

The Overland Track Trek Guide is great reading for all who've walked (or would love to walk) the world renowned Overland Track.