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Enjoy the great outdoors

By Jo Cordell-Cooper*

EVERYONE who knows even a little bit about me knows I am mad keen on bush walking.

There are benefits that are obviously health and fitness related, and are summed up in this fabulous statement by actress Jamie Lunar from Melrose Place:

“Hiking is the best work out. You can hike for three hours and not even realise you’re working out. And, hiking alone lets me have some time to myself.”

Well said Jamie.

I do not doubt this has serious appeal to so many people.

Research backs up her sentiments and there is a plethora of material that has found walking in nature reduces stress and anxiety symptoms.

This has been anecdotally discussed many times over the years.

One just needs to search ‘inspiring hiking quotes’ and you’ll find quotes from Socrates, Aristotle and Father of National Parks (US) John Muir, who penned this gem in the late 1800s:

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilised people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity. “

So, how lucky are we to have such a magnificent mountain right at our door step.

There are walks to satisfy the hardiest of hikers, as well as the beginner.

There are access points aplenty.

My personal favourite is right along the face of the Organ Pipes, along the Organ Pipes Track that leaves from the Chalet.

You will find this track fairly easy to follow and you’ll be rewarded by the most breathtaking views of the Organ Pipes – straight up, in fact.

Go as far along as you like and return, or pop onto either the zig zag track (providing equally stunning views from a somewhat different aspect), or saw mill track for a more challenging experience.

There are circuits aplenty on the mountain, but as the Hobart City Council is upgrading some tracks it’s best to check www.greaterhobarttrails.com.au.

Here’s a few tips for those new to walking our mountain:

Be prepared for changes in weather (know the weather forecast before you start) – carry clothing to suit.

Always have a map of the mountain – there are so many routes (Service Tasmania sells them).

Carry a phone preferably with Telstra coverage – coverage can be sketchy in places.

Wear hiking shoes – this is no place for city shoes.

Stay on the path.

Carry out any rubbish.

There are toilets at the Springs and at the top, but not on the tracks in between – know how to deal with toileting waste.

Mount Wellington is a remarkable park for people as it remains to be a tame kind of wild.

The tracks are well marked but still one can get all the benefits from being in a much more remote location.

Jo Cordell-Cooper is the owner of twice award winning Active Solutions and Health Network and founder of not-for-profit Tasmanian Iconic Walks. Contact via phone 0409 862 206 or email activesolutionstas@gmail.com.