I guess the reason for him cutting short the Kimberley's and Northern tip of Queensland, was that it must have been inaccessible or too dangerous back then. Anyway it seems like travelers have already been advised 100 years ago to stay clear of these places.
There is an Ed Stafford "Marooned" episode where he tries to survive in the Kimberley's. (much endorse).
edit: If you have visited Australia (or plan to go) don't miss out on Bill Bryson's "Down Under" (must read if you like travel literature that is also hilarious) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Down_Under_(book)
I drove around Namibia once. Just the same. One set of directions was little more than "drive 120km North of [small town whose name I can't remember] and you'll see a signpost to our Lodge on your left". There was literally nothing else between the two points.
One day a car overtook us (in the middle of nowhere) and then stopped and waved us down. They were lost and wanted directions. They were headed in the right direction (east to west) but the road they should have been on was a parallel one about 50km to the north. They'd turned too early.
It turned out that there is a tourist loop that kinda tracks the perimeter of the country. On one particularly busy day we counted more than 30 vehicles. In the whole day. If you drove clockwise around the loop, most days at around midday you'd encounter the traffic coming anticlockwise. They'd left their accommodation in the morning and were driving to their next place.
What are the specific issues in the Northern tip of Queensland exactly? Crocs? Also is the issue the the Kimberley's the same as the usual interior/outback? I didn't realize Bryson has an Australia book I will definitely look for that. Thanks for the tip.
Wikipedia notes that the first time somebody made the trip wasn't that long before our protagonist in this post decided to skip the peninsular:
> The tip of the peninsula (Cape York) was finally reached by Europeans in 1864 when the brothers Francis Lascelles (Frank) and Alexander William Jardine, along with eight companions, drove a mob of cattle from Rockhampton to the new settlement of Somerset (on Cape York) where the Jardines' father was commander. En route they lost most of their horses, many of their stores and fought pitched battles with Aboriginal people, finally arriving in March 1865.
Poisonous plants, poisonous animals, crocs, snakes, spiders, Scrub so thick you'd wear out a knife cutting through it, local aboriginals that may also hunt you. Mosquitos with Dengue Fever, the daintree ulcer, the list goes on.
really?? which year was this?
That said, there is still a whole lotta nothing along the way, and you still need to keep your eyes peeled or you'll run into wildlife or get flattened by a road train. It'll also be extra tedious if you can't alternate driving with somebody else.
the road to coober peddy, uluru etc should be maintained will enough today and provided you don't make shortcuts (or "go exploring" off the main road) but you still need to watch for large kangaroos, emus and dingos crossing. Dead or alive, they're no fun to crash into - although a road train will not stop for them (they probably couldn't even if they wanted to stop).
 But must make a lot of economic sense.
Some golden rules are;
1) Take a few more days water than you expect the journey to take.
2) Let someone know when you should hit checkpoints so they can report if you don't show.
3) Don't go off track if you don't know what you are doing.
4) Dont leave the car if you break down.
5) If a crossing is flooded, don't take it.
But I think that's a relatively well trafficked route if you take the main roads.
He wrote a great book about his trip, prizing amazing African nature and giving a hard time colonial powers for making this continent such a miserable living place for its natives. Book does not have English translation unfortunately.
Nowak died soon after coming back (trip was really exhausting, he got Malaria) and for many years his achievement was forgotten. In 1962 his daughter managed to publish a book her father trip, but it didn't attract much attention (communists didn't like to promote anything positive about pre-communism times achievements). Finally it was reedited in 2000 and become very popular in Poland.
edit: Ryszard Kapuscinski style, a mix of journalism with literature, definitely worths a read. I believe his legacy is underrated even in his own country.
It looks like there actually is English translation:
Robyn Davidson (born 6 September 1950) is an Australian writer best known for her 1980 book Tracks, about her 2,700 km (1,700 miles) trek across the deserts of Western Australia using camels. Her career of travelling and writing about her travels has spanned 40 years.
Some reviews of the CD-ROM from a 1994 college class:
(Scroll down to Multimedia Reviews and there four student reviews of the CD.)
The saddest part of the book is when her dog dies, eating poisoned meat.
Quite a story
TIL about Aidan de Brune.
Until I looked it up, I thought you meant John Muir, a famous American naturalist who founded the Sierra Club. It's crazy that there are two famous explorers with such similar names.
More seriously does anyone know why? Just personal preference? My understanding is that it's mostly national parks down there in VIC but I'm not sure how it would be to walk since I've never even driven there. It makes sense to avoid the Snowy Mountains but I think that could have been achieved by swinging around closer to the coast?
Im Brisbane and one time my partner was skyping with her Nordic family. I was getting the fireplace going and they asked the temperature, I cant remember exactly but it was about 20 and any the look on their faces was priceless.
Wow, this is impressive; more than a marathon a day on terrain like that for 2.5 years.
I do similar stuff on and off, though not at that scale (trips lasting up to a year when I was young but now they're more like 2-4 months max with a year or more break in between).
what I know from personal experience is that it's incredibly difficult to stop. the routine somehow becomes all consuming and takes over your life.
a farmer once told me after losing his cow that timing for finding it is critical because leaving them isolated from the herd they will get used to it and then have problems fitting in from that point onward. they lose their ability to be part of the group and do no longer need the herd. perhaps there is a similar thing with humans.
If you successfully cover 1000 miles across a terrain alone, and found a way to not "just survive" but "thrive" it can be hard to stop (especially if there are no kids or family to return to). Why not make it 2000 miles? Why stop at all and instead break a rekord? Getting off my butt and go traveling is IMO a lot harder than stopping yourself. The isolation changes you so much you will come home crazy (you will need some way to reintegrate yourself into civilization. but there is also a beauty in not being understood since nobody can take it and the memory and experience is your treasure. there is no point of sharing it too much. even if you tried explaining it people wouldn't get it. they might get what you have seen but not how it changed you. so just enjoy it as something that belongs only to you and that only you can enjoy).
damn, now I wrote myself into a state of mind where I want to pack my rucksack and leave at once. perhaps a pandemic is a good chance to disappear for a couple of months. Europe is still too cold for now but perhaps in a month is a good time ...
One could also argue that wading through the sea in knee-deep water would be walking around the island in the strict mathematical sense. That’s doable for some islands.
And of course, the true nitpicking topologist realizes that, topologically, walking in a circle with radius 1m anywhere outside Australia is the same as walking in a circle with radius of almost 20,000 km that encompasses Australia, and thus is ‘walking around Australia’. I just did that. Took me a few seconds, at most ;-)
But in this case, the man seems to have actually walked the perimeter of the island.
Except they clearly didn't mean that the guy roamed Australia, because that's not particularly noteworthy. He "packed his backpack and walked around the entire continent of Australia by the coastline". The grandparent is pedantically correct that well actually you cannot walk around island. Must be fun at parties...
Really, it seems a very complicated concept to define precisely, and it would entail a lot of seemingly arbitrary parameters.
Wait, isn't this Hacker news? I want to be given a definition and analyze it deeply.
For instance, looking at the wikipedia page it seems that the closest that De Brune got to Cape York Tip (the northernmost point of Australia) was about one thousand kilometers. If this "counts" as a complete tour, he might as well had walked consistently 1000km inland for a much shorter tour (but maybe harder, due to the desert?).
Well that's anti-social and not welcome here. Please check the guidelines for the site for how to communicate.
> Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says
> don't cross-examine
Mathematics is pretty much on topic here. I made a valid point, just for fun, that giving a precise mathematical definition of "walking around an island" is a tricky issue. Of course everybody knows what does it mean roughly, but making that point, about a mathematical definition cannot be construed as anti-social. Unless you consider mathematics anti-social.
So you know this goes against
But you've generated such a strong negative reaction that you've been flagged and the comment has been removed, so it's a lot of people saying it, not just my random opinion!
A minimal-length, non-intersecting loop for which every point on the coast is within d metres of at least one point on the loop.
The only parameter is d, which I think most people would happily set to 5 or 10 km for a country the size of Australia.
It may not be unique, but I think anything obeying this would count.
In September 1921 he began a walk around the perimeter of Australia, from Sydney to Sydney, anticlockwise.
"Little is known about Aidan de Brune following the conclusion of his walk. We catch a glimpse here and there. On 28 March 1933 an article by de Brune appeared in the Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser as one of a series of articles about Australian novelists. The article was about de Brune himself, in which he outlined his life. It was mostly fictitious. As we know, de Brune was actually Herbert Charles Cull and he did few, if any, of the things mentioned in the article." .. so if he's known to embellish or fabricate details...?
The light load is a great sign he knew what is important during endurance adventures.
Funnily enough I had the same sort of "doubting people" while I walked across Spain and Portugal with a 20 liter day pack.