Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Historical re-enactment celebrates birthplace of Australian bushwalking and conservation

A group of bushwalkers will set off this week on an eleven-day expedition in period costume, using century old equipment, trekking through the Blue Mountains wilderness to celebrate the birth of conservation in Australia one hundred years ago.

The Colong Wilderness Walk – Dunphy’s Kowmung Adventure will re-create the Myles Dunphy and Bert Gallop’s historic 1914 journey along the Kowmung River which ignited Australian’s love of bushwalking and the protection of natural areas for conservation.

The walk is a lead in to the once-in-a-decade IUCN World Parks Congress being held in Sydney in November and a documentary of the expedition will be shown to the 4,000 international delegates attending the Congress.

The momentous expedition will be led by two young adventurers, Sierra Classen (24) and Alex Allchin (19), who are keen to share their passion for national parks and wilderness areas with others.

“This is a great opportunity leading into the IUCN World Parks Congress to celebrate the incredible legacy of Dunphy and Gallop and ensure their passion for the nature carries through to future generations, “ Mr Allchin said.

“The origins of bushwalking and nature conservation are intertwined and this expedition lead to the formation of the Mountain Trails Club, then the National Parks and Primitive Areas Council and eventually the protection of what is now the Greater Blue Mountains National Park.

“Dunphy and Gallop were the first to use a light weight tent and swags which allowed for people to go bushwalking for longer periods and really get an appreciation for the magic of walking deep into the wilderness.

“We know that the more people experience nature first hand, the more advocate we have for its protection.”

“Dunphy and Gallop didn’t achieve their aim to follow the Kowmung River due to the extremely rugged terrain and torrential rain they encountered,” Ms Classen said.

“But they did come away with an experience that drove them to fight for the protection of some of Australia’s most iconic landscape and that’s what we hope to capture on this trip.”

The Colong Wilderness Walk – Dunphy’s Kowmung Adventure leave from Katoomba at 10am Friday 26th September and finish at Oakdale on Monday 6th October.

Media contact: Olivia Greentree 0439 411 774