2020 was huge for BPTRV. We started the year with a hiking safari through west Tasmania followed by unwinding and touring Tassie’s east coast, then we explored the Great Ocean Road and Great Otway National Park on an almost daily basis before the Coronavirus showed us her destructive power and the world locked-down.
Although we could no longer get out on the road or hit the hiking trail, things didn’t slow down for BPTRV. Instead of visiting new places, we were able to publish videos, share photos and write over 100,000 words on a bunch of different places around Australia and the occasional European travel destination. We opened the Backpacking & Travel Store, met our first few happy customers and grew our blog to thousands of monthly visitors alongside heavily growing our, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube following. It’s been a big year and we finished it off with a hike in the Brisbane Ranges and planning session yesterday, on the eve of 2021.
Any chance that we get, we head to the coast, usually somewhere on the Surf Coast between Torquay & Lorne, whether it be for a surf, snorkel or just to walk the dog. Although the last time that we headed to that area on New Years Eve, we got stuck in a traffic jam for about 2 hours near Aireys Inlet. It was 45 degrees and the tyres of our trailer began melting. So, with those memories in-mind, we decided to go somewhere that always seems to be a bit more quiet and off the agenda for most, the Brisbane Ranges.
This was our third trip to the Brisbane Ranges National Park. We went camping there a couple of years ago and then hiked the Anakie Gorge Loop in November. Both times, the place was stunning and remarkably quiet for somewhere right between Melbourne, Geelong & Ballarat. Seeing as we wanted to avoid the holiday crowds, head somewhere close to home and just go for a stroll troll through the bush where we could discuss our plans for 2021, a hike in the Brisbane Ranges ticked the boxes.
Our last hike in the Brisbane Ranges was at a pretty popular spot (relatively speaking) in the eastern part of the National Park. This time, we went stayed a bit more the south and hiked around Steglitz.
The carpark for the hiking trail is on the edge of town. There were about half a dozen cars parked there, a having some brunch on a picnic table and two girls walking there dog, so we thought that maybe there are some people with the same plans and intention as ours, although we only saw one other couple on the rest of the trail.
For the first few hundred metres, the path was so wide that you could drive down it, but then it quickly became narrow, a kilometre or so later, the track disappeared all-together.
Luckily for us, Eva had researched the map before starting the hike and knew that if we followed the creek for long enough, we’d eventually arrive at a track that leads all of the way back to our car, so that’s exactly what we did.
With my big boots and thick pants, I thought pretty highly of bashing through the bush and making our own way through the forest, but Eva’s bare legs, running shorts and sneakers coupled with her justifiable fear for snakes and spiders made her experience a bit less enjoyable than mine.
After a kilometre or two of trekking plus crossing the creek a dozen times to find the most accommodating terrain, we made it to a well defined trail and followed it back to our car. We saw some cool stone formations and lots of beautiful dry native flora, but the last kilometre or so along the actual trail was the highlight of the trip, where had views down into the gorge in one direction and views of the rolling Eucalyptus tree covered hills in the other.
Although this trail won’t make it into our recommended places to go hiking in Victoria, it was satisfying to get out doors one last time for the year. During our walk, we discussed our plans for 2021, which includes publishing dozens of travel guides, campground reviews, hiking trail review and massively increasing the volume of superior quality and damn good looking travel, hiking and camping products on the BPTRV shop.
Happy New Year. Welcome to 2021. If you’ve got some big goals for the year ahead, let us know about it below by leaving a comment!
Guy & Eva.