Australian Alps Walking Track

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Authors - John Chapman, Monica Chapman, John Siseman
Publisher - John Chapman
Updates-Ed5Contents Page

.AAWT cover
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Book posted September 14th - see note below


NOTE - we will be away walking from July 17th until September 11th 2022. Our house sitter collects mail but cannot process orders.
On our return we will process and try to post all orders by September 14th 2022.

If you want a book earlier, we suggest ordering direct from Open Spaces Publishing or ABC Maps
(they are both distributors and should have stock)

This is the guide for the Australian Alps Walking Track which runs from Walhalla near Melbourne to Canberra. It includes full track notes to the 660km route. An essential companion for anyone intending to walk the track. For extra information for basic planning and suggested itineraries read this page on this site.
It contains 240 pages, 175 colour photos, 51 - 1:50,000 topographic maps, ISBN 978 1 920995 21 8, 5th edition recommended retail is $44.95

We will leave updates for the 4th edition on our website for a few months after delivery of the 5th edition. Once the new edition arrives, we will not continue updating the now quite old 4th edition.

If you are seeking a shorter leadup walk, then consider McMillans Walking Track. It is 210km long and takes up to 14 days walking and traverses the southern side of the alps. It has a lot of similarities with steep climbs and ascents, forested sections, river crossings and even a long off-track section. Of course there are also some differences with gold mining relics and one day with 24 river crossings! It is easier to organise as there is access by two wheel drive about every 2 or 3 days and, with a four-wheel drive, access to the track every night except one. It crosses the Australian Alps Walking Track at Mt Shillinglaw.

Purchasing

The 5th edition is the same size as the previous edition. While the track has remained in the same location, there are many small changes like water tanks, minor road and track re-alignments and an alternative route for when the Murrumbidgee River is too dangerous to cross safely. Also due to a new walking track being created, the official route of the track through part of the Kosciuszko National Park has been moved to a much better alignment. Its still not as interesting as the untracked route across the Rolling Grounds but if you have to leave the tops is a far more pleasant walk than the previous alignment which was nearly all road bashing.

For details about payment options, posting, packaging and ordering multiple copies, refer to the paragraph at the top of our general Publication page.

The 4th edition sold out in late 2020. Due to the Covid lockdowns, we were unable to rewalk the track as originally planned in the spring of 2020, we had to do it in sections between lockdowns and did not complete checking until late May 2021. As part of the track was closed, we were unable to rewalk the Johnnies Top section - due to the recent fire its possible some of the vehicle tracks around Johnnies Top have changed. The rangers tell us the water tank was not damaged and apart from heavy fire damage to the forest not much else changed. If we waited until that section opened so we could walk it before working on the new edition, the guide would have been delayed until the middle of 2022 or later. We decided most walkers want it earlier than that so we decided to print it this summer without a recent check of Johnnies Top. We did do a drive around on the roads that were open, visited Buenba Creek, Mt Hope Road etc and did some short walk-ins to see how extensive the fire was (basically the fires were intense, easy walking this year but in 5 years time, it could be very thick scrub!).

Previous editions

The first three editions were written and published by John Siseman (under his Pindari Publications name). He asked us to join with him to produce the 4th edition. That edition was a major rewrite and major redesign - it was printed in colour throughout and had 51 new colour topographic maps for the entire track which reduced the need for some maps where the track crosses map corners. To save production time, the new fifth edition (2021) layout was based on the previous 4th edition layout and we used about 2/3 of the photos from the previous edition. This saved several weeks of work enabling us to get it into print earlier than otherwise as we know there are many wanting to use the 5th edition. We did update and edit all of the text.

Regarding maps, we suggest still taking the major maps (the 1:100,000 series or Rooftop Maps are a good choice) as they are more useful in emergencies when you have to leave the track to exit the area. While the Rooftop maps are essentially designed for four-wheel drive, if you have to leave you should follow the roads out hence why they are excellent maps for emergency exits as those maps show which roads lead to towns.

Elevation profiles are improved with more detail and the 175 colour photographs are placed with the text they illustrate. Where needed, notes are provided for the reverse direction from Canberra to Walhalla and there are 46 specific notes for Southbound walkers - as we have walked the reverse direction  we were able to assess where extra information was needed. We considered providing full reverse notes such as done in our Larapinta Trail book - after working out the book would be close to 400 pages and weigh nearly twice as much, we realised it was not practical, most would not want to carry a book of that weight.
 
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Photographs and text are copyright 2009-2022 John Chapman.
  Last updated : July 15th 2022