Step into bushwalking this autumn

Step into bushwalking this autumn

Walk­ing is one of the eas­i­est ways to be phys­i­cal­ly active and you can do it vir­tu­al­ly any­where with very lit­tle equip­ment. It’s a great activ­i­ty for keep­ing your body healthy. In fact, just 30 min­utes a day can reduce the risk of ill­ness such as heart dis­ease, can­cer and diabetes. 

It’s also great for our minds, is an ide­al way to con­serve and enjoy our envi­ron­ment and is acces­si­ble for most people. 

But, if you’re new to bush­walk­ing there are a few things to think of before you set off to help you remain safe. 

Choose your group

It is always best to bush­walk with oth­er peo­ple. If there will be more than four peo­ple in your group it is a good idea to nom­i­nate a respon­si­ble per­son who will take the lead to ensure prepa­ra­tion is done and all walk­ers are looked after. The speed and fit­ness of the slow­est per­son will decide how far you can walk and how quick­ly. South Aus­tralia has many fan­tas­tic walk­ing clubs, so con­sid­er join­ing one near you.

Pre­pare and plan

Find out as much as you can about your cho­sen walk so that you know what to expect in the way of ter­rain and points of inter­est. Be sure to have a map to take with you, either on paper or down­loaded to your phone. Tell an emer­gency con­tact where you are going, what time you expect to return and what to do if you do not come back in time. Check­the pre­dict­ed walk­ing and weath­er con­di­tions to help you choose the right clothes.. 

Pack your bag

Make sure you are well equipped, have appro­pri­ate cloth­ing and car­ry enough food and water. Car­ry your gear in a small, stur­dy, com­fort­able back pack. Tak­ing a lunch box will ensure you can take your rub­bish home. Be sure to car­ry 2 litres of water, or more if it’s warm. Oth­er essen­tials include a first aid kit, map, whis­tle, tis­sue or toi­let paper and some­thing water­proof to sit on. 

What to wear

Choose com­fort­able, enclosed walk­ing or sports shoes and clothes that are com­fort­able, light and loose. Con­sid­er sun and rain pro­tec­tion and car­ry a hat, sun­screen and light weight rain jack­et. In the cool­er weath­er, wear lay­ers that can be removed as you warm up and con­sid­er water-proof shoes and some spare socks! 


If some­one is injured or can­not walk, call 000 and ask for the police. Stay togeth­er in a group. Be pre­pared to change your plans to suit your conditions. 

Enjoy your walk

Keep track of every­one in your group, check your map reg­u­lar­ly and drink plen­ty of water. Stick to the paths and avoid dam­ag­ing native veg­e­ta­tion. Remem­ber there are no bins in parks so take all of your rub­bish home and respect oth­er walk­ers by keep­ing down the vol­ume of music or talking. 

Leave no trace

This is the best way for you to help us pro­tect our nation­al parks. Remem­ber to stick to the des­ig­nat­ed trails, leave wildlife alone, being respon­si­ble with pets and clean your boots to keep phy­toph­tho­ra at bay.

Acces­si­ble walks

Walk­ing in South Aus­tralia can be enjoyed by all, no mat­ter your age, fit­ness or mobil­i­ty. Walk­ing SA has over 50 fan­tas­tic acces­si­ble walk­ing routes to explore that are wheel­chair, pram and mobil­i­ty friend­ly. The walks can also be great for chil­dren to ride their bikes along with their par­ents walk­ing beside them. 

Walk­ing SA also has a list of great bush­walks acces­si­ble by pub­lic trans­port if you don’t have access to a car. 

Plan­ning on stay­ing longer after your hike? Check out our great guide to camp­ing in nation­al parks.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living