150-Donkeys on the Bicentennial National Trail

Show notes

In 2004 Liz Byron undertook a 2,500 km journey on the 5,300 km Bicentennial National Trail. As Australia’s longest designated shared trail, her story would not be too unusual until you realise she did her trip with the assistance of two donkeys, Grace and Charley, who acted as her pack animals and her companions. In this podcast episode we catch up with Liz not long after the release of her book, The Only Way Home, that details her amazing journey.

This is a great episode and one that provides a unique alternative on the traditional human powered hike.

Podcast overview

In this episode we look look at a unique journey on Australia’s longest shared trail, the Bicentennial National Trail.

  • Liz’s hiking background
    • Long term hiker in both Australia and overseas
  • Why a trip of this length?
  • Why the Bicentennial National Trail
    • Defined trail
    • Designed for both horses and hikers
  • The planning
    • Decision on donkeys came first with the rest following.
    • What were the main challenges prior to starting?
    • How did you decide how long the trip was going to take?
  • Donkeys (Grace and Charley)
    • What was the reason for the donkeys?
    • Why two donkeys and not one?
    • What additional preparation did you need to do in relation to the girls (Jennys)?
      • Equipment
      • Food
      • Training
    • While the BNT is a shared trail, were there any areas that required you to go off trail due to a ‘no animals’ rule?
    • What was it like to walk with donkeys on the trail?
    • Personality
    • Partnership as opposed to domination
    • What’s become of Grace and Charley?
  • Logistics
    • How did you approach each day? (Talk us through a typical day from waking up till going to sleep)
    • What was your resupply strategy?
  • Gear
    • Did you use standard hiking gear on this trip or because you hadpack animals, something else?
    • Did you use a tent/bivvy?
  • Mental and physical aspects of the trip
    • What physical issues did you have to contend with?
    • Were there any mental challenges on this trip?
    • Worry about personal safety
  • Experience
    • What was the highlight of the trip?
    • Were there any negatives?
  • Book
    • In February of 2020 you released your book ‘The Only Way Home’.
      • How did you decide to write this book?
      • Was that your plan prior to starting the trek?
      • How long did it take to write?
      • Read our Book review of The Only Way Home here
  • Having completed your trip would you have done things differently? If so what?
  • Gill and Tim’s two cents worth
  • Close

Liz's Website

  • Liz’s website can be found here
  • Read our review of the Only Way Home here
  • Purchase the book The Only Way Home that provides much more detail than we could ever home to provide in the pod cast

Liz at camp with donkeys in the background (Image from Liz Byron)

The Only Way Home book cover

Getting organised (Image from Liz Byron)

Walking away Liz Byron and her two donkeys Grace and Charley (Image from Liz Byron)

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