279-The Long Way South

Show notes

In today’s episode, episode 279, we talk with Hannah James about her recent 5,000km journey down the east coast of Australia – a journey that came to be known as The Long Way South. This is one hell of a story so strap yourselves in!

Podcast Overview

  • Podcast introduction
  • Episode introduction (time index 0:01:38)
  • Body of episode
    • Intro to Hannah James (time index 0:02:2:26)
    • Now let’s talk about your trip which came to be known as “The Long Way South” (time index 0:05:36)
      • How did you decide you were going to walk the National Trail (formerly the Bicentennial National Trail)?
      • What were your goals for this trip?
      • Tell us a bit about the Black Dog Institute and your fund raising endeavours
  • What was your planning process prior to starting? (time index 0:08:54)
    • General Logistics
      • Average distances
        • around 38-39km per day
        • Physical preparation prior the the hike
      • Food resupplies
        • Options
      • Water
        • Cattle troughs!
        • Filter
      • Gear choices
        • A Drone – for checking out water sources!
      • Expected timeframe
        • Left Cooktown (Qld) 6 May 2023 and arrived Healesville (Vic) 18 November 2023
          • 196 days in total
            • 120 days on-trail
  • Your original plan was to walk the National Trail, but this plan changed (time index 0:21:15)
    • Why was that and what did you end up doing?
    • What was the impact on the planning process with such a change?
    • Pack base weight
    • You also did a side trips as well. What were they? (time index 0:21:15)
      • K’Gari
      • Any others?
      • Total distance 4,700km with more to finish
  • Describe a typical day on-trail for us (time index 0:31:52)
        • Getting up through to going to bed
        • Night hiking
        • Camping versus hotels
        • Phone signal
  • Highlights of this trip (time index 0:37:42)
    • People, scenery, wildlife, brumbies, etc
  • Things that don’t go to plan (time index 0:37:42)
    • What didn’t go right on this trip?
      • Failing water filter early on
      • Illness/injury
      •  Pigs
      • Other issues?
  • Any epic gear fails on this trip? (time index 0:43:27)
    • Replaced the sleeping mat
    • Due to weight loss, the pack wasn’t comfortable
  • After walking nearly 5,000km, what impacts did this have on your body? (time index 0:43:27)
    • Positives/negatives
  • How were your people interactions? (time index 0:46:18) 
  • Footwear (time index 0:48:05)
    • Including Crocs!
  • Many snake interactions?
    • Not many
  • How did you cope with such extended periods in your own head?
  • What advice would you give to people looking to undertake an epic journey of this magnitude? (time index 0:52:28)
  • Final questions
    • So, what’s your next planned hiking adventure? (time index 0:16:02)
    • Guidance for others?
      • Planning is the key
      • Test out your food
      • Research your gear
        • Find out what works for you
      • Listen to your body
  • Final thoughts – Gill and Tim wrap (time index 0:55:17)

Close (time index 1:11:13)

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Hannah James

Hannah James

Fundraising page

Go to the fundraising page for the black Dog institute HERE

Hannah's Instagram details


Cross Cut Saw looking back at the Viking Wilderness in the Australian Alps

(image by Hannah James)

Cooloola Great Walk

(image by Hannah James)

Cooloola Sandpatch. When I first saw this image from Hannahs trip I had a different scale in mind. I pictured this being a human scale landscape. If you look really closely there is a human in this image, but can you find them?

(image by Hannah James)

Kroombit Tops

(image by Hannah James)

Trip Map. There are a couple of gaps still to complete but Hannah still managed to complete around 4,700km

(image by Hannah James)

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