Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


The Trail Blazers

ImageAustralia's Bicentennial National Trail is the longest marked trail on earth, winding 5330 km down the Great Divide.

Although within four hours' drive of more than 10 million Australians, less than 20,000 people have completed long-distance treks on the trail since it was officially opened in 1988.
By comparison, America's 3500 km Appalachian Trail attracts 1.5 million walkers a year.

ImageConceived by R.M. Williams, the trail's real origins date back to 1973 when RM convinced young and energetic horseman Dan Seymour to ride the proposed route. It took him two years.

Then in 1978, to mark completion of the selected route, more than 1,00o riders participated in a 90-day pony express ride from Cooktown to Melbourne.

"You don't try to conquer the trail. You move with its flow, learn and respect its changing moods and many lessons," says Doc Eckley, one of the few people to have ridden the trail's entire length.
"It is a journey of time and experience, danger and delight, and success should never be judged on distance alone. It represents a change of lifestyle, that may change your life forever."

Twelve guide books, each covering a 400 to 500 km section of the trail, are available from:

Full story and profiles of sections of the trail: Issue 6, August-September 1999

Go to:

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R.M. Williams Summer 2004/5 Catalogue

Visit rmwilliams.com.au for R.M.Willams history, news and the on-line product catalogue