‘Mountains Drums’ Blog

Welcome to ‘Mountains Drums‘ – our field blog expressing views and insights about the goings on out in the Blue Mountains great outdoors, written mostly by one of our regular Mountains hikers, Flex.

The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area covers over a million hectares of native vegetation and is arguably a bushwalker’s paradise of choice.  Yet over more than twenty five years of hiking the Blue Mountains, we continue to observe and read about those accessing the Blue Mountains great outdoors and those managing this World Heritage who fail to learn from the wisdom of others before them – the requisite knowledge, skills, experience, preparation and attitude to appreciate and not harm.

At Nature Trail we relish the great outdoors and value the Blue Mountains and its magnificent world heritage.  But while we embrace the outdoors experience, fun and adventure, we criticise those who foolishly risk life and limb and who recklessly encourage others likewise.

Whilst the Blue Mountains may still be of world heritage value, we do not see world’s best practice nor leadership evolving in outdoor recreation nor in custodial management.  Hardly a week passes without reports of helicopter rescues of injured hikers, canyoners and rockclimbers, of lost hikers, benighted hikers, missing hikers and of deaths by those setting out ignorant or just poorly prepared.  We constantly read reports by locals of the threats of invasive tourism, ugly mass tourism, the dominance of a tourism oligopoly, of poor track conditions and neglected signage, of the underfunded and understaffed National Parks and Wildlife Service.

We observe the disconnect between government authorities delegated with custodial responsibility for protecting and managing the natural values of The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, and with tourism providers and consumers.  More recently we’ve observed multiple landslips go neglected for months and years, so shutting down many hiking tracks indefinitely, bushfires left to incinerate 80% of the world heritage area and other ‘National Parks’ so-called throughout New South Wales, the China Virus Pandemic all but shut down tourism completely.

Each instance/incident gets reported in isolation, as if a freak event, then soon forgotten by the media, no lessons learned by tourism consumers, no application to any standards for continual improvement by tourism providers.  So inevitably the same or similar instance/incident gets ignorantly repeated, reported then forgotten again and again.

This blog serves to highlight and question this ignorance and has been established as an ongoing reminder of how the Blue Mountains environment and visitors keep suffering the consequences.  Our hiking blogger Flex does not hold back.  This ‘Mountains Drums‘ blog is intended to be a wake up call to the Blue Mountains community to lift its game.

[This webpage last updated 11th February 2021]

Blog Posts

 

Blue Mountains mayor’s perpetual track closures
Blue Mountains Tourism, Government Disconnect from Tourism, Landslips Killing Tourism, Track Closures
By Flex / November 30, 2021

Blue Mountains mayor’s perpetual track closures

Blue Mountain's Council Mayor Mark Greenhill has presided over perpetual hiking track closures since February 2020, and it's nearly two...

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Mount Solitary Death by Misadventure
Deaths in the Mountains
By Flex / November 12, 2021

Mount Solitary Death by Misadventure

Yet another bushwalking club has lost a member to over-exposure misadventure atop a cliff face it seems. On Sunday afternoon...

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Blue Mountains Tourism Dead
Blue Mountains Tourism, Pandemic Killing Tourism
By Flex / July 19, 2021

Blue Mountains Tourism Dead

As at 19th July 2021, tourism in the Blue Mountains is dead. Why? Because of the abject failure of the...

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We prefer hiking to bushwalking
Hiking
By Flex / June 24, 2021

We prefer hiking to bushwalking

At Nature Trail, we prefer hiking to bushwalking, and choose and recommend the Keen brand in hiking boots - quality...

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Bushwalking tragedy at Blue Drum Creek
Deaths in the Mountains
By Flex / June 19, 2021

Bushwalking tragedy at Blue Drum Creek

Yes, this is a cliff face and there is no track up or down it.  Access should be wisely left...

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Blue Mountains Council’s ‘love local’ hypocrisy towards local businesses
Government Disconnect from Tourism, Love Local
By Flex / May 30, 2021

Blue Mountains Council’s ‘love local’ hypocrisy towards local businesses

The disconnect between government and local small business is stark, perhaps most tangibly in the Blue Mountains between Council and...

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Politicians give false hope of stimulus to Blue Mountains tourism industry
Government Disconnect from Tourism
By Flex / April 29, 2021

Politicians give false hope of stimulus to Blue Mountains tourism industry

Locals be wary of politicians doing the rounds spruiking empathy for struggling business owners, garnering ideas to help, offering empty...

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Bushwalk Australia preaches to the converted
Bad Attitudes in the Mountains, Deaths in the Mountains
By Flex / March 3, 2021

Bushwalk Australia preaches to the converted

On 24th February, I registered with the bushwalking forum, Bushwalk Australia, and proceeded to scribe and submit my first post...

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Katoomba now Australia’s Booze Capital
Village Amenity
By Flex / February 21, 2021

Katoomba now Australia’s Booze Capital

Katoomba now Australia's Booze Capital

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