‘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

 

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

Katoomba now Australia’s Booze Capital

Thanks to council approval, Katoomba is blessed (or cursed) with no fewer than 18 liquor outlets within stumbling distance of...

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Sublime Chasm Exposure – club bushwalking is a feral venture beneath the eco-pass radar
Mountains Injuries
By Flex / February 8, 2021

Sublime Chasm Exposure – club bushwalking is a feral venture beneath the eco-pass radar

We are perplexed by the thrill-seeking desire of certain bushwalking clubs to promote dangerous chasm "exposure". Bushwalking is on-track bushwalking. ...

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Council entices visitors to dangerous lookout
Selfie Hedonism
By Flex / February 1, 2021

Council entices visitors to dangerous lookout

Blue Mountains Council entices visitors to dangerous Lincoln Rock lookout

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Grand Canyon One-Way to Heat Stroke
Government Disconnect with Tourism, Pandemic Killing Tourism, Ugly Mass Tourism
By Flex / January 27, 2021

Grand Canyon One-Way to Heat Stroke

Grand Canyon Walking Track forced to be taken one way by Parks Service

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Grand Canyon best hiked anti-clockwise
Government Disconnect with Tourism, Pandemic Killing Tourism
By Flex / January 26, 2021

Grand Canyon best hiked anti-clockwise

Arguably, the Blue Mountains' most iconic and accessible day hike through nature is the 'Grand Canyon Walking Track' is best...

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Achtung! Amateur hour back at Wollangambe
Deaths in the Mountains, Freeloaders, Mountains Rescues
By Flex / January 24, 2021

Achtung! Amateur hour back at Wollangambe

Wollangambe Canyon might need some more warning signage, if only people would heed the advice. Two weeks after the so-called...

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Culpably Reckless Canyoning in the Rain
Deaths in the Mountains, Ugly Mass Tourism
By Flex / January 8, 2021

Culpably Reckless Canyoning in the Rain

We read sadly that two more visitors to the Blue Mountains partaking on a canyoning trip have just perished.  Last...

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Leura Cascades landslip closure not a priority for Council
Landslips Killing Tourism
By Flex / December 31, 2020

Leura Cascades landslip closure not a priority for Council

Leura Cascades landslip closure not a priority for Council

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2020: a year of rolling calamities
Bushfires Killing Tourism, Pandemic Killing Tourism
By Flex / December 23, 2020

2020: a year of rolling calamities

The harbinger to a year of calamity started at 10.17pm on Wednesday 7th August 2019 when a 1.9 magnitude quake...

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