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Westprint Maps
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Australian map and book producer and distributor
Australian map and book producer and distributor

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We made it!

Our maps and notes for the last day are a little confusing with distances ranging from 16 kms to 21.5. Some cliff walking and then a pleasant meander around the smelter and past the rifle range (must keep to the track there) and then a stroll into Portland.

We walk through a pretty area called the Enchanted Forest. Very little light gets through the canopy and the undergrowth is lush and green. Lots of moss and old dead trees. We come out on the cliff tops again and watch the waves crashing against the rocks. In fact, Jeanette and I take some time out and just sit and watch the waves roll in. This is the last day we’ll be able to just watch the waves. This is also probably why we are always so far behind Jenny and Rosy. There are a lot more people out walking on this section and lots more toilet paper festooned in the surrounding bush (Yuck). (Check out our blog on Going In The Bush). We soon decide we need to stop and watch people surfing while contemplating walking to the beach at Yellow Rocks. It looks like there are at least 200 steps down to the beach so the contemplation doesn’t last long – we’ll do that next time.

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On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me ten lords a-leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

Well, you might not leap but you should be excited about a pair of Australian classics for Christmas with Adam’s Empire and Kalinda for $40 (RRP $50). These books have been very difficult to get hold of, but have recently been reprinted. Growing up in the outback in the first half of the twentieth century with no formal education, no parents and no one to love him, Adam Ross learned to fend for himself. But the land that stole Adam's father gives him an opportunity to start anew. Adam treks west to carve himself an empire. However, success doesn't come easy and Adam, must make decisions about his future and the type of man he wants to be. Kalinda, the epic sequel, is centred on his remote sheep station and tracks the development of Adam's family. However, Adam's new found bliss is short lived. When WWII breaks out, Adam enlists in the army and finds himself stationed in Nazi-occupied Greece. As the decades pass, the lives of Adam and his family will intertwine in ways they never expected.

Post free, this special is available while stock lasts or until Dec 20, 2016.

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From the Forrest to the Beach

We finally make it to the end of the sand where the track heads inland. Our notes had said the beach walk ends with a climb up a cliff but we discover it is not a cliff it is a massive sand hill. John has been down here and written messages of encouragement. Firstly, an arrow pointing upwards with ‘tough going’ written next to it. The next sign reads ‘already puffed’ and it was still on the ‘level’ part of the beach! The dune (mountain) is so soft and steep I give some thought to climbing on hands and knees. For every step up you slide back down 90% if it. We finally make it over and drift down the other side. We flop down for a rest as soon as we find some shade however we get going again as soon as we can. We don’t need to keep moving but as soon as you stop the March flies descend. They bite while you are moving but once you stop they seem to really be able to take aim and inflict the most pain in the shortest possible time. I’ve been putting lavender oil on the bites at night so if nothing else and least my tent smells nice.

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The Great South West Walking Begins

We start walking. We assemble at the official start, the Visitor Information Centre in Portland and head off at 9.25am…after a last nervous pit stop. By 10.25 we’ve taken a few happy snaps and are walking well. At 10.26 we are frantically scrounging through our backpacks for rain ponchos. We are soaked. We get our ponchos on and over our packs. Now looking like four hunchbacks of varying height and colour, we soldier on. Walking through the streets of Portland is a bit weird anyway and by now we look completely crazy. By the time we stop for smoko the rain has passed and it is quite pleasant. A scenic stroll through farmland and forest is rewarded by seeing our first koala who sat watching us with idle curiosity (or perhaps boredom – with koalas it’s hard to tell).

We missed a turn off and had to backtrack but eventually made our first camp. I chuckle because one of us is concerned there is kangaroo poo in our camp clearing and I think ‘welcome to camping. If that’s the worst we encounter it will be a tame trip’. Bev meets us with a thermos of boiling water and Tim Tams. John has set up the folding chairs for us. I can see what they are doing. Before long they will be setting up our tents, cooking food for us and we’ll be the most pampered hikers that ever there was. I decide not to be churlish and drink my hot cup of tea thankfully.

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The Great South West Walk Anticipation

Sleep. I don’t do sleep very well. Or to be more accurate I don’t do sleep very long. Especially not when we are about to embark on a walk that is between 240-260kms long. A pity really because this is the last night I will have a nice soft bed for a while. We are sleeping in Nelson and will head off to Portland tomorrow morning.

Reasons not to sleep?

I can hear the sea. It is a continuous dull roar. I’m an inlander. The surf is a place to visit once each summer, admire the view, get sand and salt in my hair, decide there are too many people and head inland again. It is 4.30am and I can’t sleep because the sea is roaring and if it is roaring it must be churning the beach into soft sand and next week we will have to walk along that for about 50kms.

The panic pack. I have packed my gear and unpacked and re-packed. I have everything I could possibly need. And yet at the last minute I am doing some sort of mental inventory and compensating for shortfalls by shoving extra stuff in my pack. Rationally and logically I know I have enough food for three weeks but mentally I’m doing a shopping list. What about some bananas? Carrots? The bag of food for that day doesn’t look very big, maybe some more protein like more tuna. (I have so much tuna I could look like a penguin at the end of all this anyway). There is only one way to stop the mental roller coaster and that is to lose myself in a book.

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On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me nine ladies dancing, eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

Maybe not dancing but I like to get out and explore and you can too with Starvation in a Land of Plenty accompanied by a Birdsville and Strzelecki Tracks map, an Innamincka and Coongie Lakes map and an Outback New South Wales map for $55 (RRP $70). The foundation of this book is Wills’ diary from his fateful expedition while the maps give an overview of the journey.

Post free, this special is available while stock lasts or until Dec 20, 2016.

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On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

If you need to put that milk to use how about Australian Bush Cooking along with an Australia Atlas for $50 (RRP $65). The easy and delicious recipes have all been planned for simplicity as well as good eating, using basic ingredients that are readily available Australia-wide. There's even sage advice on the fading art of how to brew up a great cup of billy tea! The atlas features highly detailed maps for the whole of Australia. The maps contained give a high level of detail for the outback regions of Australia ideal for anyone who ventures into the great Australian outback.

Post free, this special is available while stock lasts or until Dec 20, 2016.



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On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

Although, maybe you’re like us and you would prefer heading out camping rather than looking after 24 birds. If so you might need Camping around Australia and a selection of Westprint maps for $80 (RRP $110). This guide includes 3200 campsites across the country, highlighting free and dog friendly camps. Maps included are: the Gunbarrel Highway, Tanami Road, Desert Parks Eastern Map, Desert Parks Western Map and Desert Parks Outback Map, however if you would like to substitute different Westprint maps please feel free to call or email us and this can be arranged.

Post free, this special is available while stock lasts or until Dec 20, 2016.

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On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

If you’re like me and not a fan of geese how about the Field Companion to the Mammals of Australia and What Lizard is That? for $55 (RRP $75). The field companion is practical for outdoor use. It includes accounts of 389 species and newly developed, comprehensive identification keys. It is introduced by a Mammal Distribution Matrix, which provides a classified checklist of all mammals in Australia and their distribution. The authors have developed separate keys, detailed drawings and maps to simplify the identification process and allow the reader to confidently separate all mammal species, no matter how subtle the differences. What Lizard is That? covers most groups of Australian lizards and includes general points on appearance, behaviour and ecology. With hundreds of striking and beautiful photographs and illustrations throughout.

Post free, this special is available while stock lasts or until Dec 20, 2016. Be quick - We only have limited copies of What Lizard is That?

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On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

However, if these gifts haven’t started turning up for you yet (me neither!) it might be time to order Aussie Stories for Blokes and Aussie Stories for Women together with the Australia A Big Country map for $30 (RRP $43) for someone you care about. These collections of heart-warming stories, Aussies share insights on a wide range of down-to-earth topics. With everything from zany parables about possums to heroic true accounts of the front line at Gallipoli, this collection is sure to inspire your heart, renew your faith and make you laugh.

Post free, this special is available while stock lasts or until Dec 20, 2016.

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