Feet First Australia blog is the creation of Melanie Ball – that’s me with the book – an Australian who was born in England.
I first experienced the joys of pedestrian travel as a toddler, when I left home to explore the grassy paddock beyond my backyard fence in the wilds of Bundoora, back when Bundoora WAS the wilds of suburban Melbourne. But it wasn’t until I was in my twenties, and life had surprisingly cast me in the role of travel writer and photographer, that I rediscovered that simple pleasure.
Over the decades since I’ve learned that I prefer hideaways to high-rise resorts, deep-fried grasshoppers to McDonald’s and bushwalking to other outdoor activities.
Having a go at skiing (far from a natural on both snow and water) and riding horses (too brainy), donkeys (too bumpy), elephants (too far off the ground), camels (ditto) and bicycles (bikes were why humankind invented the engine) have only confirmed that I am happiest with nothing except the tread of a hiking boot between me and this extraordinary planet.
My size 41 feet have carried me kilometres in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas but nowhere do I enjoy myself more on foot than in Australia.
My first book, Top Walks in Victoria, a compendium of 65 walks including descriptions, maps and photographs was released in 2014 (the 2nd edition is due for release late 2019). Top Walks in Australia was released in 2016. Top Walks in Tasmania came out in September 2018. Signed copies of these books are available direct from me.
Find out more about what I do at www.melanieball.com.au
SIMON BOX (husband, photographic mode, and author of Food For Thought post)
I was born in the UK and was lucky enough to grow up as a country boy. My parents were happy for us to roam and I have always been happiest out in the open air.
Moving to Australia in 1983 and discovering the wide open land was a life-changing experience.
I have walked extensively, and driven, in many parts of Australia. My favourite places and experiences are when we are as far from civilisation as possible. I love the feeling of seeming totally insignificant in the landscape, whether it is in the Kimberley, the Flinders Ranges or the Southern Ocean.