Legendary songwriter Slim Dusty once told us that "g'day, g'day, how ya goin' "is the Aussie way to greet your fellow travellers and make sure they are safe and well. It is a sentiment that holds true around our Northern Territory National Parks.
Bushwalking is a great way to spend a few hours, or even a day or two. Taking the time to wander along paths and up and down hills gives you the best chance to see the amazing animals and plants that make up the special communities found in our part of the country. Life in the slow lane might also give you a moment with other Park visitors, and sharing your experiences and the information you pick up along the way can be one of the highlights of a visit.
Say g'day to the people you meet in a National Park, and take the time to swap some stories. "G'day. How ya going? Are you travelling well mate? "It's always possible that some visitors may be feeling a bit overwhelmed, slightly lost and out of place. A friendly greeting and a smile can mean that a new experience becomes enjoyable and exciting instead of uncomfortable and threatening.
Daytime temperatures will be rising fast over the next few weeks and the Nitmiluk escarpment can be a dry and unforgiving place for the unprepared visitor. It can be very easy to become disoriented when you are hot, bothered and dehydrated so make sure you stick to the path. The tracks and trails in Nitmiluk are well marked with walking track 'triangles' and you will get to all the best places if you follow them. Stay safe, stay on the path and stay alert for fellow walkers who may be going a little astray.
A simple g'day to fellow walkers is not only a friendly greeting; it can also be a life saver. When you are out and about take notice of your track mates. If you see anyone off track or looking a bit under the weather stop and say hello. As Slim said, "say g'day g'day g'day and you'll be right".
If you are heading out for a hike make sure you take at least a litre of water an hour, sun safe clothing a shady hat and always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.
Also take the time to say gidday!