Buller Huts Trail website.

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Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby mtrain » Thu 07 Dec, 2017 7:30 pm

I’m curious as to other people’s opinions on this. http://www.bullerhutstrail.com.au/
This gentleman who has built another hiking web page with very comprehensive walk guides and a forum has taken it upon himself to build a very high quality and official looking website to publicise this high level circuit walk around Buller, Howitt etc.
I got an email with an announcement about the launch of the site because I am registered on his other hiking website and thought it must have been some government initiative but then realised it is actually just his personal hobby or maybe an income generating facility.
It feels a little like he’s over stepped the mark to me but I’d be interested in other people’s opinions.
There is the old argument of publicising a route like this leading to increased traffic and the associated problems. Also I wonder if he is using it to earn income somehow would you need some type of arrangement or permission from parks.
He has done a great job and the site is very high quality but I just wonder about using public land for his own agenda.
I may be being a bit critical but I’m interested in your views.
Thanks.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby Lizzy » Fri 08 Dec, 2017 4:52 am

Is it any different to one of Chapman’s guides except freely available???
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby Xplora » Fri 08 Dec, 2017 5:14 am

I noticed he repeatedly but not consistently spelled Gantner hut Ganther and apart from a few other small errors it is as you say a very professional job and may be a prelude to offering it as a guided service for which he would need a permit from Parks. I had a quick read of the trip notes for the sections and there seems to be a fair bit of road walking on some. Most of these huts you can drive to and the others are a short walk from the car so I can't see them becoming more popular than they already are because of this site or his promotion. I don't really see it as an iconic walk either but some sections are stunning. I recall reading an earlier version of this and it was not particularly interesting, for me at least. I have walked and driven most of that country anyway so that would affect my judgement. If the agenda is for business then I suspect it will not do that well but looking at it I see one persons concept of a good loop walk using the huts as a draw and he has put it out for others in a slightly different way to a normal blog post. I think the Itinerary section is the bit that oversteps the mark for your average bushwalking track notes and the language used throughout is very tourism industry spin. The best way to find out what is going with it would be to ask him. I don't feel he has gone to the point of using public land for his own agenda but if he eventually wants to guide it then he has every right to express the trip in the language he has.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 08 Dec, 2017 7:47 am

I found the website to be very off-putting. There's too many moving bits, too many typos, poor layouts, too hard to navigate, too hard to read. A number of very basic screen design rules have been broken. And it's not a trail, it's a track. Most is on road or close to roads, so it will not be iconic. It may be that permission is needed from PV to market such a walk. If he gets the numbers then more infrastructure is needed, notably toilets. My very great fear is that PV will install camping platforms at places like Speculation and Mac Springs, in the process compromising the campsites, and charging people. John Chapman is documenting existing walks, in very close consultation with land managers. I wonder if there was a similar consultation by the proponent of the Buller Huts Trail.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby ofuros » Fri 08 Dec, 2017 9:27 am

He's on Facebook, twitter & Instagram plus you can email a question/query...

He might decide to respond to your reservations/concerns, once he knows about them.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby darrenedwards » Fri 08 Dec, 2017 10:16 am

HI All, Darren Edwards here, they guy who created the Buller Huts Trail site and Trail Hiking site. Thanks heaps for your positive comments and questions and also for picking up the few typos, I have now fixed them. You are correct about your assumption that this is a hobby. I have never, nor do I intend to make any money commercially from this site or my other site http://www.trailhiking.com.au I have created these sites because I love hiking and want to encourage others to experience what Australia has to offer.

I am probably just over passionate about it and can't help but want to share the trails. I do receive a little bit of money to help fund site development through community donations and a couple of adverts on the Trail Hiking site but all of that money goes right back into further development, and always will. I have a few new features in development at the moment that will be live soon. I won’t be running any adverts on the Buller Huts site as I don't want to cheapen the look of this marketing site.

A year or so ago when I started thinking of creating this new site I got in touch with Parks Victoria and DEWLP but both of these land managers told me just to go it alone as if they got involved it would just grind to a halt in red-tape. I have spoken at length with Mansfield Mt-Buller tourism and they are really excited about this site as they are hoping it will help drive tourism to the area. They sent me a bit of content to add to the planning page so that people heading up that way can find out more about the area.

So that's about it, glad you are talking about the site and hope everyone likes it.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby north-north-west » Fri 08 Dec, 2017 10:16 am

Reads like he's setting up for a commercial venture. Watch for another attempt to commercialise and privatise parts of out Alpine NP.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby stry » Fri 08 Dec, 2017 7:13 pm

I'm happy to continue being a voice in the wilderness.

TRACK is not spelt "TRAIL"
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby north-north-west » Fri 08 Dec, 2017 7:49 pm

stry wrote:I'm happy to continue being a voice in the wilderness.

TRACK is not spelt "TRAIL"

Testify!

You are not alone, brother.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby Tortoise » Fri 08 Dec, 2017 8:27 pm

darrenedwards wrote:You are correct about your assumption that this is a hobby. I have never, nor do I intend to make any money commercially from this site or my other site .

Hi Darren,
Thanks for popping in to answer some questions. Could you please clarify for me the comment from your website:
There are no official guided tour offerings at this stage, but watch this space as they may be available in the future.

Who would be offering official guided tours if not yourself?
Some of us are very skeptical about commercial involvement because of the impact that has on other users of national parks (restricted access etc), and the huge impact of some of the 'upgrades' deemed necessary - that forever change the place from what was loved in the first place.

I agree with others that the amount of road walking and shared usage wouldn't fit with an iconic walk, nor '7 days of remote alpine wilderness'. Do 4WDs and trailbikes and quadbikes still have access to significant sections of the route?

I appreciate your passion about some of my favourite places on the Mainland. I've introduced many people to some parts of your route, but we avoided 4WD tracks wherever possible. Occasionally, when it wasn't realistic to avoid them, having to step aside for vehicles, and having car-based campers where we had planned to camp, detracted a lot from those walks.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby mtrain » Fri 08 Dec, 2017 10:34 pm

Darren I’m Glad you got on the forum to respond to mine and others posts. As I said in my opening post I was interested in other opinions as I couldn’t quite work out what it was about your page that made me uncomfortable.
I suspect it was the fact that I got an email Informing me about a new “iconic” trail and a new website all about it with nice photos and quite an official look to it and it turns out the announcement was actually just some individual being enthusiastic. As has been stated it is just the same as tempest,Chapman etc with their guides but in a more modern format.
I suspect I am being a little sensitive.
One final comment I might make is again the old argument which comes up again every now and then with climbing, canyoning,walking guides etc which is just that when someone decides to publish route descriptions and access notes they have to think about the consequences of possible increase in traffic to sensitive areas facilitated by easier access to said information. I have looked at several of the walks listed on your site but cannot say I have seen anything inappropriate or but I guess was just thinking of the quote “with great power comes great responsibility”.
Good luck with your endeavours.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby darrenedwards » Sat 09 Dec, 2017 9:38 am

Thanks M train, I completely agree with your comments and sentiment “with great power comes great responsibility”. It is a fine line between bringing people enjoyment by discovering these trails and just including them all on my site at the risk that the trails themselves will become overpopulated. I question this every time I list a hike and there are quite a number of trails I refuse to include too much information on as I want the wilderness to the the wilderness, not a tourist destination.

Re your comments that this looked like a professional offering and not one individual. My background is in website design, graphics design and marketing and unfortunately sometimes the things I create are misinterpreted as commercial ventures, just because I like to be professional in all that I do.

Tortoise. Good question re this comment. "There are no official guided tour offerings at this stage, but watch this space as they may be available in the future."
When I spoke with north-east tourism they suggested that I include this sentence so that people did not think this was a guided adventure, but one for experienced and self-reliant walkers. I have no intent myself to do anything commercially with this but I suspect that others might so I thought it a good idea to mention that.

Re the road walking, yeah, I don't like that much either but I thought it might make the area more accessible without people thinking there would be a need to be erecting huts and camping platforms. I also didn't want to be sending people off-trail. This may never be an iconic walk but can't I start somewhere without my enthusiasm being ripped apart?

To others who have commented on the use of Track or Trail. Quite frankly, get over it. I chose the word Trail because it sounds better than Buller Huts Track. A trail is something that you follow via a series of connection points (such as huts and summits) and this was my reason for using it in the branding, similar to the Larapinta Trail. It was by no means an attempt to undo the fabric of Australian tradition (as some have quite rudely criticised me of trying to do). I dont really care what terms people use, walk, bushwalk, trek, tramp, hike, track or trail. All I care about if helping people get outdoors so if you want to get all angry and stuck on those points then that is up to you and I thank you for your inspiring contribution to the outdoor community.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby ChrisJHC » Sat 09 Dec, 2017 10:12 am

For the definitive argument, please review the attached discussion on whether it should be the “Kokoda Track” or “Kokoda Trail”.
Apparently it was originally called the “Kokoda Road”!

https://www.awm.gov.au/articles/blog/th ... k-or-trail


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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby Tortoise » Sat 09 Dec, 2017 10:19 am

darrenedwards wrote:Tortoise. Good question re this comment. "There are no official guided tour offerings at this stage, but watch this space as they may be available in the future."
When I spoke with north-east tourism they suggested that I include this sentence so that people did not think this was a guided adventure, but one for experienced and self-reliant walkers. I have no intent myself to do anything commercially with this but I suspect that others might so I thought it a good idea to mention that.

Re the road walking, yeah, I don't like that much either but I thought it might make the area more accessible without people thinking there would be a need to be erecting huts and camping platforms. I also didn't want to be sending people off-trail. This may never be an iconic walk but can't I start somewhere without my enthusiasm being ripped apart?

Thanks for clarifying the reason for the guided adventure comment. It's clear you followed lots of advice you were given during the consultation process. I personally wouldn't want to see more commercialisation there, though.

Sorry if I came across as ripping apart your enthusiasm. That wasn't my intent at all - just to have a conversation about it. I appreciate you not wanting to send lots people off-track! That's excellent. Though I wonder if it could be helpful/feasible to develop separate walking tracks for some of the shared sections in the future.

My comments were more about whether or not the use of 'iconic' and '7 day remote alpine wilderness' are an accurate/helpful representation of it. As opposed to something like 'experience some of the best alpine walking in Victoria'.
If I didn't know the area, my expectations would be quite different from the reality I have experienced there, and I would be very disappointed to find I was sharing a fair chunk of the walk with vehicles (I gather it's more popular now for 4WDs and bikes than it was when I used to walk there.)

My introduction to the Victorian High Country was through the Alpine Walking Track, as it was known then, thanks to John Siseman who had the same kind of enthusiasm you have! I'm very grateful for the world it opened up for me. I was prepared to do the many kms of forestry roads etc to connect up the magnificent parts in between - but I knew what to expect. I may not have read your website closely enough yet to get the full picture you present.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby darrenedwards » Sat 09 Dec, 2017 10:53 am

Good point Tortoise, I didn't think your comment was ripping apart my enthusiasm, I have received a handful of private messages attacking me over this new site and my Trail Hiking Australia site. I do it all for free and have personally invested thousands into these sites and unlike Chapman and Tempest I haven't produced anything for commercial gain but people always seem to think I have an agenda. Maybe I should have published a book instead? I just do it for the love and passion of walking.

To be completely honest, where this idea came from and the reason I have used the term 'Iconic' is the news that PV are looking to establish commercial huts along the Falls to Hotham crossing and improve the Diamantina Spur to make that more accessible. This will have a massive impact on the region and will impact on private walkers immeasurably so what I wanted to do was define a circuit that already existed, had huts, tracks and provided good access that people could focus on instead. I would prefer to see them use established infrastructure than to create new, taking away from the remoteness and isolation of these regions. I detest what they are doing to the Grampians and I detest that Parks Tas have done to the Three Capes Track. People want to do something iconic, to feel proud of their achievement and I believe that the Buller Huts Trail can offer them that without having a negative impact.

There are a lot of walkers that are new to this activity and I would prefer that they share the roads with 4WD enthusiasts and leave the tougher, untouched stuff to the more experienced. There is an element of safety in that too. I certainly know that I prefer to walk in isolation without the hordes and do not want to spoil this for any walker. Hope that makes sense.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby north-north-west » Mon 11 Dec, 2017 4:16 pm

So 'iconic' means something that so one,somewhere, sometime has decided is important or distinctive or somehow worthy of special status and all the sheep immediately get in line to tick it off?

Glad I walked all this country before that happened to it.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby Xplora » Tue 12 Dec, 2017 5:44 am

Tourism NE would jump at any free publicity so I am not surprised they would be support Darren's offering and experience with web design and marketing. I suspected the iconic term was in direct response to the FHAC and when that first came up I remember commenting to my partner that I was glad they did not do anything around the Crosscut and Mt. Spec. I hope this does not put any idea into their heads. The concept may work for people who do not have a 4wd and don't mind sharing the road. I don't see it particularly dangerous to do so as you can hear them coming and get off to the side easy enough but I don't see the broader appeal to those who like bushwalking. I do agree with Darren that we should not get too hung up about the semantics of tracks and trails (unless describing something which already has a name - Australian Alpine Walking Track) but would suggest he be consistent with his wordage and not swap it around when referring to the same thing. Just looks better. I have argued the FHAC is not particularly iconic and neither is this. Iconic status comes from all the people who have done it before and then told everyone else how good it was so more and more end up doing it or putting it on their list to do. It cannot be manufactured by marketing spin. Once it has reached this status, all the greedy people jump in when they realise money can be made out of it. With regard to the OP's original concern, my feelings are that this forum, and others like it, are way more responsible for overcrowding of many of my favourite spots. I would not think Darren's offering would do any more damage.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby north-north-west » Tue 12 Dec, 2017 8:40 am

Exactly, Xplora. Walks achieve iconic status through their history' it is not something that can be manufactured or applied to a newly created walk.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 14 Dec, 2017 7:51 pm

I have walked/climbed nearly all of that route. Newbies would struggle with some of those spur climbs and descents esp. 8 Mile spur, the Bluff escarpment and Muesli spur.Sharing campsites with 4 wd people or horse riders may not float everyone's boat. Camping at Lake Cobbler comes to mind why I like to cart water if I must in order to escape from the great unwashed hordes of shazzas and dazzas.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby darrenedwards » Sat 16 Dec, 2017 7:09 am

As clearly stated on the site that I built

The Victorian Alps and the rugged remoteness of this region are the inspiration behind this amazing 96km, 7 day, grade 5 circuit trek that I am hoping will become an iconic Victorian trek.

See the word ‘hoping’? Yes if people believe it is an liconic walk it will become so and I have used it in the opening tag line simply to plant the seed. It is clearly not up to me or any one individual what is or will become ‘iconic’.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 16 Dec, 2017 10:20 am

Look up the word "iconic". It is much misused, misunderstood and misappropriated.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby stry » Sat 16 Dec, 2017 7:30 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Look up the word "iconic". It is much misused, misunderstood and misappropriated.


Hooray. About time !!!

Add "icon" and "decimate" to the burgeoning list of incorrectly used words. As PCV pointed out, a dictionary check of those words will shop you just how wrongly, even irrelevantly, they are being used. Oxford please, not one of those Johnny come lately things. :D

Oh, and don't forget to check "feral" also.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby darrenedwards » Sun 17 Dec, 2017 9:16 am

Are you guys serious? Please stop appearing to be so narrow minded. I’d love to see what you have contributed to the outdoor community so I can pull it apart ‘word for word’. I’m not engaging in this discussion anymore. I’m going hiking and I suggest you do something more constructive than sit on your keyboard pulling other people down.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby Xplora » Mon 18 Dec, 2017 3:43 pm

I am sorry you have been offended Darren. It was not my intention with my comments but maybe you are not around anymore to read this. Regardless of the Oxford definition, the term iconic has come to mean something of a shining example of what is know to be the best of whatever. Sowing the seed by using that tag now is what you say, but in reality it is a branding or marketing tool much the same as the Falls to Hotham crossing. Perhaps you feel the walk is iconic or deserving of that status now. There are parts of it that are certainly among the best scenery in the mountains but as a walker you would agree that a large portion is not really deserving of such a label but you have to join the dots to do a loop. This forum has a fairly broad cross section of members and given the feedback so far I would say you have a pretty good idea of where many others would stand. No doubt there will be some support as well for your concept and those less familiar with the area may see it with greater appeal. I am not critical of your intention but given you have put it out in a public arena then you are also subject to public scrutiny. It is nothing personal but given it is your personal work I can understand why you would take negative comments badly. It would not bother me in the slightest if you, at some time in the future, made some money guiding people through this. I hope you read this but understand if you choose not to comment again. Please continue to encourage others to enjoy our great outdoors safely.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 18 Dec, 2017 8:21 pm

north-north-west wrote:Exactly, Xplora. Walks achieve iconic status through their history' it is not something that can be manufactured or applied to a newly created walk.

Quite so. I said as much to a Tassie PWS staffer a few days ago. Think Milford, Overland Track, Pacific Crest Trail, Pennine Way and many others. The Falls-Hotham walk is promoted as iconic and is pure marketing. Great walk, wrong sort of description. One foolish piece of hype for Falls-Hotham had something like "walk over 2000 metres above sea level." Um, Bogong is 1996 metres ...

This is not to say that BHT may in due course be iconic. However, the amount of road walking and some of that open to public vehicles mitigates against greatness in the near future.

Four people commenting on this thread have about 150 years of BW experience, some at very high levels including instructing, BSAR, commercial leading, active in conservation, active in clubs, senior positions in clubs, BW Victoria, high in Abels, and the like. Experience means that views are generally more informed and more balanced. For example, a short time ago I cited the 1994 Mount Stirling development. I was there, made a submission, read every one of the 600 or so submissions. Windemere Hut has a plaque about Glen Matters who died near there in 1971. I have the original clippings which I cut out of the newspaper. Further back I made a submission to LCC Alpine, and helped draft my club submission. Others are like me.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby summitexplorer » Tue 19 Dec, 2017 12:12 am

Love the site Darren. Great initiative and really well put together. Some good points about the use of terms but fingers crossed this does become as iconic as you hope.
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Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby summitexplorer » Tue 19 Dec, 2017 6:19 am

Lophophaps wrote:
north-north-west wrote:Four people commenting on this thread have about 150 years of BW experience, some at very high levels including instructing, BSAR, commercial leading, active in conservation, active in clubs, senior positions in clubs, BW Victoria, high in Abels, and the like. Experience means that views are generally more informed and more balanced.


Wow, what an amazing level of experience. I am super impressed, if I had a medal I would pin it on you. I am new to this forum but have been following the comments and I would have hoped, with your combined 150 years of experience, that you would have had more constructive comments than to hide behind your screen names and critique the use of grammar. But instead you choose to stand on your pedestal and beat your chest like some god of the outdoors. Seems to me like you wasted those 150 years as nothing you have offered benefits the outdoor community. I wasnt going to participate in this thread but I feel that enough is enough.

So what you are really saying is that you are all experienced (AKA old), your views are more superior and we should all listen to you. Wow! Have you considered that some of your views and ideas are possibly somewhat stale and outdated? I am guessing by your self-important tone that you are at least 55, in fact I would put money on it? Why is it that every time I come across forums like this I find that it is the old walkers who carry all the negativity and try to boast about how experienced and important they are. You do not own the bush-walking arena, you do not own the outdoors. You might have been walking for decades but you had to start somewhere, so might be wise to remember that as the environment needs passionate people, like Darren and others, to take over the reins and champion the cause when you are gone. Bushwalking is for all of us to enjoy, be involved in and develop and if you can't be open minded, accepting and supportive of other peoples ideas and initiatives then maybe it is time to step aside and hang up your walking boots.

I get that not all ideas are great and some in fact could have a negative impact on the environment and should be petitioned against, From what I understand and respect about everything Darren has produced (his two websites and series of really helpful hiking guides), is that preservation of the natural environment, we all love to walk in, is forefront in his mind. From the few comments I have read of his in this thread, he seems to be against commercialisation of our tracks and trails and is to be applauded for his efforts. So well done Darren for your passion and enthusiasm.

To the self-confessed experts among you, others, like me, are tired of your condescending tone and arrogance so please show some of the respect that you seem to demand, lighten up and be a bit more encouraging. Just a thought.
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby summitexplorer » Tue 19 Dec, 2017 7:48 am

Why was my post removed? Am I not entitled to my opinion as so many others seem to be? Please explain why you feel it appropriate to play god and moderate what others have written?
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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby Rileyr » Wed 20 Dec, 2017 5:37 am

You bunch sure are a supportive lot aren't ya's

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Re: Buller Huts Trail website.

Postby north-north-west » Wed 20 Dec, 2017 9:37 am

Rileyr wrote:You bunch sure are a supportive lot aren't ya's


Some of us take things as we find them. Maybe that concept could be a bit more widespread?
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