From Bushwalk Australia
A map showing the physical and man-made features for a given area. The physical features may include such things as rivers, creeks, mountains, hills, ridges, valleys, gorges etc. Differences in elevation between locations on the map are defined by "contour lines". To a practised eye, these can assist in visualising the terrain shown, almost as a 3D image. Man made features may include roads, houses, railway lines, huts, fire trails, walking tracks and so on. Boundaries for various areas are shown, including national parks and other public land.
Topographic maps are generally considered an essential tool for bushwalking navigation. The most practical maps for this purpose are 1:25,000 scale.