WALKING TO THE TOP

Tanya and Dad Derek walking the Tinder Tank Road about 50 kilometres north west of Condobolin. They set out on foot from Wilson Promontory in Victoria to walk to the tip of Cape York in Queensland a 4000 kilometre journey. Image credit Robin Sanderson.

When Tanya Petropoulos was thinking of what to do to add some challenge to her life she decided to walk from the southern most tip of Australia on Wilson’s Promontory in Victoria to the Northern most tip of the Cape York Peninsular. After all it is only 4000 kilometres from tip to tip. Easy.

Tanya is following in her father’s footsteps as he has undertaken some pretty big challenges himself.

“Dad, who is 73 now, has often set himself some big challenges. One was kayaking from the source to the mouth of the Murray, and this planted the idea in my head” Tanya said.

Tanya, and red kelpie Jax, set out with her Dad, who planned the route, on the 19th March and got as far as Benalla when the Covid 19 lockdown started and they had to return to Victoria.
She set out again about three weeks ago and has made it as far as Lake and Condobolin doing 980ks so far.

This time Tanya and her Dad, Derek Whitehead, are accompanied by her husband Victor and 14 year old son Anthony, who have had their time freed up by the effects of the virus.

“Dad planned the route to stay on the back roads and away from the traffic. We pick a base camp near a regional town and stay for about 9 days travelling about 300ks around the area and spend about $1000 in each of the towns we visit. At the moment we are staying at Curlew Waters.”

We are up and walking about 4.30am, even when it is chilly. We really enjoy a hot water bottle at night”

“People have been great and ask if I am raising money for anything but I am doing this for myself and it’s a great way to spend time with Dad. It’s great that my husband is with us now as he is a chef. We are having damper and great meals at night” said Tanya. “We are learning about the locals as we go. Kelvin Dunne, from ‘Greenacres’, has been just great and happy to tell us about the area.”

“Dad has done half the Ks as he drives ahead and then walks back to meet me.”

“Originally the journey was to take three months, but we are not sure how long now as the Queensland border has been closed to Victorians. We will see as much as NSW as we can before we get there. We are heading to Nyngan next.”

By Anne Coffey.