Australians have long been known for their outdoorsy lifestyle and desire to roam. So this year’s COVID-19 restrictions have been especially hard to take (while they have been highly successful compared to many other countries in containing the virus).
Now one Aussie publisher hopes their new urban hiking magazine will have serious legs.
“This is definitely a COVID baby,” says Tamsin O’Neill about her newest venture The Walker’s Journal in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Karl Quinn. O’Neill is already the editor of the much-loved Green magazine (dedicated to sustainable architecture and house design) and Treadlie, a biking website, Quinn notes.
“It has been phenomenal how many people are out walking,” says Tom Bodycomb, O’Neill’s husband and publisher. “I think they’ve mostly been doing the same walk every day, but I hope this will inspire them to do something a bit more interesting.”
The magazine, printed in a highly portable A5 format, covers multi-day hikes, day trips and urban walks, along with a companion website. O’Neill sees the magazine as a collectible source of inspiration, as much as a real-time guide.
“We hope people will collect it with a mind to one day doing the walks,” says O’Neill. “We’re not expecting people will rush out and do them.”
Their content includes a guide to day hikes in or near Melbourne and Sydney … and it looks like the beginnings of a fantastic “must-do” list for locals and visitors alike.
“It seems similarly old-timey to be launching a magazine devoted to the least high-tech pursuit imaginable,” Quinn writes, “and perhaps wisely the pair are starting with a pre-launch subscription drive to gauge if others share their enthusiasm.”
O’Neill in confident, saying, “If there’s ever a time to bring out a magazine on walking, this is it. If it doesn’t work now, it’s never going to work.”
So lace up those boots, Australia, and get on the list for this launch. And best of luck to the team at The Walker’s Journal.