Welcome to version 3.0 of The Bushwalking Blog. Okay, it’s still a work in progress, but it’s looking good already if I do say so myself.
“Wait, did you say THE Bushwalking Blog?” I hear you ask.
That’s right, I thought after 8 years that it was time for a change but I wanted you guys to know that this is still the same website you’ve grown to love. That’s why I didn’t go for a complete rebrand. There are loads of bushwalking blogs around these days, but I’m pretty sure there’s no others that have been consistently running for so long. This isn’t just any bushwalking blog, this is THE Bushwalking Blog. It’s a big claim, I know, but I guess that just means I’ve got some work to do to live up to my words.
So with the change of name comes a snazzy new logo. You might notice I’ve taken out the tagline, “Walking Melbourne and beyond”, and that’s because I’m not planning to be so Melbourne-centric or so focused purely on walking anymore. The Bushwalking Blog has evolved into as much of an adventure travel blog as just a bushwalking blog. I wanted to reflect this slight change of direction.
Then there’s the new layout, which places a bit more emphasis on the photos, gives the words a bit more room to breathe, and just generally doesn’t look as busy as it used to. This is the first change in layout since 2011, so I think it was well and truly overdue.
So what else has changed?
The Trail Finder
When I started The Bushwalking Blog, one of my main aims was to create an easy way for walkers to find a trail to suit their needs. The old system worked reasonably well, but The Trail Finder is what I actually envisaged all those years ago.
So how does it work? It’s pretty simple really. Have a look through the categories on the left of the page (or at the top on mobile) and tick the ones that suit what you’re looking for. The list of hikes on the right of the page (or underneath the categories on mobile) will refresh in real time to reflect your selections.
It has made me realise that I seriously need to get some more walks up, though, so I’ll be inviting other writers/walkers to contribute walks from all over the country (and hopefully the world). Not only that but over time I’ll be adding my own ‘bucket list’ walks from all over, with detailed instructions on how to go about doing them. Hopefully, this is already a pretty valuable tool, but I want to make it the best one available.
New Gear Review Format
The Bushwalking Blog will have a renewed focus on gear, including not only reviews but also roundups and gear news. Check out my recent reviews for a look at the new format for review posts. Each one is broken down into more consistent sections, with each one given a score. Category scores are then tallied to give you an overall score for every piece of gear reviewed.
Over the years, so many other writers have contributed content to The Bushwalking Blog, but I’ve never felt like I quite gave them the credit they deserved. Every article now features an author bio at the bottom, and I’ve also got an Authors page where you can see everyone that has contributed (or regularly contributes) their awesome stories, trip reports, photography and expert advice.
Note: I’m still working my way through all the authors, creating bios. If I’ve missed you, shoot me a message!
Better, Faster, Stronger
You may have noticed that the old website was a little on the slow side. The homepage used to, at times, take up to 30 seconds to fully load. Not anymore. It’s now loading in as little as 8 seconds, and I’m still working on making it even faster.
So that about sums it up. I hope you like the new look and the new features. As I’ve mentioned, it’s a work in progress, so I’m extremely open to your thoughts.
Please let me know in the comments below, or via the Contact page. Your ideas and criticisms will go towards helping me make The Bushwalking Blog live up to its name.