Check out this FABULOUS cover!!!
I am counting down the days till I can hold Off The Track in my own two hands… Touching a brand new book is a thrill that never gets old 🙂
Regular readers will know I’m excited to have once again collaborated with Fremantle Press and illustrator Amanda Burnett to produce a children’s chapter book for everyone who’s ever felt a little off-track…
Off The Track is set on WA’s amazing Bibbulmun Track.
It’s a new adventure for young readers about falling in love with the bush, and with hiking and being in the wild.
It’s about disconnecting from technology. And discovering yourself.
Why write about the Bibbulmun?
Because I love it!
Whether you’re hiking for a few hours or a few days (or walking the whole 1000-km track, from Kalamunda to Albany, like my dad did!), the Bibb brings magic and memories into your day.
I’ve spent many hours surrounded by its undulating bush, many nights enveloped in its starry darkness, and as little time as possible in its longdrop toilets (but seriously, they’re not that bad!).
From tramps to hikes
I grew up in New Zealand and was lucky that my parents often took our family tramping through NZ’s network of huts and national parks. We’ve hiked through pouring rain, thick mud, sleet and ice. We’ve tied ourselves together with ropes to avoid getting lost in the fog and falling off a cliff. We’ve climbed mountains, crossed rivers, compared blisters and eaten loads of instant pasta.
I believe there’s nothing more bonding for a family than being miles from civilisation with only each other and the packs on your back. I adore it.
Now I have kids of my own, we get out on the Bibb track or Munda Biddi at least once a year.
From the time our kids were old enough to carry a pack (albeit a virtually empty pack), we’ve been hiking the Bibbulmun. We’ve done day hikes, overnight hikes, and we’re working up to something longer…
It’s such a buzz to see how much they love it.
So that’s why I wrote Off The Track.
Because I’d love to see more families on the track.
Much of the action is inspired by our own experiences.
The story is about two families going for an overnight hike, the excitement of setting off, of breathing fresh air and blue sky, of sore feet and sweat and wondering if you’ll ever get there, of the thrill of spotting the roof-line of a hut and knowing that you’ve made it, at least for the night.
Bits and pieces of the story have actually happened to us.
I bet you can’t guess which bits 🙂
Spend some time Off The Track
Harry’s perfect life was straying way off-track. He looked pleadingly at Mum. Surely she could see?
Spending an entire weekend tramping around stinking-hot, snake-filled scrub was a horrible mistake. But doing it without a phone?
That was just brutal.
As it turns out, it was only the beginning…
Off The Track celebrates the Australian bush and the time-honoured tradition of a family hiking adventure.
Illustrated by Amanda Burnett.