Welcome to the forests

The south eastern forests of Australia occupy the south eastern corner of the continent from about Canberra and the Shoalhaven River southwards to Cape Howe and the 90 Mile Beach of Eastern Gippsland. More particularly the South East Forests National Park takes in the coastal range and foothills south of the Brogo to the Victorian border. It is a biodiversity hotspot tucked between the Monaro and the coastal plains. This website follows John Blay as he explores its many features including some special Aboriginal places and unique wildlife and hopes to explain some of the wonders to be found there as well as the shared history of its peoples.

The region is a wonderland for walkers. Some parts are absolutely challenging but there is a variety to the walks, including the Bundian Way, that spark international interest. The qualities of the scenery include the great eucalypt forests of the world as well as alpine and coastal wilderness. The Bundian Way is a bushwalker’s dream come true.

See:   Acknowledgement of Country

Out now, the concluding work of the mighty forests trilogy:

Wild Nature: walking Australia’s south east forests maps emotional territory, natural history and describes what’s there with delicate patience.  The epic story of his bushwalking reveals a journey to the heart of these great Australian forests and into wild nature itself. See Books’ Page!

Moving and vividly told. John Blay’s Wild Nature is a book like no other, written on the soles of his boots and in the wildness of his heart. At once personal, historical and political, it bears witness to the majesty and fragility of a unique Australian environment”         — MARK McKENNA

Back Country, by John Blay


The Back Country rediscovered.

John Blay’s first book in the trilogy, Back Country Trek through the Deua and Wadbilliga, follows an extraordinary walk through the history and ways of Australia’s south-eastern escarpment ranges and their very special wildlife. See Books’ Page!

‘…an environmental classic…’  Canberra Times





On Track is the fascinating account of John Blay’s long-distance walking in search of the Aboriginal past and old ways of travelling between the high country and Twofold Bay near Eden on the New South Wales far south coast. The 360-kilometre route of the Bundian Way traverses some of the nation’s wildest, most remarkable landscapes from the highest part of the continent to the ocean. See Books’ Page!    



The Bundian Way is a reconciliation … This is a track, a meeting place, that links the freshwater to the saltwater, the beaches to the mountains. People traversed that track for a lot longer than most of us can get our heads around. And it should be a track for all of us to come together now.’

— MICK GOODA, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner

On Track is proof that the land still has its mysteries, and that after more than 200 years, the age of explorers is not yet over. John Blay, with a poet’s sensibility and a poet’s eye for detail, takes us step by step across country as he puts the Bundian Way back on the map.