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A walk on the mild side for our strolling doctor – just 436km

Peter Hill

Last time we spoke to local quantum physicist Dr Peter Hill – who happens to be an ace walker too -he was preparing for yet another incredible walking trek, this time to Cameron Corner.

Cameron Corner is famous for being the spot where the borders of New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia intersect. The spot lies a lazy 436km from Broken Hill and that’s a mere saunter for this man who certainly likes a bit of a walkabout.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Dr Hill on this latest jaunt, however. He made it 80km out of Broken Hill before he began having issues with the wheel bearings on the modified skateboard he uses to cart his supplies during his expansive strolls.

Luckily for Dr. Hill, a local noticed his despondent body language on the side of the road and picked him up, returning him to Broken Hill to repair the faulty bearings.

That cost him a couple of days, but once the repairs were done, he was returned to where he was picked up from and continued his trek to the tri-state border.

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That was far from the only obstacle he faced. Dr Hill copped some dreadful storms too. At one point he was surrounded by lightning strikes. That didn’t stop our local man-marvel though, rather than stop he simply yelled “you missed me!” as the lightning struck all around him. He also dealt with incredibly strong winds at several different stages of his stroll.

“I was almost blown off of the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) runaway,” he told us.

We can confirm Dr Hill is in fact man, and not machine. When we spoke to him, he assured us that he struggled to complete the journey at times.

“Come on, the kilometres won’t walk themselves,” he told us with a chuckle, before revealing that it was the mantra that got him all the way to Cameron Corner.

The journey took him 12 and a half days to complete, including the pit stop for his skateboard repairs. He took two main rest stops at Packsaddle and Milparinka. Otherwise, it was a Kmart yoga mat and sleeping bag on the side of the road when Dr. Hill took his daily breaks.

Incredibly, not only did Dr. Hill complete this feat of human endurance but he managed to raise over $14,000 for the local RFDS Wellbeing Place via public donations during his outback amble.

The RFDS Wellbeing Place is a service offering Mental Health and therapeutic services to Broken Hill and surrounding towns. It is a safe place for people to be able to access professional support and engage in activities to enhance or maintain their sense of wellbeing.

During his journey, Dr Hill also snapped some incredible photos for his elderly mother, Eileen Hill. Mrs Hill is 92-years-old and suffers from Parkinsons Disease. She lives in Melbourne and Dr. Hill was delighted to be able to get some pictures he can take to his mother.

Remarkably, he also managed to teach some science at the Waka homestead along the way.

Besides some shin splints he suffered on a previous walk, the good doctor has not suffered any physical injuries of note from his adventures. That is something he attributes to 15 years in the army reserve and the subsequent training involved with that.

Dr Hill began his incredible treks to rehabilitate from strokes he suffered in the past. He is due for a check-up before he commits to anymore jaunts across this great country of ours. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t got some ideas for next year’s walking season. Mildura and Burke are both front of mind for his next wander.

For now, though, Dr Hill can be proud of what he has achieved with his treks this walking season that include ambling to Cameron Corner, Wilcannia, Adelaide and Menindee. And Broken Hill can be proud to call this scientist, athlete and fundraiser, one of our own.

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