Broken Hill’s favourite wandering quantum scientist, Dr Peter Hill, is gearing up for his most arduous walk yet with his sights set on a leisurely – for him – 600km-plus stroll from Broken Hill to Bourke starting from May 14 and potentially taking a week.
“It’s not the biggest walk I have done, but it is definitely the scariest. Some 330 kilometres of dirt road and nothing else,” says Dr Hill.
“One of the things I have learnt is you can’t do 100kms a day on a dirt road, so it will take about a week to complete the journey.”
Having previously scheduled the walk for June, personal commitments mean the fundraising mosey to Bourke has been moved forward to May.
Of course, Mr Hill is no stranger to a massive meander, having completed walks from the Silver City to Wilcannia, Menindee, Adelaide and Cameron Corner in 2022.
There has been no let up this year, with a couple of prominent perambulations. The first was a casual jaunt from Melbourne to Echuca, and the second was your everyday Sunday stroll from Broken Hill to Mildura.
It took Dr Hill two attempts to get from Broken Hill to Mildura after he was struck down with dehydration on his first attempt, unsurprising when you consider the 36-degree weather he set off in.
“I got about 50kms before I started feeling the effects of dehydration,” Mr Hill told us.
Over the journey Mr Hill has raised funds for many different causes. His most recent walks have been to fundraise for national youth mental health foundation headspace.
This time around the ambling scientist is raising funds for Big Sky Stories, an organisation which provides the children, young people, and their families in the NSW outback a place to gather and be inspired by sharing the world of books, storytelling, and creative arts activities.
“Big Sky Stories is a really important organisation with the work they do for kids, and it is one that is quite important to me.
“I’m not the best at raising money, but I am really good at walking.”
With some modifications for his famous skateboard underway, a new sleeping arrangement is set to make his trip a little easier.
“I used to have a Kmart 11 inch sleeping bag, now I have an Aldi onesie. I am looking forward to that,” Dr Hill laughed.
With his sleeping arrangements sorted, and skateboard modifications underway, Dr Hill is almost ready to go – although he is not rushing into anything.
“There are some risks you are aware of. There are others you don’t know about. It is definitely not something I am rushing into.”