A group of bushwalkers will retrace the footsteps of Bernard O’Reilly on Saturday during the winter 2018 Stinson Walk.
The epic 37 kilometre journey which is regarded as one of Australia’s most iconic walks, reenacts the heroic rescue mission undertaken by Bernard O’Reilly in 1937 to find the Stinson aircraft wreckage.
Through this selfless act O’Reilly saved the lives of two survivors who had been stranded in the rugged wilderness for 10 days with no food and only creek water to quench their thirst.
O’Reilly’s Rainforest and Retreat manager Brendan Long said the tale is one of those classic Australian stories featuring amazing bushmanship and mateship.
“It’s quite emotional to think this fellow walked 30 kilometres through rough bushland and found these two people laying there with their five dead comrades around them,” he said.
“He was on his own with no assistance and he had the tenacity to continue on seven more kilometres to Christmas Creek where over 100 farmers volunteered to help retrieve people that they didn’t know, which I think is the essence of Australian mateship.”
The expedition party, many of whom have been undertaking a physical training program over the past few months to prepare for the 12 hour hike, will meet at O’Reilly’s this evening before setting off at 4am.
“Once you’re a third of the way into it there is no turning back, you’re in an isolated and inhospitable bush location and you have to make your way out, so you’re committed,” Mr Long said.
“But people who have prepared will handle it comfortably.”
Upon completion of the trek, the tour pauses to reflect and read an excerpt from the book written by O’Reilly about the ordeal called Green Mountain.
“It’s a moving experience,” Mr Long said.
“Having gone through this tough physical challenge there is also a tremendous sense of accomplishment.”
It is too late to book a place on tomorrow’s expedition but O’Reilly’s is planning another in September.
More information can be found at oreillys.com.au/events/stinsonwalk/