The Federation Track is a documented, way-pointed walking route from Sydney in New South Wales to Adelaide in South Australia with a link to Canberra. A northern extension t0 Brisbane is planned and has been proof-walked and waypointed as far as the Carrai Plateau near Kempsey.
The Track is designed to
- Connect Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide with a spur track to Canberra.
- Traverse as many different types of Australian scenery as possible.
- Be accessible by all age groups.
- Suitable for all walkers, including day walkers.
- Bring together historic sites.
- Connect major National Parks.
- Link existing walking tracks and fire trails.
- Run through as many National Parks, State Parks and State Forests as possible.
- Avoid difficult or non-existent river crossings.
- Avoid walking on roads, wherever possible.
What’s in a name?
It is called the Federation Track as it links three of the original six colonies which federated in 1901 to form the Commonwealth of Australia and connects several significant sites associated with Federation:
- Federation Pavilion in Sydney’s Centennial Park where Federation was officially proclaimed on 1 January 1901
- Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne where the first Australian Federal Parliament was held on 9 May 1901.
- The South Australian Parliament where the first and substantive session of the 1897 Australasian National Convention sat and decided Australia’s Constitution.
Quick track history
The route between Circular Quay in Sydney and the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne (Federation Track South) was proof-walked and documented between 1991 and 1995. Federation Track North was proof-walked as far as the Carrai Plateau west of Kempsey between 1996 and 1998. After a lapse of 8 years the route between the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne and The South Australian Parliament House (Federation Track West) was proof-walked and documented between 2006 and 2013. Federation Track Capitol was proof-walked but not documented in 2005.
No track markers
The Federation Track is designed as a walking route rather than a marked, built track and it follows existing bushwalking tracks as well as fire trails, beaches, disused railways, footpaths and the occasional road verge.
It uses track guides and GPS waypoints rather than built tracks and track markers. This avoids the conflict that exists between Australian bushwalking and conservation groups on whether or not tracks should be marked. In New South Wales this debate has effectively stopped the development of a state walking track system whereas in Victoria there is an excellent network of marked tracks. The track guides and GPS files available on this web site together with the high quality topographic maps available in Australia reduce the need for such track marking.