ROBERT RANKIN
Brisbane, Australia
Email
 Phone 0429 337 866
WILDERNESS BOOKS
Covers Tamborine, Springbrook, Lamington, Border Ranges, Mount Barney, Main Range, Flinders Peak, the Great Walk and the full Scenic Rim Traverse.

South East Queensland is endowed with an immense variety of natural bushland. No other region of Australia has such a diverse range of wilderness scenery in such close proximity, from the vast sandy regions of Fraser and Moreton Islands to the rainforests of Springbrook and Lamington, the rocky peaks of Mount Barney and the granite outcrops of Girraween. Nearly every major Australian wilderness type is represented here.

The jewel in the crown as far as mountain scenery goes is the Scenic Rim and that is what this book is about. The Scenic Rim is a long chain of mountains beginning at Point Danger on the Gold Coast and then leading westwards to encompass Springbrook, Lamington, the Border Ranges, Lever's Plateau and the high rocky peaks of Mount Lindesay and Mount Barney before joining the Great Dividing Range at Wilsons Peak. Here the Rim turns northwards, following the Main Range through Cunningham's Gap and then the ridge crest further northwards to the Mistake Mountains and the Little Liverpool Range near Laidley. This guide describes bushwalks and climbs in these superb ranges as well as the nearby areas of Tamborine and Flinders Peak.
Secrets of the Scenic Rim (AUD$29.95)
(Paperback, 192 pages, 210x145mm, 0.45kg, 2016
ISBN 978-0-9874938-5-9)
To order this book, click here to go to MAIL ORDER page and locate ITEM 01. Also check out the special deal at ITEM 2 on the Mail Order page.
The Steamers, Great Dividing Range, Scenic Rim (Qld)
Review from Wild Magazine July 2015
 
. . . this updated version will be well-received by regular visitors to the area who own the first edition while also remaining a very informative guidebook for those picking it up for the first time. Including colour photography, maps and location-specific details, Rankin presents an exhaustive resource for anyone seeking to go adventuring in the region. While the focus is on bushwalking and a certain amount of climbing, the lists of campsites, notes on flora and fauna as well as added historical information means this guide would be a wise investment for anyone wishing to visit Queensland’s Scenic Rim.
Review from the Local Bulletin July 2015
 
. . .This book enables many, who like me, have always wanted to be more adventurous in their walking choices but have not been able to find the detailed information to try it. This book has all the weather advice, travel information and the right websites to allow you to find out more detail. Each walk has advice on access, grading, time taken and interesting things to look out for on the way, with additional information on campsites and national park information.
The maps and photographs are the stunning centrepiece of this publication with full contour lines and aerial images to show you exactly where the walk begins and ends. Showing easily what difficulty and angle of ascent is really expected from you as the walker, whilst also tantalisingly giving you some idea of the views you will experience.
The final chapter gives some history on the area, and a recap on climbing expeditions of the early Victorian explorers. A detailed account of the Stinson Air Crash of 1937 and the O’Reilly legend, as well as a brief history of the last major climbing discoveries of the 20th century add up to a well-rounded read for all those looking for a bit more adventure locally. . .
Classic Wild Walks of Australia Book and Software (AUD$29.95)
(Hardback Book and CD-ROM, 208 pages, 335x250mm, 1.70kg total, 1999, 2006
ISBN 978-0-9592418-2-2 and 978-0-9592418-5-3)
This large casebound coffee-table size volume contains superb coloured pictures, finely detailed maps and extensive text and track notes describing Australia's top 25 bushwalking areas.Topics discussed in the text include: access, walking grades, weather, notes on geology and botany, track notes and suitable campsites.

The areas described are: Hinchinbrook Island, Carnarvon Gorge, the Main Range, Lamington Rainforests, Mount Barney, the Warrumbungles, the Upper Grose Valley of the Blue Mountains, the Budawang Range, the Snowy Mountains, the Victorian Alps, Wilson's Promontory, Grampian Ranges, the Overland Track, the Walls of Jerusalem, the South Coast Track, Mount Anne, Federation Peak, the Western Arthur Range, Frenchman's Cap, Wilpena Pound, the Gammon Ranges, the Stirling Ranges, the Fitzgerald River Coast, Katherine Gorge and Kakadu National Park.

This book comes with bonus software CD of the same name - Classic WILD WALKS of Australia Version 5 for Windows. The CD-ROM features 600 pictures from the wildest regions of Australia with overlays of place names and walking routes with detailed notes on routes, access, camping, history, geology and much more. Weather and Snow Data let you plan your trip for the best season. The included Route Profiler software allows you to plot traverses across Australia’s most rugged mountains. Maps of each region with hotspots allows you to see the actual landscape of the maps while the Visual Explorer lets you roam through the landscape using a series of linked photographs. A collection of articles provides a huge amount of additional background information. The CD-ROM requires Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8 or 10.
Reviews for the book
 
That Wild Walks is a major work of quality and substance is apparent as soon as you pick up a copy. The photographs are placed in a book whose format and quality of printing do them justice. It could be one of the best books released in this country this year. 
Twenty five choice spots are covered in exquisite detail accompanied by some sumptuous photography by a master. The Australian
 
Robert Rankin’s latest book sets a new standard in bushwalking publications, bringing together high-class photographs, maps and concise but complete guides for a selection of the best walks in each state.


 
Beyond the Horizon  (AUD$19.95)
(Hardback, 208 pages, 335x250mm, 1.70kg, 2002
ISBN 978-0-9592418-6-0)
Although Robert Rankin has visited most remote places in Australia that are considered wild and remote, there are only a few of these that he returns to again and again. These are locations that have struck a chord with him – they epitomise what he sees as the character of the Australian wilderness or, at the very least, the type of experience he is seeking from this land. These places are the high mountains, the remote mountains and the exotic mountains. From the tropical splendour that is Hinchinbrook Island to the icy peaks of the Snowy Mountains and Victorian Alps, to the glacially beautiful Western Arthur Range or the craggy peaks of Mount Barney and the Main Range of southern Queensland – these are the places he returns to again and again.
 
To explain what draws him to these mountains is the purpose of this book. Using a range of source materials, Robert Rankin traces the history of exploration of these wild places from the earliest known inhabitants to the present day. For his journeys of challenge and exploration, he chooses an extremely lightweight form of travel. This way, he can cover vast distances swiftly and easily. The text provides a fascinating insight into why he undertakes these demanding trips and the methods he uses. A large collection of colour photographs provides fine examples of the superb and pristine landscape that anyone who cares to follow in his footsteps can discover for themselves.
At a time when nearly every corner of the globe has been explored and thoroughly documented, Robert Rankin shows how adventure and new challenges can still be found and enjoyed almost in our own backyard.
Review for the CD-ROM

If you are at all interested in walking the wild, this CD is without doubt the best of its kind in Australia. It is a truly impressive resource. Sydney Morning Herald


Australia - Wild Places is simply a book of pictures of this country’s wildest regions. Australia has such stunning wild places that no further embellishment is needed. Through a lifetime of exploring and photographing this country’s most remote regions, Robert Rankin has compiled a collection of what he considers to be some of the best wilderness landscapes of Australia.
AUSTRALIA - Wild Places  (AUD$19.95)
(Hardback, 96 pages, 310x250mm, 1.10kg, 2011
978-0-9592418-8-4)
Australia - Mountains is simply a book of pictures of this country's wildest mountains. Australia has a wide range of environments and geological structures and these have created an extremely diversified collection of mountain peaks. Through a lifetime of exploring and photographing this country's most remote regions, Robert Rankin has compiled a collection of what he considers to be some of the best mountainous landscapes of Australia. This is the second book of Australian themes, the first being AUSTRALIA -Wild Places.
THE PHOTOGRAPHS included in AUSTRALIA - Forests to Sea, the third and final volume of the AUSTRALIA series, comprise a selection of landscapes from the forests of the hinterland ranges down along the streams to the coastal regions of this land. Australia's landscapes are often at their best where the forest meets the sea. Through a lifetime of exploring and photographing this country's most remote regions, Robert Rankin has compiled a collection of what he considers to be some of the best forest landscapes and seascapes of Australia. The other volumes of Australian themes are AUSTRALIA - Wild Places and AUSTRALIA - Mountains.
AUSTRALIA - Mountains   (AUD$19.95)
(Hardback, 112 pages, 310x250mm, 1.20 kg, 2012
ISBN 978-0-9592418-9-1)
AUSTRALIA - Forests to Sea   (AUD$19.95)
(Hardback, 112 pages, 310x250mm, 1.20 kg, 2013
ISBN 978-0-9874938-0-4)
Wilderness Light is the book for all those who are fascinated with wilderness and have a desire to capture its many moods with a camera.
 
The word photography, translated literally from its Greek origins, means to draw or write with light. With the simplicity and ease of use of modern-day cameras it is, however, very easy to forget this. We tend to believe that the camera holds the key to the potential quality of the photograph - in effect, that the technology of the computer age guarantees a superb picture every time. This is far from the truth. The essence of picture taking has changed little since the invention of the photographic process two centuries ago and no advance in photographic technology, including digital cameras, has substantially altered this.
 
It is light and not the camera that is the photographer's true medium for expression. It is light which paints the landscape and we, as photographers, simply record its influence. The real skill in picture taking is learning to be perceptive to the nuances of light and how lighting can influence the appearance and mood of the landscape. As well, since the camera records only a small part of what our naked eye sees, we need to be able to select skilfully a limited but meaningful portion from within a larger landscape and focus our attention on this portion only.
Understanding these two facets of photography - lighting and composition - is the essence of good picture taking. These are the central topics of Wilderness Light, and although written at a time when the workings of digital photography and digital processing were still being invented, the issues raised in this book are still central to the skill of photography.
Wilderness Light   (AUD$19.95)
(Hardback, 160 pages, 275x240mm, 1.20 kg, 1993, ISBN 978 9592418 4 6)
Review
 
Wilderness Light continues the Rankin tradition of quality photographic publishing at a reasonable price - printed superbly in Australia as well.

On my subjective assessment of photos (whether I wish I had taken them myself!), Rankin's 44 images rate very well, with several absolute stunners. The few weaker images are excusable as they illustrate points from the text.

More than just a pretty face, this book is a treatise on landscape photography. Rankin clearly explains the principles of composition and lighting at some length, and steers away from suffocating discussions of techno-trivia like silver halides and aperture priority.
 

Reviews
 
Six years ago I was given a copy of Robert Rankin's Classic Wild Walks of Australia - it was a life-changing experience because it tapped into a desire to explore wild places, to be free and physical in nature. I thumbed through the book night after night dreaming of the wondrous places that Rankin revered and I had yet to explore. It was the inspiration for much of my early bushwalking in my new-found home of Tasmania and it continues today to be a book that refreshes my dreams.

I was not disappointed with Rankin's most recent publication. He is one of the country's most prolific photographers but he is also a man who thinks not just about the perfect picture but more deeply about his connection to the bush. Beyond the Horizon is special because Rankin reveals a large part of himself not only through the colour images but through the text. His stories of walking and running through the bush are enthralling tales.

The theme of this book is mountains and specifically what it is that draws him to mountains - the high and remote peaks of tropical Hinchinbrook Island in Queensland to Tasmania's wild Western Arthur Range and the Snowy Mountains and icy Victorian Alps. Rankin details his travels like a sophisticated diary. He also traces the history of exploration in these areas which gives the book added depth.
The Sunday Tasmanian, 2002

[Rankin] realised that you don't necessarily have to get to the Andes or Himalayas for an adventure and the sense of achievement which comes with it. But Rankin's Zen-like passion puts him into elite company. Add his skill and patience at high quality landscape photography and you're onto something.

Most of us can quite confidently say we'll never negotiate the Thumb rock stack near the summit of Mt Bowen, at the highest altitudes of North Queensland's Hinchinbrook Island. But with his book Beyond the Horizon, Rankin transports us there. His marvellous photographs and descriptions of trips take us up to his favourite wild places. He has pushed his luck with minimal survival precautions in snowy country as far south as Tasmania, and in the process captured some stunning images on film. For good measure, Rankin throws in some interesting, well-researched social history.
The Courier Mail, 2003

With its full-page colour photographs of Australia's rugged peaks and mountain landscapes, Beyond the Horizon looks, at first glance, like a standard coffee-table book in which the text is secondary to the glossy pictures. But as Robert Rankin begins to describe his lightning runs (yes, he runs) through his most loved wild places - Hinchinbrook Island, Mount Kosciuszko, Mount Barney in south-east Queensland, and the Western Arthur Range in Tasmania - the intensity of his encounters transforms the way we view the images of this landscape. Complementing his own story is documentation of early inhabitants, explorers and climbers of these regions. The result is an engrossing, intimate foray into the Australian alpine (sic) wilderness.
The Age, 2002

. . . part the author's personal bush reminiscences; part coffee-table, wilderness-photo extravaganza and part (Aboriginal, early European and bushwalking) history. In effect, Beyond the Horizon is three books in one. Beyond the Horizon . . goes beyond the ordinary. . .
Wild Magazine 2002

This beautifully produced casebound book is the latest offering from Rankin. . . Anyone interested in our wild places will enjoy this well-researched book for its value as a reference and, more importantly, because it will serve to inspire those of us who don't get "out there" enough to keep dreaming and planning.
Outdoor Australia Magazine 2002
The 93 large colour photographs testify to the author's dedication, flair and perfectionism in photography. Clearly the scenery is to him an overwhelmingly important aspect of bushwalking and his pictures put the point across most persuasively, making this a superb coffee-table book. But it is much more than that.

The scope and quality of the information is such that you can hardly go wrong. Yet despite the concentrated nature of its contents, the book makes easy and enjoyable reading. Robert Rankin's style flows smoothly and soon gets you on the track with him.  Australian Geographic
To order this book, click here to go to MAIL ORDER page and locate ITEM 03.
To order this book, click here to go to MAIL ORDER page and locate ITEM 04.
To order this book, click here to go to MAIL ORDER page and locate ITEM 05.
To order this book, click here to go to MAIL ORDER page and locate ITEM 06.
To order this book, click here to go to MAIL ORDER page and locate ITEM 07.
To order this book, click here to go to MAIL ORDER page and locate ITEM 08.
His assessment of what is important in making good pictures is very wlecome, since I believe the emphasis on ever more bells and whistles to be the path of fools, and particularly misguided in photography. As in the ancient practice of alchemy, the transformation of base metal into gold happens mainly within the practitioner.

Rankin's solid discussion of aesthetic theory will enlighten people such as myself who only know what they like in a photo without knowing why. There are also brief exposes on the fundamental technical considerations of film, exposure, filtration and optics. It is good to see a successful photographer happy to share some tricks of the trade rather than maintaining the mystique. Though having said this, not all is revealed.

Whole libraries of photographic whirrs and clicks are available for technical buffs; Wilderness Light offers instead a thoughful grounding in the fundamentals.
Out There Magazine, Issue 3 Winter 1994
Review
 
This is so much more than a coffee-table book. It may inspire you to visit the places depicted, it may encourage you to walk more, take more photographs or just even reflect on the landscapes that can only be called Australian. It is all encompassing of the range of habitats that make up our amazing land - from the lush tropics to the breathtaking and striking desert. The small pictures and descriptions at the back are an added highlight, with paragraphs accurately describing the location and providing just the right amount of information. It is great to see a book composed entirely of photographs taken before the digital age. We take it for granted that we can edit and select with such ease, and these images each represent countless hours from waiting for the outdoor conditions to be just right, as well as many hours in a darkroom.
Wild Magazine, 2012 
Review
 
Robert's second Australia-themed book showcases some of his best mountain photography taken over 30 years. Unencumbered by text, each photo takes up a full page or double-page spread. A section at the back outlines location and description of each photo, as well as the date it was taken - from Mt Carruthers in June 1984 to Mt Cordeaux in August 2010.

Although the vast majority of the photos were taken in the 1980s and early 1990s, it's interesting to see these photos and compare them to present-day landscapes. Those too young to remember or with not-so-sharp memories who often walk through the areas captured in this book might be keen to see how they looked decades ago.
Robert first chronicled the wild areas of Australia when he studied physics at university. This initial spark inspired him to travel to our remote regions and present them in photo form.
 
Budding landscape photographers (or just those interested) will enjoy the photographic notes supplied by Robert, along with some tips on shooting mountains and how to fine-tune variables to best convey the sheer size of a peak.
Wild Magazine, 2012
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