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The mystery hikes of 1932

Palmer's Mystery Hike No. 2

In 1932 five mystery hikes around Sydney were organised by the railways, with the department store F.J. Palmer and Sons as the commercial sponsor. Hikers purchased a two-shilling train ticket and joined a train from Central Station to a mystery destination.

Palmer's Mystery Hike No. 2Palmer's Mystery Hike No. 2Palmer's Mystery Hike No. 2
The hikes, held on Sundays, were enormously popular.

The first Mystery Hike was from Waterfall to Audley in the [Royal] National Park on 26 June 1932. The second Mystery Hike was from Valley Heights in the lower Blue Mountains to Penrith on 10 July 1932. Four trains conveyed approximately 2,000 hikers.

Palmer's Mystery Hike No. 2Palmer's Mystery Hike No. 2Palmer's Mystery Hike No. 2Palmer's Mystery Hike No. 2Palmer's Mystery Hike No. 1
The third Mystery Hike from Cowan Station to the Hawkesbury River on 24 July 1932 used 12 trains to carry almost 8,000 participants.
The fourth Mystery Hike was held at Stanwell Park on 7 August 1932.
Palmer's Mystery Hike No. 1Palmer's Mystery Hike No. 2

Seems like a perfectly fine way to spend a Sunday. Train ticket, some mates, a brass band and a picnic lunch and you’re set. What’s not to like?

Images: Powerhouse Museum Collection

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