STEPincLogo A

Price: $20.00

- +

Note 1: Before you place your order check out our book bundle offer of two books for the price of one
Note 2: We're currently offering free membership which entitles you to a 30% discount – just follow the instructions on the checkout page
Note 3: To avoid paying postage, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange cash payment and pickup from Turramurra
Note 4: If you pay using PayPal you don't need a PayPal account

The purpose of Understanding the Weather is to assist, with the help of photos of spectacular, beautiful and portentous skyscapes, in understanding and identifying the weather phenomena that may have the power to enhance, undermine or totally derail your planned walking, camping trip or short outing.


John Martyn was born in Cornwall and came to Australia in 1970 after mapping in the Rift Valley of Kenya for his PhD in geology. Although he has lived in Sydney since 1979, much of his fieldwork as a minerals exploration geologist over the last 30 years has been in Western Australia.

His first experience of spring in the West Australian goldfields left him stunned by the colour and variety of flowers in the bush. It was the beginning of a lifetime enthusiasm for Australia’s flora and fauna.

Moving to Sydney, John was amazed by the beauty and variety of landscape and habitats around the city’s suburbs. He has been exploring, mapping and photographing Sydney’s natural world ever since.

John joined the STEP committee in 1990 and has dedicated many hours to STEP’s campaigns and publications. John has assisted spreading STEP’s name and aims through the publication of the following books and maps of walking tracks:

  • Rocks and Trees (2018)
  • Understanding the Weather: A Guide for Outdoor Enthusiasts in South-eastern Australia (2013)
  • Field Guide to the Bushland of the Lane Cove Valley (2010)
  • Field Guide to the Bushland of the Upper Lane Cove Valley (1994, out of print)
  • Sydney’s Natural World (2007)
  • Map of Walking Tracks of Middle Harbour Valley and Northern Harbour Foreshore: Sheets 1 and 2 Bungaroo and Roseville Bridge (2004, 2009)
  • Map of Walking Tracks of Middle Harbour Valley and Northern Harbour Foreshore: Sheets 3 and 4 Northbridge and North Harbour (2004, 2020)
  • Map of Walking Tracks of the Lane Cove Valley (2000 and 2016)

John has also coordinated our walks and talks programs, with himself leading several very informative and eye-opening walks. In recent years, John has chosen wide-ranging landscapes such as Deep Creek at North Narrabeen, Kurnell and Botany Bay National Park, Dog Pound Creek and the Hornsby Diatreme, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park at West Head, Cumberland State Forest and Bents Basin. The popularity of his walks for STEP has led John to host walks for Hornsby Shire Council.