Bulletin 53  - August 2022        [View this email in your browser]
FedWalks 2022: Explore North-East Victoria
Discover the rich environment of north-east Victoria during the Federation Walks event, which will be held from 30 September – 3 October. Activities kick off with an easy three-hour ramble along the Ovens River on the Friday afternoon, followed by a BBQ, Welcome to Country and briefing at the event base, the Wangaratta Showgrounds – an ideal place to catch up with fellow walkers throughout the weekend.

The fabulous activities program includes numerous walks on Mt Buffalo Plateau and in the Warby Ranges, which are well-known for an abundance of wildflowers in spring. Other walks include the historic Beechworth area and Mt Samaria, and there are plans for cycle rides each day on the wonderful cycle paths and touring routes in the region.

Walkers are asked to arrange their own accommodation: there are several options available, including budget camping. Accommodation links are included on the FedWalks website. You may choose to extend your stay, to enjoy the food, wine and additional walks in the region. The Warby Ranges are part of the Warby-Ovens National Park which, in 2021, became the first site in Victoria to be admitted to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Green List.

FedWalks bookings open on 6 August, so don’t wait: check out the Fedwalks website now!


Last Chance to Provide Feedback!

Thanks to all those who responded to the Reader Survey in last month’s bulletin. It’s fantastic to get feedback from you, to understand your preferences and to read your suggestions.

It was a little disappointing that the number of responses was relatively low. We’d love to hear from a much larger cross-section of readers, so that the bulletin evolves to meet the needs and interests of the majority of our audience.

If you’ve not done the survey yet, please do it now! It takes less than five minutes. The survey period has been extended until Friday 26 August. Go on – have your voice heard!
Complete the Reader Survey!
Image: Melbourne Bushwalkers

Around the Clubs

Newsletters from BWV’s member clubs contain a great mix of ideas, images, information and fun! Here’s a small selection.
Learning about…
This month, a number of newsletters refer to what bushwalkers can learn – about gear; about what to pack and what to jettison; the importance of group consultation…and about themselves.

Julie S, from Echuca Moama BC, says:
“I was reading an article recently and they were saying that hiking and marriage have a lot in common. There is planning involved, there is give and take, and when things go wrong as they invariably do, you need to work together to solve any issues. Something to think about.”

As a first-time leader, Leigh W from Melbourne Bushwalkers wrote:
“I have learnt from some excellent leaders: I have learnt that sometimes you must lead from the front. I have also learnt that sometimes it pays to lead from behind, letting a younger, stronger walker take the lead: bash through dense bush, push aside the wet branches, test the rotten logs over streams, identify the ultra-slippery rocks and sometimes walk round in circles searching for a path. It is easy to call them back when they lose their way: all this I have learnt by observation.”

During a pack carry on the Larapinta, Robin C-W, also from Melbourne Bushwalkers, reports:
“I learnt that age is no barrier. I’m 57 and my knees aren’t great. But I know one thing, they are worse when I stop and worse when I don’t walk. They hurt when I do, but they are worse when I don’t. And some of our group were much older than me and they are the fittest and most capable people I have come across. So don’t think you are too old. Like a lot of things, I think we get better with age and bushwalking is the perfect activity to continue on into retirement.”

Image: Cape Bridgewater walk, Warrnambool Bushwalkers
Heights of exhilaration
A group of walkers from Maroondah BC and Ballarat Bushwalking and Outdoor Club recently completed a 600 km section of USA’s famous Pacific Crest Trail. They walked the highest portion of the Trail through the Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks, tackling rugged, snowy passes up to 4100m altitude. They finished with a climb up the stunning peak of Half Dome in Yosemite. What an amazing undertaking

Update from the Board

The first meeting of the new Bushwalking Victoria board of management was held recently and we were pleased to welcome two new members, Jenny Hosking and Karlene Tomlin, to the team.

Members of the new board are:
President Mike Grant Bayside Bushwalking Club
Vice President Robyn Shingles Strzelecki Bushwalking Club
Secretary Jenny Hosking Melbourne Walking Club
Treasurer Cheng Khoo Melbourne University Alumni Bushwalkers
General Board Robert Bicknell Individual Supporter Member
  Michael Burke Individual Supporter Member
  Simon Mullumby Individual Supporter Member
  Karlene Tomlin Koonung Bushwalking Club

We also welcomed the new Convener of our Bush Tracks and Conservation (BTAC) committee, with Joe van Beek from the Ben Cruachan Walking Club taking over from Peter Maffei, who has stepped down from the BTAC Committee after 10 years of service.

Two board positions remain vacant and we are particularly keen to recruit potential future office bearers to those positions to assist in succession planning at BWV. We are also seeking a new Convener of our Safety Committee with Bob Peterson retiring from the role.

If you are interested in becoming part of our team now or in the near future, you are encouraged to get in touch to express your interest.

We have now launched our new website which we hope you find bright and engaging. If you haven’t visited in a while, please check it out and let us know what you think.


What’s New?

  • Several new bushwalking trails have opened, and others have been upgraded and reopened, as part of the state government's $106.6 million Victoria’s Great Outdoors funding program. These walks include Keppel Lookout Trail (Yarra Ranges), Mt Hendrick Walk (Maffra), Reid’s Tramline (Powelltown), Snobs Creek Falls Walk (Eildon) and Wirrawilla Rainforest Walk (Toolangi).
  • BTAC will be carrying out track work in the Warby-Ovens National Park on the weekend of 29-31 July, in preparation for the October FedWalks Event.
  • It’s whale season in Warrnambool. Once you’ve finished gazing out to sea, there are numerous walks to explore in the area: AllTrails lists 10 scenic tracks from 1.6 to 10 km long.

Conservation and Engagement

Community input is sought on the public’s vision for the planned marran baba Merri Creek Regional Parklands, a 2,778-hectare parkland stretching from Campbellfield to Beveridge in Melbourne’s north. This Engage Victoria consultation platform will close on 16 August.

The Victorian Government wishes to introduce penalties to stop concerned citizens from protesting against native forest logging. Environmental Justice Australia provides a petition for those who wish to seek a withdrawal of the proposed law.

Images: Engage Victoria; Environmental Justice Australia

Brilliant Base Camps

Base camps offer a raft of experiences and opportunities that differ from day walks and pack carries. They require a little extra planning, but sometimes the hardest part is choosing where to go! This article summarises what’s great about base camps and provides helpful hints.

Next month, we’ll launch the first article in our Brilliant Base Camps series. Each will provide an overview of a particular destination: its unique environment, camping and accommodation options, walks and a list of maps and resources. Watch for details next month on how you and your club can share your favourite base camp suggestions!

Maps of the Castlemaine Region

Bushwalkers who enjoy the Castlemaine region will be delighted to know that excellent large-scale walking maps are available free, for personal use, in several formats. The range of maps is extensive, so there are numerous popular walks in the areas covered. Here are all the details.

Give Geocaching a Go!

Bushwalking and geocaching are a match made in heaven. Geocaching is a high-tech version of hide and seek – an outdoor treasure hunt using GPS coordinates on a handheld GPS or mobile phone. As well as being a highly addictive activity for adults, it’s a great way of getting children out on the track.

There are caches hidden all over the world, with roughly 80,000 in Australia (including over 100 in Lerderderg State Park alone!) Geocache locations are diverse: inside a log, hollow tree or disused wombat burrow; beneath a rock on a mountain summit; in the local park; behind a street sign or down a remote river embankment. Caches come in a variety of sizes and difficulty levels, from tiny magnetic caches as small as a finger nail (so challenging to find) to camouflaged boxes which contain ‘treasures’ for children to swap.

After navigating to specified GPS coordinates, participants attempt to find the hidden cache. As typical GPS receiver accuracy varies between 3 and 10 metres, this is where the fun really begins!

If you’d like to know more about how geocaching works and what you need to get started, there’s a brief video and plenty of information on this website.

Image: BWV website

Contributions to our Bulletin

Would you like to share your comments, articles or ideas with other readers of the Bulletin? We welcome your contributions.  Simply email and put ‘Bulletin Article’ in the subject line.  We prefer articles of no more than 200 words (in Word format, with any accompanying photo/s in JPG or PNG format). Those chosen for publication may be edited for legal or space reasons. All authors will be acknowledged.

We also have limited space available for advertisements which would interest our readers.  Please direct your advertising queries to:

Quick Links

Bushwalking Manual

Our on-line manual provides guidelines and information for safe and enjoyable community-based bushwalking across Australia.

You can view the Bushwalking Manual here.

BTAC (Bushwalking Tracks & Conservation)

Our BTAC team of volunteers participate in track maintenance and conservation projects all over Victoria. BTAC works closely with the land managers of our national parks and forests to schedule around ten projects a year.  More information here. 

BSAR (Bush Search & Rescue Victoria)

BSAR is a dedicated volunteer search and rescue service. They participate in land-based search and rescues for persons lost in bush and alpine areas under the direction of the Victoria Police. More information here.

Find us online

Follow us on social media for news, updates and inspiration! 

Our Discount Partners

Discounts for club and individual members are available from:
Ajays Heathmont - 10% off
Bogong Equipment Melbourne - 10% off
Discovery Holiday Parks (Cradle Mountain - 20% discount on shoulder and low season rates)
EMC Deepdene - 10% off'
Fjällräven -15% off
Kimberley Offroad Adventures - 15% off
Maps Books Travel Guides - 10% off
Paddy Pallin  Melbourne/Ringwood - 10% off
Smitten Merino - 15% off online orders
The Wilderness Shop Box Hill - 10% off
Woodslane Walking Guides - 25% off online orders

“Walking: the most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise.”

- Carrie Latet

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Bushwalking Victoria · PO Box 1007 · Templestowe, Vic 3106 · Australia