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Want to start Bushwalking?

You can walk with a Bushwalking Club to give it a go! 

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Having discovered the benefits of exercising outdoors when making the most of the limited times available to leave home and to exercise during the Covid Lockdowns, many of us are keen to keep the momentum going. We have come to realise just how important outdoor physical activity is to our health and well-being.

If you would like to venture further afield to exercise in natural surroundings; to use walking tracks that will lead through our wonderful native forests, to visit a waterfall or a mountain creek hidden away from the roads, or off the beaten track, a lookout over a valley of tree ferns; - you should try bushwalking.

A bushwalk can be a short non-taxing way to exercise or an all-day strenuous workout, or anywhere in between, the choice is yours. If you want to go on your first bushwalk or start bushwalking regularly, a great way to start is to walk as with a bushwalking club. Clubs’ programs cater for all levels of fitness. They provide walks in a variety of locations, with differing time commitments and distances and degrees of ease or difficulty. Clubs have experienced walk leaders among their members. The leaders do the planning and preparation, and they know their walks.

Bushwalking Clubs welcome new bushwalkers, so please do not hesitate to contact one or more clubs that interest you to find out about how to join them as a guest on a walk or become a member. Most clubs affiliated with Bushwalking Victoria have their program of upcoming walks online. Have a look at the club programs from the list below. For a full list of clubs and their contact details, click here

Club Name Walks Program Link
Ballarat Bushwalking and Outdoor Club https://bboc.com.au/coming_events.php
Bass Coast Strollers https://basscoaststrollers.org/walks
Bayside Bushwalking Club https://www.baysidebush.org.au/trip-program
Ben Cruachan Walking Club https://bencruachanwalkingclub.com/87-walk-previews/133-2016-calendar.html
Benalla Bushwalking Club http://benallabushwalkingclub.org.au/activities.html
Bendigo Bushwalking & Outdoor Club http://gobush.org.au/index.php/activities/join-an-activity
Berwick and District Bushwalking Club https://berwickbwc.org.au
B'nai B'rith Ramblers  https://www.bbramblers.org.au/activities
Border Bushwalking Club https://borderbushwalkingclub.com.au/events/
Boroondara Bushwalkers https://www.boroondarabushwalkers.org.au/visitors/walk-as-a-visitor
Bunarong Bushwalking Club https://www.bunarongbushwalkingclub.com.au/
CAEX Bushwalking Club http://www.caexbushwalkingclub.org.au/newsletter-activities.html
Catholic Walking Club of Victoria https://www.catholicwalkingclubvic.org.au/WP/wordpress/program/
Croydon Bushwalking Club http://croydonbushwalking.info/
Dandenong Valley Bushwalking Club http://www.dvbc.org.au/program.html
Diamond Valley Bushwalking Club https://diamondvalleybwc.org.au/walk-info.html
Echuca Moama Bushwalkers http://www.echucamoamabushwalkers.org.au/activities.html
Eltham and Environs Walking Group http://www.elthamenvironswg.org.au/activities/
Escaping Your Comfort Zone https://app.groups.place/group/EYCZ
Essendon Bushwalking Club https://essendonbwc.org.au/events/activity-program
Geelong Bushwalking Club https://www.geelongbushwalking.asn.au/walks.html#months
Gisborne Bushwalking Club http://www.gisbornebwc.org.au/activities.html
Grampians Bushwalking Club https://www.grampiansbushwalkingclub.org.au/walks-program
Great Dividing Trail Association https://www.gdt.org.au/news-and-events
Happy When I am Hiking https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/Keep-calm-and-hike/events/
Iranian Bushwalkers https://www.facebook.com/IranianBushwalkers/events/
Koonung Bushwalking Club https://koonungbushwalkingclub.org.au/events/category/walking-calendar/
Maroondah Bushwalking Club https://www.mbwc.org.au/club-activities
Melbourne Bushwalkers https://mbw.org.au/mbw_activities/MBW_activities_program.php
Melbourne University and Alumni Bushwalkers https://muab.org.au/my-calendar/
Melbourne Walking Club https://www.melbournewalkingclub.org/activities/activitiesprogram
Melbourne Women's Walking Club http://www.mwwc.org.au/programp.htm
Melbourne Young Hikers https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/Melbourne-Young-Hikers-Meetup-Group/
Melton Bushwalkers https://www.meltonbushwalkers.org.au/walk-with-us.html
Pakenham Bushwalking Club  http://www.pakenhambwc.org.au/activities.html
Peninsula Bushwalking Club https://www.peninsulabushwalkingclub.org.au/calendar
Shepparton Adventure Club http://www.shepadventureclub.org.au/activities
South Gippsland Walking & Adventure Club https://sgwaac.com.au/events/events-calendar
Strzelecki Bushwalking Club https://www.sbwc.org.au/newsletter-activities.html
Sunraysia Bushwalkers https://www.sunbushwalk.net.au/calendarofactivities.html
The Ramblers Walking Club http://ramblers.org.au/visitors/
Victorian Mountain Tramping Club https://vmtc.club/calendar/
Walking Club of Victoria https://walkingclubvic.org.au/about-walks
Warby Range Bushwalkers https://warbybushwalkers.org.au/walks-program/
Warrnambool Walkers https://www.warrnamboolbushwalkers.org.au/activities.html
Waverley Bushwalking Club http://www.waverleybushwalking.org.au/eventsprogram.htm
Werribee Bushwalking & Outdoor Club https://www.werribeebushwalking.com/events-calendar.html
Wimmera Bushwalking Club https://www.wimmerabwc.org.au/activities

 

New Mornington Peninsula Walks Map

A New Map from Meridian - Mornington Peninsula Walks Map Guide 2nd Edition

 Mornington Peninsula Walks Cover 1

Mornington Peninsula Walks is so much more than a map: as well as being a comprehensive guide to many walks, it also offers a wealth of information to those wishing to explore this marvelous area which is easily accessible from Melbourne. Notes on flora and fauna, local history and public transport access are all provided. There is even a list of suggested reading and websites for visitors to the region. It is difficult to see what additional information could be packed into this publication.

Mornington Peninsula Walks (published Jan 2021) contains some information from the older Mornington-Arthurs Seat Map (2001), but has been so extensively updated and reworked that it is basically a new guide. It covers Point Nepean National Park, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Arthurs Seat State Park, Two Bays Walking Track and the Peninsula Coastal Walk.

Making a walk map of the Mornington Peninsula can be ‘awkward’ because a single map scale and orientation is not appropriate for all areas. Meridian has overcome this with two clever ideas: firstly, four of the six maps are printed at 1:25,000 and two at 1:20,000 (where more detail is required). Secondly, the two coastal walk maps are oriented across the page, rather than having north at the top. Clear north pointers are provided on all maps and the grid serves as a reminder to the map reader as to the map’s orientation. This enables the guide to be quite compact, whilst offering information-packed maps at a scale that is ideal for walkers.

Over two dozen walks are mapped and briefly described. Walk difficulty ratings (from easy to difficult), distances and times are provided. The times are generous, being equivalent to a walking speed of 2-3 kph, and range from one-hour family rambles to the rather more challenging 26km Two Bays Walking Track, with which many bushwalkers would be familiar. The information on the maps is comprehensive: parking and picnic areas, toilets and shelters, patrolled beaches, emergency marker locations, views and points of interest. The maps are peppered with interesting snippets of history and references to other recreational activities. A UTM grid is discretely under-laid on all maps for those wishing to use it; the 10m contour interval provides a good sense of the topography.

Printed copies of this publication can be purchased from local and online retailers and through Meridian Maps; all six maps are also available in georeferenced electronic form through the phone app Avenza. Having the electronic version of these maps and using the GPS capability of the phone means you always know exactly where you are. This is the beauty of having the maps available both as paper and on a phone app that has full navigational ability.

This publication is ideal for all types of visitors to the wonderful Mornington Peninsula – from a family that enjoys short walks during their holidays, through to serious bushwalkers who’d like to try an iconic Peninsula walk. Mornington Peninsula Walks is an invaluable resource; I have not seen any other walk publication of this area which is as detailed, easy to read or as comprehensive.
 
Review by Andrew Robinson
(Bushwalker, Camper, Mapping and Navigation trainer)

 

New Victorian Desert Maps

Little Desert National Park & Mt Arapiles Map Guide, 1st Edition and Victoria’s Deserts 4WD Touring Map, 5th Edition

   Little Desert National Park Cover MidRes    Victorias Deserts Ed5 COVER MidRes

 

The popular Victoria’s Deserts 4WD Touring Map, now in its 5th edition, is a ‘must’ when planning a trip to the beautiful deserts of Victoria. Released in August 2020, this is the map I’d spread out on the table to research everything this area offers. The main map at 1:350,000 (that’s about 3mm representing each km) is essentially a road map; it extends from the Murray south past Horsham and west across the border into South Australia. It is packed with up-to-date detail on roads, tracks and camping sites and it also highlights tourist activities such as the Silo Art Trail. There is even a list of recommended reading for visitors to the region.

On the reverse side of this large map are enlargements of seven popular areas, including Wyperfeld and Little Desert National Parks, Pink Lakes, Mt Arapiles and the northern Mallee. Scales of 1:100,000 (10mm per km) to 1:175,000 (about 6mm per km) are generally used; most walkers would find larger scales more helpful, although one could navigate from the enlargements at a pinch. Relief shading is used to illustrate topography, but, except for the Mt Arapiles map (1:50,000), no contours are shown – understandable on medium-scale maps of a relatively flat desert region. The grid is in Latitude/Longitude, which could be a challenge for those who use MGA grid references. These enlargements are also packed with clear, easy-to-read detail relevant to any visitor.

If the Little Desert, Mt Arapiles and the Wail State Forest are your areas of specific interest, then the new, smaller format Little Desert National Park & Mt Arapiles Map Guide is for you. Whilst essentially offering the same level of detail as the Victoria’s Deserts enlargements, these maps have slightly larger scales; the Mt Arapiles section is well-detailed at 1:20,000 and includes contours. These maps will interest walkers, as they show walking tracks in addition to vehicular tracks and roads. Again, lots of visitor information is included.

All of these maps are also available in georeferenced electronic form through the phone app Avenza. Once your trip planning’s completed using the paper map, you can hit the track with the electronic version. The GPS capability of the phone means you always know exactly where you are. This is the beauty of having the maps available both as paper and on a phone app which has full navigational ability. Interestingly, the electronic Little Desert map has an MGA-UTM grid overlayed, unlike the paper version.

As there are few maps of these fascinating areas, these publications would be an invaluable tool for those planning an adventure in this region post-COVID. As a bushwalker, when I’m on the track I prefer to use a large-scale map with contours and some indication of vegetation cover and other topographic features. However, for a touring or camping trip, I’d definitely use these paper maps for planning – this is where the Victoria’s Deserts maps really come into their own.

Andrew Robinson

  (Bushwalker, Camper, Mapping and Navigation trainer)

  • Victoria’s Deserts 4WD Touring Map, 5th Edition [RRP $14.95]; pdfPress release

  • Little Desert National Park & Mt Arapiles Map Guide, 1st Edition [RRP $8.95]; pdfPress release

Use lockdown time for navigation practice!

 Add a subheading

“Practise, practise, practise'’ is a mantra well known to participants of Bushwalking Victoria's Smartphone navigation course.

Bushwalkers appreciate the need to hone their skills if they want to use a GPS or smartphone as a navigation device in the bush. So they may have been surprised to recently read this article, about a walker who was lost while on a solo 4 day walk on the Arizona Trail, in an area with numerous side trails. We asked Andrew Robinson, presenter of the smartphone navigation course and map expert, to share his thoughts with us. Below is his take on it and some very handy tips!

Although an experienced bushwalker, Gary Morris was using a new GPS, a Garmin GPSMAP 64st, which he had only tried out once previously. This seems akin to purchasing a new 4WD and, after a brief tryout, embarking on a solo crossing of the Simpson Desert! The article implies that Morris was not using a map and compass as a back-up. After being rescued, Morris’ mapping software was blamed for him becoming lost; there was no acknowledgment that his lack of experience with the new device may have contributed.

COVID-19 lockdown is an ideal time to “Practise, practise, practise'’ while walking the streets within 5km of your home. You can't really get lost there! Start by updating the software of your GPS/Smartphone. Many of the navigation apps, eg. Avenza, maps.me, Terra Map and many others, have added new features and updated their maps. You now have time to explore the online manuals and help files. It’s amazing what features and tricks you can find there. Then hit the streets and try navigating to waypoints, tracking, following a route, etc. This adds interest and enhances skills on the daily walk with the dog.

A couple of tips:

  • The compass on most GPS\Smartphones uses a magnetic sensor. Just as with a magnetic compass, those functions on the GPS/smartphone which use the magnetic sensor will be affected by metallic objects such as vehicles, metal fences, etc. These functions include the compass (obviously!), but also one which indicates direction of travel and one which orients the map in the direction of travel. In a few apps (e.g. Terra Map), one can switch from a magnetic compass to a 'GPS' one. Direction is then determined from GPS points, but this only works when one is moving.
  • Some GPS’s have a “Lock on Road” function. Turn it off! This function allows the GPS to lock its position pointer onto the nearest road or track. It can cause major confusion if there are lots of tracks in the area, or if you want to go off track. It is sometimes set ‘ON’ by default in a new GPS. Interestingly, Morris’ Garmin GPSMAP 64st had this feature: I wonder if he knew enough to turn it off.

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