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On Board with the Board


We were happy to welcome two visitors to the September Board meeting: Merilyn Liddell (Melbourne University & Alumni Bushwalkers) and Trevor Rosen(Melbourne Walking Club).
Although many Board members have only met on Zoom, we’re working well as a team to support and represent Victoria’s bushwalkers.

Of the numerous issues discussed, the following might interest you:

  1. COVID-safe plans for clubs: the President, Mike Grant, has recently spoken with many clubs regarding their questions and concerns about group sizes on walks and at meetings, whether walkers should be required to be double-vaccinated and whether walkers should car-pool.As current restrictions change regularly and are different for Melbourne and the regions, it seems unwise for BWV to develop its own COVID-safe plan for clubs to access. Our advice is that clubs adhere to the density limits proscribed by the managers of their meeting venues and, above all, refer to the publically-available material on the State Government website.Over coming weeks, the advice from the State Government regarding requirements for recreational groups will become clearer.
  2. Mountain Bike Trails: Whilst many bushwalkers are also mountain bike riders, we’d all agree that the safety of walkers in the bush and the conservation of ecosystems and natural landscapes are vital. Complaints about the joint use of tracks is common, as is concern about environmental and heritage site damage.
    Bushwalking Tracks and Conservation (BTAC) is working on a position statement on Mountain Bike Trails; once complete, it will be sent to clubs for feedback.
  3. New Individual Supporter Members: Eight new members joined our association this month. Welcome aboard!
    Anniversary of the formation of the Federation of Victorian Walking Clubs with BWV members, old and new, in 2024. We look forward to celebrating the 90th.
  4. Risk Management: Risk assessment and mitigation is high on the “Help!” list of many clubs. A new BWV working group has been established: as well as researching legislative requirements, the group hopes to gain a better understanding of what guidance clubs want from BWV. They will also investigate what happens with club incident reports and analyse incident and injury trends.

                                                              From your Board; more next month.

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Bushwalking with Children

Tips for Bushwalking with Children

One does not have to invite a child twice to go on an outdoor adventure! Some of your best childhood memories are most likely of exploring the bush and camping. As adults, we know that being active in nature is good for your body, mind and spirit. If you need more convincing, click here

Bushwalking is a wonderful way to spend time together as a family and everyone can join, from babies (especially with those modern carriers available) to grandparents. Some parks even have trailriders available for those with mobility limitations. 

Here are some quick tips to get you some green time instead of screen time with your family:

  • Plan your trip. The better you plan ahead, the more you will enjoy your walk on the day. 
  • If you have babies and grandparents on your walk, go for a short, easy walk first and build on that.
  • Take enough water and food.
  • Wear weather-appropriate clothes, hats and sturdy, sport or hiking shoes.
  • Take at least one fully charged mobile phone with you. You can keep it switched off during your walk to not be disturbed, but have it on you in case you need it.  
  • Talk about how you go to the bathroom in the bush before your walk.
  • Relax and enjoy your time of discovery together. 

Useful Links 

Five child-friendly bushwalking spots close to Melbourne

15 Kid Friendly Bushwalks in Victoria

Kids in Nature Network

Kids Go Bush

Nature Play Week

Bushwalking with Kids – Kids in Nature Australia

Eco Explorers – Melbourne Nature Based Bush Playgroups (ages 1 to 5)

1000 Hours Outside for ideas. 

Games and Hiking Activities

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Bushwalking for Fun, Fitness, Friendship and Nature!

Retiring soon? Consider bushwalking as a way to stay fit, get outdoors and socialise!

At last, you have the time to make your dreams of leisure a reality …

You have retired! 

Or at least have reduced your working hours. 

You most likely have this on your wishlist:

To get fitter or maintain your fitness,

To get outdoors more – commune with nature, as they say in the classics,

To socialise more, meet new people and make lasting friendships,

To spend quality time with your spouse or showing your grandchildren the bush,

You cannot, no you must not be stuck at home, looking for a new weed to pull from the garden!


Most of us look forward to retirement with so much anticipation, but once the dust has settled:

  • You have been on that trip, and there will be more travels, but not next week.
  • You have, at last, put the regimen of working life behind you, swept away the former routines, and finally grasped the concept that work, paid or voluntary, is now optional, not compulsory.
  • You have caught up on all those jobs around the house that have been deferred for as long as you can remember.


Retirement can bring on many challenges such as:

  • Adjusting to a change in the pace of life;
  • Settling into your new lifestyle, new routines;
  • Coming to terms with your changed financial position, and for many,
  • Downsizing from the family home and moving to a new neighbourhood;
  • Moving to be near family, more childminding.

Some retirees find it hard to imagine how they had time to go to work while others find time weighing heavily. Many retirees speak of feeling lost and disconnected or socially isolated.  Few retirees will spend their golden years cruising the seven seas, living the life of the eternal grey nomad or find the meaning of life managing their personal superannuation fund.

Everybody needs and wants to find their correct balance between satisfying, meaningful activity and leisure. 


Eventually, the years move on and the physical realities of aging cannot be swept under the carpet any more. To keep the aches and pains to a minimum, to help medication do its job and reduce the risk of all the ‘modern’ epidemics, all advice leads to staying socially connected and physically active.

BUSHWALKING TICKS ALL THE BOXES – Fun, fitness, friendship, well-being and nature!

So let’s look at the amazing opportunities of having time on your hands and the world at your feet:  

  • Bushwalking is a fantastic way to meet like-minded people, make new friends and to keep in touch with old friends. For families, it is a great multigenerational activity to enjoy together, to share in the wonders of nature and to learn or pass on knowledge of the natural world.
  • Here in Victoria, we are blessed with ample opportunities and a variety of terrains in which to explore.
    • Close to Melbourne, near to regional cities or towns, one hour from home near public transport or two hours drive out in the countryside, and if you are so inclined, at more remote destinations.
    • There are Council Parks, State Parks and Forests, National Parks and popular recreational areas.
    • A choice of short, medium or long walks;
    • Every grading of walk from easy through to challenging, catering to every level of fitness and ability;
  • Bushwalking does not require expensive membership fees or elaborate equipment.  It is something that can be enjoyed as a member of a club or group or in a casual get together with friends. Best practice is not to go onto less travelled tracks on your own.


Most bushwalking clubs will allow you to join them as a guest (usually for up to three walks), that way you can get a feel for the club and its members and what recreation it can provide for you, before you commit. You can explore our affiliated bushwalking clubs here. Many clubs arrange interstate and international walks, so there are many options for you to spread your wings. 

Click on this link to see how Bushwalking could be your gateway to safe outdoor recreation!

All Images courtesy of Melton Bushwalkers, one of our affiliated bushwalking clubs.

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Gift Ideas for Bushwalkers

Busy with your Santa list?


Apart from the usual wishlist for new boots, backpacks, clothes and tents, here are some other gift ideas and stocking fillers for bushwalkers:

Wishing you a blessed festive season and plenty of amazing bushwalks! 

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Paper Maps for Bushwalking

How to print a paper bushwalking map from an electronic version


Over recent years, many map producers have provided their map collections in electronic form. Only a limited number of these maps are available in a printed form. Geoscience Australia ceased printing its 1:250,000 topographical maps late in 2019. This is not a major problem for bushwalkers in Victoria: 1;250,000 (1cm to 2.5km) is not a scale most walkers use, because these maps provide insufficient detailGood detailed maps covering Victoria at 1:25,000 (1cm to 250m) and 1:50,000 (1cm to 500m) are available in electronic form and many are also available as paper maps. These scales are far more useful out on the track.

Paper maps can be purchased from suppliers such as Vicmap (mainly 1:50,000), Spatial Vision and Meridian – see Finding Maps for Walking in Victoria for a detailed list of sources, including shopfront and online suppliers.

If, rather than purchasing a paper map, you want to print one of the many electronic maps which are available from a variety of sources (including any of the Geoscience 1:250,000 maps) it’s relatively easy.

Many maps are produced in geopdf format. This allows the maps to be displayed and used in navigation software and apps e.g. Avenza. It also allows them to be easily printed to the correct scale using free software e.g. Adobe Acrobat reader. A walk leader can use an electronic map for navigation with their smartphone and carry the identical paper map.

Here are some options if you wish to have a printed copy of a geopdf map – either a whole map or part thereof.

Print the whole map

  1. Take the geopdf file to your local printer. It will cost about $20 for an A1 sheet and a little more if you want it on more robust waterproof paper, OR
  2. Print the map as smaller tiles and stick them together. You can do this at home, using Adobe Acrobat reader. Open the required map, press ‘Print’ then press the ‘Poster’ button. Ensure ‘Tile Scale’ is on 100% and ‘Overlap’ is set at 1cm. ‘Cut marks’ should be checked to make putting the tiles together easier.

The preview screen will show how the map image will be tiled. Press print. Trim/assemble the sheets.


Print part of the map

Open the map in Acrobat reader. Click on the ‘Edit’ menu and then ‘Take a Snapshot’. Highlight the desired area and press print. Press ‘Size’ and ensure ‘Actual size’ is checked. Your selected area will be shown in the middle of a sheet. If your selected area is larger than one sheet, you can poster print in tiles as described above.

What to do if you don’t have a colour printer

Most modern computers can make a pdf file through the Print interface. Instead of printing to a physical machine, you can make a pdf file instead. Use the above instructions and just change the setting under ‘Printer’ to the pdf driver.

You can change the paper size to A3 under ‘Properties’ if you have a larger area to cover, or want bigger map tiles. Place the saved pdf file on a USB thumb drive and take it to your local self serve colour photocopier/printer.


Poster printing is a quick and cheap way to produce reasonable-quality larger maps from geopdf’s. You can use waterproof paper too, if you wish: ‘Rite in the rain 8512’ paper can be used in a laser printer; it’s about 30 cents an A4 sheet.

When printing from electronic maps, please remember to respect copyright. Personal use only.

Author: Andrew Robinson

Date: 06 August 2020

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Correct Track Notes and Maps for Bushwalkers are Essential

So you're going on a bushwalk - do you know the true track conditions or are you heading out into the great unknown?


When is a track not a track? When it is a creek ...

  • Have you checked the weather forecast for the area?
  • Do you understand how quickly weather conditions can change in the area, especially in the High Country?
  • What are the current track and access conditions?
  • Will you be checking with someone who knows or has recently been there?
  • Have you had a look for updates on the Parks Victoria website or if possible, speak to the land manager or park ranger? 
  • Have you been to the area before?

When is a track not the track? When it's the wrong track or it's not a track...

  • Can you read a map?
  • Do you have a decent and recent map of the area? (Here is a good guide on where to source maps)
  • Do you have adequate navigation skills for the walk?
  • Are you able to follow a faint track or stay on an unmarked “route only” and not wander off into a scrubby gully?
  • Are you respectful of the environment by not walking off track? 

Answered NO to the above? You should be going out there with a Bushwalking Club!

Club walk leaders:

  • Are trained to plan and successfully lead walks,
  • Will mentor inexperienced walkers,
  • Guide aspiring walk leaders into being capable and confident leaders, and, best of all
  • Will get you back to civilisation.

A club walk leader will have done all the planning for you, so you can:

  • Walk with confidence,
  • Enjoy on the scenery,
  • Socialise,
  • Experience the pure enjoyment of being out there in the bush, and
  • Forget time - as the club leader knows where the group should be and when they should be there.

Bushwalking Clubs have a wealth of experience in their membership which club leaders draw on when planning walks. So you will receive the benefit of all that experience.

Want to answer YES to all the above? A Bushwalking Club ticks all the boxes!

  • It is inexpensive. Annual Membership of a club is on average between $50-$100 a year and you can go on as many walks as you like!
  • Clubs often have a bushwalking/camping gear for hire/loan to members, so you don't have to buy lots of stuff.
  • Enjoy the companionship, and the pleasure of being with like-minded people;
  • Relax in the safety of a group,
    • Be rescued if you accidentally walk into an irate wombat’s burrow,
    • Be missed if you inadvertently disappear into a ferocious Bunyip’s den.
    • First Aid - there will probably one or more people on the trip who have First Aid qualifications.
  • Meet new people, some may even become close friends!

Please do not go out into the bush on your own, even very confident and experienced walkers can become disorientated in weather changes or sprain an ankle and be unable to walk further!

Be prepared – enjoy the bush- and easiest of all - join a club! 

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A Bushwalker’s Guide to Pain-free Walking

Top tips for preventing and managing injuries.


We asked Lauren Campbell, physiotherapist, and director at The Optimal Health Lab to give us some advice on avoiding and dealing with common ankle and knee injuries often suffered by bushwalkers. Here are her top tips:

Appropriate footwear

With such a rapidly growing footwear market, the numerous brands, models, and designs of walking shoes can be overwhelming! How do we even know we are in the best shoes for our feet? As everyday consumers we are not expected to know it all, so here are a few tips to help with your choice:

  • All shoes have different purposes – for instance for tennis, running, climbing or bushwalking.
  • Different shoes for different feet – shoes range from lightweight and neutral to heavy and more structured. Your type and choice will depend on your specific body type and individual needs, previous injury history, current pain/discomfort, etc.
  • Fit and function – The length, width, and depth are incredibly important. A factor often overlooked is function. Function determines how the shoe moves with your foot during gait and how it may assist your gait - for example, how much it may support or resist certain movements (such as pronation)
  • Injury risk – Ill-fitting footwear that does not address the above factors, could increase your risk of injury. Adequate support and cushioning, good sole grip, and fit and function, are always important considerations when choosing appropriate footwear.

The best way to ensure a good fit is to have your shoes fitted by a trained shoe store attendant or to see a podiatrist who has knowledge in the area. 

Ankle Sprains

Ever had that niggle in your ankle that never quite went away? And all it took was a slight twist? That niggle could actually be a little more serious than you think.

Ankles are incredibly important and complex joints. They have a big role as they form the connection between our leg bones and foot bones. They are held together by an intricate array of ligaments and supported by tendons and muscles. An ankle sprain or twist can cause disruption and damage to any of these structures, and often go unnoticed for a while.

Noticeable symptoms of damage may include pain, swelling, stiffness, bruising and inability to walk. If left untreated, our body ‘glues’ things back together in the way it knows how, but that is often not the best way. Our ankles may become weaker and more flexible, which makes it easier for an injury to occur again.

It is thought that these injuries and their symptoms are progressive. This is where rehab is crucial. Your recent major ankle sprain may have been avoided entirely if the last couple of little ones were addressed early. Your biomechanics - the way your body moves and functions - could also be contributing to your overall risk or reason for sprains.

As the saying goes, prevention is the best cure, so book an appointment with your podiatrist for a thorough biomechanical assessment to reduce your risk of ankle problems.

Knee pain – why up is better than down hills

Bushwalkers often present to physiotherapists with soreness on descending hills but are bemused/ confused that they can ascend hills with less pain. This is why this is a common presentation to our clinic and what factors may be involved.

When you are descending hills or walking downstairs, it requires your knee joint to perform a mini single leg squat to lower the other leg to the next step and/or patch of a walking trail. This single leg squat movement is stressful on some structures on the front of your knee, like Hoffa’s fat pad, and for the cartilage which lines the back of your patella (knee cap). It can also require your knee to bend at a larger angle than you are prepared for, which can put a strain on any structures within the knee joint itself. This could include any meniscal injury and/or any osteoarthritis in your knee compartments. Conversely, when ascending a hill, there isn’t the degree of stressors on internal or frontal knee structures, simply because you don’t need to perform a single leg squat with every step.

So what factors are involved in reducing pain around knees when heading downhill… because it’s certainly not all bad news and we don’t want you to despair… there are answers and help available.

Muscle strength is an important factor. With enough muscle strength supporting your knee complex, your knee structures are not stressed to a painful level. These muscle groups include your thigh, hamstring, glute and calf muscles. Strengthening these muscles at home and/or through some gym work or pilates may be part of your knee pain management plan.

Sourcing appropriate footwear for walking and considering your ankle stability and foot anatomy can ensure that your foot lands in the evenest way possible on the ground. Lastly, and most importantly, if you have had previous injuries or are experiencing pain when walking/climbing, you need an effective diagnosis and treatment plan from an experienced physiotherapist on the exact cause of your pain. A physiotherapist's aim is to keep you moving rather than removing you from all activity when dealing with knee pain. There are numerous benefits to bushwalking and we want to keep you on the tracks and trails.

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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day Gift Ideas for Bushwalking Mums


Have a bushwalking mama in the house? Here are 20 ideas that will inspire you and delight her:

  1.   A Canvas print of her favourite spot to look at when home.
  2.  A rugged camera that is waterproof, dust-proof, freeze-proof and crush-proof.
  3.  Relaxing and invigorating bath salt to enjoy after a bushwalk.
  4.  Mug with her favourite nature quote.
  5.  A good fiction book or DVD such as Wild.
  6.  A good bushwalking guide such as Bushwalking in Australia or a specific trial guide.
  7.  Good walking poles. 
  8.  A good hiking headlamp.
  9.  Hiking Store gift voucher for her to choose new hiking shoes, socks, water bottles or whatever she needs.
  10.  A practical daypack filled with everything she needs to just grab and go.
  11.  An adventure organised by you hiking with the family or some me-time bushwalking on her own. 
  12.  A photo book with images of all the bushwalks she has done to date.
  13.  A voucher for a pedicure and foot massage the next time she goes for a challenging walk or a home foot spa to use after walks.
  14.  Versatile and functional headwear that can be used as a hat, scarf, headband sun protection or bandana.
  15.  Fun travel games for overnight hikes.
  16.  Membership to Bushwalking Victoria or a bushwalking club in her area.
  17.  A hiking Magazine Subscription.
  18.  All weather Notepads are great for taking notes and writing down magic moments whilst on a walk.
  19.  Long folding spoon that is long enough to scrape the bottom of deep rehydrated dinner bags and easy to store together with her favourite freeze-dried meals. 
  20.  A rugged, waterproof smartphone case and portable charger. 

Enjoy finding that something special for your mum!