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Popular walking maps updated

Four maps, all highly popular with Victorian bushwalkers, have recently been updated. Published by Meridian Maps, they are available through bushwalking stores and specialist map stockists – check out BWV’s Discount Partners for the new editions.

  1. Lerderderg and Werribee Gorges State Parks, 7th 1:35,000 & 1:20,000
    Located close to Melbourne, these parks are renowned for their fascinating gorges, diverse flora and fauna, and picturesque walking trails.
    • The new edition incorporates over 200 changes, and a completely new map of Long Forest Reserve, including the Coimadai Creek Trail, has been added.
  1. Mornington Peninsula Walks, 2nd edition – Revised. 1:20,000 &1:25,000
    This region offers a wide range of excellent walks in the Mornington Peninsula National Park, Point Nepean NP and Arthurs Seat State Park, plus coastal and conservation reserves.
    • The revised version contains a number of changes, particularly to the Two Bays Walking Trail and to features in the Point Nepean National Park.
  1. Brisbane Ranges National Park, 3rd 1:30,000 & 1:15,000
    This park, with its low mountain range and rocky gullies, is a rich habitat for wildflowers and birds. It offers a fantastic variety of walks, including the 3-day Burchell Trail.
    • Changes include new track notes and adjustments to a number of walking and 4WD tracks.
  1. Great South West Walk and Lower Glenelg Map, 4th 1:50,000
    The ‘go to’ map for those wishing to explore the amazing diversity of the Lower Glenelg, Cobboboonee and Mount Richmond National Parks, and Discovery Bay Coastal Park.
    • A number of details across the maps have been added or updated and additional short walks have been included.

These maps are also available in georeferenced electronic form through the phone app Avenza, which has full navigational ability. So you can always be confident of knowing exactly where you are!

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The Practical Value of Bushwalking Clubs: Learning and Safety

Bushwalking Clubs play a crucial role in providing education, safety training, and ongoing skill development for those keen to explore Victoria’s tracks. Here we explore the practical benefits of joining a bushwalking club, focusing on how they serve as invaluable resources for learning and safety in the wilderness.

Learning the Essentials:

For beginners, bushwalking can be overwhelming. Clubs offer structured guidance, teaching navigation skills, gear essentials, and survival techniques through workshops and outings.  Some clubs even offer low or no-cost hire equipment.

Prioritising Safety:

Safety is non-negotiable both in the wilderness, and closer to home. Clubs can prioritise safety through training programs and resources, ensuring that members are equipped with the skills and knowledge to navigate the trails with confidence and caution.

Continuous Skill Development:

Bushwalking is a lifelong learning journey. Clubs may offer basic through to advanced navigation, first aid, and specialised outdoor skills to enhance members’ proficiency on the trails.

A Glimpse into Club Activities:

Recent club activities have showcased the diverse range of learning opportunities available:

  • From practical navigation field days to informative sessions on lightweight walking techniques, members are continually exposed to new ideas and strategies for mastering the tracks.
  • Workshops on smartphone navigation and GPS usage offer modern solutions for navigating the wilderness with precision and confidence.
  • The development of new leadership training materials created by Bushwalking Victoria promises to further enrich members’ abilities to lead and inspire fellow bushwalkers.

Bushwalking Clubs are practical resources for walkers at every level. By prioritising learning and safety, clubs empower their members to explore the outdoors responsibly and confidently.

Find a Bushwalking Club near you

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Poo pots

As more and more people head out into the wilderness, it is crucial that we do our part to keep our wilderness areas clean.

We shared this ABC article on our Facebook page, and it generated a lot of chat.

Do you carry a trowel?  How about a poo pot? What’s your best advice for leaving no trace when it comes to toileting on bushwalks?

We would love to hear your thoughts.  Join the conversation.

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Preparing for Summer Camping – from the Conservation Regulator

The Conservation Regulator oversees the regulation of wildlife, forests and public land in Victoria.  With summer finally here, they are keen to help everyone stay safe in the bush with some great tips on summer camping.

With hotter and drier conditions predicted this summer, a high fire risk, and more visitors anticipated in our forests and beaches, we want all Victorians to be campfire safe and to look out for others when visiting the great outdoors – wildlife included!

If you’re setting up camp in the bush over the next few months, it’s important to brush up on campfire rules before leaving home to avoid risking communities and the environment. Prepare before lighting your campfire by making sure you:

  1. Know how to build and maintain a safe campfire: always use a purpose-built fireplace or dig a 30cm deep trench, clear 3m around it of flammable materials, and keep all branches and logs under 1m long.
  2. Know the rules specific to your campsite: this can differ between forests and parks. Check the Parks Victoria website or call them 131 963 for National Park information. Call 136 186 for rules in state forests.
  3. Check the weather conditions and Fire Danger Ratings: never light a fire on a Total Fire Ban day, and if it’s hot and windy, consider if you really need a fire. If in doubt, don’t light one.
  4. Have quick access to at least 10 litres of water: pack a bucket and keep it filled with water, not soil, to make sure your campfire can be completely extinguished.

Campers are responsible for keeping their campfires safe, including never leaving it unwatched or unattended, and if you leave the campsite even if only for a short while, put out your campfire. If it’s cool to touch, it’s safe to leave.

And whether you’re heading out for a long trip or just for the day, make sure you follow all public land rules to prevent environmental harm and wildlife crime:

  • Littering: Clean up after yourself and take all rubbish home with you.
  • Off-road vehicles: Drivers and riders must be licenced, have vehicles registered, and stick to open, formed roads.
  • Other recreational activities: If you want to pan for gold, fly your drone, or go horse-riding or mountain bike-riding, there are specific rules you need to follow. For more info, visit the More to Explore app.
  • Wildlife: Marine mammals and hooded plovers will be active along the coast and reptiles will be out in forests. Keep your distance, have dogs on-lead, and never feed them.

Authorised Officers are patrolling in forests and along the coast to ensure everyone knows and follows camping, campfire, and outdoor recreation rules to prevent environmental harm and wildlife crime.

You can report any illegal behaviour on public land to 136 186 and any wildlife crime to Crime Stoppers Victoria on 1800 333 000. Bushfires should be reported to 000. For more information about rules in state forests, visit their website.

You can read and subscribe to the Conservation Regulator newsletter for all the latest news, including information on reporting offences, and an update on the outcome of legal cases.

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FedWalks 2024 – Save the Date!

We are pleased to confirm that FedWalks 2024, where we will celebrate the 90th Anniversary of Bushwalking Victoria, will take place at Wilsons Promontory, with a base at Tidal River, on 11-13 October 2024.  Accommodation for 300+ attendees has already been secured for the event, in roofed lodges or huts, powered and unpowered campsites.

The organising clubs for this event are Bayside Bushwalking Club, Melbourne Bushwalking Club and South Gippsland Walking and Adventure Club, so we are certainly in for a wonderfully organised event, with a wide range of walks over the weekend.

Save the date for now, more info and bookings will open in 2024.

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Grampians Gariwerd Landscape – Information Update – Deer Operations

Parks Victoria will commence aerial and ground-based pest animal control operations across the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park and Black Range State Park during October 2023. Parks Victoria staff will continue to support these efforts with staged ground-based operations throughout the year, including at Black Range Scenic reserve.

The first aerial operation is scheduled to commence Tuesday 10th October, and conclude Thursday 12th October 2023. Please refer to a Fact sheet showing the operation areas with approximate dates and times of temporary closures, and a list of these closures is shown below.

  • During operations, some key visitor sites including the Grampians Peaks Trail and other walking tracks may be temporarily closed (up to two hours) for visitor safety. See list below.
  • Park closures will be clearly signposted and managed by staff
  • Visitors are asked to refrain from entering closed areas, staying on designated walking tracks or modifying their plans to visit outside of the hours of operation.
  • Visitors may be able to see helicopters flying at low levels and hear gunshots

Informed by scientific research, this program is aimed at controlling/reducing introduced Goat and Deer populations that are threatening the important natural and cultural values of the Greater Gariwerd Landscape. Qualified and experienced contractors will undertake aerial based control operations across the landscape where these animals are impacting vegetation and cultural values. All Parks Victoria’s conservation programs are thoroughly planned and implemented under strict protocols and oversight, ensuring that operations are safe, effective, humane and meet obligations of all relevant legislation, Codes of Practice and Standard Operating Procedures.

For Further Information about this operation please refer to the Deer Control Program Fact Sheet. For Information about temporary park closures visit Parks Victoria website, or call the Parks Victoria Information centre on 13 19 63.

Click HERE for a fact sheet and list of visitor sites and roads potentially impacted by temporary closures.

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Club Spring Walk Programs

Speaking of Spring, many clubs have published their spring walk programs.  Our clubs have most of Victoria covered, with upcoming walks in the Brisbane Ranges, Olinda Falls in the Dandenongs, Mount Samaria, Stawell Wildflowers, 5 Waterfalls & a Canyon in Lorne, Mirboo North Regional Park, Benalla Silo Art, Falls Creek Pretty Valley Circuit and many more.  You can find links to all our clubs HERE.

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Map Apps and Digital Apps

Map apps with digital maps are available for mobile phones, tablets and laptops. The GPS function on the device shows the current location on the selected map.  In effect it operates the same as a handheld GPS.

Google Maps is the everyday example of a map app. However Google Maps “terrain view” has limited detail for bushwalking purposes.

Other map apps provide much better topographic maps for bushwalking, from a variety of sources. Read More HERE