Posted on

Are we there yet?

Twenty one BTAC volunteers worked with Parks Victoria to clear 7.6 km* of scrub overgrowth and fallen timber on the AAWT between Mt McDonald and Square Top on the weekend of 23-25th Feb.

This is an impressive section of the AAWT along the Great Dividing Range, with steep mountains and spectacular views, following the divide between the Jamison/Howqua watershed that flows north to the Murray and the Barkly/Macallister watershed that flows south to the Gippsland Lakes.

On Friday 21 volunteers car pooled at Howqua Hills with those that had capable 4WDs to travel into camp at the Upper Jamison Hut. Each day to start work, we drove up the Knobs Track which is a moderately challenging 4WD climb. The second challenge was the distance that work tools needed to be carried in, as well as the climbs and descents, not to mention occasional rock bands to negotiate.

Though Saturday was a long and exhausting day (12 hours) there was a good sense of achievement among the volunteers. On getting back late in the day, it was great to have Tegan from Parks Victoria supporting us with the preparation and cooking of a delicious BBQ dinner.

Thanks to all the volunteers that put in so much effort; 360 work hours and spent over 175 hours travelling to and from the activity. Thanks to Parks Victoria. There was good synergy working with the Rangers, Jim Craven and Tegan Sharwood, on the planning, logistics and support. Thanks to Joe van Beek and Owen Morris for leading work teams.


*Knobs Track to Square Top –  6.4 kms 590m ascent, 350m descent. Knobs Track to Mt McDonald ridge line – 1.2 km, 150m ascent

More photos can be found HERE.

Compiled by Patrick Platt, Project Leader for BTAC

Posted on

Fed Walks a Resounding Success!

The Federation Walks event (FedWalks) is a weekend of bushwalking held annually in a different location in Victoria.  It is a wonderful opportunity for members of different clubs to walk together and for Bushwalking Victoria's individual members to join a weekend filled with bushwalking, nature, fun and friendship.

Around 210 participants enjoyed a terrific weekend of walks on 21-22 October 2023 in the beautiful Wombat State Forest. Twenty walks ranging from Easy to Hard were on offer all within 35km of the event base at the brand new Trentham Football and Netball Club rooms. It was an excellent location with camping on site and a cricket match on Saturday afternoon to entertain us on return from our walks.

Weather-wise Saturday was a great day for bushwalking but Sunday dawned cold, windy and drizzly. Some walkers either decided to stay warm and dry or change the walk they were going on. The misty drizzle persisted through the morning but spirits remained high on the walks and it dried off during mid-afternoon.

A local army of kitchen volunteers, very ably run by Di, provided a rolling afternoon tea on both days. Club volunteers served the meal for the event on the Saturday evening during which we heard from Jeff McDonnell whose club (Bayside) is organising the 2024 event aided by Melbourne Bushwalkers and South Gippsland clubs. Guest Speaker was Peter Yates, anthropologist and garlic grower, who lives locally. He showed a beautiful video of local environmental images including flood plains, red gums and revitalisation and talked about aspects of left brain/right brain and mythopoetics - a hypothetical stage of human thought preceding modern thought - the language of the soul and how bushwalking can be a way to tap into our right brain potential.

It was a great weekend with all returning back to base safely but rather damp, with friendships renewed and formed over a common interest of walking in the bush. Don’t miss next year’s event at the Prom!!

Robyn Shingles / Jack Winterbottom

Posted on


National Insurance Scheme for Bushwalking Clubs

Bushwalking Victoria participates in the National Insurance Scheme negotiated and executed by Bushwalking Australia which arranges insurance cover for affiliated clubs and their members.

For the latest information on insurance arrangements, including policy documents, FAQs, claims processes and contact details for the insurance broker, please visit the Bushwalking Australia Insurance and Risk page.

Policies that are available include Public Liability, Associations Liability, and Personal Accident Insurance.

Leisure travel insurance cover for use by club members when participating in club organised domestic and overseas trips is also available through the insurance broker (Marsh) as a separate service.

Not all clubs participate in the Personal Accident insurance scheme arranged through Bushwalking Australia.

For those Clubs that are covered, it is up to the individual member to lodge a claim directly by downloading and submitting the Personal Injury Claims Form.  Clubs are required to sign off the claim form on behalf of their members.

Important Note: Some member clubs have elected on behalf of their members to not participate in the Personal Accident Insurance Scheme for 2023/24. These clubs are:

  • Waverley Bushwalking Club Inc
  • Dandenong Valley Bushwalking Club Inc
  • The Nomads Outdoors Group Inc
  • The Great Aussie Hikers Inc

For Personal Accident Claims and Enquiries:

Accident and Health International (AHI) is the Underwriter for the Bushwalking Australia Personal Accident policy. Inquiries concerning this policy should be directed to AHI on 02 9251 8700 quoting Policy Number 0012117.

Claims should be submitted as soon as possible following an incident, by completing the Personal Injury Claim Form and submitting it to the insurer, Accident and Health International (details are on the claim form). In the case of major claims (i.e. serious injury or death) please also email the Bushwalking Australia Insurance Contract Manager

For Public Liability and Association Liability Claims and Inquiries:

All inquiries and any potential claims under these policies should be directed to the Bushwalking Australia Insurance Contract Manager or the BWV Secretary.

Posted on

Reinstatement of the Mitta Mitta River Walk

For many years, walkers on the Mitta Mitta section of the Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT) have been redirected onto a road to avoid an area heavily infested with English Broom. Parks Victoria agreed that reopening that 7km of track would significantly enhance the AAWT experience, allowing spectacular views of the Mitta Mitta River. Twenty Bushwalking Tracks and Conservation (BTAC) volunteers contributed 500 man hours to achieve the track reinstatement. Many of the volunteers were AAWT end-to-end walkers who wished to give something back to the track and the environment.

BTAC, one of the two operational arms of Bushwalking Victoria, has a pool of volunteers who carry out track maintenance and conservation projects in association with Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Their general philosophy is to offer support in the more remote areas of Victoria, where the local volunteer pool is often limited (or in some cases, non-existent).

You can see further photos and read BTAC project manager Joe van Beek’s full report of the volunteers’ brilliant efforts HERE, along with his suggestions to avoid further spread of English Broom.