What is the Federation Walks?
The Federation Walks event, also know as FedWalks, is a member-only event held annually in a different part of Victoria. The name dates from 1934 when Bushwalking Victoria was known as the Federation of Victorian Bushwalking Clubs. One or more of our affiliated member clubs in a specific region, volunteer to host the event with support from Bushwalking Victoria as needed. The host club(s) organise the event, develop the walks program, social program, arrange the logistics and manage registrations. All the members of Bushwalking Victoria are invited to participate in the event. FedWalks is a weekend filled with bushwalking, nature, fun, and friendship. It is a wonderful opportunity for members of different clubs to walk together and for our individual members to join the community for a walk.
The 2021 Federation Walks Event (FedWalks): Friday, 12 November to Sunday, 15 November
The combined Gippsland Clubs will be hosting the 2021 FedWalks after their best-laid plans of hosting it last year went off track with the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions on group gatherings. The team is back in full force and preparing for a spectacular event in the Gippsland Foothills and Southern Alps with the event base at the Licola Wilderness Village. Licola is a small village on the banks of the Macalister River, approximately 250km east of Melbourne. This year's walks program will offer an overnight walk and will be held over 3 days from 12-15 November.
Accommodation and meals will be provided by the Licola Wilderness Village. Accommodation comprises cabins with 3 or 4 bedrooms with bunk-style beds. An all-inclusive meals and accommodation package will be on offer. Registrations for the event will open in August. You can keep your eye on the event here.
A big thank you to the representatives from our land managers Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) who are involved in the event planning and the Macalister 4WD Club that kindly offered logistical support for several of the walks on offer.
FedWalks2021 will showcase the diversity of walks, scenery, landscapes, flora and fauna of the Gippsland Foothills and Southern Alps.
More about the history of Federation Walks
Bushwalking Victoria was originally established as the Federation of Victorian Bushwalking Clubs at a meeting on 15 May 1934. At that meeting, the first of the six aims of the new organisation was to 'Unite all Victorian walking clubs for the protection and advancement of mutual interests to promote the pastime of tour walking [as bushwalking was known at the time] and encourage good fellowship among affiliated bodies'.
To foster good fellowship among the eight inaugural member clubs, the first Federation Walks event was organised by the Melbourne Amateur Walking and Touring Club and held on 6 October 1935. The tradition of a member club organising a walk event was thereby created. Unfortunately, we don't know the location of the first walk.
The 2015 event marked the 80th anniversary of the Federation Walks. In the long history of FedWalks, there were only brief interruptions or forced cancellations:
1941-1946: Second World War
1952: Cancelled due to a train strike.
2009: Black Saturday Bushfires devastated the area where the walks were to take place.
2020: Cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
So join us for the 2021 Fedwalks and be part of the 77th Federation Walks Event celebrating 86 years of inter-club bushwalking!