Bushwalking Victoria’s popular Federation Walks event finally came to fruition in Licola on 25-28 March. It was an overwhelming success, with over 200 participants enjoying a wonderful weekend of walks in perfect weather in this remote part of Gippsland. Originally planned for November 2020, the event had to be rescheduled twice due to COVID restrictions.
Participants from 32 member clubs selected from a smorgasbord of walks, with the ‘classics’ – the Crinoline, Kellys Hut, Mt Howitt and Bryces Gorge – proving popular. Special overnight walks included Lake Tali Karng, Wonnangatta Valley and Bryces Gorge, with the Macalister 4WD club assisting with logistics support. An experienced team of activity leaders guided the groups and shared their local knowledge of the area.
Mike Dower, Area Chief Ranger, welcomed participants to Gippsland’s Foothills and Southern Alps, and Councillor Carmel Ripper welcomed walkers to the Wellington Shire on Friday evening. Entertainment was provided by guest speaker Beau Miles, a Gippsland local, on Saturday evening and by local singer Courtney Jane on Sunday afternoon. The Licola Lions Village accommodated all attendees and provided excellent facilities in a spectacular location.
A wonderful time was enjoyed by all. Praise goes to the organising committee, members of the Ben Cruachan and Strzelecki clubs, for their diligence and persistence in delivering a successful event. Thanks also to the Wellington Shire for their generous support.