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Melbourne Bushwalkers Clubrooms to reopen on Wednesday 17th November

Melbourne Bushwalkers clubrooms at the Mission to Seafarers, Victoria, will reopen on the 17th November.

Club Offficers will be present from 6:30pm to welcome members and visitors who plan to drop in. Leaders for coming Sunday Walks walks will also be present to discuss requirements for the walks. A Sunday Walks bookings officer will be in attendance to take any in-person bookings.

All persons planning to call into the clubrooms or participate in club walks are required to be fully vaccinated with a valid COVID Passport. Vaccinations in conjunction with mask wearing are important due to the close proximity that members often are with each other; whether at the club rooms, on the bus or carpooling, participating in pre-walk briefings, or talking with and assisting each other during the walk itself.

The final Video Clubroom will be hosted on Wednesday 10th November.

ID: 365;
Source: Committee

We Are Almost There!

Melbourne Bushwalkers is happily anticipating a return to our full activities program once most restrictions are eased in early November.  However, the Committee has decided, after receiving feedback from many members, that all participants will need to be double vaccinated against COVID-19 (or have a medical exemption) to participate in club activities.

Vaccinations in conjunction with mask wearing are important due to the close proximity that members often are with each other; whether at the club rooms, on the bus or carpooling, participating in pre-walk briefings, or talking with and assisting each other during the walk itself. They are particularly important for the return of our Sunday Bus, as members sit in close proximity and air flow on the bus is limited. Double vaccination will also be essential for car sharing (when allowed) for the same reasons.

Although COVID-19 affects people of all ages, people over the age of 50 years are more at risk for becoming very sick or dying if they contract this virus.  A high proportion of members of our club are in this “at risk” age group.

High rates of vaccination are an effective way of reducing incidences of being infected, and also provide community protection, reducing the likelihood of virus transmission.

Also, all our leaders are volunteers.  They need to feel confident that by providing this service that they will not be exposing themselves to acquiring COVID-19.

By introducing double vaccinations as a condition of participation in club activities we are protecting participants in our activities from COVID-19 and also providing a very important health education message to our community.


ID: 364;
Source: Committee

Twenty Bushwalks in the Mount Alexander Region

Castlemaine in north central Victoria is famous for its goldfields, but they are only a part of the region’s story.

These self-guided walks offer insights into the layers of meaning in these fabled landscapes, and invite the reader to see an amazing story of destruction and revival.

Some of the walks are long, some are short, and one is … just a mooch in the bush. Some are close to townships, and some are quite remote. All are the product of collective thinking by members and supporters of Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests who have been involved in walks in the region for many years.

Detailed maps accompany walks descriptions, and the text is generously illustrated with photos. Suggestions are offered to help bird identification, and useful references are provided for people to better read the landscape of this fascinating region.

The book is published by Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests with financial assistance from the Wettenhall Environment Trust. 

ID: 363;
Source: Webmaster

Federation Walks 2021 Postponement to March 2022

After consideration of Victoria's Roadmap out of COVID19, the FedWalks2021 Organising Committee have decided that the event at Licola cannot proceed as planned on 12-15 November 2021, and have rescheduled the event to 25-28 March 2022.

All bookings will remain valid for the new dates.  If you are unable to attend, please advise as soon as possible and a refund will be issued.  Any vacancies will be filled from the existing wait list.

We look forward to finally welcoming you to Gippsland to enjoy this event!

ID: 362;
Source: FedWalks2021; Stuart Hanham

Mountain Journal free print edition available

For over 10 years The Mountain Journal, produced by the indefatigable Cam Walker,  has been keeping interested readers up to date with developments in the Victorian Alps and beyond with a free email notification delivered daily, sometimes several times a day.

With a focus on topics related to environment, news and culture from the Australian Alps, the email notifications keep you in touch with items of importance to the natural preservation of the alpine regions.

The first print edition is hot off the press, and will be (covid lockdowns permitting) surfacing in cafes, mountain huts and public spaces across the Alps soon. The 2021 edition includes:

Check the "More information ..." link for the free download details.

ID: 361;
Source: Webmaster

Northern Territory walking fees and online booking from 1 March 2022.

The well publicised changes to booking procedures for popluar walks like the Larapinta Trail, Jatbula Trail and Tabletop Track are now scheduled to come into practice in a staged process:

The online booking system is intended to streamline bookings and ensure greater certainty for campers and multi-day trail walkers. Visitors will need to book and pay online before you go to a Northern Territory park.

The new multi-day walking fee will be introduced for trails across NT parks and will be $25 per night, up to a maximum of $125 for 5+ nights, plus campsite fees.

Seethe "More information ..." link for details.

ID: 360;
Source: Webmaster

‘Unique experiences, instead of mass tourism’ - a must read article

The debate has raged for countless years. Conservation and tourism struggle to co-exist.

"Walking enthusiasts sit somewhere in the middle, staggered along the pro/anti spectrum depending on the kind of hiking their health or wealth will allow." This quote from a recent article in The Sydney Morning Herald encapsulates the quandry many bushwalkers face. How many of us have a foot in both camps? Indignant when a new proposal comes forward to change the natural spleandour, yet ready to accept the added comfort of facilities already in place.

The debate can even be seen to question the current day use of the term "bushwalking" and what it means to be a "bushwalker".

In the well written and researched article quoted above the authors do not take one position or the other. Rather they draw from proponents of both sides and provide a good summary of the commercial pressures impacting on public land across Australia in the push to develop eco-tourism.

Your view? Why not drop a note to the Editor of the club's newsletter.

"‘Unique experiences, instead of mass tourism’: the great walking holidays boom", Konrad Marshall and Miki Perkins, The Sydney Morning Herald, September 24, 2021. .

ID: 359;
Source: Geof Martin, Webmaster

ParkConnect and a Working With Children Check

ParkConnect is the Parks Victoria volunteer portal via which individuals register to volunteer with Parks Victoria and volunteer activities are approved to occur. It is also  the avenue through which volunteers join the Bushwalking Victoria group and join a Bushwalking Victoria activity.

Parks Victoria is changing both the way volunteers register for activities and making a Working With Children Check (WWCC) mandatory for all volunteers. The requirement for all volunteers to have a WWCC has now been extended to 31 December 2021. 

All Bushwalking Tracks and Conservation (BTAC) volunteers who wish to continue volunteering with BTAC are requested to register on ParkConnect, join the Bushwalking Victoria group and obtain a Working with Children Check.  

If you have not already done so, I hope you will make the effort to register on ParkConnect. While many of us are still in lockdown now would be a good time to complete this request.

Please contact me or any of the BTAC Committee if you need assistance.

ID: 358;
Source: Peter Maffei, BTAC Convenor

Falls Creek to Hotham Alpine Crossing - Community Update, Spring 2021

The Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing Master Plan outlines the proposed 57-kilometre, multi-day route, combining and upgrading an existing track network, which will take in the Diamantina Spur and Razorback with an optional ascent of Mount Feathertop, Victoria’s second-highest peak.

Parks Victoria have released the first edition of the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing Community Update.  .

Considerable concern was raised within the bushwalking community when the first Master Plan was released. The Community Update seeks to allay concerns by addressing key questions raised.

Parks Victoria will provide updates and information as the project progresses. To stay up to date you can register your interest to receive community updates. Just follow the "More information ..." link:


ID: 357;
Source: Webmaster