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Start
Contents
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18

Photogallery
Archive
1940-99


Walk
Magazine
Archive
1949-87


Newsletter
Archive
1949-
The Melbourne Bushies - Fifty years along the track (1940-90)

to the ridge top to the hired van, arriving long after dark. The trip back to Melbourne, arriving at 3.00 a.m., was characterised by the singing of 'Three Blind Mice' as a round with the driver, to keep him awake.

Christmas walks in the early sixties always included extended Victorian walks. A 10-day trip, Mt Selma - Mt McDonald - Mt Howitt - Mt Stirling, and a 5-day trip to Tali Karng were run in 1961. In 1963 there was a 10-day trip in the Bogong area, a 9-day trip, Crinoline - Moroka Gorge and a 5-day trip, Howitt Plains - Howqua River. Later, in 1968, there was a 10- to 12-day walk from Licola to Mt Buller and a 12- to 14-day walk, Mt Cobbler - Crosscut Saw - Castle Hill. This was about the last year for trips in Victoria longer than 4-5 days. Any extended trips from then on tended to be in New South Wales or Tasmania. Athol Schafer and Fred Halls were regular leaders of Christmas trips.

Numbers of those attending walks have always fluctuated. In October 1961 van trips were so successful that the Committee decided to reduce the price by 2s (20c). The average Sunday trip cost had been 14-16s ($1.40-$1.60). About the most expensive trip in the early sixties was the Grampians at £3 4s 0d ($6.40). The Secretary's report for 1961, the 'coming-of-age' year, was of 150 financial members: 'a large proportion of these . . . around the 21-year-old mark themselves . . . another pleasing aspect is that the younger members are very willing to play their part in the Club organisation and many are already amongst our most trusted leaders'. The Secretary also reported that the Club had opposed the building of a private hotel on Wilsons Promontory.

The Prom was always a popular walking area. Val Elder (nee Goldsmith) recalls the regulations displayed at the entrance point, Darby River, which required visitors to be decently covered from neck to knee. In 1961 the track to Sealers Cove was cleared and the track from Sealers Cove to Refuge Cove was marked and partly cleared. There were no regulations about the length of stay, use of camp fires, or even the position of various camp sites. Regular spots included the south end of Waterloo Bay and Windy Saddle. Trips were organised to all parts of the Prom, not just over the tracks that exist today.

Talbotville, a deserted gold-mining town in the Wonnangatta area, was a popular destination for Club walkers. Its former residents had left behind furnished houses and personal belongings. Unfortunately Talbotville was destroyed by fire in August 1961, like Wonnangatta Station before it. Walkers in the Mt Cobbler region often visited 'Rivermount' on the Rose River, home of Mr and Mrs Bennie, well known in bushwalking circles of the time for their hospitality. Walk 1963