WEA Ramblers June Long Weekend

WEA Ramblers walking in Padthaway Conservation Park on their long weekend hiking trip

WEA Ramblers walking in Padthaway Conservation Park on their long weekend hiking trip

We received this recent hiking weekend report from our Member Club, WEA Ramblers Walking Club:

On the recent June long weekend, 14 walkers of our walkers stayed at Cockatoo Downs Farm-stay in the northern Limestone Coast, 15km out of Keith. We were accommodated in cottages and camping. There is also bunkhouse accommodation available. We hired the farm-stay function hall for Saturday and Sunday where breakfast and excellent dinners were provided. This venue has great views from large windows and a wood fire provided warmth. We would recommend this accommodation and catering to other walking groups.

The Ramblers walked a 15km loop through the woodland at Padthaway Conservation Park on Saturday, and a 13.5km loop in the mallee at Desert Camp Conservation Reserve, with a visit to Mt Monster Conservation Park, on Sunday. On Monday morning we walked the 5.6km Tym’s Lookout Hike through the heath on sand dunes in the Mt Rescue section of Ngarkat Conservation Park.

View maps and photos of the walks.

As part of Walktober, WEA Ramblers will be hosting a walk on Sunday 22 October on the Sea-to-Summit Trail, walking in reverse from Belair to Kingston Beach. All welcome.

Public Consultation on Adventure Activity Standards (AAS) Sought

The Australian Adventure Activity Standards (AAS) are a voluntary best-practice framework for safe and responsible planning and delivery of outdoor adventure activities with dependent participants.

These new national standards are intended to replace existing Adventure Activity Standards (AAS) that are different in each state. Like the existing state-based standards, the new National Australian AAS are voluntary and are being designed primarily for groups with dependent participants such as school groups, scout, church and youth groups as well as commercial guides and tour operators. They are not intended to cover individual bushwalkers. Bushwalking clubs generally have a different duty of care and use different procedures to ensure the safety of walkers. Nevertheless, clubs may find the new standards useful when updating their own rules and safety procedures.

While both the existing and new standards are voluntary, there is some concern amongst the bushwalking community that government land managers or private landholders could in future seek to impose AAS on all bushwalkers as a condition of entry. Bushwalking Australia which is represented on the National Australian AAS Working Group, is working hard to make sure this does not happen. AAS applied in that way on clubs could become a bureaucratic nightmare for clubs with little benefit for walker safety.

Comments on the new draft standards are welcome and need to be submitted by May 29.

Success of the 2017 Hiking Expo

What an event! Hiking Expo 23 April 2017 at Belair National ParkWhat an event! At yesterday’s Hiking Expo between 1,500 and 2,000 people attended and over 550 people enjoyed the free guided walks around Belair National Park.

Our vision is to see more people walking more often, and yesterday we connected those people with new walking opportunities. We hope you found it as rewarding as we found in hosting the event!

But Wait, There’s More to Come!

Last week we received the great news that we have received funding from the Office of Recreation and Sport to conduct Walktober – a month long celebration of walking this October.

There will be a series of walking and hiking events (such as 2016’s Trails Less Travelled) and walking promotion throughout the month. Whether you walk for leisure, health or transport there will be something for you!

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, subscribe to email news about events, or watch our website for updates in coming months.

To see more events like this

Support walking and Walking SA to see more great events like this. Walking SA is the peak body for all forms of walking in South Australia, our vision is to see more people walking more often.

Support us with a membership from as little as $22 and together we can achieve that!

Maps from the Guided Walks

At yesterday’s Hiking Expo over 550 people enjoyed the free guided walks around Belair National Park.

We know some people missed out on a walk or their preferred walk. We’ve updated our event webpage with the walk maps, so you can undertake the walk yourself.

Please do note that most of these guided walks are walking routes, not walking trails, which means you will need to undertake the navigation yourself. Also some walk leaders may have modified the route during the walk to adapt to yesterday’s conditions.

If you prefer to follow marked trails, read about that below.

Explore other hikes and walks

If you prefer to follow marked trails, check out the 8 walks around Belair National Park that are listed in our Find a Place to Walk directory.

There are 400 walks in our Find a Place to Walk directory, so you find hikes that suit what you like.

A big thanks to our volunteer walk leaders!

A big thanks to our volunteer walk leaders, lgAll our wonderful walk leaders were volunteers from walking clubs and event partners. A big thanks to them all who guided everyone on the walks around the park. We’ve had so much great feedback about the walks!

Find more details about walking clubs.

Grants available for walking clubs from the Office for Recreation and Sport

Active Club Program

The Active Club Program helps active recreation and sports clubs with:

  • program and equipment (up to $5,000) and
  • facility upgrade requests (up to $25,000)

Round 43 is currently open and closes on 10th April 2017.

Community Recreation and Sport Facilities Program

The Community Recreation and Sport Facilities Program helps eligible organisations to establish or improve sport and active recreation facilities that meet the needs of the community in South Australia.

Organisations can apply under the following categories:

  • Minor facility development (requests $25,000 – $200,000) and
  • Major facility development (requests $200,000 – $1,000,000)

The funding round is currently open and closes on 10th April 2017.

Trails Less Travelled – hike Mt Lofty from a different direction, Sunday 16th October 2016

Trails Less Travelled: Hike Mt Lofty from a different direction. Sunday October 16 2016. Hikes from 8am.Most Adelaidians are familiar with the Waterfall Gully track to Mt Lofty Summit but did you know there are at least 9 other routes that can get you to the top? Come and join one of our hosted walks and discover some of the lesser known trails exploring Cleland Conservation Park and the trails beyond.

There are walk options to suit everybody. If you’re after a serious climb along forest trails to get your heart pumping, a gentle ramble to take in the scenery or something in between then we have a walk for you. Check out the options and choose from various lengths, terrain and starting points. All walks will start at 8am and will be led by one of our member clubs so you don’t even need to read a map! Registration is free.

Once you’re at the top, you can refresh yourself at the Summit Cafe and stroll among the stall holders in the summit courtyard.

So whether it’s a new route or an old favourite, register for one of the Trails Less Travelled and we’ll see you at the summit!

Focus on a walking club: Skyline Walkers

Skyline Walkers logoAbout the hiking club: Skyline Walkers is a walking club that meets at different locations on Saturday mornings at 9am. Each walk, led by club members, has two levels and takes approximately 2 to 3 hours. Walks are within 30 kilometres of Adelaide. The walk schedule, with the meeting point, is circulated to all members. The members enjoy additional social outings including a mid year dinner and a end of year AGM and luncheon0

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Office of Recreation and Sport – Funding opportunity for clubs

The Active Club Program helps active recreation and sports clubs with program and equipment (up to $5,000 and facility upgrade requests up to $25,000 on a $1 for $1 basis.)

It has two funding rounds per year: facility requests and program and equipment (Round 41) and program and equipment requests only (Round 42).

Guidelines for Round 42 can be found at:

Applications close 10th October 2016.

Australian Adventure Activity Standards, September 2016 Update

Bushwalking Australia has been advised of the establishment of a national project to develop a set of Australian Adventure Activity Standards (AAAS) to replace the existing state-based Adventure Activity Standards (AAS).

Bill Gehling from Walking SA is Bushwalking Australia’s representative on this matter and has been advocating the Bushwalking Australia policy summarised as:

Bushwalking Australia’s policy is that the proposed National Bushwalking AAAS must specifically exclude applicability to non-commercial users such as volunteer-run recreational groups including bushwalking clubs and groups of private individuals undertaking recreational adventure activities.

For further details please refer to bushwalkingaustralia.org/overview/policies

Bushwalking Australia hold their annual conference in November and Walking SA will be attending representing the South Australian bushwalking community. If you have matters you would like us to raise please contact the office.

Walking the Heysen Trail

Walking SA Executive Officer Greg Boundy finishes the Heysen Trail

Walking SA Executive Officer Greg Boundy finishes the Heysen Trail

Our Executive Officer Greg Boundy recently completed the 1,200 kilometre Heysen Trail.

Greg has given us a quick summary of the experience:

“Together with my wife Valerie we commenced walking the Heysen Trail in an organised ground with the Friends of the Heysen Trail “End-to-End 6 Group”. As a somewhat reluctant walker and not being particularly fit the walking of the trail has been quite transformational in me now being a very motivated walker, and much fitter, as well as a range of other significant benefits. These include enjoying the environment on the trails, some truly exceptional parts of South Australia, establishing a delightful new group of friends as well as appreciating my love of photography.

What it has also made us appreciated is those that have lead and supported the Heysen Trail through the initial vision, establishing and now maintaining the trail as well as the leaders that have dedicated their time as well. All if these are volunteers. Walking the Heysen Trail also provides a significant boost to the regional economy with the provision of accommodation, meals, transport etc. We would strongly recommend undertaking the whole trail and enjoying the multiple benefits that will arise.”

Resources from the Office of Recreation and Sport

Office of Recreation and Sport ResourcesThere is a wealth of information available on the Office of Recreation and Sport website that may be of value to member clubs and organisations or of broad interest to individuals. Whilst a significant proportion of resources are directed to more of the sporting codes there are many that are of benefit to us in the walking community.

In particular there a range of publications that may be of interest and benefit to clubs and organisations, including club management and governance, as well as many others.

The next round of the Active Club program will open on 13th August 2016.

For further general information visit ors.sa.gov.au.

2016 Presidents Forum ReScheduled

Unfortunately, we had to cancel the annual Presidents Forum in April as a number of key people that wished to attend were unable to do so. We apologise for the short notice of the cancellation.

The Presidents Forum follows on from the inaugural Forum in 2015, and is an opportunity for our member walking club representatives to engage in an ongoing discussion with the Board regarding the future plans of Walking SA.

We have now rescheduled the Presidents Forum for the evening of October 13th 2016 and it will tie in with the inaugural Walking SA Awards presentation. We will have a dynamic forum enabling all attending to share news and information and raise issues critical to the advancement of walking of all types in the South Australian community.