All the health experts tell us that we should be exercising, socialising and harmonising with nature. Guess which fun activity ticks all three of those boxes perfectly for people of all age groups? Yes, it’s bushwalking, and on October 27th to 29th a mob of enthusiastic bushwalkers from all over Victoria will descend upon Warburton to share the beauty of the Yarra Valley on Bushwalking Victoria’s Federation Walks Weekend.
Each year a different club hosts this special event with Bushwalking Victoria (www.bushwalkingvictoria.org.au). Last year it was held in the Grampians, Daylesford in 2015, Walhalla and Mornington in previous years. This year Warburton has proved a popular choice and it is Melbourne Bushwalkers who are the 2017 organisers and host club (www.mbw.org.au)
Over 350 bushwalkers from 33 walking clubs all over the state have signed up – the event was fully booked out in September - and members will be staying in Warburton for the weekend. Some will bring their tents, some will stay in cabins, some in local lodges such as Arrabri, B&B’s or hotels. All will enjoy the special character of the Warburton township - its food, shops and picturesque riverside setting. Walkers will be completing walks of 10-20kms in length on the Saturday and Sunday. Participants have booked in from the 20 walks on offer, ranging in difficulty from Easy to Medium to Hard, some flat, some steep, some straight, some winding, and all with beautiful Yarra Valley vegetation, wildlife, fresh air and views. The walks program includes popular trails such as La La Falls, Powelltown, Donna Buang, River walks, and many more.
Guest speakers will be Monica Mains, local DELWP forests officer, and Mike McCarthy, local author and historian. ‘We have walkers coming from over 30 clubs, including Echuca, Warrnambool and Traralgon, as well as many Melbourne clubs such as Maroondah, Bayside, Waverley and others’, says Ian Mair, president of Melbourne Bushwalkers. ‘A team of 70 volunteers from our club have put their hands up to help facilitate the event.’ Local sponsors Warburton Yarra Junction Community Bank, and Warburton Valley CEDA (Community Economic Development Association) have also contributed to the event. As walkers discuss their toughest hikes, travel plans, boots, packs, leeches and other hiking matters (as we love to do!) we hope the health benefits of a bushwalking weekend in Warburton will be the long-term reward.