Ben Cruachan Walking Club Gippsland
The club has members with ages ranging from young children to 80+. We come from Lakes Entrance to Trafalgar and Heyfield to Yarram.
- Each year there is a program of about 50 graded walks of various types to meet the needs and capabilities of most people.
- There are walks on most weekends, usually day walks but with some overnight hikes and occasional extended walks.
- Club members are encouraged to take an active role in organising and leading walks of their choice, or just to be a participant in other people’s walks. Some members have been enjoying bushwalking for many years, possess an excellent knowledge of our mountain areas and are proficient at bushcraft and navigation.
- Walks are lead into some of our wilderness areas -- places you would not normally consider venturing yourself. There is expertise with long distance backpacking as well as overnight hiking. Alternatively, many walkers are happy to have their walks guided by experienced leaders and “go along for the ride” Walking is a great way to enjoy a day or two in the bush.
The club was instrumental in developing the McMillan Walking Track which runs 220 kilometres from Omeo to Woods Point following the original path of Angus McMillan as he discovered Gippsland. The full length of the track is walked every 5 years or so.
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Summary of types of walks on our program:
Day walks (easy) – with a light pack for lunch, raincoat, camera and water. Usually local, but can be an early start to take you up into the high country. Normally average 10-15 kms and can be graded from easy to medium for average fitness levels.
Day walks (medium /hard) - require a higher level of fitness. May include some steep climbing and cross-country walking to a mountain peak or similar.
Camp at cars – (2 or more days) - these can be very laid back and relaxed. We have overnight camps at places where vehicles can be taken. This permits one to take a few small comforts from home – tables, chairs, comfortable bedding, car fridge etc. Usually, some light beverages may appear as if from nowhere. These ventures can be very comfortable. Often these walks are to places of historic or scenic interest. Day walks are usually easy/medium but can include some hard bits. Distances are 10-15 kms each day maximum.
Overnight back pack (easy to hard!) - distances up to 30 or 40 kms over the two days. Some good equipment would be required – such as light but waterproof packs, tents and sleeping bags. May also require specialized clothing like thermals for extremes in weather. We are often walking in alpine areas, usually with very experienced leaders. There are also more gentle versions of above with distances up to 12 kms each day.
Long distance back pack walks – can be from 2 or 3 days up to 14 days. As an example the McMillan Walking Track is 220 kms long. Naturally, walks of this nature are very organised, requiring very good equipment and fitness levels for all participants. Long walks are usually assisted by a back up team to help supply food drops and other requirements.