If you love Victoria’s great outdoors, getting out and about in nature, and making new friends, you’ll love our activities.
This Everything you need to know webpage provides you with further information to help you choose experiences and get the most out of your activity.
Bushwalking is one of the finest ways to enjoy nature because it offers such a range of experiences, along with the opportunity to meet new people. As well as offering great walks we also run training sessions in navigation, leadership, and pack-carry walking. There is a range of one-day and multi-day walks.
Whether you are a mountain biker or prefer road biking our cycling trips have you covered. Our trips can take up to an entire day or be combined with camping on overnight and longer journeys.
Visit interesting places by bus on one of our excursions, which usually include walks of varying lengths, an opportunity to explore the area and the chance to meet up with friends.
Regular social nights are an important part of the activities program and include slide nights, gear nights, dinners, and guest speakers.
Under 35s group
The Under 35s group offers a program of regular social and outdoor events to particularly encourage younger members’ participation. Some events are suited to novice participants and you don’t need to be under 35 to take part. A popular email network keeps Under 35s in touch and allows information sharing on upcoming activities. If you’re a VNPA member and would like to join the Under 35s e-group, email [email protected]
Walk, talk and gawk
A Walk, Talk and Gawk is a leisurely park visit/guided nature walk, either full or half day, with frequent stops for observation.
Expert leaders point out significant features, give ecological insights and explain how a park or area is managed.
Easy going ambles
These are slow-as-you-go strolls with rests along the way. If the spirit is willing to exercise and enjoy the great outdoors but your body slows you down, these ambles are for you. Generally, they are offered on the 2nd Saturday of each month.
Explore interesting natural and cultural heritage by walking or cycling in an urban setting.
Join a convoy or get a lift in another participant’s 4WD and have an adventure in nature found in more remote or less accessible areas of Victoria.
Conservation activity or event
There are many environmental restoration projects, citizen science monitoring and special events for you to have a hands-on experience helping nature. Tree-planting, weed pulling and rabbit control, working with our NatureWatch program or attending the Easter camp in East Gippsland are some of the activities you can choose from in our program.
Booking a walk or activity
All intending participants should check the online activities program for any changes.
Contact the leader about 2-3 weeks, but not more than one month, before the trip, unless early booking is indicated in the program. Except where otherwise indicated, phone numbers given are personal numbers and calls should generally be made in the evening on weeknights or at weekends. Please ring before 9:00 pm. Please remember that most activity leaders are volunteers.
Leaders will not accept early bookings – it increases the chances of cancellations and it is unfair to those who follow the guidelines. Leaders will limit numbers on a trip to comply with our Minimal Impact Bushwalking Policy and safety considerations.
Non-members are welcome on trips. They must be booked in with the leader and may attend three trips before it is necessary to join the VNPA, which you can do at any time.
When booking, indicate your name, telephone number, personal emergency contact number, and whether you are interested in car sharing. If contacting a leader by email, put the email subject as “VNPA activities <walk name>”
If you are unknown to the leader, they will discuss with you your fitness, equipment and experience to undertake the activity you have chosen. The leader may recommend another activity that is more suited to your ability. Persons under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Please read the Activity Descriptions section before booking a trip
Trips are by private transport unless otherwise stated.
The leader will collect activity fees on behalf of the Bushwalking and Activities Program. This money is used to pay for general BWAG expenses, printing the activities program, and insurance.
Attendance fees per day are:
$3 (Child U/16)
Before the trip
On the trip
Traveling in convoy
Due to the expense of bushwalking equipment ‘try before you buy’ and seek the opinion of others before buying. All bushwalkers have their own preferences but you will be able to reduce the risk of buying unsuitable gear. Many shops that sell bushwalking and camping gear will hire equipment at reasonable rates.
Use the list below as a guide only. Extra items of a personal preference may also be carried as well as any items specifically requested by the leader.
|Grade||Easy||Medium – May involve||Hard – May involve|
|Walk||• on formed tracks|
• terrain level or undulating
• pace relaxed
|• some rough terrain, forest or road walking|
• longer ascents or descents
• up to 6 hours walking in a day
|• rough terrain|
• rock scrambling
• thick scrub
• 8 hrs or more each
• steep sustained ascents or descents
|Excursion||• Bus trips to places of interest to members, including the option of an easy or medium grade walk|
(see ‘easy walk’above)
|Walk, Talk & Gawk||• Park visits/guided walks, with frequent stops for observation of significant features or ecology||N/A||N/A|
|Cycle||• up to 40km/day|
• bitumen roads
• few hills
• no steep grades
|• up to 50km/day in hilly country or 70km/day in flat country|
• short stretches of dirt road
|• sustained stretches on dirt roads|
• up to 60km/day in hilly country or 80km/day on the flat
• hilly terrain
The grading information in the above table should be used to decide if you can complete a proposed activity enjoyably and with little risk. If you are inexperienced, you would be expected to progress through the grades, and to do day walks before attempting overnight pack-carrying walks. Discuss any doubts about your abilities with the leader.
In some cases, gradings are combined, e.g. easy/medium or medium/hard. Exploratory walks are in areas unfamiliar to the leader. In keeping with VNPA policy and minimal impact guidelines, there is no intentional off-track walking or routes selected through environmentally sensitive areas.
Please take note of the following conditions and policies when taking part in a VNPA event.
By participating in a VNPA event you agree to do so at your own risk.
Every person participating in a VNPA activity does so at their own risk in all respects and, as such, accepts full responsibility for his/her suitability, fitness, and preparedness for the activity and for any injury to him/herself. The Association, its office bearers, organisers, leaders, and helpers are absolved from any liability in respect of any injury, loss, or damage suffered by the participant while engaged in any VNPA activity to the extent permitted by law.
Public liability insurance
The VNPA has a public liability insurance policy.
VNPA occupational health and safety policy
Occupational Health and Safety involves shared responsibilities and a team approach. Everyone associated with the VNPA has a duty of care, which requires each person to be capable and responsible for their own health and safety as well as for the health and safety of others. So far as is practicable VNPA is committed to providing and maintaining a working environment that is safe and effectively eliminates or minimises the risks to the health and safety of staff, members, volunteers, contractors and visitors.
Use of personal vehicles for VNPA acitvites
Volunteers are advised that personal vehicles used for VNPA business and activities are not covered under the VNPA Public Liability or any other insurance. Volunteers should have as a minimum Third Party Motor Vehicle insurance or Full Comprehensive insurance when undertaking activities with the VNPA.
Volunteer personal accident insurance
The VNPA has volunteer personal accident insurance.
Participation by children
Children under 18 years old are welcome to attend VNPA activities if accompanied and supervised by their own parent or carer at all times, and if accepted prior to the day by the activity leader.
All incidents should be reported to the activity leader at the time they occur.
Serious incidents should be reported to the leader and to the VNPA Office on 9341 6500 within 48 hours of the incident. Examples of serious incidents include:
Emergency Contact System (EC)
The Bushwalking and Activities Program has an Emergency Contact System to enable communication to assist parties that are delayed or require external assistance. The system is to be used for all activities where the EC coordinator has deemed it necessary. The leader will advise participants of the name and phone number of the selected contact. All participants should leave details of their trip, the expected time of return and the phone number of the contact with a relative or friend. Enquiries about the late return of people are to be directed to the contact. Do not ring the police. The names and phone numbers of emergency contacts are listed for relevant dates in the program. Direct any queries to the Emergency Contact Coordinator.
The group is indebted to the contact people who give their time and effort to help protect our safety.
Please contact the VNPA office at [email protected] or call 03 93416500
The VNPA’s objectives emphasise principles of conservation and education. This policy provides for the conduct of walks held as part of the VNPA Bushwalking and Activities Program and as a guide to emphasise acceptable standards to minimise the impact of activities in the bush.
Bushwalking is defined as walks in native bushland not developed for high-level visitor use.
Party size will be based on the following considerations:
Recommended maximum group sizes are as follows:
Vegetation and soils
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