Club Postal Address
c/- SGWAAC, PO Box 557,
Leongatha, 3953
President: Joy Downes
Telephone: 0400 160 445
Secretary: Robyn Scott
Telephone: 0408 486 362
Treasurer: Elizabeth Pearce
Telephone: 0400 109 160
Newsletter: Clive Lynn
Telephone: 0428 688 220
Copy deadline: Nov 29th

Meetings: All meetings are held on the 4th Thursday of each month (excluding December); General Meetings at Leongatha Community House, 16 Bruce Street, Leongatha and alternating with Activity Planning Meetings and dinner at venues to be announced.

Activity Meeting March 28 at 6:30pm in the Meeniyan Hotel, followed by dinner

General Meeting April 25 2019, Leongatha Community House at 8:00pm>

Activity Reports

Kayaking on the Powlett River - 20/12/18

Participants: Kate Senko-Leader, Don Creed, Josie Lomagno, Sue Marriott, Roz Spratt, Pat Williams and our land based emergency recovery Graham Talmage.
Visitors: Sarah Peachey, Clare Riddoch, Rhonda + Peter Sutton, Ken O’Neill,+ Peter Hosking.
kayak-lunchThe meeting place was the mouth of the Powlett River, and as 10.00 am neared the motley crew arrived. South Gippy Club has never attracted so many paddlers with such a variety of craft. After introductions and inspection of the different kayaks, we set off up the river leaving Graham, ‘just had surgery man’ on land to do some beach walking and relaxing with a book. Paddling was rather easy due to the tail wind.
The first section of the river is relatively open with cattle grazing down to the waters edge and the odd shore bird feeding. A little further on majestic wind towers dominate the skyline, then low coastal tea-tree line the banks providing shelter for many small birds. Our destination was the Rail Trail Bridge where we were able to find a suitable spot to land. Time for a leg stretch and some well earned lunch, a lovely social occasion. All too soon it was time to relaunch the kayaks and face the head wind on our return trip. To our surprise we met Peter H who had made a late start, he had to complete his regular Thursday morning bike ride before he could paddle! We arrived back at the cars about 2pm. The trip home had taken a bit of extra effort so some of us were a trifle tired. Loading was made easy by having two strong gentlemen to lift the boats onto cars, thanks Peter and Ken. Some people went straight home whilst 6 of us went to Kilcunda for coffee, more chit chat and one very embarrassed lady! Be careful what you say, you never know, someone may know who you are talking about … luckily it was all good.
It was great to have an influx of new paddlers, we hope to see you back again next month when we plan to paddle from Mahers Landing-weather and tide permitting.
Many, many thanks to Katie for organizing a very successful and enjoyable outing.
Pat W

Warburton Cycle Trip
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My wife Marina and my cousin Belinda talk about the South Gippsland Walking and Adventure Club a lot so when a three-day cycling trip to Warburton was mentioned, I thought I’m in and I’ll be able to see what all the fuss is about.
We arrived at the caravan park on Monday 21st and were greeted by Val and the smallest greyhound I’d ever seen but to be correct they are actually called a whippet, we were duly introduced to Jean, Ian, George, Sue, Don, Ian (Val’s husband) and with Les and Heather turning up a nice group had formed for the evening.
It was going to be a hot day the next day for the ride to Lilydale on the Warby trail and there was much debate about what time we should start, we agreed to meet the rest of the group at Woori Yallock for an 8.30 start time. Everybody came together for final instructions from team leader Kerrie, who I thought would look more at home on a BMX and off we set.
The group consisted of 21 riders, I think, we spread ourselves out along the trail and settled in for a leisurely ride at a steady pace, it was still a cool morning and we made good time into Lilydale with a lap of the Lake the group spread themselves between two cafes for lunch.
The weather had warmed up, but the trail offers a lot of shade which made the return journey still pleasant through the farmlands of the Yarra Valley, until the last few kms across the open it was like riding into a furnace.
So, with 43 kms under our belt it was back to the caravan park for some rest, recreation and the best bit was having a swim around in the cool waters of the Yarra River or even float down on a blow-up mattress.
The evening brought everyone together for a discussion on the next days ride along the O’Shannassy Aqueduct trail and a start time was agreed on.
Next morning everybody was up and about and ready, some cyclists hitched a ride to the Yuonga road carpark and some decided to ride the steep 1.7km climb to the carpark - remind me next time to get a ride as that hill killed me.
The ride along the Aqueduct was fairly flat riding through Mountain Ash forest and something I’ve always wanted to do, it was a really nice ride. Then it was downhill on the sealed road back to Launching Place to connect up with the Warby trail and onto Yarra Junction for lunch. From Yarra Junction we made our way along the trail back to Warburton passing through the old sawmilling towns of Wesburn and Millgrove. The weather was warm but not as hot as the previous day, still any excuse to jump in the river, with 35kms done we deserved it.
That night at the ‘Gathering’ the next days options were discussed with some riding another extension of the Aqueduct and others visiting the Redwood Forest.
Day 3, we needed transport for bikes and tree huggers, the bikers went onto the Aqueduct and the rest of us visited the Redwood Forest, the carpark was huge but apparently not big enough for David who presided to launch his car over a very large boulder in the carpark but with some help from Steve was able to get back over it.
The Redwood Forest was planted as an experiment by the MMBW in the 1930s for study on canopy interception compared to our own native trees, how do I know this? I Googled it because the team leader who shall remain nameless didn’t have any information on it and anyway there should be an information board at the site, thanks Park Vic. The riders returned to camp saying they had a great ride along the Aqueduct and our group were lucky enough to spot the rare Redwood bird.
Nibbles and red wine came out in the afternoon before heading off to the Wesburn pub, this can sometimes bring out the worst or best in us, as we were entertained by David’s story of some frollicking around in someone’s pool in his birthday suit, there was denial everywhere but us young ones know what went on in the seventies don’t worry. Next morning the die-hard cyclists cycled to La La Falls but most of us drove up there. It was the perfect way to finish off the trip, a short walk to the not so small falls as we thought with the dry weather we’ve had. Then back for a quick cuppa and some yummy homemade cakes that were shared before heading back home.
Thanks, Kerrie, for a well organsied three days and thanks Ian for always being around to drive us.
P.S - My take on the whole thing is, it’s a group of like-minded people enjoying each other’s company and cycling no matter the age, and will you see me again? Maybe. P.S.S - David don’t forget that appointment with Specsavers Shane Donkin

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News Flash - Rare birds sighted


A rare photo of a pair of Donkins on the nest. These are migratory birds, preferring to winter further north. Generally they mate for life. This is a non-breeding pair as can be seen by the female’s bright plumage - a warning to the male to keep his wings to himself! During the migration flight the female uses a melodious call ‘shardeepleese’ whilst the male has a more guttural ‘morbeer, morbeer’. Keen bird-watchers will know that the Donkin is closely related to the Copper Bee bird. These are non-migratory avians spending all year in the Gippsland region. Recently spotted in the Bairnsdale area they are instantly recognizable by the stripes on their shoulders and their distinctive call ‘alloalloallo-wotavweeer’.
Reporter David Baggallay

Crystal Brook Base Camp - 3 day Bike Trails 19-21 Feb
Jean Jackson (trip Leader); Joy Downes; Les and Heather Cruikshank; Kerry and David Baggallay, Bill Ryan; Julie and Alan Coulter and; Ian Mayer
Crystal Brook Caravan Park proved to be a very popular park nestled amongst trees on the Mullum Mullum Creek in Doncaster East. Together with German backpackers, a Beijing Scout troop and a mixed bag of other happy campers, several riders met on the evening before the ride for a relaxed meal around the camp kitchen with platters, salads and cake aplenty.
Day 1 - Déjà vu
A slow start to the day, a little cool, slightly overcast and no sign of the fierce heat which had been forewarned in the pre-ride briefing notes. Following Jeans briefing of the days ride, the troupe was off following the Mullum Mullum trail to the Eastlink Trail. The Mullum Mullum Trail is the major attraction of the Mullum Mullum Creek Linear Park which is an 18.5 kilometre nature lover’s trail from the Yarra River in Templestowe to the East Link Trail in Donvale. The Trail appeals to cyclists and walkers who enjoy the natural flora of the Mullum Mullum Valley, together with bird watching, frog spotting in wetlands and even sighting the occasional koala. The Trail opened to the public on 16 September 2018.
crystalPark1 We meandered along the creek path and marvelled at the dense undergrowth, the infrastructure invested in the bike path and the size of the properties abutting the creek, all of which made for very pleasant riding. Kerry relished the concrete and bitumen paths which made for easy coasting when compared to the gravel of the Gippsland rail trails and also relaxed in the relative obscurity of a ‘mere rider’ (better known as a ‘domestique’ in riding terms), not having her normal commitments and obligations as a tour ‘leader’.
After exploring numerous ‘false trails’ cunningly concealed by Jean, we ended up at Peddlers café for a much earned break. Soon afterwards Ian joined the group after a delayed start making good time catching the main group despite some cryptic navigational hints from Bill. ‘When you come to the road cross and then go left’, and ‘When you come down the hill to the Stop sign Go right. It will make sense when you get there’????
After some more false trails and an extensive exploration of the Bulleen reserve and surrounds we were experiencing a sense of Déjà vu as we rounded yet another familiar track. Eventually we found our way to the Ivanhoe Public Golf Course for lunch
By now we were settling into a familiar routine with David providing an ongoing commentary about things that matter; Bill distracting us with his vast array of Kiwi inspired ‘Dad’ jokes; Les and Heather teaming up as joint ‘Tail end Charlie’s’ to shepherd us along and; the ever confronting decision of whether to turn left or right at every T-intersection and the consequent ‘false trails’ when we got it wrong
Some 60km later, we arrived back at base camp, a little leg weary but pleased that we had survived the first day in good cheer. A group dinner was held at the Grand Hotel Warrandyte where we were joined by Joy’s daughter, grand daughters and partners. Hearty meals were enjoyed by all.
Day 2 - ‘ The Brunswick Cup’
We woke to the news that Heather would not be riding this day, having succumbed to an earlier gardening injury. We headed off to our starting point at Bundoora Park for the days ride where Jean provided the days briefing and asked for a more concerted effort in detecting the false trails which lay ahead.
Determined to do better, we followed the scenic Darebin Creek Trail to the Main Yarra trail without issue and then headed up the Yarra Boulevard a short way before heading down thorough the bushland across the old ‘Pipe bridge’ and onto the picturesque Fairfield Boatshed for coffee.
Perched high on the banks of the Yarra, the Boatsheds provide magnificent views, fine food and coffee and a glimpse of times past.
Winding our way up the charming Merrie Creek Trail we stopped off at the CERES Community Environment Park, a non-profit centre in Brunswick offering an organic grocery and cafe, nursery, community garden and environmental education. Les and Bill embraced the experience recounting their teenage ‘Hippy’ days.
A little further on, we happened on the Brunswick Velodrome. With a little encouragement and with a ‘Presidential Decree’ from Joy, the inaugural race for the ‘Brunswick Cup’ was organised. Leaving the other riders high on the track, Joy swept down to win the race by over 2 lengths (as required by the Presidential decree!!!)


We lunched by the Coburg Lake, a surprising oasis in the middle of suburban Coburg just below the former jailhouse that was Pentridge. Worryingly, Les confided that he didn’t recognise the Bluestone from ‘this side’????
Much was to happen later that afternoon:

  • David was quite taken by Bills Kiwi calendar and invited all and sundry to inspect ‘Wednesday’,
  • An animated discussion was had about the virtues of thongs and Jandals,
  • Julie and Allan maintained their strong cadence, never far from the front. Julie, in particular, displayed great skill in sliding her bike sideways to wipe off some speed before entering a narrow gateway,
  • David impressed with his command of the French language but after chatting away in French for 5 minutes was disappointed to learn that his new found friend was actually from Iraq;

Joy had a small lay over on a wee hill resulting in a torn ligament in her little finger. It was made all the worse as we found the track to be a false trail and had to retrace our steps (for the first time that day!!). Les was unimpressed, as Joy milked it for all it was worth later that evening while wearing her ‘Proud Gippslandian’ Tee shirt. Dinner was a massed Barby with Green Tea and other assortments around the Camp Kitchen
Day 3 - ‘Kevin Bloody Sheed’y!
crystalPark3 Heather re-joined the group, but Bill had to leave for other commitments and Joy decided to rest her bruised pinky from the mishap of the previous day
After 110 km over the past 2 days, legs were beginning to wane but still we ventured onwards for a shortish day where we retraced some of the trails to head to Eltham for lunch.
The trail seemed to be a little steeper and longer and more frequent, which required some careful gear selection prior to ‘summiting’. Ian shared (another) of his favourite pieces of wisdom and introduced everyone to Kevin Sheedy’s famous 6 P’s - Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance in an attempt to encourage everyone to plan and select the right gear for the approaching hills.
Poor ‘Kevin’ was now used to paraphrase every approaching hill and all we heard from the front of the group for the rest of the morning, in a somewhat disparaging tone, was a scream of ‘Kevin Bloody Sheedy’, as we laboured up yet another rise in the track.
A sizeable hill provided a challenge for us all and while the views from the top were impressive we were taken aback by Heathers interest in a nearby building. Beckoning to Les to mark the spot in his Garmin (GPS) as a Point of Interest for later reference only to find out later that said POI was no more than a new apartment block - guess that’s what happens at altitude?????


Things we learnt on the trip:

  1. Green Tea works wonders and is highly recommended by Les after a day’s ride
  2. FOMO (the fear of missing out ) is alive and well within the ranks
  3. 60 maybe the new 40, … but 9.30pm is surely the new 12.30 am

All in all, we covered around 150km over a fun filled and very enjoyable 3 days, while exploring some of Melbourne’s bike paths. It was a great ride and quite achievable by riders of all standards.
Thanks to Jean for her energy, time and preparation - she provided encouragement when needed, occasional guidance and never ending promises that something better was just around the corner.
And, thanks to all riders for their company and companionship
Ian Mayer

3 Islands: ’It will be all white’ - Feb 10
Participants: Val Mc Donald (trip Leader); Lea and Chris Schirlinger; Michelle Carr; Robyn Scott; John Collyer; Joy Downes; David Lewis; Jean Jackson; Les and Heather Cruikshank; Janice Connor; Michael Ducker and; Ian and Sue Mayer
It was a mild and quite serene Sunday morning as we gathered at the Churchill Island carpark (near the café) where we were greeted by our trip leader, Val, cunningly disguised as a Hawaiian Princess.
The calmness of the morning was soon shattered by the shrill sound of a whistle used by said Hawaiian Princess to command our attention for the days briefing. Soon afterwards we ventured on the first of our three Island .walks for the day.
3islands-1 According to Wikipedia, “Churchill Island is a 50.7-hectare (125.3-acre) island in Western Port, Victoria, Australia. It is connected by a bridge to Phillip Island and is the site of the first European garden in Victoria. It contains a working farm, cottages dating from the 1860s and a homestead dating from 1872, all fully restored and open to the public”.
It took us about an hour to walk the 5km track around the farm during which we learned of the islands’ history, early settlers, and bird and plant life. We then enjoyed the trappings of the local café in preparation for our next Island challenge.
Midday found us basking in the sun on a grassy verge eating ice cream and some of Cowes finest potato chips whilst waiting for the ferry to French Island.
Our erstwhile Hawaiian princess now miraculously morphed into a damsel dressed in colours befitting a visit to ‘French Island’
. A short and somewhat bumpy ferry ride later, during which we were entertained by a frolicking seal, we disembarked onto French Island for our 5.5 km trek (11km return) along walking trails, the beach and road down to Fairhaven Campsite. French Island is deceptive in size. It covers 170 sq km, making it the largest coastal island of Victoria (bigger than Phillip Island) but with a modest population of approximately 120, (per 2011 census).
At the campsite we lunched (again), rested, and marvelled at Heather taking 10 mins to cover the best part of 10 mtrs. Many removed their leggings and some, (one) donned facial camouflage for the return journey back to the ferry.
At the jetty, we marvelled at the state of the local vehicles, most unregistered, many with significant bits missing and one ute with a pull out sofa bed in the back - albeit equipped with a seat belt!
Our next destination was Pyramid rock which brought with it another costume change by our esteemed leader - this time all white - as in - ‘It will be all white’!!! A short stroll found us at the Pyramid rock lookout and some truly magnificent views in the early evening sunset, and after some obligatory photos. (… how many photo’s do you need Ian?????) we then set off to the Redcliff Head lookout. Perched high on the clifftop in the company of many wallabies, we toasted the spectacular vista and sunset with nibbles, a few wines and ‘green tea’.


Three things we learnt from our 3 Island tour:

  • ‘Perth’ is an unusual nick name to give anyone, but when it is explained that Perth is 2 - 3 hours behind - it all starts to make sense!!!!
  • After some encouragement, both Les and Robyn have agreed to install a ‘Windy Alert’.
  • Val continues to surprise with costume changes to suit every occasion

The three Islands walk is a great opportunity to get out and see some places that we tend to take for granted. It was a great day; we covered around 20km in good company and with lots of laughs.
Our thanks to Val for her time, energy and making things happen.
Ian and Sue Mayer

Forthcoming Events

Ballarat to Colac with 2 Rail Trails - ’Ballarat to Skipton and ’The Old Beechy Rail Trail’ 24 to 29th March with a limit of 10 riders
With Car and bus backup this ride should cater for most cyclists.
Sunday Train to Ballarat. Bikes on trailer. Stay o’night in Ballarat
Monday Ride Ballarat - Skipton rail trail 54km Option: Visit Widderin Lava Caves. Stay night in Skipton
Tuesday Ride Skipton to Camperdown (70km on road, trending downhill) with car and trailer for back-up. Café break halfway at Lismore 35km from Skipton at Fairway Coffee and Eatery 1km from C17 OR Catch bus from Skipton at 2.17pm arr Camperdown at 3.30pm. Stay night in Camperdown.
Wednesday Optional Rest Day by catching train from Camperdown at 12.56 to Colac arr 1.23 and then bus from Colac at 1.50pm arr Forrest at 2.37pm. with bikes on trailer.
OR Train to Colac and then ride to Forrest = 33km
OR have no rest day and ride the whole way Camperdown to Colac 45km and then onto Forrest 33km via Yeodene) = 78km
Activities at Forrest include Platypus viewing/circuit walk at Lake Elizabeth. Many MTB trails including 4km Tiger Rail Trail. Stay night in Forrest
Thursday Ride Forrest to Gellibrand via Turtons Tk Forrest - Turtons Tk turnoff 18km
urtons Tk to Beech Forest 18km Café stop at Beech Forest. Ride on to Gellibrand 19km. Stay night in Gellibrand = 55km for day
Friday Ride Old Beechy rail trail from Gellibrand to Colac. = 27km Catch train back to Melbourne.
For more information about each stage consult ‘Google’
Turtons Track - A sealed windy 18km tourist trail through the Otway rainforest.
Google - Skipton to Ballarat
Google - ld Beechy Rail Trail
Google Forrest MTB trails map - Otway Ranges
Google Lake Elizabeth Walk - walking maps

Tuesday Walks Information

  • Tuesday Walk leaders who complete a ‘Recce’ prior to the actual walk are asked to provide the details regarding ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘who’ for insurance purposes. (This applies to all walks that leaders do a ‘recce’ for, whether for a Tuesday Walk or any other time)
  • All club members are reminded that they are expected to carry their completed ‘Participants Emergency Contact and Medical Information Form’ with them on each activity. Please make sure that this information is kept up to date and that any changes are given to Elizabeth and Kate so they can keep their records current. A blank copy of the form is available to download from the club’s website.
  • Kate is always happy to have new Tuesday Walk leaders indicate their willingness to lead a walk together with any new routes that people would like to propose
  • Information Update - Cape Woolamai 26th March: This walk is a mix of beach, bush and headland with superb views along the coast and back to San Remo. There are sufficient up and down to earn your end of walk coffee but not too strenuous at about 10 km
    It is pretty exposed so check the weather forecast for appropriate gear to wear. We will stop for morning tea so bring snacks and a thermos might be welcome, soft underfoot for walking but poles come in handy. Meet in the Woolamai Surf Club car park for an 8.30 start.
    Ian Mayer is leading this walk his contact number is 0407693709

Proposed Walk - Late Oct/early Nov 2019
Nakasendo Way, Japan

This is a seven night/eight day walk with some steep sections but not as difficult or as long as the Mont Blanc.Trail
The walk is run by Raw Travel and is written up in the latest issue of Great Walks or you can read it in their website. It is based on an ancient samurai trail between Mt Ontake and Mt Komagatake and passes through forests and ancient villages and past waterfalls and wayside shrines.
Accommodation is in family-run inns or ryokans with traditional Japanese food. Luggage is transported on hiking days.
The walk can be done as a self-guided group using the information supplied by Raw Travel for $3230, twin share.
The other option is a fully guided walk for $3650.
Please talk to me if you are interested in coming
Elizabeth Pearce

Flinders Island Information via Kaye Walton
I recently received the following email form Kaye regarding a recent experience she had on Flinders Island that she felt may be of interest to club members. You may recall a very successful club trip that Ian James organized a few years ago - perhaps another one is in order? Clive

The following travel information may be of interest to club members, if desiring to have a holiday at Flinders Island.
Last week, I unexpectantly abandoned ship at Flinders Island, Tasmania and while seeking a flight back home, I was fortunate enough to find Tooradin Aviation Charter Services.
Their Island airport is at Lady Baron and I was stuck at the top of the island without transport and had exhausted all avenues to obtaining a lift or hire car.
The Pilot, Gordon Brown (from Leongatha) did not hesitate to help out and pick me up. When we arrived at the Aerodrome, Gordon offered me a breakfast and the kitchen to use as wished. Gordon was so down to earth and typically Australian, he certainly enhances the atmosphere of the Island. He retrieved the other male passengers returning with their fishing trophy’s.
I observed his ‘nothing is too much trouble’ attitude to pack up their catch and provide a lunch. (me included, by this time I had qualified as the Air Hostess)
Plane fares on a charter base of 6 people plus are $440 return.
All transport and or guide is arranged if needed, or do your own thing.
At $50 per person per night, spacious, neat and modern accommodation is available at the airport.
All details and photos are on Tooradin Aviation Charter Services web site. The 1hour 15 minute flight back also included a magnificent scenic view of the Flinders Island mountain ranges, beaches and then all the Islands across Bass Straight to Wilsons Prom and on to Tooradin airport.
A great deal and destination for a club activity.
Kaye Walton

Plum Cake
Several club members have asked Joy for this recipe.

1 tsp
brown sugar
light olive oil
Greek style yoghurt
vanilla extract
orange juice
orange, zested
SR flour, sifted
ground almonds
x 80g blood plums, stoned (or 1kg jar, whole and stoned)
plum jam

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 22 cm springform pan. Place sugar, oil, yoghurt, eggs, vanilla, orange juice and zest in a large bowl and whisk until combined.
Place flour, ground almonds and ¼ tsp salt in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add yoghurt mixture and whisk to combine. Pour batter into prepared cake pan, then gently press plums, cut-side up, into surface. Spoon ½ tsp jam into the centre of each plum, then bake for 1¼ hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. You may need to cover the cake with foil to prevent over-browning.
Brush the cake with remaining plum jam, set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
Scatter over raw sugar and serve with cream.
Recipe supplied by Joy D

Gippsland Rhubarb Cake

60g butter
1½ cups brown sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp lemon zest
2 eggs
1 cup SR flour
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sour cream
500g fresh rhubarb cut into 2cm pieces

Grease a deep round 23cm dia cake tin, line base with baking paper
Beat sugar, butter, essence and zest until light and fluffy and then beat in eggs one at a time
Stir in sifted dry ingredients and cream in 2 batches, add rhuarb and spread mixture in the cake pan.
Sprinkle with an extra ¼ cup brown sugar and cinnamon.
Bake in a moderate oven for 1¼ hours
Recipe supplied by Sue M

Walks Program
For the web version of Footprints, the walks program is located on a separate page and is kept up-to-date with changes as they come in.