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
Walks Coordinator: Les Cruickshank
Telephone: 0408 595 008

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 Jan 23 at 6:30pm in the Meeniyan Hotel, followed by dinner

General Meeting Feb 27, 2020 at Leongatha Community House at 8:00pm>

Activity Reports

Great Ocean Walk, 21-24 Oct 2019
Base Camp Trip Report

Participants: Chris Chalmers, Heather Cruickshank, Sue Evans, Jean Jackson, Lesley and Roger Langdon, Val McDonald, Gayle McHarg, Sue Mayer, Bee Nolan, Bev Piper and Judy Speedy ,
base1A very excited group of walkers gathered under the big tree in Bimbi Park at 8:30am. The previously arranged small bus arrived to drop us off at Marengo where we commenced our walk...Our Great Ocean Walk! We ventured through many wonderful sights: tall forests, sand, rock platforms, small beaches, wildflowers, snakes, koalas and mud. We can’t forget the mud! It was at this point I was glad I bought my new waterproof walking boots and my foot spa ...we passed through farmland, coastal forest and our first wonderful long walking day ended with a stunning view of Blanket Bay. How lucky were we to be on this magnificent iconic walk in Victoria. This walk will be with me forever and everyone else who has the love of this land. My Fitbit measured a distance of 27.7km - I have small legs!
A 9am start was welcomed from the sore and not so fit new members. Miracles do happen ...just ask ScoMo! Everyone was happy and delighted with the beautiful weather to assist us with our walk. We met some lovely people on our journey and shared our stories. I’ve been told what is talked on the walk stays on the walk! However, I have to say we did have some good laughs not just on the walk but also back at our base camp - Bimbi Park.
If I knew I was going to be asked to write a short report I would have paid more attention to the detail.
Point Lewis Lookout was memorable. A perfect location for lunch was Crayfish Bay. Only a 15 minute walk down from the main track was easy. There is nothing more therapeutic than watching the sea whilst eating lunch. We ventured on enjoying our non-stop chats and the amazing views the walk provides all the way to the Cape Otway Lighthouse where we rested whilst munching on an ice cream. A small walk from the lighthouse back to Bimbi Park was very pleasant. Meeting at the camp kitchen at 6 pm each night was necessary to gather our thoughts and plan for the next day’s adventures. I certainly enjoyed some yoga movements too! Fitbit 20.36Km
base2An 8.30am start walking from Bimbi Park to Aire River via Station Beach to Rainfalls Falls. Today was special with breathtaking, inspiring and tranquil views throughout the day. My photos will not portray what we saw from our eyes but will give you some idea of this magnificent area. Even a stone sculpture! Anyone who enjoys a walk amongst so many unique sights should be highly recommended to do this walk. Fitbit 17.9Km
As it was a very hot day, far too hot to walk it was decided we all had a choice on how we would spend our day! Sue, Bee, Heather and I collected the (overnight) boys from Ryans Den and returned to Bimbi Park for their long deserved rest. After lunch we drove to Johanna beach where we walked the beautiful sands and watched the crashing waves. The view from the lookout was magnificent and the campground was worth checking out for future holidays. The posh girls (you know who you are) ventured into Apollo Bay for some shopping. On our last night we all came together for dinner and drinks and a most welcomed speech from Ian Mayer to celebrate our walking achievements.
None of this could have been achieved without our wonderful leaders Ian and Sue Mayer A huge thank you Ian and Sue from all of us.
Prepared by Chris Chalmers


‘On Track’ Trip Report
Participants: Les Cruikshank, Ken Moulton, Graham Talmage, Ian Mayer
We 16 hardy souls, assembled around the Bimbi Park camp Kitchen on Sunday evening to gather our thoughts and turn our attention to the following mornings trek along the Great Ocean Walk. Some around the table had already braved the elements, having earlier in the week kayaked on the Glenelg, while others had taken the opportunity of a ‘warm up ’walk, courtesy of the Federation Walk program. We all however, had braved the somewhat unappealing weather of the preceding week and were hoping for something a little more comfortable to help us on our way.
New members Chris, Lesley and Roger were welcomed, and Ian then provided a briefing of walk etiquette, protocols and the walk plan for the next few days
The following morning, the group split into two. The 4 ‘on track’ walkers were ferried down to Blanket Bay to commence their 4 day trip through to Princetown, while the other 12, ‘Base camp’ walkers, led by Sue M had decided to walk some 17 kms, from Marengo Beach to Blanket Bay We ‘On Track’ walkers bid farewell to our entourage and took our first cautious steps along the trail towards Aire River, our destination for the night.
It always take a while to acclimatise walking with a full pack, but we soon fell into a comfortable pace and headed towards Cape Otway, our first significant point of interest.
We arrived at the Cape Otway Light station in good time and good spirits, so much so, that Ken decided it was time for a ‘decent’ coffee. To Ken’s dismay though, the café was located on the other side of the Light Station entrance, which required the payment of a $19.00 entrance fee. Even when we explained we were on the GOW and just wanted a coffee, the entrance fee was then reluctantly lowered to a mere $10.00. Somewhat bewildered, we packed away our wallets and continued down the track; Ken was still grieving, an hour later!!
It wasn’t long afterwards that our attention was refocussed on the trail as we encountered our first ascent up the Parkers Hill ‘steps’. While it was a bit of a ‘slog’ at the time, we were to come across many more such climbs over the next few days, all of which were quite achievable with a steady pace and timely breaks.
track2web It was heading up the track from Elliot Beach that we first came across one of a number quaintly named “Flucker” posts! Apparently you place your camera on the post, take a selfie and, send it to a website to record use of track for research purposes - seemed a little weird really.
We soon reached our first ‘Decision Point’ - take the route via the beach, rocks and incoming tide or the ‘shorter’ overland route. No decision really - the overland route won the day.
Graham’s influence with the weather gods was again apparent as we were now bathed in sun and enjoying wonderful blue skies. I don’t know how he does it, but he seems to have a way to get the weather he wants!!!!
After 20+ km, and 7.5hrs on the track, the Aire River camp site was a welcome end to our day’s hiking. We arrived around 3.30pm, located a good site and had plenty of time, and energy, to have a look around and soak tired feet in the icy Aire River. We met a number of others overnighting at the same campground; some hiking as we were, others on a supported tour where they carried day packs, but camped overnight courtesy of a commuter bus which transported their gear from site to site - not a bad way of doing it, and quite reasonable rates.
Graham set the standard for dinner. His precooked cold piece of steak put our dehydrated meals to shame; nevertheless we ate with gusto and all too soon finished our allocation for the night.
It was at this time Ken was trying to ‘patent’ his concept of ‘sprinkling’. It was a simple enough idea - simply sprinkle powered milk across the top of your drink of choice and stir it in. ‘Sprinkling’ prevents the powered milk from forming gluggy blobs at the bottom of the cup which inevitably happened when you spooned in the powered milk like you would with sugar.
track3 Granted, ‘sprinkling’ was a worthy contribution to our camping tricks n tips, but despite Ken’s protestations, we were doubtful the concept could go any further!!!
The next morning we were greeted by a delightful Spring day and enjoyed a leisurely start to our days trekking. Today was to be a long but satisfying walk through diverse terrain to the beautiful Johanna Beach. The track passed through coastal heathland with many awesome sea views.
We entertained a number of international tourists at the Aire River Escarpment Lookout who took great delight photographing we ‘intrepid explorers’.
It was along this part of the track that we came across several boot cleaning stations; Ian likened them to bear traps as his low cut walking shoes filled with a watery disinfectant - not happy!!.
Soon enough, we reached Johanna Beach, managed to get across the Johanna River without mishap and trudged the 2km in soft sand to the Johanna Beach carpark and then onto a most spectacular camp site on the cliff top.
An early dinner, magnificent sunset and it was soon off to bed.
The next day we were woken by the orange hue of the sunrise as it filtered through our tents - quite a delightful way to wake up. Les did his bit to foster international relations by assisting a damsel in distress. A young German tourist was limping badly due to blisters and so Les worked his magic and helped dress her wounds.
Soon enough we were on our way again, this time heading for Ryan’s Den in a somewhat perfect balmy 22 deg setting.
Lots of ascents today including the notorious 6 flights of stairs but with every ascent we were rewarded with some exceedingly wonderful scenic outlooks, and then of course, a welcomed descent. Les led the way today, earning the nickname ‘Billy’ for his unbridled’ enthusiasm for climbing hills like a goat.
We had been warned about snakes on the track and until now had been lucky but Les did come across a big Brown on the side of the track which fortunately quickly scampered away.
We enjoyed a short break in the company of Captain Scrumpy, the guardian of an empty Treasure Chest and provider of Marmalade, Eggs and fresh water.
Captain Scrumpy is the long-time roadside creation of a local resident who provides fresh water for leg weary walkers and takes the opportunity to sell homewares including eggs and marmalade and the like
At Ryan’s Den, a crafty Raven waited for his opportunity and then swooped to swipe a packet of Ian’s Ryvita’s from his camp site - quite an impressive aerial display and one well-honed from many prior experiences I would suggest.
Today’s contribution to our ‘tips and tricks’ was another contribution from Les. Noting that our campsite was covered in quite aggressive jumping Bull Ants Les demonstrated how to use the sap from bracken ferns to treat bull ant bites; and sure enough, both Ian and Ken soon put the idea into practice as both experienced bites.
Graham appeared with a nip of Scotch each to celebrate our last night on the track, after which we enjoyed another dehydrated meal followed by another magnificent Sunset.
Strong wind gusts buffeted our little tents during the night in what was to be a precursor for the weather pattern the following day. The forecast for Thursday was for gusty northerlies and temperatures in the low 30’s - not comfortable walking.
We awoke, assessed the situation and determined that we would backtrack a little and exit the GOW via the Ryan’s Den 4WD track back up to the Great Ocean Road. A short time later we were chauffeured back to Bimbi Park to enjoy a well- earned shower and cool drink.
That night we all gathered together to exchange tall tales and enjoy stories of each other’s adventures.
The Great Ocean Walk is one of Australia’s truly iconic walks and we were fortunate to enjoy it at its best - magnificent weather, amazing walking and sea vistas to behold. Much happens over 4 days on the track and many little things go unheralded like Ken’s pending patent for ‘Sprinkles’ or Grahams words of wisdom: ‘I thought last week I would use my arms on the river and this week my legs on the track so I would get a total body workout’!!!!
Three things I did learn however:

  • I was told by my companions to make the most of my ‘on track’ leadership, as it would end on my return to base camp - and there was nothing more inevitable;
  • Graham has a penchant for French history, and particularly the French aristocracy, their excesses and champagne;
  • Is there anything Les cannot do: international diplomat, healer of wounds, snake slayer, hill summiteer, bush craftsman and much more?
I can’t recommend the walk highly enough. It is very achievable, incredibly scenic, accessible by all, and can easily be completed daily, section by section, or on track. My thanks to all my co-walkers for their good cheer, good company and generous support.
Prepared by Ian Mayer

Nov 5 - Melbourne Cup Day Walk
falls-p&wA drive through the rolling hills of Warragul, Nilma and Noojee was the start of Cup Day 2019. A group of 13 headed off, some in racing hats, on a 2.2 km circuit walk to Tooronga falls on a well-made track, some short steep hills mostly on shallow steps. An impressive, tiered waterfall, Tooronga Falls is unparalleled in its beauty,
creek2-p&w The scenery is lush green and I believe full of wildlife. The foot traffic and chatter deterred their appearance!
A Picnic lunch was taken in the Park at Noojee. Amazingly, from packs and car boots appeared table cloths, and an array of food that would rival any Melbourne Cup Day feast. Chicken sandwiches, smoked salmon, chicken salad, fruit and of course “cup cakes”. The walk participants donned hats and shared fab food in the park. The cup sweep was organised by Judy Speedy adding even more excitement to the day.
After lunch a short drive to the railway car park for a walk to Noojee Trestle Bridge. Set in beautiful tall forest, the majestic Noojee Trestle Bridge is the tallest surviving wooden trestle bridge in Victoria. The bridge is a legacy of the old railway that ran from Noojee to Warragul. It was originally constructed in 1919, but in 1939 was completely burnt down and rebuilt in the same year. An engineering feat!


Some of the group walked down the many steps to the bottom, whilst others chose enjoy the view of the bridge from on high.
A short drive to the Neerim South Hotel for afternoon tea and watching the end of the great race. Joy was the lucky winner of the sweep which capped of a great day. The combination of the walk, lunch and friends made a memorable Melbourne Cup Day 2019. Thanks to Judy Speedy - walk leader, caterer, and sweep organiser and wore an amazing hat!


Adelaide Cycle Tour - Nov 8-15


By early afternoon on Friday, 8th November, a motley crew - Ian &Val, Alan & Julie, Graham, Joe, Don, Sue, Chris & Gwen, Kerry & myself - had assembled in Windsor Gardens caravan park Adelaide, to pay tribute to our leader, Ian James, for choosing such a well-positioned park. The back gate opened directly on to the bike path. But there was a couple missing - where were George and Meg? They did turn up a little later, where it transpired that George ‘Petrolhead’ Bentley had made an exciting discovery. His vehicle actually runs well when it’s fed diesel. Who would have known?
bike2-p&web Don Creed had an enjoyable trip over listening to an audio book but couldn’t recall, when asked, what the title was. Apparently the book was about memory improvement. Stopping for morning tea, during our next day’s ride, there was a slight problem remembering to remove a cleated foot from the pedal. One can only hope that the audio book wasn’t expensive. Our Saturday ride was a 49 km. trip down the Torrens River bike path to the coast, then on to Glenelg and back to the park. After lunch we rode through the town only to have disaster strike. Glenelg still has trams. Trams mean tramlines. Tramlines hate bicycles. Sue Marriott decided to get down and personal with a particular section of line. Unfortunately she didn’t win and came off - in more ways than one - second best. Whilst feeling sorry for Sue I was especially relieved that it wasn’t Kerry, who had suffered in a similar fashion, in Glenelg, a couple of years previously. Bruised, but unbowed, Sue managed to ride home.
Sunday was originally meant to be a day of rest but, with a hot day forecast for Monday, Ian thought it would be better to swap around. So it was decided to gather at 10am to start a short ride travelling up the Torrens towards the hills. All the riders dutifully gathered, ready to go, at 9.45. The only problem - where was our esteemed leader? Nobody had seen him so, finally, Kerry knocked on his caravan door. Our less-esteemed leader was still in bed. Obviously old people shouldn’t go out at night. To regain his esteem he rapidly dressed and presented himself before the disgruntled riders could hold leadership elections. Thus we took off on a 22km ride which did involve one or two hills and some good scenery.
A ride did take place on Monday but I am unable to comment on this as I declined to take part. Tuesday was a 33 km. ride on the Amy Gillett Trail and on Wednesday we managed 50 km. on the Riesling Trail. Contrary to any mischievous scuttlebutt we did not stop at any of the wineries - although I cannot say the same for some of our non-riding companions - you know who you are!
Evening meals were taken locally at either the OG (yes, there is such a place) or Windsor hotels where local wine was partaken of, purely in the interests of the local economy. Also, not far from the park, was an adult shop though why you would want to buy an adult is beyond me.
Overall it was a great trip and thankyou to Ian James for his organizing of same. In recognition of his leadership on the rides he was presented with a bell to warn of his approach. Next time we will give him an alarm clock.
David Baggallay

Barossa Sidetrip
On the Wednesday a few of us (Julie and Allan Coulter, Joe Jans and myself) went to the Barossa for a ride instead of Port Adelaide. Starting at Nuriootpa we cruised up to Angaston through the vineyards and checked out the restored railway station. We then returned to Nuriootpa (6k return) and then rode down past Seppeltsfield to Tanunda for lunch, all on bike paths except for last bit into town .
After lunch we continued on the trail past Jacobs Creek, very windy and steep in places with switch backs to do justice to the Stelvio pass, to Rowland Flat. Time was getting on so we decided to return via Tanunda where Allan insisted on finding an icecream (very nice it was too!).
On the way home we took a small detour in the cars to the Seppeltsfield Mauseleum , see pics. P.S. it’s only a rumour Joe found a new girlfriend in the Barossa!
Graeme Clements

Greencape/Glen Boyd NP - Nov 11-19
Participants: Kate & Graeme, Jude & Max, Clive & Marg, Lee-Anne & Chris, Les & Heather, Bee, Joy and Ken.
tower-p&web After having been rescheduled the clubs visit to the Ben Boyd NP was underway and the thirteen participants spent the first day making the drive to the Wonboyn Caravan Park just over the border into NSW where we set up camp in either cabin or caravan. We then began the task of adjusting our schedule to accommodate the effects of the bushfires and resulting closure of all NSW Parks and forests to walkers. We decided to postpone the Light to Light walk to the end of the week in the hope that the parks would be open by then and spent the first two days walking around the lake at Eden on the Tuesday and then drove to Mallacoota - in Victoria and thus no Park closures! - on the Wednesday, intending to do the short Genoa Peak walk and then the longer Bucklands Jetty to Double Creek walk. Alas it seems that Parks Victoria regard tree limbs over tracks to be a risk and closed the Genoa Peak track! After much mumbling about ‘risk averse bureaucrats’ we decided to drive into town and complete our other planned walk.
Thursday and the Parks reopened and so the walk from ‘Light to Light ’began in earnest. First a drive to Boyd’s lighthouse tower where the walk began before the driver’s set off to the Saltwater campsite where we would meet the day walkers, the overnighter’s intending to camp at Mowarry Point. All went well until the drivers got an unstable phone call to say that Marg’s knees were troubling her and could we drive in to meet her at the car park near Mowarry Point, a sign to which they had just passed. So off we set but alas we were unable to find the road into said car park. So we rang NSW Parks who informed us that they had no record of such a car park but we could try talking to the local office who may know more. In the mean time more phone calls from the walkers with much confusing chatter and advice in the background. The local NP office does know about the car park and is able to tell us where the road is to get in there, but then adds that the road itself is closed and no vehicle access is available!! Marg will just have to walk out. lighthouse-p&web Back at Saltwater Bay Campsite some of the walkers have arrived, minus Les who had gone back to meet Marg who was walking with Ken. At this point Max felt he should go back and meet them ‘just in case’ and then all three would walk out. This they did in remarkably quick time - Marg’s knees having much recovered after her extended break! Many issues remain to be discussed at a future club meeting.
Friday’s walk from Saltwater Campsite to Bittangabee Bay was uneventful! The ‘overnighters’ had walked into Saltwater Camp and collected their day’s water before making their way to Hegartys Bay where they would stay overnight. The day walkers would be met at Bittangabee Bay having enjoyed a varied and much less strenuous days walk. We returned to camp and spent the evening celebrating Bee’s birthday.
Saturday was the shortest day and in many ways the least interesting as it consisted mostly of heathland but ended at the most spectacular Green Cape Lighthouse.
Overall the walk was excellent and would well repay a second visit. The vegetation and the terrain is very variable, but nowhere is it beyond the reach of the majority of club members. The area is of much interest with many aspects of Australia’s whaling industry available to be visited, in particular the museum in Eden and the Boydtown hotel where many of us enjoyed lunch at the food festival.
Many thanks to Kate and Graham for the research and work that they put in to make this a very enjoyable week.
Prepared by Clive

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Walk to Tongue Point - Tues Nov 26
On Tuesday 26 Nov, twelve of us had a very enjoyable stroll out and back to Tongue Point.
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Port Albert - Dec 2
PtAlbert2-webRobyn led us on a very lovely walk along the Old Port Trail to Port Albert. By us I mean Ilsa, Ros, Liz, Dale, Richard and myself (Joy). We headed off into the bush on a good walking track. The flora was lovely, no fauna unfortunately.
The tea tree was out and lots of pig face making a lovely carpet. Along the way there were information boards telling us about the history of the area. The now discredited Angus MacMillan was the main white explorer at the time. We arrived in Port Albert very hungry after our exercise so of course indulged in Port Albert’s famous fish and chips. Very nice they were too.
Richard and Dale had returned to pick up the vehicles, so we all piled in and headed off towards home. On the way detoured down a bush track (Pearson’s Road). If you are down that way make the turn, it’s really worth it. The most stunning vegetation. Grass trees by the hundred at all stages of growth, many in flower. Coastal banksia forests, all on the edge of farmland. The rain started on the way home, how lucky, Tuesday window in Sunday.

Tarwin River Paddle - Sun Dec 8


Participants: Avenel Casson (leader) Sue Ratcliff, Roz Spratt, and Pat Williams.
Our first official paddle with new members Avenel and Sue, a great big welcome to you both, we hope you have an exciting time with South Gippsland Walking and Adventure Club. As if on cue the howling Westerlies that had lashed our area for the last few weeks abated, leaving us with a perfect day on the river. We set out right on time and mooched up the river, chatting and enjoying the scenery, wind towers, reeds more prolific and higher than ever, a Nankeen Night Heron, and a pair of eagles. It was so nice it was almost a pity that we didn’t have any lunch with us. I was hungry so we had to turn around and head back to the jetty. After loading up we enjoyed our well earned picnic lunch on the river bank. It was nice to have Paula T join us for lunch hopefully she will come with us on future Club paddles and walks.
Thanks heaps Avenel for organising this activity. I look forward to some great paddles now we have a new “Paddle Diary” thanks again Avenel.
Members should keep an eye out for “come and try days”.

Friday 13 - Christmas Breakup & BBQ at Mirboo Recreation Reserve

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Forthcoming Events

Camel Ride and Kayak - Lakes Entrance Jan 31 - Feb 1 2020
Pat & I have booked Sat. Feb 1st to do a beach camel ride, 1 hour at a cost of $90. If anyone wishes to join us for a fun 2 days, to ride the camels (bookings via the website), or just be a spectator, you woud be most welcome.
We plan to take kayaks, drive to Lakes.Entrance on Friday morning, paddle Friday afternoon or evening and early Sat. morning. Depending on weather. Camel ride at 10.30 then home Sat. evening.
Camel website is , other ride times 11.30am, then during the afternoon. The camels are led by Russell, they are quiet & safe, Pat & I spent 5 days with these in August.
Ph. Roz 0408642358

Cycling Adventure - Brisbane Valley Rail Trail - Sunday Aug 16 to Friday Aug 21 2020
Date: 16th - 23rd August 2020
Activity: Multi day cycle
Details: Brisbane Valley Rail Trail - Queensland
Booking: May 2020
Grade: easy to challenging

Sunday 16th: Arrive and set up camp at BENARKIN Queensland.
Monday 17th:Yarraman to Benarkin return44kms
Tuesday 18th:Car shuffle to TOOGOOLAWAH., BENARKIN TO TOOGOOLWAH one way. Drivers to return to Benarkin and move caravans to Toogoolawah.51kms
Wednesday 19th:TOOGOOLAWAH to LOWOOD. Car shuffle. The first section (19 km) to ESK is very rough at the moment so could be ridden on the road or driven. ESK to LOWOOD is 36 km.55kms
Thursday 20th:LOWOOD: Rest day - visit to Wivenhoe Dam - Brisbane’s water supply
Friday 21st: LOWOOD to WULKURAKA return62kms

Benarkin - 17 Scott Street Benarkin Q - Free Settlers park. Cost: free - (2 nights)
Toogoolawah - Showground - 30 Ivory Creek Rd. Cost: low fee payable to caretaker - (1 night)
Lowood: Showground - 14 Station St. Cost: low fee payable to caretaker. - (3 nights)

Caravans, tents, RV’s suitable for this trip.
Contact: Zoe Baillie 0429 830 307

Federation Walks Weekend - 2020
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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.