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Information for Walkers (Bushwalking Victoria)

Feedback/Reporting Errors

While contributors and SGWAAC have used their best endeavours to ensure that the walk information is correct and current at the time of publication, if you identify any errors or omissions, please Notify us..

Walk Category Definitions

Short: Walk with a duration of less than 4 hours walking time

Day: Walk with a duration of 4 hours or more walking time but completed in one day

Backpack: Overnight walk where walkers are self-sufficient. Includes staying in huts where you have to carry and cook your own meals

Accommodated: Multi day walk where walkers go from one commercial accommodation venue to the next e.g. B&B's, hotels, etc. Are not self-sufficient (i.e. no tent, cooking gear, food for evening meal etc)

Walk Grade Definitions

The walk grades are provided as a guide only. A range of individual factors can affect the actual grade such as size and mix of party, individual fitness and experience levels, weather conditions.

  • Gentle: Up to 5km. On formed tracks over even and gently undulating terrain.
  • Pusher/Wheelchair: Up to 5km. On formed tracks over even and gently undulating terrain, suitable for using child carriages or wheelchairs
  • Very Easy: 5 - 8km. Walking on formed tracks through level or gently undulating terrain. Typically 8km would take 2 – 3 hours walking at a relaxed pace.
  • Easy: 8 – 12km. Walking on formed tracks through level or gently undulating terrain. Typically 12km would take 4 – 5 hours walking at a relaxed pace.
  • Medium: 10 -16km. Walking on formed or well-marked tracks. May include short off track sections and/or some climbs and descents Typically 16km would take 5- 6 hours (walking time). Applies to shorter walks in more difficult terrain and longer walks in easier terrain.
  • Hard: 12 – 20km. Walking on and off tracks through undulating terrain with sustained climbs and descents. May involve rough terrain, thick scrub and/or rock scrambling. Typically 20km would take 6 to 8 hours (walking time). Applies to walks with a shorter distance but with difficult terrain or long walks which are less difficult.
  • Experienced: As for Hard but may involve consistently difficult terrain, longer distances and/or require special knowledge of snow camping, rock scrambling, survival techniques, first-aid and navigation. 6 to 10 hours walking time.

Before your walk

Before commencing any walk, make sure you are properly prepared. For any walk in a a bush environment:

  • Wear appropriate enclosed footwear. Walking boots are not always necessary but strong and comfortable footwear can be the difference between a safe and enjoyable experience and an
  • Dress appropriately for the weather. Wear a hat with a wide brim and sunscreen in summer, and in winter wear several layers of clothing rather than a thick layer as you can then add or remove a layer as you warm up and cool down. If rain is possible, wear or carry a coat. In wet and cold conditions do not wear cotton clothing e.g. jeans as cotton is a very poor insulator when wet.
  • Carry sufficient water. At least one litre per person per day in temperate weather conditions. At least 2 litres per person per day in hot weather.
  • Before any walk in a bush environment ensure you advise someone responsible of your plans - see below for more on this topic.
  • If your planned walk is in a national or state park or area managed by the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), check the latest conditions on the Parks Victoria or DSE web site.  For all walks on this site we have included a link to the relevant information.
  • In autumn and spring DSE conducts planned burning across Victoria to reduce bushfire fuel in public forests and parks. Find out when and where planned burns are happening on the DELWP website or call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667. The Vic Emergency app also provides timely and accurate bushfire information to mobile devices, including where planned burns are currently in progress. The App is available for Apple and Android devices.

Before entering a wilderness environment

Plan your trip– Research your trip to obtain as much information as possible about your intended walk.

Know your limitations- Physical, medical, experience, skills for area. Travel within your ability and knowledge.

Have a trip intention plan– Fill out trip intentions books (provided at some trail heads and in most huts) if available. Notify your contact person if you change your plans.

Water– Always carry sufficient water for your trip – day and overnight trips. Carry more water than you'll need, plan for emergencies. Stay hydrated and do not rely on creeks unless you have reliable information.

Food – As with water, carry sufficient for trip and pack extra in case of emergencies.

Clothing – Dress for conditions, bring extra and have wet weather clothing available. Always have enough to cover you for the worst-case scenario. Weather conditions in wilderness environments are sometimes unpredictable.

Equipment – Always have a map and compass. GPS and mobile phones help but they do not replace experience.

Weather – Always check a current weather report but do not rely on it. Plan for the worst-case scenario by carrying extra food, water, clothing and equipment.

Common factors which contribute to persons becoming lost

(There is usually a combination of the below factors which result in problems occurring)

  • Planning, Lack of planning or no planning of trip
  • Terrain, hazards such as cliffs, rivers which may delay or cause injury
  • Weather, poor weather in area leading to hypothermia or hyperthermia
  • Equipment, poor equipment – failure of or inappropriate for area or weather conditions
  • Ability, Over confident - skill ability not proven for particular terrain
  • Decision making, lack of leadership within party – leading to poor decisions.
  • Fatigue, leading to poor decisions or injury
  • Physical ability, poor physical condition
  • Lack of food or water, contributing to fatigue and poor decision making
  • Medical, pre-existing or accident during trip
  • Technology, over reliance on technology e.g. GPS flat batteries/mobile phones – no coverage
  • Underestimating route, causing delay and/or unable to identify terrain hazards
  • No map/compass, contributing to disorientation of person/s


  • Stop and think. Stay calm
  • Re-check navigation and map
  • Retrace steps a short distance may assist. Locate your last known point if possible
  • Gain some height as this may assist in orientation
  • If above does not help STAY WHERE YOU ARE.
  • Find shelter stay warm and dry.
  • Attempt to make your position visible to searchers on land and in the air e.g. light a fire if safe to do so, or bright clothing in open area that can be seen by air searchers.
  • If you are in a group stay together, never separate.
  • Be aware it can take a considerable time for rescuers to reach you so your priority is to remain warm and dry, ration your food and water if necessary.

If you are lost or require help call 000