Launceston Walking Club gives a new take on Tasmania

HEADY HEIGHTS: Walkers from the Launceston Walking Club on the summit of the Blade in Tasmania's south. Picture: Ian Ross

HEADY HEIGHTS: Walkers from the Launceston Walking Club on the summit of the Blade in Tasmania's south. Picture: Ian Ross

The feeling of elation at reaching a summit, the thrill of a mountain bike descent or the wonder of discovering an entire world underground while caving; the Launceston Walking Club is founded on experiences like these.  

Formed in 1946 the club is going as strong as ever, boasting about 200 members. 

Club president Carolyn Farrar said getting out of town regularly with the club is a good release to “get away from it all”.

The camaraderie of the bushwalking club is certainly very enticing, pretty much everyone who joins the walking club has got a bit of a common purpose. - Carolyn Farrar

“The camaraderie of the bushwalking club is certainly very enticing, pretty much everyone who joins the walking club has got a bit of a common purpose,” she said. 

“They obviously enjoy the outdoors, they like to keep fit and like to experience what Tasmania has to offer and it’s a lovely way to get to see parts of Tasmania that you wouldn't otherwise get to see.”

For Ms Farrar much of the enjoyment of the walk is not the destination, it’s the joy of getting there. 

“It’s lovely to know that everything you’ve got on your back is all you’ve got to keep yourself safe and well while you're out and if something does happen, like if the weather changes or something untoward happens in the group, at least you know you’ve got the equipment to make it safe,” she said. 

“It’s not just about getting to the destination, it’s actually the process of the journey of the walk which is something I personally really like about bushwalking.”

The club runs multiple trips each weekend for the adventurous and those who just want to get out and explore Tasmania. 

Their program of events includes everything from bushwalking, to road and mountain biking, to kayaking, to caving with activities for people with a range of skill and experience. 

GLOWING: Denison Crags in Tasmania's north east. Picture: Rolfe de la Monte

GLOWING: Denison Crags in Tasmania's north east. Picture: Rolfe de la Monte

The local knowledge held by the members of the club about the hidden tracks, trails, nooks and crannies in the state allows for some truly unique experiences not readily available. 

“It’s quite amazing, I feel lucky when I got on walks with some of our members they tell you a lot about the history of the area,” Ms Farrar said. 

The experience of those in the club also provides ample opportunity to upskill in areas like navigation, self sufficiency and off-track walking. 

The bushwalking scene has changed considerably since the club’s inception over 70 years ago.

“It was just amazing to see what kind of gear people used years ago, they'd have their heavy canvas backpacks with the H-frame on them and they’d have their moleskins and their woolen jumpers and big leather anoraks,” Ms Farrar said. 

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