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Shoalhaven Bushwalkers Inc.

PO Box 403
Nowra NSW 2541

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Information for New Members

New and potential members of the Shoalhaven Bushwalkers, as well as the older members, should be aware of all the items shown below (including linked items) ...

The Club
Shoalhaven Bushwalkers Inc. is a bushwalking club based in the beautiful Shoalhaven region on the south coast of New South Wales which is centred in Nowra - approximately 160 kms south of Sydney. The club is a non-political, community group affiliated with Bushwalking NSW. The club has a "live" program (unavailable to the public) of weekend walks, Wednesday walks (the main walking day for most club members) and social events, and also produces an e-newsletter containing various articles, walk reports and photographs.

Club News - don't miss out!
Keep up to date with club activities by regularly reading the News on the club's live walks program which can be found in the Members Only area of the website. This area is password protected. You will be advised of the password when you become a member.

You can expect ...
• a program of walks ranging in difficulty from easy to very hard
• a variety of social activities
• membership of Bushwalking NSW
• insurance cover by the Bushwalking NSW Insurance policy
• the use of risk management procedures developed by Bushwalking NSW
• opportunities to acquire navigation and leadership skills
• membership of a group committed to protecting the environment
• access to the club library containing many bushwalking-related books
• to meet people from 18 to 80+ from many walks of life with a common interest in the outdoors

The Club expects you ...
• to walk safely following the club's Walker Responsibilities
• to take up the opportunities to acquire navigation and leadership skills
• to contribute by eventually suggesting new walks and/or leading walks
• to contribute to the club in other ways if you are unwilling or unable to lead walks
• to support the Club in protecting the environment

The Club is run on a completely voluntary basis. It does not exist to put on walks for its members, but rather to bring like-minded individuals together with the expectation that each will eventually make a contribution to the running of the club - whether it be as a walk leader, committee member, guest speaker at general meetings, report writer, track notes compiler (or a combination of some or all of these).

Prior to their first walk, potential members should read and understand the club's Walker Responsibilities which can be found here. They should also be aware of our Walk Gradings to ensure they are capable of completing the walk they choose.

In addition, potential members should print the first page of our membership form and bring it along to their first three walks to be signed by the leaders if the walks are completed successfully. The membership form can be found here - MEMBERSHIP FORM.

Potential members should ring the leaders of their first three walks beforehand, to find out what the walk will be like and what is expected of them. This also gives the leader the opportunity to find out whether you are capable of completing the walk successfully, ensuring that the walk is not adversely affected.

Those interested in joining the club will be invited to participate in three walks before committing themselves to membership. An annual fee plus a joining fee is then payable. The Joining Fee is $10. The annual fee is $30. Members of other clubs affiliated with the confederation receive a discount off their annual subscription and pay only $10 per year. The club currently has approximately 210 members. The club is also a group member of YHA Australia.

Attending Walks
If you would like to attend a club walk as a potential member, please read our Walker Responsibilities page (click here) and this page thoroughly before emailing a request for our current walks program to our club secretary at

Wednesday Walks
Mid-week walks are held every Wednesday, and constitute the club's main activities. There are usually three to five different walks available to suit all standards of walker. Each walk is graded according to a system based on its distance and difficulty, which is described on our Walk Gradings page.

Morning Tea
Morning tea is a tradition within the Shoalhaven Bushwalkers, and if a leader has not called for a morning tea stop by 10:30am there will be grumbling in the ranks. If there is no morning tea stop by 11am the leader risks open insurrection. No leader has ever survived past 11:30am without stopping for morning tea. Most people bring a thermos of hot water, plus tea, coffee, sweeteners of their choice, and a piece of cake or something similar. Up-market bushwalkers bring a latte or two ...

Weekend Walks
The weekend walks may involve a single day walk or an overnight camp. Those attending weekend walks are required to contact the leader to register by the Monday prior to the walk. Walk leaders have the discretion to limit the number of people who may participate in particular activities and to set the standard of fitness and experience which may be required. It is the responsibility of each member to ensure that he or she is able to cope with an activity before participating.

Submitting Walks
The program is dependent on club members submitting walks they would like to lead to our various walks coordinators, depending on the type of walk. We have three Wednesday walk coordinators and one Weekend Walk coordinator - see our Walk Coordinators page. The four types of Wednesday walks are loosely defined as Andante (an easy walk at a leisurely pace), On Track (longer, easy to medium walks on tracks), Hybrid (a mixture of on-track and off-track walking over rougher terrain) and Off Track (walks in areas where there are no tracks). In 2015 the Hybrid and Off Track walks were combined under one coordinator (HOT walks) due to a decline in the number of walkers wanting (or able) to do these harder walks.

Our Walking Program
The walking program is organised on a seasonal basis, with walks requested in the final month of each season. Leaders should get walks to their coordinators by the first week of November, the first week of February, the first week of May and the first week of August. Coordinators should input their programs to the live walks program via the online form or by directly accessing the walks program Google sheet as soon as their program is finalized, and certainly before the beginning of each season.

Walk Leaders
Each walk leader has the final decision on whether or not a person is capable of doing his/her walk. The Club encourages any club member who wishes to become a walk leader. New walk leaders will be backed up by at least one experienced walk leader, and will be provided with a copy of the Club's current leadership guidelines. The Club will endeavour to provide opportunities for leadership training.

Walk leaders may change walks without notice or cancel walks altogether if dictated by the weather or other outside factors. If in doubt, phone the leader prior to the walk or check the website.

Car Sharing Cost
The car sharing cost is determined by the committee and is based on a cents value for each kilometre that each passenger travels, with the total cost rounded up or down to the nearest dollar. As at 1st January 2009, the value was 10c per kilometre. Example: The distance from Nowra to the Steamers Beach carpark is 39.27km, giving a round trip of 78.54km. At 10c per kilometre, the cost per passenger is $7.85, which is then rounded up to $8.00. The cost can be reduced by mutual agreement for longer trips ie. outside the Shoalhaven. The rationale behind the Car Sharing Cost value can be found here.

Walkers must be 18 years of age or older. While we would like to encourage children to bushwalk, restrictions placed upon us by our insurer make this extremely difficult.

General Meetings
We have four General Meetings a year - one in each season. The Annual General Meeting takes place in August (first Thursday) and is held at the CWA Rooms in Berry Street, Nowra, starting at 7.30pm. The summer General Meeting takes place at the Big Day Out (usually the first Wednesday in February) - the Big Day Out launches the club's walking program for the new year. The other two General Meetings are held in association with club social days at the beginning of the winter and summer walking programs - dates and venues advised via the News on the club's website. All members are encouraged to attend the General Meetings.

Committee Meetings
Committee Meetings are held at the Nowra Library at 4.00pm. Dates are advised via the News on the club's website. Committee meetings may be attended by any club member.

The Navigation Shield Rogaine
The "Nav Shield" is an annual rogaining event run by the BWRS (Bushwalker Wilderness Rescue Squad) normally held in bushland within 200kms of Sydney - the exact location is kept secret until about a week prior to the event. In the one day event, teams of two to four must plan their own route to as many checkpoints as they can reach between 8:45am and 7:30pm on the Saturday (two hours after dark!). In the two day event (the actual Navigation Shield event) the team must consist of four people, carrying overnight gear. It starts at the same time as the one day event, and it finishes at 2pm on the Sunday. The Shoalhaven Bushwalkers club subsidizes all entry fees for members for the Nav Shield (and 50% of other rogaine entry costs for one rogaine per year - i.e. full entry cost if you go in the Nav Shield, half entry cost if another rogaining event is the only one you participate in for that year).

Every person participating in a club walk does so as a volunteer in every respect and as such accepts full responsibility for personal injury to himself or herself, however incurred. Shoalhaven Bushwalkers Inc., its office-bearers and walk leaders cannot accept liability in regard to injury or damage sustained by any person participating in a club walk. In addition, Shoalhaven Bushwalkers Inc. cannot accept liability for members of the public who attempt non-club walks based on any information found on this web-site.

Club members should also take a look at the following links -

Personal Accident Insurance
Theatre Nights
The Club Library
The Club Committee
Walk Program Coordinators
Club Equipment
First Aid Information