Looking to Join Us?

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I’m interested, but not yet sure about joining – what is the next step?

You will need to come on 3 walks as a Visitor before applying to join the club. This gives you the opportunity to see whether you enjoy walking with the group and whether you think the club is for you.

To get started, check out the 6-months Program on the website. Also read the full description of the Walk gradings and think carefully about these in relation to walks you have recently been doing.  

If you see a walk that interests you and you believe is the right grade for you, contact our friendly Membership Secretary at gbushinfo@gmail.com and introduce yourself to the club. They will respond, ask you to provide proof of double COVID vaccination, and send you a Visitor Form. 

In the meantime, also check out our FAQs Club Culture for more information about how our walks operate and some tips to help you fit in with the group!

What is the reason for having a Visitor Form?

Firstly, it has a few questions about your bushwalking experience, your walking gear, and any conditions you have that may limit your walking. When you contact a leader about coming on a walk, you must provide them with this information – either in your email or over the phone. This helps the walk leader to match people to their ability, giving walkers the best possible start with the club.

Secondly, there is a space on the form for you to keep a brief record of your 3 Visitor walks, including the name of the walk leader, the date of the walk and the walk grade. Do look after this form, as after completing your 3 Visitor walks it will be needed when you apply to join the club.

Thirdly, bushwalking does carry a risk of personal injury. When you join your Visitor walks, we require your signature of acceptance of this risk, that you take responsibility for your actions and that you agree to abide by the Club’s policies and procedures. The Visitor Form has some related background information you should read before your walk.

How do I sign up for my Visitor walks?

The Membership secretary will have provided you with a copy of the Newsletter containing more information about the walk(s) you are interested in. This information will include contact details for the walk leader. At least a week before each walk, you should get in touch with the walk leader and ask to join their walk. 

Also, always provide the leader with your mobile contact number up front. This is essential in case the leader needs to contact you at short notice before the walk. Even if you have walked with them before, many leaders choose not to save this kind of personal information.


When you do contact the walk leader, remember that you must give them the details of your background experience and any health issues that may impact your walking. This will help the walk leader assess your capability and decide whether the walk is a good choice for you. If a leader has concerns about your ability to participate, they may suggest you tackle a less challenging walk. 

There are limited numbers on some walks, so first in best dressed!

If you are an NDIS participant (or Support Worker) and club membership will form part of a support plan, you must contact the Club’s Disability Liaison Person at secretary.geelongbc@gmail.com for guidance prior to signing up for a Visitor walk.

In addition to the Visitor Form, is there any other paperwork I will need to fill out?

The Membership secretary will also provide you with an Emergency Information  Walker form. We expect all walkers to fill this out and carry it in an easily accessible pocket in their daypack. The form will only be retrieved by the walk leader in an emergency. Many club members keep the form in a waterproof sleeve in their daypack, even when they are not out walking with the club. This ensures they always have it on a walk.

Each walker is also expected to have set up available Emergency SOS features, including emergency contacts (ICE) and essential medical information, on the lock screen of their smartphone.

On walk day, you will also be asked to sign an Acknowledgement of Risk. This is to indicate that you have read and understood the Awareness of Risk section on your Visitor Form, as well as considered the risks before choosing to sign.

I have no experience with bushwalking - may I still join the club?

You are welcome to apply to join the club, even if you are inexperienced in bushwalking. However, you must limit yourself to Easy walks (these are usually held on Tuesdays and sometimes on Thursdays) until you build up your skills and walking fitness.

I have no proper bushwalking gear - can I still join the club?

You are welcome to apply to join the club, but in the interests of your own safety and enjoyment – as well as that of the group – you will need to invest in some basic items. At the very least, you will require rubber-soled walking shoes or boots, a waterproof jacket, a backpack, and the ability to carry at least 1 and preferably 2 litres of water.

Do I have to pay for my 3 Visitor walks?

Visitors and Members do not pay for walks.

However, if your walk includes a car shuffle, a reimbursement fee is paid by passengers to the driver. The amount is set each year by the Club Committee and is shared between the passengers. 

I am signed up for my first Visitor walk – what else do I need to bring with me?

Rubber soled walking shoes or boots, a waterproof jacket, backpack and at least 1 litre (preferably 2 for longer walks or warmer weather) of water are always required. Generally, dress for the weather. Natural and synthetic fabrics each have their advantages, but denim jeans are highly unsuitable for bushwalking. Several light adjustable layers of clothing are preferable to fewer layers of thick fabric.

Additional items include morning tea/lunch/snacks according to the walk, and personal First Aid Kit plus medications. Depending on conditions, sunhat, sunscreen, and insect repellent may also be carried.

If you will be travelling to and from the walk start in another walker’s vehicle then, as a courtesy, wear normal shoes for that journey and carry your walk boots in a separate water (and mud) proof bag.

A more comprehensive list is available at What to bring on a day walk.

How do I get to the start of the walk?

You will be given details of the meeting time and place in advance by the walk leader. Each walker is responsible for getting themselves to the meeting place and back home again. 

Ridesharing is sometimes arranged by club walkers on an informal basis, with any reimbursement arrangement made being between them and their driver.  As you walk with the club and get to know people in the group, it will likely become easier for you to participate in ridesharing.

Do “day walks” last all day?

Walks vary in duration depending on length and degree of difficulty. Generally, Easy walks may take around 3hrs with harder walks up to 8hrs.

I have completed my 3 Visitor walks, so what happens now?

We hope that you will have enjoyed your 3 Visitor walks and decided that the club is for you. If so, please forward a copy of your Visitor Form (with your 3 Visitor walk records) to the Membership Secretary gbushinfo@gmail.com and request a Membership Application Form!

What is the membership fee and what does it cover?

The fee for the 2023/24 financial year is $30. This provides you with a monthly Newsletter by email, access to the Members section of the club website, loan of club equipment, membership of Bushwalking Victoria, and insurance cover (Public Liability, Association and Personal Accident) for club activities. You are also eligible to receive discounts at some Outdoor stores.

Please note that members should consider taking out their own membership of Ambulance Victoria. This is because any Ambulance transport fees would likely exceed the benefit limit in the Club’s Personal Accident Policy.