About BBC

Club activities

The main Club activities are day walks, overnight walks and base camps. These are supplemented by  cycling, canoeing and some social activities.

The Club encourages its members to attain and improve skills associated with bushwalking and leadership. Areas of development include first aid and navigation courses.

The Club has a mentor system whereby potential leaders are teamed with experienced leaders who will guide them through the procedures of organising their first walks.

Booking on activities

Take a look at the Trips Program to see what walks are coming up. Book early to avoid disappointment, as many walks fill quickly.
Note that on the My Account page of the BBC website you can subscribe to be notified by email as soon as walks are listed

Limitations on numbers apply for all trips. Participants must contact the leader by 9 pm on the Tuesday before the walk to confirm (or cancel) your attendance and to make transport/rendezvous arrangements. Don't expect the leader to hold your place on a walk if you don't contact them by this time.

If you are new to bushwalking read the section on this page about Trip Grading and look at the Equipment page to see what equipment you need.

Most trips are by private transport. Please inform the leader when booking if you require or can offer transport. Petrol cost is shared between passengers and driver at the rate of 2 x cost of petrol divided between number of people in the car. If public transport is used, details will be advised by the leader.

There are two ways in which you can book on an activity. Both rely on you giving the leader adequate notice. The notice required varies between activities and leaders, but should be no less than 5 days.

Booking online

Choose the trip that you wish to participate in. Click on the Title of the trip to get more detailed information about the trip. Click Return to go back to the list of trips. If you have any questions discuss them with the leader by telephone or email.
Click on the icon that looks like 'writing on a list' just to the left of the brief trip description on the list of trips. Specify which members are to be booked onto the trip, and click Next. Your contact details will be retrieved from the BBC database to be sent to the trip leader. You should indicate if you would like transport in someone else’s car or if you can offer transport to other people. Then click Next again. On the next page you can optionally add a comment for the leader, and finally don't forget to click Submit to make your booking.

Booking by telephone

Telephone the leader (before 9:00pm please) if you are unable to book online.

Further guidelines

  • Check with the leader the type of terrain and conditions that you are likely to encounter, e.g. steep hills, off track, distance. Carefully consider the grading of the walk and whether it is suited to your capabilities.
  • Inform the leader of any medical condition which may affect your ability to complete the walk.
  • Discuss with the leader your need to share a tent or other equipment.
  • Ensure that you are adequately equipped with stout and comfortable footwear, waterproofs, and clothing to suit the conditions that could prevail.
  • Make sure that your Emergency Contact is informed of the Club Contact's number and the details of the location of the walk and your estimated time of arrival back home.
  • All participants are required to remain with the group throughout the walk/activity unless otherwise advised by the leader and to comply with the leader's instructions at all times.
  • People who book on walks and but fail to turn up will soon earn a reputation and may be rejected by walk leaders.
  • Book early to avoid disappointment and to assist the leader.
  • If you are unable to attend an already-booked activity please notify the leader as soon as possible. Also contact your passengers if you were driving or the driver if you were a passenger. Refunds of deposits paid are not guaranteed.
  • It is often worthwhile booking on a waitlist, particularly for base camps that are several months off and particularly if you will be able to participate at short notice.
  • Leaders often wait for 15 minutes at the agreed meeting place but have no obligation to wait for latecomers. So be early!

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Walk grades

Walks are graded using the criteria shown in the matrix below. The overall walk grading is determined by the maximum grade over the six grading elements (distance, total uphill, gradients, steps, path quality and experience required). However, a hybrid grade may be used at the discretion of the leader, if no more than 2 of the grading elements are graded higher than the base grade. E.g. a walk may be graded M/H if no more than 2 of the grading elements are graded H and the rest are graded M or less.

  Distance km Total Uphill Gradients Steps Path quality Experience Required
S Less than 10 Less than 150m No steeper than 10% (5.7°). "Gentle Hills" Occasional steps Well formed tracks No experience required
E Between 10 and 14 Between 150m and 300m Generally no steeper than 10% (5.7°). "Gentle Hills". Some steps Generally formed tracks Some experience required
M Between 14 and 20 Between 300m and 600m May exceed 10% for short sections; generally less than 20% (11.3°). "Short steep hills" Steps may be common Generally formed tracks, may be some rough surfaces, including off-track in open forest Bushwalking experience recommended
H Between 20 and 30 Between 600m and 1500m. May have arduous climbs and may have long steep sections greater than 10%. "Very Steep". May be long distances using steps Rough and rocky tracks may be common, including off-track through thick scrub. Diverse bushwalking experience recommended
X More than 30 More than 1500m     Difficult terrain Special knowledge & experience required.

The following table shows the general description for the overall grades for a walk.

Short S A walk with gentle undulations up to 10km on well formed tracks.
Easy E Gently undulating terrain up to 14 km per day on formed tracks.
Medium M Sustained climbs and/or descents up to 600m. May be some off track. Distances of less than 20 km per day.
Hard H Consistent walking, moderate to hard ups and downs, medium scrub and forest walking off and on tracks.
Experienced X Hard consistent walking in difficult terrain. Special knowledge and experience required.

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Cycling grades
Grading Code Description
Easy E Beginners, low fitness, up to 25km, max speed 20kph, usually on flat ground, always off roads, on bike trails and paths.
Medium M Average experience and fitness, up to 50km, to a max speed of 28kph, including terrain with a number of hills, can incorporate some road riding or significant unsealed gravel trail surfaces.
Hard H Higher experience and fitness, up to 85km to a max speed of 38kph, includes hilly terrain, road use, may not include bike lanes and may be remote from support or transport.
Experienced X Very experienced and fit riders, over 85km with speeds exceeding 38kph, nearly always on roads, bike lanes may not be available.

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Club etiquette

We all love to walk, so those who lead our walks and run our bushwalking club are pretty important people, as they enable us to do what we love. The club is dependent on walk leaders for the preparation and organisation of the walks and to ensure that things go smoothly on the walk day. But walkers are important, too.  They can contribute to the success of a walk by supporting walk leaders in many ways.

Travel arrangements

The Club tries hard to keep walkers' costs down by asking leaders to arrange car-pooling. However, this is dependent on walkers being prepared to offer lifts to other walkers, at least some of the time. You can help out by offering to drive too.

If you have arranged to drive with a friend, please tell the leader early, before car-pooling arrangements  are worked out.

If you have requested a lift, remember that it is your responsibility to contact the allocated driver to finalise travel arrangements, after you have confirmed the walk. Get your driver's phone number from the leader and ring him/her yourself. Remember, too, that drivers often have a long, responsible drive to and from the walk, so be helpful and offer to meet at the driver's house to make things a little easier all around. Remember to take appropriate cash so you can give the driver the exact amount for your fuel contribution.

If you have offered to drive, take down all the travel and meeting details carefully, so that you can work out what time you need to leave home to arrive at the walk on time. Above all, make sure you take all this information with you in the car, so you can find the meeting place easily.

Cancel early

If you are unable to walk, please cancel as early as possible, especially if you have offered to drive, so that the leader can re-organise the car-pooling, and offer your position to someone else. If for some reason you need to cancel from many trips, use the My Bookings section of the website to help ensure that you haven't forgotten any.

Confirm on time

It is really important to confirm a walk on time, either by email or by telephoning between 7:00pm and 9:00 pm on the Monday or Tuesday before the walk, unless the leader advises otherwise. For example, you may have to confirm earlier than this for some mid-week walks.

After the confirmation time the leader will allocate unconfirmed positions to anyone on the waiting list. After this, the leader has limited time to get the list of walkers, map and other details to the Club's emergency contact. So do your bit to help and confirm early.

Late cancellations or re-arrangements

If you do have to cancel or change your walk plans at the last minute, make sure you ring the leader, your driver and the Club's emergency contact to let them know you cannot walk. Late cancellations may require changes in travel arrangements, and the emergency contact has to be notified to cross your name off the list.

Phone calls

Leaders have to make a lot of phone calls. If you can't get hold of a leader, and need to leave a message, please don't expect them to ring you back. Leave your number, with a brief message, but say you'll call again. It is your responsibility to contact them, not vice versa.

After the walk

When the walk has finished, don't forget to thank the leader before you leave, and let them know how much you enjoyed the walk. It's little things like that that make the leader's job worthwhile. People like to read about walks in the BBC News, so volunteer to write a report for the leader.

The black lists

No we don't have them, but inconsiderate people are sometimes discussed at leaders' meetings. Names mentioned are usually those people who sign on but never ring the leader to confirm, cancel or apologise for forgetting to do either. Others are those who don't participate fairly in the travel pooling, that is they are happy to ask for and accept a lift, but never offer to drive and give lifts to others, even though they have a car. If all walkers help out, even occasionally, it makes life easier all around.

The moral

The BBC is a club of people with a common interest - walking - and it is essential that members support members, whether walking, leading or managing the club. The BBC is a voluntary organisation, and all the work leaders do for the club is in their own time. The best way to ensure that the club works for you is to support the leaders who make our walks possible.

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The club aims and purposes

The purposes for which the Bayside Bushwalking Club Inc. was formed are:

  1. to promote recreational walking and allied activities.
  2. to encourage a wider appreciation and better understanding of the wildlife and natural assets and to assist in their preservation.
  3. to encourage participation in the recreational activities in safety and with due consideration for others and the environment.

Take a minute to consider the three statements. The first allows us to be involved in a wide range of activities allied to recreational walking. The Club takes full account of this in planning activities for its members. However the statement stipulates that we promote recreational activities, not necessarily within the limited boundaries of our Club, but within the wider community.

The second challenges us to develop an understanding of our natural assets through our activities. To fully appreciate these resources, we need to study them, their interactions, and their frailties. In exercising our right to utilise these resources, we accept the responsibility for their preservation.

The third, ties together the other two adding the requirement that all activities must be carried out safely. We are not the only users of these resources and whilst we expect consideration from other recreational users, we must also consider their rights. Both our rights and those of others to use these resources must be balanced against the long term preservation of the environment.

The Statement of Purposes carries a significant responsibility for both the members and committee. Consider them carefully and test your motives and actions to see if they meet the Statements criteria.

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How the club operates

The Club is run by a Committee of 10, which is elected at the Annual General Meeting in May. The Committee meets monthly and has the following sub-committees: day walks, overnight walks, the newsletter, finance, search and rescue, special activities as appropriate.

At the monthly Club meetings the "walks programme" is discussed and normally a guest speaker is organised to speak on an issue of interest.

BBC is a member of Bushwalking Victoria. Bushwalking Victoria represents bushwalker interests in discussions with government bodies, organises Club insurance, is active in outdoor education, and the organisation of bush search and rescue.

Members leading walks and other activities do so on a voluntary basis and may use their discretion to decline any person's request to attend. The Committee invites all Club members to participate in the voluntary organisation of Club activities.

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Club communications

The Club produces a monthly newsletter called "BBC News" which is emailed to all members. This lists the forthcoming activities, has trip reports by members and articles on issues of general interest to bushwalkers. You are encouraged to contribute. We are always looking for fresh ideas and lively, informative articles. Contributions for the next Newsletter should be emailed to the Editor at least two weeks prior to the next meeting, or given to the Editor on the Club night prior to publication or even sent via the P0 Box in time for the relevant Newsletter. Contact details will be found on this website.

The program of activities is discussed at each monthly meeting together with general business and news items.

There is also an opportunity for members to raise any matters of interest or relevance to the Club at Club meetings.

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Club Emergency Contact System

The Club Emergency Contact (CEC) System has two objectives:

  • To provide a contact point for friends/relatives on the day(s) of the walk or activity, for inquiries about a walk group that is overdue.
  • To follow a predetermined system should the leader not phone in or the party not return as arranged.

The CEC System may not apply to urban walks.

The system is not intended to be a means of contact from family to individual members of a walk party for social reasons or even family emergency situations. Usually there is little chance of contact being made during an activity. The most a CEC can be expected to do is pass on a message when the leader phones in. At this stage the walk will be officially completed, and the party may have dispersed.

Walkers must instruct their emergency contact that if they do not return by the time advised to ring the Club Contact for information.

The Club Contact is responsible for advising the police that a search may be needed and acts on behalf of the Committee in any briefing required.

Current Emergency Contacts are listed in the BBC Newsletter and this website.

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Insurance and personal risk

Members are covered by the Bushwalking Victoria's Public Liability and Personal Accident Insurance scheme. However, no BBC activity is covered by Ambulance insurance. If you wish Ambulance insurance or more extensive Personal Accident Insurance you should take out your own policies.

Bushwalking and other Club activities carry their own particular risks, be they from 'slipperies' (wet rocks, logs, ice) and falls, or whatever.

Walkers attend Club activities at their own risk.

Members are responsible for their own safety.

No responsibility will be accepted for loss or damage of participants' belongings.

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Membership fees

Current annual fees Single Family
Standard $55 $110
Concession $50 $100
Dual club $30 $60

Fees are due on the 1st Aug each year. The Club membership year is from 1st Aug to 31st Jul.

You are entitled to concession rates if you hold a Health Card or Pension Card (not Seniors Card).

Dual club membership rates are applicable to members who are also in another club and pay their BWV insurance with that club.

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