Going Solar is organising and sponsoring the inaugural 2016 Melbourne Walking Festival / Victorian Walking Festival. A Walking Festival brings together in one program various walks from different sectors – urban walks, historical walks, food walks, bush walks, etc – for a set period, in this case the whole month of April and the first week May.
The program can be found on the Going Solar Home Page or click onto the Festival Website http://victorianwalkingfestival.com.au/ Dowload the pdf for the full walks program. There are over 70 different guided walks.
I asked the Lord Mayor of Melbourne to introduce the Walking Festival:
MESSAGE FROM THE LORD MAYOR OF MELBOURNE
Lace up your sneakers for a walking festival like no other!
The inaugural Victorian Walking Festival offers an action-packed program filled with a range of fun activities for all ages and abilities.
From urban walks, historical walks, food walks, bush walks and much more, walking enthusiasts are invited to unite for five weeks of walking fun around the city and across the state.
Here in Melbourne, there are plenty of opportunities for you to discover the city on foot. Explore our historic lanes and arcades, sample the delights of Lygon Street, take a tour of Flagstaff Gardens and you can ‘Really Get to Know Federation Square’! There’s something for everyone.
Congratulations to Going Solar for creating this fantastic festival. It’s time to pound the pavement or traverse the grass of the world’s most liveable city.
Stephen Ingrouille, cente, in the City Square (Photo: The Age, Luis Ascui)
Jason Dowling writes in The Age (8/4/16):
"What is Victoria's most neglected form of transport yet the most accessible and common? I'll give you a clue: look down. While debate rages around public transport, roads and cycling safety, little attention is given to walking. But that's changing.
"Mr Ingrouille said there were some fantastic walking tracks in outer Melbourne – "much of Melbourne is quite spectacular". A hard urban walk he suggested was the 'City by the Yarra River' tour. The three-hour walk costs $40 and is organised by No Fixed Address, an organisation that helps marginalised and disadvantaged people find employment through organising walking tours. Mr Ingrouille said the easiest introduction to bush walking is probably 'Bridges, Bats and Birds in Yarra Bend (Studley Park)', which is also free and takes about two and a half hours. 'For a longer bush walk I'd nominate Tallarook State Forest – Warragul Rocks in the Seymour area. The walk costs about $35 (including bus) and takes about seven hours.' Mr Ingrouille said walking should be encouraged for both physical and mental health reasons. 'I am trying to get people to think about walking ... I think it can be addictive,' he said.
"Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has backed the festival. 'Melbourne is a walking city: within our CBD 86 per cent of all trips are on foot,' the lord mayor said. He said the council has a Walking Plan and 'pedestrian activity benefits our economy as walkers are more likely to stop, linger and eat or shop at our businesses ... walking is good for the body, good for the hip pocket and good for our economy'.
"The festival comes as the pedestrian lobby becomes more vocal about the need for more footpaths and walking tracks. ... VicHealth chief executive Jerril Rechter said physical activity can help to prevent chronic disease, increase health and fitness, reduce risks of mortality, increases social networks and boosts mental health and wellbeing. She said less than a third of Australians are getting enough daily physical activity and walking should be encouraged.
"For more information on walks go to victorianwalkingfestival.com.au "