Permanent Trails (previously called year round walks) are designated walking routes that may be walked at any time by individuals or groups. They generally showcase areas of particular interest or beauty, and are ideal for visitors to get an appreciation of the local area. All Permanent Trails are managed centrally by AussieWalk in Canberra with maps and directions available via the AussieWalk website.
All of the Permanent Trails are run on a “all care but no responsibility” basis, with the walker agreeing that he/she participates voluntarily and at his/her own risk. The cost of all the Permanent Trails is $5/walk for adults ($1 for under 10s and $2 for 10-17 year olds) for those wishing to obtain the IVV credit (by applying the IVV stamp to their IVV Distance and/or Event Record Book(s) after they have completed the walk).
Visiting IVV walkers may choose to get their books stamped:
- in person (if visiting Canberra),
- by mail (send to AussieWalk IVV, with a stamped self addressed return envelope)
- by paying online – coming soon (AussieWalk will mail you a stamped insert card)
Please ensure you clearly identify the walk/s you completed, together with the distance claimed. Some permanent trails have different walk options and distances. Insert cards may also be used if you do not wish to mail your books. Please include a contact email address and you will then be advised when your books have been stamped and returned.
The map provides an overview of where each of the walks are located. Links to a PDF version of the walk description and maps are included below.
For Smart Phone & GPS users
We also have the routes available for you to download to your device. This provides an added level of comfort to you when a street sign go missing, or you head off the designated route for a coffee stop etc. If you are unfamiliar with uploading GPX files to your device, scroll down for instructions and suggested applications – give it a try, it is not too complicated, and may even revolutionise your walking experience. However, it is best to turn off the screen when you’re not looking at it to conserve power, particularly if you are walking for a long time!
iPhone: Suggested applications to download from the App store are ‘GPX Navigator’ or ‘GPX Viewer’ – there are more, and you may already have something suitable downloaded that you can use. The apps may have a small charge to avoid the ads and restrictions you get with the free ones.
Option 1 (if you have access to a computer): Download the required files to your computer and then email them to your iPhone as an attachment. When you open the email you may need to tap the attachment to download, then hold your finger on the file until a choice of applications opens up. One of those should be the GPX Navigator or GPX Viewer that you downloaded previously. Select the desired application and the file should appear in the application. When you select the file the map will appear and a blue dot to show your current position.
Option 2 (if you don’t have access to a computer): In this case, the instructions above will not work, because you cannot attach a file to an email sent from your iPhone. Therefore you will need to ensure the free Dropbox app is installed on your iPhone. Open the Dropbox link and select the first route you want on your phone – a complex list of coordinates will appear on the screen. Touch three dots that are at the top right of the screen and select the “Export” option (square with arrow pointing up), and select the “Open in” icon that appears at the bottom of the screen. The navigator app should appear as one of the choices. Once you select the navigator app the track will be available to see. Your position will be highlighted by a blue dot.
Android: Download ‘OsmAnd’ from the Play Store, it is free. Email the gpx files to your phone. Press and hold the attachment, let go and it will prompt you to open the file in OsmAnd. If you have more than one track loaded you can turn them on or off by pressing the button on the bottom left hand corner of the screen, choosing ‘configure map’, then ‘gpx track’. When OsmAnd prompts you to download offline maps make sure you use your house wifi and have 600MB free on your phone, it downloads both Australia and Oceania. You don’t really need them, but it enables the app to work in areas that have no telco provider connectivity, and will be cheaper in the long run for data downloads. This app also doubles as a sophisticated voice enabled GPS Navigator; there are other apps that will take gpx files but this ones pretty good.
Walk Description (note that the walk descriptions and GPX files have not yet been uploaded to our new website but will be available soon)
|Canberra Capital Walk: 11km starts at Parliament House, with walk options to the War Memorial or Telopea Park (or 14km if combining the two routes). The walk is generally flat, with some gentle rises, along paved paths.||1A|
|Lake Burley Griffin: 5km central basin (bridge to bridge walk), 9km eastern basin and wetlands and 16km western basin options. The start/finish locations vary depending on the chosen distance. A 30km option combines all of the walks to circumnavigate the entire lake, or you can elect to make the walk even longer by detouring down Black Mountain Peninsular and/or Weston Park Peninsular.
Lake Burley Griffin is part of the “Lakes of Canberra” award/special program.
Lake Burley Griffin is also walked as part of the Canberra Walking Festival each year. Please feel free to ask if you want advice on which section to walk to avoid duplication at the event.
Note – the western basin loop has construction near the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, but this does not prevent you completing the walk – just be prepared for minor detours and look forward to a wonderful walk when the foreshore works are finally completed!
|Lake Ginninderra: 10km (8km for just the lake loop). The walk is generally flat, with some gentle rises, along paved paths. Lake Ginninderra is part of the Lakes of Canberra award/special program.||1A|
|Lake Tuggeranong: 10km (7km for just the lake loop). The walk is generally flat, with some gentle rises, along paved paths. Lake Tuggeranong is part of the Lakes of Canberra award/special program.||1A|
|Canberra Centenary Trail: approx 150km, but can be tackled in sections.
Different parts of the Centenary Trail are also walked at the Canberra Walking Festival each year. Please feel free to ask if you want advice on which sections to walk to avoid duplication at the event.
Details of the marked trail and section maps can be found at environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/find-a-park/rural/canberra-centenary-trail and there is also a guidebook available for purchase and a free Centenary Trail App (Apple or Android version currently unavailable) that you can download to your Smart Phone. Alternatively you can download the GPX file to load into your GPS. Note that the GPX route does not show all of the loop options in the nature parks, but these sections are generally well signed. The App or GPX file are particularly useful where signs are missing, and the printed maps do not provide sufficient detail. Walkers who complete the entire Centenary Trail may earn a “Centenary Trail” patch.
|up to 3C||CT|
|Sydney: 12km starts at Circular Quay and is generally flat and easy.||2A||Sydney|
|Spit Bridge to Manly Scenic Walkway: 10km point-to-point walk is more arduous and requires the use of public transport (bus) to the start and (bus or ferry) from the finish. From Manly there is an optional out and back walk to/from the lookout which adds an additional 4km.||3B||Manly|
|Bondi to Malabar Coastal Walk: 7-16km has a number of steep steps but is on paved surfaces to Maroubra, then bush trail to Malabar. The distance from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach is 7km, if walking on to Maroubra the total distance is 11km, and if you also walk the final bushwalk section the total distance is 16km.||2B||Bondi|
|Albury River: 10-14km starting from the Albury Swimming Pool car park and walking along the river and past sculptures to fish jetty at horseshoe lagoon (~10km return) or continue on to Wonga Wetlands (~14km return). There are various walking trails in the wetlands, the longest is a 2.5km loop. Note: parts of this route may be inaccessible when the river is flooding.||1A|
|Wodonga “Mary’s Walk”: 10km starting on Gateway Island, beside the Murray River, on the Hume Highway (in front of the La Maison Cafe). This walk is very flat and easy, but does pass through mostly rural, non-populated areas. The route is on the Gateway Island/Sumsion Gardens red route that is shown on the guide maps posted in the area. Note: parts of this route may be inaccessible when the river is flooding.||1A|
|Melbourne City: 11km city and gardens walk starts and finishes at the Flinders Street Railway Station. You will walk through the city, Royal Botanic Gardens and Fitzroy Gardens.||1A||Melbourne|
|Melbourne River: 11km walk with easy navigation along the Yarra River. This walk also starts and finishes at the Flinders Street Railway Station. You will walk along the river towards Docklands, then back to the Melbourne Cricket Ground sports precinct and past Federation Square.||1A|
|Sale River Heritage & Wetlands Trail: 10km or 15km starting from the visitor’s centre, the 10km route is on a paved trail, the 15km option includes an unpaved section.||1A-1B|
|Bairnsdale: 10km, an easy town and river walk that starts from the visitor’s information centre.||1A||Bairnsdale|
|Raymond Island Koala Walk: 7km+ catch the free passenger ferry from Paynesville across to Raymond Island. The marked koala trail is just 1.2km but there is more of the island to explore. And LOTS of koalas! There is an extension to the walk once you exit the ferry back at Paynesville to take the walk up to 11km or 14km.||1B||Raymond Island and Paynesville|
|Lakes Entrance: 10km an easy coastal walk starting from the footbridge with one climb up to the lookout.||1B||Lakes Entrance|
|Adelaide City, River & Park Walk: 11km – 13km an easy walk starting from the Central Market.||1A|
|Perth: 12km mostly easy, city walk through Elizabeth Quay and along the river, with one steep climb up to Kings Park.||2A||Perth|
|Rottnest Island walks – Wadjemup Bidi: 6km to 10km with 5 different walk options, some point-to-point and one 10km loop walk. Catch a ferry from Perth or Fremantle and consider staying overnight.||1B-2B||Rottnest|
|Uluru: 10km magical walk around the base of Uluru. No map needed, just follow the trail.||1B||Uluru|
|Oceanway Walk: 36km point-to-point walk along the length of the Gold Coast, with many access points.
Note that the route is not well signposted and does deviate from the coast from time to time, but just keep the sea on your left if heading south (or right if heading north) and you can’t go too wrong!
If you are looking for even more walk options, you might want to consider one of the many charity walking events or fun runs/walks that are offered around Australia. Some of the popular options are: The Bloody Long Walk, Seven Bridges Walk, Mother’s Day Classic, City to Surf etc.
Alternatively there are numerous multi-day guided and self-guided/supported walks offered by various licenced walking tour operators. The prices vary considerably for these walks depending on the duration, level of support and standard of accommodation included, so you are advised to shop around. Some of the magnificent walking locations are:
NSW: Blue Mountains, Six Foot Track, Light to Light, Lord Howe Island
VIC: Great Ocean Walk, Grampians
TAS: Three Capes Track, Bay of Fires, Freycinet & Winelass Bay, Overland Track/Cradle Mountain, Bruny Island, Maria Island
SA: Flinders Rangers, Kangaroo Island
WA: Cape to Cape, Bibbulmun Track
NT: Larapinta Trail
To claim IVV credit for any organised walk, simply let us know what walking tour or event you attended, advise the distance you walked, and pay the IVV fee for each day’s stamp.
Don’t forget that you can also get a free IVV stamp for each 5km parkrun/parkwalk you complete (in Australia only), although you will need to pay for return postage if you need your books/insert cards mailed. Register once at parkrun.com.au, join the AussieWalk “club”, print out your barcode and take it to any of the 230+ parkrun locations across Australia. Each volunteer run event is run weekly at the same time on Saturday mornings, and is completely free.
All walks are rated with a number (which indicates the amount of hill climbing) followed by a letter (which indicates the smoothness or roughness of the trail). This is to help walkers gauge the degree of difficulty of the walk. Here is a summary of the ratings.
|PART 1 – INCLINE||PART 2 – TERRAIN|
||Very little hill or stair climbing – cumulative elevation gain up to 50m.|| A
||Walk is almost entirely on pavement, probably suitable for prams.|
||Some moderate hill or stair climbing – cumulative elevation gain up to 250m.|| B
||A significant part of the walk takes place on well-groomed trails with very little more difficult terrain.|
||Some significant hill or stair climbing – cumulative elevation gain up to 500m|| C
||A significant part of the walk takes place on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky/rooted paths or soft sand).|
||A good deal of significant hill or stair climbing – cumulative elevation gain up to 1000m|| D
||A significant part of the walk takes place on very difficult terrain.|
||Many steep hills or high altitude trails – cumulative elevation gain over 1000m.|| E
||The majority of the walk takes place on very difficult terrain.|
When determining elevation gain, if a route goes up for 50m and down for 50m and back up for another 75m, the cumulative gain would be 125m.
A route that is mostly on flat pavement would be rated 1A.
A beach walk would be rated 1C.
A route with moderate hills on well groomed trails would be rated 2B.
Any additional route obstacles or special conditions are explained in the route description to better describe the level of difficulty of the walk.
How to Develop a New Permanent Trail
Any AussieWalk member may propose a new PT. Each PT should be a minimum of 10km, but shorter options (min 5km) can be offered. No single PT is to be longer than 20km without the option of completing shorter, more manageable segments/options.
Tips for a great PT:
- Avoid complicated routes and instructions. Remember some walkers will be visitors to the location and may not speak English well.
- The walk should showcase the best of the area for a tourist/visitor. Variety is good.
- Think safety; cross roads where there are pedestrian crossings and/or lights. Avoid busy roads and roads without footpaths.
- Check to see if there are suggested walking routes already mapped out for the location at the local tourist information centre or in a walking guidebook. Often it is possible to combine 2 or 3 shorter walks into a great PT.
- Think about access to the start/finish location. Is there free parking available? Is the area serviced by public transport?
- Each PT should start and finish at the same point wherever possible. If not, provide details of public transport from the finish back to the start.
- Are there toilets and/or drinking water available on the route? If so, make note in the written instructions.
- Provide any good insider tips you might have for walkers. Eg “must see” and/or free local attractions, great coffee/lunch stops etc.
The steps for developing a new PT are as follows:
- Discuss your idea with a member of the AussieWalk committee to get approval in principal.
- Develop a map and/or GPX file for each walk, together with written instructions and a suggested walk rating.
- Submit editable versions of the map and instructions to the AussieWalk Committee for approval. Photos taken along the route are also welcome for publicity purposes.
- AussieWalk will allocate a walk number/stamp, update the website and publicise the new PT when the new route is ready.