Frequently Asked Questions About NPA Bushwalks

Does it cost money to go on NPA walks?

No, membership allows you to go on as many walks as you wish. With walks on every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and some Thursdays you have a very wide selection indeed!

Do I have to be a member to go on NPA walks?

Many, but not all, NPA leaders are happy to take non-members so that they can try before joining. But our insurance policy specifies that visitors may only go on a couple of walks; more and they are not covered by the policy. Membership is cheap and so we suggest that you join and try our walks for a longer period of time.

What about transport to the start of walks?

Many walks require only public transport. In most cases where public transport is not possible, leaders arrange for walkers to share cars. In this case it is normal for passengers to contribute to the costs --- there is a suggested formula for calculating this contribution published in most Walks Programs.

As a newcomer to the club will I feel left out?

NPA walkers are very friendly people and make others welcome. Bushwalking is a very informal activity in which it is very easy to make friends!

How will I know which activities suit my experience and fitness?

Each walk is described (graded) in the program by the distance covered, the total ascent involved, and the type of terrain. These are the most critical parameters that determine the difficulty of a walk. In general, start with easier walks and move to more difficult ones over time as your fitness, experience, and confidence increases. NPA leaders are a good source of information so make sure you get full details about the walk.

Part of the Illawarra escarpment, one of many good places to go bushwalking with NPA.

How safe is bushwalking?

Bushwalking is a very safe activity when done properly. The critical elements are: to be fully aware of what you may encounter on a walk; to understand your capabilities and limitations; and to walk with experienced people such as in a club. NPA is a member of the NSW Confederation of Bushwalkers and takes part in the insurance scheme arranged by Confederation.

Who are NPA Leaders?

NPA Leaders are experienced people, most of whom have been walking with the club for many years. They are all volunteers and receive no reward for their effort except the thanks of people going on their walks. Buy them a cup of coffee at the end of the walk!

Why Does NPA Have a Bushwalking Program?

There are many reasons why NPA runs bushwalks. These include: to encourage members to interact socially and to get involved in NPA's conservation activities; to demonstrate the need for National Parks by encouraging their use in an environmentally friendly manner; and to just have good time in a great location with good friends!

What other resources are available from NPA?

Books and maps to assist you in planning and enjoying your walks are available from our Sydney office or from your local branch. Also our three-volume series on Bushwalks in the Sydney Region and our Field Guides to National Parks in the Northern and Southern NSW are available in better bookshops and camping stores near you.

I don't live in Sydney, how can I walk with NPA?

NPA members are grouped in 18 branches throughout NSW and all branches have a comprehensive range of field activities appropriate to their region. Our most popular activity is, of course, bushwalking: sometimes for research purposes, usually just for the pleasure of doing it. All members of NPA receive the National Parks Journal including the Sydney activities program. Members of other branches also receive a branch newsletter with local activities. A list of branches is here.

How about co-operation with our fellow walkers?

The NPA was founded by members of the the Bushwalkers Federation who wished to see the preservation of our natural environment for future generations of walkers. NPA remains a member body of the Confederation of Bushwalkers who continue to co-ordinate the efforts of responsible bushwalking clubs to ensure that this activity remains as safe, sustainable and unregulated an activity as possible. Also they provide useful services to the bushwalking movement, e.g. search and rescue and insurance. From time-to-time members of other clubs identify new areas in need of protection and refer them to us for action.

Can you send me a walks programme?

Here are our activities planned for January and February, and March and April 2002. Here are some samples from winter 1996 and May-June 1998.

How do I join?

Just click here for instructions.

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National Parks Association of New South Wales Inc.