Frequently Asked Questions - Sydney University Bushwalkers

SUBW (pronounced `suboir') is a club which exists for the general purpose of making sure its members have a great time. This usually means doing lots of bushwalking, skiing, canyoning and meeting lots of similarly inclined people.

Formality is kept to the minimum to achieve these aims for the members of the committee as well as for everyone else. Some walks are organised in advance and others are planned through the email list.

How do I get started?

Have a look at the online walks programme. Slide nights are ideal places to meet other members, and find more out about the club. If you see a trip that you're interested in, contact the trip leader and have a chat. Also, sign up to our mailing lists - walk and other important announcements, as well as discussion, occurs there. You can also contact the walks secretary listed on the walks program, or one of the club officers might be able to help you out.

How do I find out about bushwalks?

We publish regular walks programmes, which detail some, but not all, of the walks which are planned. Many are announced on the mailing lists. If you're interested in a walk, contact the trip leader. Also, slide nights are great places to find out more about walks.

Where do we bushwalk?

Day walks usually take place in the Blue Mountains, Ku-rin-gai and Royal National Parks. Overnight trips go further afield to Kanangra-Boyd and Wollemi National Parks. Holidays see us in the Budawangs and Ettrema, Barrington Tops, the Snowy Mountains, Tasmania or even overseas.

What is a typical daywalk like?

We normally meet on the `North' side of Strathfield station (the right hand side if you are coming from the city by train, not the Plaza side) in front of the first block of flats near Norm's milk bar. From here we travel by train or car to the start of the walk. Please try and be on time, especially if there is a train to catch. We usually walk for 2-4 hours before stopping for lunch, although a morning tea break or visit to a bakery on the way may give you a chance for a quick snack. Lunch is usually fairly leisurely, extending for an hour or so, before a 2-4 hour walk to complete the trip. We return to Sydney by train or car, often stopping along the way for dinner or a drink. Day walks often finish too late for evening commitments.

What if I am not fit or am new to bushwalking?

Our walks vary in difficulty, so talk to us to find the ones suited to your ability. Start with easy trips until your fitness improves, be aware of your physical limitations and do not strain yourself.

What about insurance?

Members and prospectives on Club trips are covered by personal accident insurance through the Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs NSW, and trip leaders are covered by public liability insurance (also through the Confederation). Please remember that outdoor sports are potentially dangerous and if you have an injury or condition that may interfere with your enjoyment of walking, first seek the advice of your medical practitioner, and advise the walk leader if necessary - this is the gist of the waiver that everyone signs when they join the Club.

Can I borrow gear from the club?

SUBW has an extensive gear pool for use by our members on Club trips, with equipment ranging from backpacks and canyoning gear to an EPIRB and cooking equipment. The gear locker is located on campus; however, for accountability purposes and to ensure that gear is kept in good condition, access is restricted. If you are going on a walk, access to gear is the responsibility of the trip leader, who should contact the club gear officer. A list of gear available for borrowing is also kept by the gear officer.

What happens if we are late returning from a walk?

See our rescue information.

What other activities can I do with SUBW?


This activity usually takes place in summer (when it's too hot for serious walking). After a short walk to the start of the canyon, we descend into the dark constrictions of Blue Mountains creeks. Abseiling or liloing (floating on an airbed) may be required, and swimming through cold pools is not unusual. Abseiling gear is provided. Bring what you would for a day walk, plus thermals and a woollen jumper or a wetsuit if you have one. Cotton must not be worn, as it is very cold when wet. Check whether a lilo is required and waterproof your pack with a stout garbage bag unless you enjoy wet lunch. A cup is useful for some warming tea at lunch and a change of clothes for the car makes the trip home much more pleasant! Some abseiling experience is required for trips involving abseilingcome to one of our practice days.

Cross-country skiing

There are trips to the Snowy Mountains most weekends in winter, including some designed for those who have not skied before. SUBW has snow tents, and skis, boots and poles can be hired for about $50 on the way down. You need to have layered warm clothing such as thermals and wool. A waterproof jacket and overpants are essential, as are a beanie, hat, gloves, sunscreen, warm sleeping bag, sleeping mat, and a waterproofed pack. You may be able to borrow some of these. Trips leave on a Friday evening from Strathfield or somewhere else, with the drive taking about 5 hours. Skiing begins on Saturday morning with a snow camp that night. Arrival in Sydney is around midnight on Sunday.

Social Activities

Slide nights are held on the last Wednesday of the month for most of the year, in the Holme building. They provide an opportunity for people to show and see slides of recent (and not so recent!) trips, and to socialise. Wine and cheese is provided and the evening is usually concluded by a visit to the pub. These are a great opportunity to meet other walkers and organise walks for the coming weekend, as well as to find out about walks already planned.

Want more information?

Click here for contact details.

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