Take a hike for health in Queensland's great outdoors
FROM the pew to pathway, the Brisbane Catholic Bush Walking Club is getting church-goers off their benches and into the backwoods.
Club president Greg Endicott said the club had started more than 56 years ago and had been going strong ever since.
"A group of friends began talking in 1957 about getting a group together," he said.
"Australians have never lost the 19th century love of the bush and still want to get 'out there'."
The club provides people with access to local knowledge of bushwalking areas, as well as safety and company. "You can only go so far with a guidebook in hand," Mr Endicott said.
"One person knows a little about areas to walk but a club has a combined memory.
"A group provides not only knowledge but also companionship, safety, training, equipment, social activities and transport." With more than 100 members, the club regularly conducts walks all over the eastern coastline.
"Fraser Island to northern New South Wales, the Bay Islands to Dalby and Goondiwindi," Mr Endicott said.
"There are the islands, the beaches, the rainforest, the waterfalls, easy walks and hard ones, graded tracks, brush trails and wilderness."
Mr Endicott said bushwalking was a great way to swap the rat race for some fresh air on your face.
"The beauty, the solitude, the scenery, the greenness and the naturalness of the Australian bush still appeals to us who work five days a week surrounded by concrete, glass and metal," he said.
"In the bush you are away from cars, phones, people and the pressures of life."
For those wishing to take the plunge from couch potato to Catholic bushwalker Mr Endicott has some insider information.
"Be prepared for a hot, sweaty, dirty, thirsty and tiring experience," he said.
"It's not like your suburban fitness walk around the suburb in the morning." The club has several trips coming up during summer for anyone wishing to join in.
"Yuraygir National Park, the Snowy Mountains, Gheerulla Circuit near Mapleton, Enoggera Creek, Noosa Hill, Caloundra beaches, Enoggera Reservoir; you can tell it's a long hot summer," he said.
TAKE A WALK
Who: The Brisbane Catholic Bush Walking Club
Where: Based in Brisbane. Walks all over south-east Queensland and northern NSW
Visit: www.bcbc.bwq.org.au Contact: 33514092 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org