Melburnians love a good charity walk or run and now Trailwalker – one of Australia’s largest fundraising walks, which has raised $100 million to tackle global poverty since the first event in 1999 – is coming to town in 2019. Literally.
Oxfam Trailwalker today announced the launch of a different 100km Melbourne trail for its March 2019 event, a new trail timed to coincide with the 20-year anniversary of Trailwalker in Australia.
The new trail will start at Emerald Lake, make its way over the Dandenong Ranges and through some of Melbourne’s leafy eastern suburbs including Lilydale, Croydon, Donvale, Templestowe and Heidleberg before finishing up through the Yarra Bend Park to Fairfield, just a stone’s throw from Melbourne’s CBD.
It was the first time in almost a decade the Melbourne trail had changed course, Oxfam Trailwalker spokesperson Anna Wemyss said.
“After almost 10 years on the same trail between Wheelers Hill and Wesburn, Oxfam Trailwalker listened to feedback from some of our most dedicated Trailwalkers and decided it was time to improve and update the trail. We want to give Melbourne something fresh,” Ms Wemyss said.
“The 2019 trail presents an exciting new challenge for our passionate returnees as well as for those considering taking up this fantastic team fundraising challenge – and the opportunity to help Oxfam’s work tackling poverty in communities around the world – for the first time.”
Ms Wemyss said with the finish line being so close to the city, many participants would be walking towards home as they headed towards the 100km mark in Fairfield.
“This new trail means easier access for support crews at checkpoints, more opportunities for trail practice hikes and a stunning city view to look forward to near the finish line,” she said.
“We think the trail will appeal to those tried and tested Trailwalkers who want something fresh but challenging, as well as new walkers keen on tackling a new run or walk that finishes close to home.”
As well as benefits for participants, the new trail could also have beneficial tourism impacts on the new towns it passed through, Ms Wemyss said.
“Trailwalker attracts a lot of people from far and wide, with participants, staff, volunteers and support crews often spending money in nearby towns on food and accommodation,” she said.
“Oxfam Trailwalker economic analysis conducted on past events in Australia suggests just one team can bring in about $1200 in local economic benefits, through parks visits and buying goods.
“With hundreds of teams expected to take part in the event, which will be held over 36 hours from 29 to 30 March next year, we encourage teams to register early and to make the most of early-bird rates.”
Registrations for the 100km event open on 7 August. To register head to trailwalker.oxfam.org.au —