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Official kick off for Festival of Walking


WHEN:                 10.30am to noon, Saturday, October 6, 2012

WHERE:               Wentworth Falls Picnic Ground, Falls Rd, Wentworth Falls

WHAT:                 Official launch of Festival of Walking

Step out for the annual Festival of Walking this weekend

The annual Festival of Walking kicks off with a range of free walks, entertainment and tucker for the whole family on Saturday, October 6.

The annual nine-day event (October 6-14) celebrating the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area spanning through to Lithgow and Oberon will include an extensive program of events with something for everyone – from street walks to hard core treks into the wilderness and even a beer enthusiasts walk.

Promoting fresh air and the grand backyard of the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region, the festival will feature treks and challenging bushwalks, history tours combined with local wine and cheese sampling, ambles through the day and walks at night, garden tours, singles walks, indigenous experiences, a phone film competition and family events.

The Festival of Walking will be held at locations throughout the region including Jenolan Caves, the Glow Worm Tunnel near Lithgow and Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah, as well as Blue Mountains towns.

The official launch will be held at Wentworth Falls Picnic Ground and will feature Discovery walks, a guest appearance by NPWS mascot Wanda the Wombat and a barbecue lunch for all. The event will also feature the popular Junior Rangers choir singing some especially tailored lyrics to familiar favourite tunes.

Arrive at Wentworth Falls by train and meet a NPWS Discovery ranger who will take you for a guided bushwalk along the easy Charles Darwin Walk, arriving at Wentworth Falls Picnic Area in time for the 10.30am festival opening.

Early birds can meet a ranger at 7.45am in search of birdlife, also arriving in time for the official festival kick off. Learn about the amazing birds that inhabit the Blue Mountains in spring and the habitat resources they rely on. Bring your binoculars.

A Family Meander will be held at 8.45am and 9.15am, when a Discovery ranger will take you on a family friendly adventure down Charles Darwin Walk in search of signs of wildlife. Discover what makes the Blue Mountains such a fantastic location for family bushwalks.

At 8.45am, join a Shadow of Time walk guided by a Discovery ranger with in-depth knowledge of local history. Discover more about Charles Darwin and his time in the Blue Mountains as well as the development of the amazing Blue Mountains walking track system.

All walks will be free. Bookings: (02) 4787 8877.

Festival of Walking director Sean Greenhill said the festival was “our chance to share our backyard with the world and we intend to take the opportunity to do so’’.

Blue Mountains Lithgow and Oberon Tourism chairman Randall Walker said the concept of a Festival of Walking in the area “is one whose time has come’’ given the plethora of experienced quality accommodation providers, the famous history and diverse range of events all perched on the edge of Australia’s largest city and all within a World Heritage Area.

The Festival of Walking is a celebration of the beauty of nature, the health and wellbeing benefits of walking, acknowledgement of Aboriginal custodianship and culture, and homage to the history, heritage and conservation of this special region.

Visit http://www.festivalofwalking.com for more information about the Festival of Walking.

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