If you’re feeling at a loose end during the second weekend of February, there’s a bushel of reasons to head to the western foothills of the Snowy Mountains – and the first thing to pack is walking shoes.
For this is the weekend the iconic Tumbatrek takes place.
Tumbatrek is a bushwalk through the spectacular high country organised by Snowy Valleys Council each year to showcase the beautiful Snowy Mountains region.
The event was the brainchild of the late former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer who in 1985, along with a few keen locals, sought to promote tourism in the Tumbarumba region.
It went into recess in 2007 and was resurrected in 2012 by Federal Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack.
An iconic annual event, Tumbatrek provides an informal opportunity for community and government leaders to discuss issues in the region while experiencing the beautiful landscape of the Snowy Valleys region.
This year’s event will be led by new Snowy Valleys Mayor Ian Chaffey and Federal Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain.
About 12 kilometres long, this year’s walk will follow a route that highlights some of Tumbarumba’s most iconic assets, including the increasingly popular Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail, local mountain bike tracks and trails and the impressive Hyne Timber mill.
The regeneration of the local forests is also proving a real drawcard to visitors to the region since the devastating 2019-2020 bushfires, and the trekkers will be no exception, some having vowed to return to see how the surrounding landscape has transformed in the past 12 months.
The key question is who will carry Tim Fischer’s walking stick?
Snowy Valley council’s community and corporate executive director Paul Holton said despite some restrictions being reintroduced under the COVID-19 public health orders, a scaled-down event would still go ahead in a way that made the health and safety of participants a priority.
“As the trek itself is outdoors, council believes it can take the necessary precautions to ensure it can be run safely,” Mr Holton said.
One of the key changes will be a start and finish at the Tumbarumba Creekscape to help limit close contact and promote social distancing. This replaces the usual practice of bussing participants to the start point of the trek.
Community members are invited to join the trek at a cost of $10 per adult and $5 per child which includes morning tea and lunch.
Numbers are limited and registrations close at 5 pm on Sunday, 6 February.
To register, contact Snowy Valley Council’s economic development officer, Kayley Dickinson at [email protected] or phone 0407 248 382.
Attendees are advised to bring sunscreen, a hat, water, and hand sanitiser with them on the day.