Walking into friendship at home and abroad
BUSHWALKERS are part of a community that has connections all over the world.
They keep fit while walking, develop a social network, and see natural wonders hidden from those on the beaten track.
Gold Coast Bushwalkers Club president Brenton Prescott wasn't a newcomer to the activity when he joined the club six years go.
"I'd been bushwalking all my life. I wanted to get to some new areas, and also to meet new people," he said. A lot of people have joined the club to improve their fitness.
"We like new members to start off with the easier walks. We try to have a minimum of four in a group for safety."
To focus on safety, the club also runs a first aid course each year.
Its 226 members come from a wide area - from Murwillumbah in the south up to Brisbane in the north.
Groups of them get together and travel further to distant places.
"Coming up, there's a trip to the Cotswolds in England, to the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, and some members are walking from one side of Scotland to the other," Brenton said.
"So many people have made friends in the club and they make individual trips overseas."
The club holds activities virtually every day to cover most levels of fitness, with easy and harder walks offered, plus bike rides.
Brenton, a Currumbin resident, is mainly a track walker, with Lamington National Park his favourite destination.
The club organises weekends away, allowing members to put their feet up and enjoy a social yarn beside a campfire at base camp.
Membership is open to anyone over the age of 18 years.
Children are welcome when accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.
Full membership is currently $30 per year with no limit on the amount of activities.
Activities are listed in the monthly newsletter Friends on Foot or on the website www.goldcoast bushwalkers.org.au.
Monthly meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month at meeting room 1.2, ground floor, Robina Community Centre, San Antonio Court, 196 Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina.