‘Come say G’day’ in 2021. Make new friends as you walk for peace in support of a worthy cause.
We are busy planning the routes. When we have completed them, you’ll find the route details and maps here.
On 26-28 March 2021, Rotary will stage the 30th Canberra Two-Day Walk, renamed as the inaugural Rotary Aussie Peace Walk in celebration of 100 years of Rotary service in Australia and New Zealand.
Our aim is to stage a festival-like event that will enable people of all ages and backgrounds, to share a weekend of healthy family fun. Along the way, we encourage you to ‘Come Say G’day’ and strike up conversations with each other as you walk. It is through meaningful conversation that we gain greater understanding. And it is only through understanding, that we can hope to create a peaceful world.
Unlike most events, the Rotary Aussie Peace Walk is not a race, it is a challenge. If you are racing, you will be disqualified. How can you meet new people and create new friendships if you are in a race?
If you are ambling along and enjoying the capital city’s fresh country air, you are doing it right. Take in the sights, stop for a coffee, take photos and enjoy each other’s company as you take on the two-day walking challenge.
What is The two-day challenge?
Everyone who completes the two-day challenge will get a special commemorative medal.
In 2021, Rotary celebrates 100 years of community service in Australia and New Zealand. There has also been a two-day walking festival in Canberra for the last 29 years.
A special medal will be struck to commemorate the 1st Rotary Aussie Peace Walk on one side and the 30th Canberra Two-Day Walk on the other.
To get the commemorative Aussie Peace Walk medal, you must complete two walks; one on Saturday and one on Sunday.
We will issue a separate medal to those who complete the marathon.
Planning the routes is currently underway.
Things To Do
Lock in these dates in March now.
For planning purposes, this is the rough outline of the weekend:
- Thursday & Friday 25 & 26th
- Pick-up of Event Packs at the Canberra Visitor Centre in the National Capital Exhibition Building at Regatta Point.
- Friday 26th
Peace Bell Ceremony will officially open the Rotary Aussie Peace Walk
- Optional ‘Welcome to Canberra’ walking tour around the Parliamentary Triangle.
- Saturday 27th
- There will be four walks to choose from. The shortest will be 7km. There will be a 12km, a 21km and a 42.2km marathon.
- In the evening there will be a black-tie Peace Dinner. Our guest of honour will be His Excellency the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia.
- Sunday 28th
- There will be another 7km walk, a 12km, and a 24km.
- A small, COVID-safe closing ceremony and award presentation will take place in the afternoon.
Above: Planning the routes requires much consideration. Each potential route needs to be walked several times. Our aim to present a festival of walking that provides something interest to people of all ages.
Officials from both organisations will be on hand to record your completion of events and issue passports, stamps, medals and pins according to the rules of each organisation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Event Entry Process
Once the site is open for entries on 12 December, you will be able to purchase a ticket for the full program of events.
We will offer those who have listed their interest on our email list an Earlybird special price before entries are officially open to the public.
Will I need camping gear?
No. Each day the walk starts and finishes in the same vicinity. Once you finish walking for the day you return home to your accommodation for the night.
We have provided a list of accommodation options, however, there are many others available across the city.
Are refreshments available?
Checkpoints will be at regular intervals and will be marked on your route maps—usually every 5km or so.
Water will be available at each checkpoint. Many of the walks will pass by one or more shops along the way.
Community groups such as Rotary Clubs will sell refreshments at various points of the walks.
We recommend that walkers take their own water bottle on the walk, particularly if the weather is hot. Many walkers also take trail mix or jelly lollies (sweets/candy) on the walk.
Can I bring my dog?
No, unless it is a registered assistance dog.
Many of the routes, particularly the longer ones, will pass through reserve areas where dogs are not permitted. (Except assistance dogs.)
Can I enter on the day of the walks?
We encourage you to register online in advance if possible. This will enable us to better plan for the numbers of people in each event.
Yes, late entries are welcome on Friday afternoon between 12 and 4 pm. However, the entry fees will be higher than if purchased online prior to the event.
Is parking available?
There is parking available in the Hyatt Hotel car park and directly across Commonwealth Ave, with access to Albert Hall via an underpass—see location map—noting that there is paid parking on weekdays, but free over the weekend.
There is also a bus stop right out the front of the Albert Hall.
How long will the walk take each day?
This depends on the distance you walk and your natural walking speed.
Remembering that this is NOT a race. We encourage you to enjoy the experience, make new friends and enjoy the scenery.
The following times are provided as a general ‘rule-of-thumb’:
- 5km walkers usually take 1-2 hours
- 10km walkers usually take 2-3 hours
- 20km walkers usually take 4-5 hours
- Marathoners (42.2km) walkers usually take 5-8 hours
What are the events affiliations?
The Rotary Aussie Peace Walk is managed by LifeSmith Pty Ltd, a ‘profit for purpose’ legal entity created to support Australian Rotary clubs promote and manage charitable events.
The charity we are raising funds for in 2021 is the Rotary Give Every Child a Future initiative in association with Unicef.
What should I carry for the walk?
Most people take a small day pack. We suggest you consider bringing: sunscreen, hat, water bottle (although drinks will be provided at checkpoints), sunglasses, camera, a small amount of money and any snacks you might require during the walk.
Some routes will pass shops and many Rotary Clubs manning checkpoints will offer optional fun activities for a small donation.
Some walkers on the longer routes may wish to pack a picnic lunch to eat on the way.
What type of shoes should I wear?
The terrain ranges from formed concrete and asphalt paths to corrugated loose dirt or gravel trails. In most cases, cross-trainers or jogging shoes will be adequate.
Seasoned walkers may prefer trail shoes or hiking boots if walking any pre-Festival trails or any of the routes on Sunday.
Hiking poles may also be of help for some walkers.
Is it the same route on both days?
No. There are no repeating circuits for the walks. The routes will be different each day.
Generally, the routes will cover a significant part of Canberra, showcasing the beautiful Lake Burley Griffin and Parliamentary Triangle.
Canberra has a vast network of bush trails and multi-use paths (for pedestrians and cyclists), so walkers will seldom need to cross roads.
Wheelchairs and Strollers
Wheelchairs are impractical on most walks because the walks usually include some unsealed paths.
If you are planning to enter with a wheelchair, please contact us in advance to determine the suitability of the terrain for the distance you are interested in completing.
Some walkers may choose to take young children in ‘off-road style’ strollers. These are permitted, however, may not be easy to push on some sections of walks.
Walks in which strollers are not recommended due to the terrain will be marked on the program.
What time should I arrive?
We suggest arriving at least 30 minutes before your scheduled start time.
You will have a bar code that will be scanned when you start. This code must be carried and scanned at each marshalling point along the route.
A final scan at the finish will tell the management team that you have finished.
What distance should I walk?
This is up to you, but we recommend you challenge yourself.
If you are not accustomed to long walks, we recommend you start with one of the middle distances.
There are many parents who walk the shorter routes with children. Interestingly, several marathoners (completing 42.2 km) are in their 70s and we have had walkers over 90 years of age.
If you enter the Marathon on Saturday but find it too challenging, you can pull out at the halfway point and you will still be credited with completing a 21km event.
You will miss out on the marathon medal, but if you walk again on Sunday, you will still achieve the two-day walker medal.
Is it a race?
No! Running is NOT permitted.
This is one of the unique aspects of this event. We designed it to encourage participation but still provide an individual challenge with the various distance options available.
Importantly, our public liability insurance is granted on the basis that this is a walking event only. Runners would invalidate our insurance. Also, our checkpoint opening times are calculated on the basis of walking speeds, so if you run you will arrive before some checkpoints open and they will not record your participation.
Some may race-walk to the finish, but most will take their time and enjoy the scenery and the company of the other walkers along the way.
Do I need to train?
Yes, training is recommended.
Unless you are in the minority and have a good base fitness level, you will find the distances required for this event a challenge.
Even if you can complete the first day without a problem, heading off on a second consecutive day adds an extra degree of difficulty.
We suggest you consider our training programs for longer distances. Until you have tackled a long walk, you will not realise what other issues will arise – blisters are a good example!
Make sure you have broken in the shoes you plan to wear and have trained appropriately for the distance you aim to do.
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