The Get Outside program ran a school holiday walk for seventeen people this week from The Springs to the Octopus Tree via Sphinx Rock on Mount Wellington.Fourteen young people, two workers from Catholic Care and a volunteer came along for the fun. The young people were part of a homework club and this was a reward for their good participation throughout the term.

Young people from Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and women from African nations participated. The students mostly hadn’t bush-walked before and were all a bit scared of snakes on such a warm Hobart day. The walk to Sphinx Rock from The Springs is easy going, and we looked at plants and listened to birds on the way. The walk down to the Octopus Tree was a bit more demanding but well worth the effort with everyone marvelling at the tree. We got back to the cars with 4 minutes to spare and everyone was impressed with how well the group walked. In the closing circle some of the words that people used to describe the walk included: trees, beautiful caves, views, happy, my strong body.

The Get Outside Program is designed to get people outside and get connected. Connected with nature and with the community. The program has an effect on people’s health, mental health and reduces social isolation. Environmental awareness on the outings is also covered with issues such as rubbish, fire, native animals and national parks and the concept of conservation areas being covered on every walk.