Stage I: Meeting the Mountains
In our introductory program, young people spend 5 days at Wollangarra, with 3 of those out on hike. The first day is spent doing jobs around the property and preparing for the hike. This may include baking bread in the wood fired oven, planting in the veggie patch, or fixing up fences and timber work using pioneer skills, as well as packing their packs (all hiking equipment is supplied).
They then go hiking in small groups (maximum of 12 young people per group) usually with two Wollangarra hike staff members (this may vary depending on staffing situations at the time, however we always abide by current industry standards). The hikes take place, in either the Alpine National Park or locally in the mountains surrounding Wollangarra (south of Licola).
The hike is designed to be an enjoyable experience for the young people, as we are looking to establish a positive connection between them and the mountains. The hikers return on the Thursday evening to a hot shower (in our unique shower block) and a lamb roast waiting for them. After which we all sit around open living room fire and swap stories of the week. Friday is clean up and leave day. Everyone finishes the Wollangarra Stage I by walking (without bags) out the telephone track, from Wollangarra to Cheynes Bridge.
Who can come on a Wollangarra Stage I?
Any young person, usually from 14-17 years of age, is welcome up at Wollangarra. During the school year, we have many school groups up. However if your school doesn’t come up we run holiday programs in the school holidays for anyone to attend. For dates please check out our calendar.
What is the cost of a program?
The cost for school programs is $396 per person (excluding two accompanying teachers), all inclusive. The cost for a holiday program is $165 per person, all inclusive (excepting public transport to Heyfield). We also offer sponsorship (the full program free of charge) to those who need it, for holiday and school groups. If you feel you would like to come on a Stage I program, but can’t afford it, please send in your forms and a note saying you would like to be sponsored, as we hold fund raisers specifically for this purpose.
How do I book in?
All you need to do to come on a holiday program is download and fill out the forms above right. Check out the dates on the calendar and send it all in with a cheque for $165 or a sponsorship request. It is vital that we receive medical forms at least one week before the program, so we can prepare for different dietary requirements and make any necessary enquiries regarding medical issues. We will contact you prior to the program to confirm train times etc. School groups please see the ‘Schools’ page for booking information and forms.
How do I get there?
If you are travelling from Melbourne, a staff member will meet you at Southern Cross Station for the public transport journey by train to Traralgon, then by bus to Heyfield, where you will be picked up and driven to Wollangarra. If you are travelling from elsewhere in Victoria, you will need to discuss alternative drop off or public transport options with us.
How is Wollangarra prepared for bushfire?
Wollangarra has an extensive Emergency Management Plan. This plan covers a wide range of scenarios, not the least being how we manage fire.
Fire is a risk that needs to be considered in all manner of environments, including urban situations. Obviously, the remote setting of Wollangarra necessitates specific consideration of a number of factors, including the use of equipment and facilities at Wollangarra.
The Fire Management Plan developed for Wollangarra includes consideration of:
- Code Red Days
- Fire season preparation
- Equipment preparation, including PPE
- Student scenarios - on the flat, on hike, in a vehicle
- Stay or go
- Yearly training
- Homestead defence
How does Wollangarra respond to Code Red Days?
Wollangarra has specific procedures to manage Code Red Days. These procedures have been developed sourcing reference information from the Department of Education and other outdoor education providers.
Code Red Days are declared by 5 pm on the previous day by the DSE. This information is communicated to the Directors by the Wollangarra Council and other community members.
On Code Red Days no students will be at Wollangarra - they will leave the flat prior to the day and remain off the property for that day. Additionally, young people will be removed from hike on the day before and travel on such days will only occur in consultation with DSE. It is possible that the young people may be sent home.
Parents will be informed of such movement of young people on or before Code Red Days and communication maintained.
If you have any other questions please write us a letter or give us a call (unfortunately we can not correspond by email).