Saturday, May 30, 2015

Kelly Runs the Gap

Read more about Run the Gap on their website - click the pic
The second powered TrailRider in Australia (perhaps the world) took Kelly Pearce, who lives in Halls Gap, from beginning to end of the Run the Gap event.

The sherpas were her parents and Parks Victoria staff Caitlyn O’Reilly and Tammy Schoo
The Kelly gang
“Kelly enjoyed the lovely walk in the park on the TrailRider, watching all the other people and the wildlife,” said her father Andrew. 

They completed the 6km walk in 1 hour and 15 minutes and along the way would have attracted the attention of hundreds of other competitors and spectators.

Like the Run the Gap Facebook Page

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Guest Post from John Kenwright - his non-TrailRider days

The Lasher Sport BT beach wheelchair
will soon to be available for visitors
with paraplegia who come to Wilsons
Promontory NP
Hi everyone

David Stratton has asked me to write a few words about some of the other park programs that I manage in addition to the TrailRider program. In summary, as part of the Healthy Parks Healthy People branch at Parks Victoria, I work on projects that enable park visitors with disabilities to engage with nature and get active in our parks. The Healthy Parks Healthy People approach that Parks Victoria uses captures the fundamental links between our health and wellbeing and the health of ecosystems. This approach is also supported by strong research about the human need for connection to nature. 
A trained volunteer from the Walk in
the Park Program assisting a blind
visitor in the Great Otway NP

One of the community partnership programs that I manage is called the Walk in the Park program. This is a bushwalking program provided in selected parks for blind and vision impaired visitors. The program recruits community volunteers and trains them as park companions to assist blind and vision impaired visitors to explore our many spectacular park trails. The park companions assist the program participants with park orientation, reading of interpretive signs, describe the natural surroundings and provide opportunities for participants to connect with nature using their other senses. The program also provides social opportunities for the program participants who in many cases experience social isolation due to their disability. The Walk in the Park program is a partnership between Blind Sports Victoria and Parks Victoria

A family enjoying the beach at Wilsons
Promontory NP using a Parks Victoria
Hippocampe beach wheelchair
One of the other programs that I manage is the provision of park equipment that greatly assists visitors with different disabilities to explore coastal park beaches. Accessing beaches can be very difficult for visitors with mobility limitations and so Parks Victoria now provides beach wheelchairs of various designs for child and adult visitors to borrow. One new model that we recently trialled in partnership with the Spinal Unit at the Austin Hospital is the Lasher Sport BT beach chair. This lightweight wheelchair is well suited for visitors with paraplegia who wish to access the beach independently and will soon be available at Wilsons Promontory National Park. 
A young visitor using the Parks
Victoria electric Stairclimber in
Fairy Cave, Buchan Caves Reserve

Another new experience for visitors is better access to Fairy Cave at Buchan Caves Reserve. Parks Victoria recently introduced an electric Stairclimber for visitor use. The provision of this equipment now makes it possible for children and light-weight adults with disabilities to explore sections of this spectacular cave for the first time. 

As the environment is inextricably linked to our quality of life and our health the projects that I am involved with vary considerably but they all have the shared aim of improving park access and the park experience for visitors with disabilities. Nature, health and wellbeing are part of the same equation. 

For further information on accessibility and inclusion in parks managed by Parks Victoria go to

Sunday, May 10, 2015

40,000 pageviews!

Pageviews are the meat and potatoes of the blog world. Thank you, dear readers, for bringing me to this new milestone . With this kind of number under my belt I am beginning to feel I can hold my head higher in the "blogocracy" (my word to describe people with big blogs)

Naturally I have been checking a lot recently to spot the roll over. I remember that kind of odometer watching from my driving days. My blog is set to not count my views so I haven't been secretly boosting the count.

The latest ten thousand has taken four and a half months and stimulates my curiosity about what leads people to read TrT. Blogspot offers me some background as we can see here. 

I find the map of the world interesting. The tinge in Peru corresponds to some people I know about for example.

The list of top traffic sources tells me that Google search and the TrT Facebook page are top feeders but also that a lot of views of pages are from within the blog.

What is missing is any personal stories. What made you come here? Are you in the disability sector - professionally or personally? Are you a lover of the bush?

Leave me comment - however brief or anonymous. I'd love to know. -

Saturday, May 9, 2015


Last Saturday, 2nd May, I fell awkwardly when I was being dressed. 6 days later I am sitting, re-united with my computer and finally can post.

Having had, to use a phrase coined by Ros and Fay, "thirteen screws in one day" I am busy re-rehabilitating, not load-bearing for 12 weeks and probably not TrailRiding much.

There is lots to write about though as the next few days will show. Watch out for a Guest Post from John Kenwright disclosing how he spends his non TrailRider time and a discussion of hemets.