We hope you had as much fun as we did in the 2019 Great Illawarra Walk. We also hope the blisters have healed and legs have recovered! So far we have raised more than $145,000! We are super close to our 150k target and the website will remain open for another week or two while we collect donation tins and other pledges, so we might still hit our goal which is excellent news!

A little birdy tells us we're not too far away from registrations opening for next year.... Stay tuned in the coming weeks for all the info and exciting news!


Thank you so much to everyone who came along and participated or volunteered throughout the weekend and helped in the lead up.

We had an army of volunteers who made sure every walker was well-hydrated (and kept up sugar levels with lollies!) - thank you to every single person who got involved running water stands, selling merchandise to bring in extra money for the cause and keeping our walkers going.

To our dedicated walkers - we are so proud of every single one of you!! A little rain in the morning didn't deter you and we saw so many smiles over the day, it really was an amazing day.

It was also great to see the research team from IHMRI pounding the pavement in support of the walk. There was no obligation for you guys to come out and support us but you did it anyway and for that we say a massive thank you.

Of course the event wouldn’t be possible without the support of our amazing sponsors and supporters. The local businesses who donated food, drink, cash, shirts and photography support - you made this event one to remember and we appreciate your support SO much.

Thanks to the following businesses for ensuring this year was the best yet:

  • Bendigo Bank (Oak Flats and Shellharbour branches): Walk t-shirts and considerable cash donation
  • Wave FM: Advertising and fundraising support
  • One Agency Property Division (Shellharbour and Corrimal): Water
  • Rapid Relief Team: Food and drink (brekkie and lunch)
  • Headlands Hotel Austinmer: Venue for the finale party and finger food
  • Aeroview Australia: Drone, videography and photography 
  • Kwik Kopy: Posters, flyers and design support
  • Natiive: Web design and tech support


And a huge thank you to the following businesses for generous cash donations!

  • Bendigo Bank (Oak Flats and Shellharbour)
  • Bean Roasted Espresso Bars (Shellharbour, Kiama and Calderwood)
  • Wendy's Warrawong
  • Wiseman Insurance
  • Northern Star Swim School
  • One Agency Property Division (Warilla and Corrimal)
  • Car-O-Liner
  • Albert Street Storage
  • Seasde Design
  • Holly Burns Foundation
  • Woonona Pet Food
  • Steve's Joinery
  • GT Civil
  • Smart Window Solutions
  • Dutch in Wollongong
  • West Wollongong Anglican Church
  • Corrosion Control Engineering
  • Mollymook Golf Club
  • All Cargo Logistics

And finally, to the Saxby and Burns families. Seeing Chloe’s bright and smiling face at water stops made the walk that little bit easier and it was fantastic to see a whole Burns support crew travel up from Mollymook for the event. The support you provided to the walk has been incredible and we couldn’t think of a more worthy cause to get behind.

Stay tuned for the final amount raised - we're still tallying up donation buckets and allowing time for the last few donations to trickle in through our website!


We are proud to announce the Great Illawarra Walk will be supporting Saving Chloe Saxby/Hope for Holly Burns again in 2020! 

We'll be sharing more information over the next couple of weeks about how you can get involved in next year's event. Every year we continue to grow thanks to our awesome community and supporters and we will always strive to be bigger and better than ever before!

Aeroview Australia were hovering around throughout Saturday with their drone and camera gear, making a series of special videos for all our walkers.

Check out the first video here.

We'll keep posting videos and photos on our facebook page over the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes peeled!
We'd love to see your pics so please #greatillawarrawalk on social media!

Every year we aim to make this event bigger and better than ever before. If you have any feedback (good or constructive!) that you are happy to share with us, please email emilie.r.wells@gmail.com.

We try to accommodate as many suggestions and requests as we can, but please also bear in mind we rely solely on donations and support from local businesses and volunteers (so while a dedicated massage therapist for every walker would be wonderful, it's not quite in our zero dollar budget!!).

Thanks again to everyone for another fantastic Great Illawarra Walk.


Saturday 7 March, 40km from Shellharbour to Austinmer



The 2020 Great Illawarra Walk begins at Bean Roasted Espresso Bar Shellharbour (Addison Street) at 7am on Saturday 7 March and finishes at Headlands Hotel Austinmer.

Check out the route section of the website for a full breakdown of the walk route.


Great Illawarra Walk - Route Overview

Depart Shellharbour Village 7am – Bean Roasted Espresso Bar, Addison Street

Depart Warrawong 9am – Wave FM, Hoskins Street

Depart Wollongong 11:30am – One Agency Property Division, 103 Kiera Street

Depart Fairy Meadow 12pm – One Agency Property Division, 19 Princes Highway

Arrive Headlands Hotel Austinmer between 2pm and 5pm



The Rapid Relief Team are on board once again and will be supplying free food and drink to all walkers.
The team will be stationed at Windang and Corrimal, serving a full spread of coffee, tea, cold drinks, snacks, fruit, sandwiches and burgers.

One Agency Property Division will once again be providing regular water stops along the way - although it's still a good idea to have a drink bottle with you to stay well hydrated.


Headlands Hotel Austinmer - The After Party

Join us for an end of walk celebration at the Headlands.

The walk finishes at Headlands Hotel Austinmer, with a finale party from 2pm-6pm. Most walkers are expected to arrive early afternoon - plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy a beverage (or two!).

Headlands Hotel Austinmer have kindly offered us a huge space for the afternoon so come and enjoy live entertainment from 2pm and complimentary finger food from 4pm.



Our friends at Bendigo Oak Flats & Shellharbour Community Bank Branches have offered to match any $1,000 donation from a local business to this year’s walk (up to the value of $10,000).

This is a huge amount of support from our local bank and we would love to see some local businesses get on board!

Give Chris a call on 0414335769 if you’d like to get involved.



Great Illawarra Walk t-shirts are available for collection during business hours from One Agency Real Estate (Corrimal and Warilla). We will also have shirts available for collection at Bean Roasted (the start line) the morning of the walk.


Join the The Great Illawarra Walk in 2020!

The Great Illawarra Walk is once again calling on Illawarra residents to don their walking shoes for the annual Great Illawarra Walk on Saturday 2 March, this year raising money for research into Vanishing White Matter Disease and supporting local girl Chloe Saxby.

Chloe Saxby is a 10-year-old girl from the Illawarra who was diagnosed five years ago with an extremely rare and degenerative brain disease - Vanishing White Matter Disease - for which there is no cure or treatment available. 

It was recently announced that Australian-first research into Vanishing White Matter Disease will take place at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI), with researchers using advanced methods in stem cell research to try to find a potential cure for Chloe.

While IHMRI has committed to the initial seed funding, additional funds are desperately needed to continue the research.

The Great Illawarra Walk, now in its twelfth year, is donating all monies raised from the 2020 event to this worthy cause. 

The event runs over one day, with participants walking up to 40km across the Illawarra. Participants can choose to walk any distance between Shellharbour and Austinmer. 

Download the 2019 Great Illawarra Walk poster here and feel free to share it around!

Latest News

18 January, 2019 Fundraising efforts continue for VWMD research at IHMRI It is less than two months until the annual Great Illawarra Walk and for the second year, all money raised will go towards research into Vanishing White Matter Disease (VWMD) at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI).  Read More
30 May, 2018 New Look Great Illawarra Walk All funds raised in the 2019 Great Illawarra Walk will be funding research to be undertaken in the Illawarra - through Saving Chloe Saxby - at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI). Read More
16 May, 2018 IHMRI continues research into VWM disease for Chloe Saxby As Chloe Saxby’s health continues to deteriorate from the incurable Vanishing White Matter disease (VWM), the hope for a cure or better treatment is more pressing than ever Read More
11 April, 2018 Support grows for rare genetic disease research IHMRI research into Vanishing White Matter Disease has received a significant financial boost after the organisers of the Great Illawarra Walk donated $100 thousand dollars. Read More
16 March, 2018 IHMRI researchers provide new hope for Chloe Saxby IHMRI researchers say new developments in stem cell research may hold the key to understanding Vanishing White Matter Disease, which could lead to a potential treatment for nine-year-old Chloe Saxby. Read More

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