Melinda Harrington

The MS Plus Southern Alps Adventure

My Activity Tracking



Multiple sclerosis is the most common disease of the central nervous system and it strikes young people in the prime of their lives.

There is currently no known cure.

It's quite staggering that multiple sclerosis affects more young people than any other neurological condition, with the average age of diagnosis just 30 years old. Every case of multiple sclerosis is unique – the symptoms, severity and progress of the disease are different for everyone.

So I’m trekking the awe-inspiring landscapes, native bushland and expansive plains, canyons, countryside and coast of Aotearoa, New Zealand’s scenic South Island, to raise funds to deliver essential MS support services and ensure no one faces MS alone.

Please DONATE now to support my trek and give hope to thousands of Australians living with multiple sclerosis.

Thank you for your support.

My Achievements

My Updates

50 times around the reserve

Monday 11th Mar
So far this year I have gone around the reserve 50 times. So that’s 50ks in my boots. 

Can I do 100 walks before NZ?

Monday 15th Jan

My rules: It has to be at least 1k and it has to include some elevation. It means I can only miss six days…(but I can do more than one in a day so I should be able to do it). 

Walk 1. 4 Jan. Accidentally paused my watch somehow after .75 but it counts because I know it’s 1.21 ks on the path I took in the reserve. Elevation is 44m. 

Walk 2. 7 Jan. 1.91ks and 13m altitude. Mona Vale heading towards Warriewood. Hot day, walking on sand.  Easier to swim. 

Walk 3: 8 Jan. 1.34 ks and 48M of altitude. Walked before work because rain is predicted. It was still hot and steamy. Still finding it challenging. Once I got into it, I would have been happy to go around again but didn’t have the time. 

Walk 4: 9 Jan, 2.05 and 83M of altitude. Yes, went around twice. Will stick with that for a while and then do more altitude in the same amount of time. The hills are hard but the reserve is a perfect place to practice bushwalking because there is a short, flat bit in the middle and steep inclines on either end. Doing this before work puts everything out of order but it’s already hot and sticky and it’s logical to do it before I have a shower. 

Walk 5. 10 Jan. Watch counted 8 flights but I know I did 14 so I am going with that. Each flight is 3 metres of elevation so 42 metres of elevation which is pretty close to a circuit of the reserve. After a lot of calculations, I have decided that when I am in the office, I have to walk upstairs 3 times (12 flights). 

Walk 6. 11 Jan. 1.05 39 metre altitude. Once around the reserve on a steamy day. Didn’t have a lot of time so just once around. Also was tired from last night’s swimming so proud of myself for doing it at all. 

Walk 7. 12 Jan. 2.02 and 84 metres. It was raining. Not very hard but very humid. I switched to leggings because I was worried about my ankles getting bitten. Not convinced. Leggings are flexible but felt very hot around my legs. Sealy Tarns is 600 metres of elevation so that’s about 7 times more than I did today.

Walk 8. 13 Jan. Two walks of .65. The plan was to get to the beach early and go for a decent walk. But parking was a real struggle and I didn’t have time for the walk I planned. So I’ll accept the walks to and from the car along with a tiny elevation - probably 3 metres. The swim was rough. Tired now. Also a very hot day. 

Walk 9: 14 Jan. 1.12 in 2 walks and 4 flights. Just walking to and from the swim but I’ll count it. 

Walk 10: 15 Jan. 1.96 80M elevation. It was pouring rain today. Didn’t really want to walk in the mud but might have to do that in NZ. I did wait for a break in the rain. 

Walk 11: 16 Jan - 2.00 ks 78M elevation. Still raining. Tested the waterproof pants that arrived today. I guess they were OK. I was very hot after the walk. But it’s very humid. Anyway, if it’s raining in New Zealand I will be happy to have them. Two trips around is still tough. 

Walk 12. 67 steps first thing and I was really tired. Just a couple thousand more. Overall, the watch gave me credit for 5 flights and 28 minutes of exercise. I counted 18 flights up. 4 trips upstairs and the one from the carpark. 205 steps. 10% of the mountain. 

Walk 13. 1.91 75M altitude gain. Twice around. Muggy but not raining. Still a bit slippery out there. 

Walk 14. 311 steps up (just as many down but I don’t count those.) Not easy but I’m doing them. 

Walk 15. Walking on the way to swimming. Did an extra k before swimming for a total of .  Not a lot of altitude but I give myself some slack n big swimming days. 

Walk 16

Walking on the way to swimming. As expected, parking was a challenge so I drove straight out to where there spots and walked. Swim of 2.45 ks didn’t leave much in the tank for walking. 

Walk 16. 2.01 and 85M. Two times around. Not finding it easy yet.  I want to get to the point where 5 times around isn’t a struggle. I figure with 10ks a day there will be a break in the middle. 

Walk 17 1:00 K, 46M altitude. Tuesday.  It was raining and I hit the snooze a few times so compromised with once around. Light rain but it was a bit slippery. Boots need to get used to that just in case. More walking in the city and steps. Watch said 12 flights. 

Walk 18. Wed. Office. 206 steps up at work. Also swim night. 

Walk 19 Thursday. 1.96, 77M alt. Didn’t want to do it but around twice after work. 

Friday. 20. Australia Day. 2.86. Bulli. 16M altitude so not a lot but also a little swim so we will accept that. It was very hot so I am tired. 

21 Saturday 2.02, 85M Two times around. 

22 Monday. 1.95, 91M. (I actually swam 3 tough kilometres yesterday and walked 3 easy ones but no elevation.) Today I walked a tough 2ks. It’s 30 degrees and humid. Slower than usual but done. ✅ 

23 Tuesday

1.94 and “only” 26 degrees. 78M. Covered with mosquito bites by Wednesday. Probably from this hike - or Monday. 

24 Wednesday 

In the office 241 steps up (same down but that’s not hard). Also swam 1600 for the record. 

25 Thursday. 1.01, 39M. Really exhausted yesterday. Was still tired from Sunday’s mammoth swim. Also mosquito bites are driving me up a wall. Nevertheless, did one lap around. And it’s 30 degrees and humid. 

Bunnings BBQ

Wednesday 20th Dec
We knew it would be hard but very happy to say we raised twice as much as we expected! The food was donated - although we sold so much we had to go back for more! We were fortunate to have some lovely friends and relatives who donated their time and supplies. It all happened as planned. No major mishaps and we are now much closer to our fundraising goal. 

Hike to Barrenjoey Lighthouse

Friday 10th Nov
Was just looking for a nice place for a hike. Couldn't understand all the tourist busses. Turns out this is the fictional location of Summer Bay from Home & Away. Also a lovely 3.59k walk on the 15th of October (I can't change the date of this blog post)

Twice this week

Friday 10th Nov
I love the way the track around the reserve is exactly 1k. Makes it very easy to keep track of progress. 

A single step

Tuesday 7th Nov
Well, it was more than a single step, it was a single kilometre. I decided to get back into my training. It's a bit annoying because I was doing quite well before I injured my knee. Never mind, starting again from scratch. Up and down the reserve behind my house. 41 meters of altitude. 

Walk to Whale Rock

Sunday 10th Sep


Sunday 10th Sep
Hope these will go a long way.

4ks to Whale Rock

Sunday 10th Sep
On the plus side my knee seems fine. But the long break from hiking hasn’t helped. 4ks of bushwalking was a struggle - well, only the uphill bits. Also good that my new boots did well. A bit sore around the ankle, hope they ease up over time. 

Lane Cove National Park

Sunday 10th Sep
Whale Rock

I’m back

Saturday 2nd Sep
OK, finally a trip around the reserve. Just the one but I did OK. Wore the new hiking boots. They were OK, I do worry about where they rub on my ankle bone but I tried every pair at Paddy Pallin and these were the best. By the time I go to New Zealand, they will be worn in. Definitely solid walking downhill which is good. 

My knee is not 100% but the wound has healed and it doesn’t ache much. I have an impressive scar. Starting again from scratch, once around the reserve. Will move up to two laps soon. 

This won’t help

Saturday 8th Jul
Injury to my leg - bit of a setback. I’m in the hospital.  Fortunately I have lots of time to recover and get back to training. Don’t know how long I will be off my leg. 

Only 6.5 times more altitude

Tuesday 27th Jun
Twice around my little circuit around the reserve is 47 metres of elevation and Sealy Tarns is 547 so that means I have to do about 6.5 times more when we climb Sealy Tarns. I figure if I can do the reserve ten times I will be ready. With ten months to go, I can make that happen. 

2200 STEPS!

Sunday 25th Jun

2200 steps on the third day. 

Sealy Tarns is 2200 steps. I’ve started taking the stairs at work which works out to 14 flights. So, if 2200 steps is about 183 flights, that is about 169 flights more than what I do at work. Wow. I better start climbing more stairs.

Walking up that hill

Monday 19th Jun
Turns out I haven’t been hiking in a really long time. So I’m starting 1k at a time. Round trip in the reserve behind the house is one kilometre and 43 metres of altitude. Good thing I have plenty of time to get ready for NZ because I have a long way to go. 

Thank you to my Sponsors


From Bunning’s Bbq


Bunnings Bbq Fundraiser

Thanks to everyone at Eastgardens Bunnings for supporting our BBQ


Melinda Harrington


Melinda Harrington


Richard Harrington

Keep walking


Ciara B

Good on ya Melinda. I'll have to join you on a few training hikes.


Cathryn Carboon

Amazing work Melinda! Very inspirational. Good luck with the trek! Thanks for choosing MS for your fundraiser. Best wishes Cathryn XXX


Jo Butler


Sharon Cabot

Go Melinda. Love that you are doing this to help MS exposure and support those living with this illness


Melinda Harrington


Victoria Harrington

Keep safe


Paul Fenton-smith

All the best with your target.



Go Mel !!!


Good2give - Westpac Group Matching


Melinda Harrington


Nadja Roelofs

Go girl!!!




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We show our respect and acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who are the traditional custodians of this land. We pay respects to their Elders past and present.