Objectives: To reflect on whole community intervention approaches to promoting physical activity, using experiences from the 10,000 Steps Rockhampton project. Design: Many studies are quasi-experimental with single site intervention and comparison communities. Setting and participants: Whole communities. Intervention: Coordinated multiple strategies designed to address individual, interpersonal and environmental determinants of physical activity. Main outcome measure: Physical activity Results: There are many challenges to conducting whole community interventions. Developing community partner-ships and coalitions, reaching socially disadvantaged groups, and developing effective evaluation methods are identified as specific concerns. Conclusions: Despite the challenges, the whole community approach still offers tremendous potential for developing the social and cultural change which will be required for sustained improvements in population physical activity.