• Lorne Base camp


    Walk report
    11th September 2015
    Three Falls walk-Lorne
    Leader: Ann Be
    This walk should be called Three falls and a canyon! If I was more poetic I could have written a song to the tune of “Three coins in a fountain” but as I’m not, there will be no song!
    We set off on this walk on Sunday 20th September after our adventurous walk the day before.  It starts from the Allenvale car park and then through an orchard in which we saw three kangaroos enjoying the early morning sun.  After this deceptively easy meander we climbed a very steep hill but after the climb we had great views of the surrounding hills. We walked through the forested area with the sun streaming through the foliage to Phantom Falls, about 15 metres high, where there was plenty of water coming over, after the recent rain.
    Then it was on to the Canyon which is entered by a fairly steep drop down but then you are in a wonderland of magnificent ferns, moss covered trees and rocks and towering mountain ash.  It is beautiful to walk through as the birds trill in the trees high above.
    After a slow incline back out of the canyon we took a detour to Henderson Falls. These falls are also lovely to see with ferns surrounding the pool at the bottom of the falls. We spent some time here before retracing our steps to the main track. After this we were climbing a bit more and moved into more of the drier sclerophyll  forest with lots of wattle just coming into flower, several different coloured heaths and other pretty wild flowers (sorry Paul B- I don’t know the names!).  We then made a slight detour to Won Wondah falls which were more a series of cascades but it was nice to see and hear the water running over them. After this we made our way back to where we had left the cars.
    Before we headed for home we drove back into Lorne and had some lunch.
    During the walk we saw a few koalas due to the expert spotting by Tim the Koala Spotter. We would have all walked on by but he managed to see them. Thanks Ann for a terrific weekend and lovely walks, not to mention beautiful weather to explore the area.
    Cheryl C

  • Mt Stirling Snow Shoe



    Walk report
    Mt Stirling Snow Shoe overnight
    August 14th/16th
    Leader: Beaver Bucknell

    August is a good time of year to go snowshoeing, the snow is established and Spring days are on the way, generally a good recipe for snow shoe conditions. Our weekend starts at Carter’s Mill Camp Ground Friday night about 1km from the Buller/Stirling toll gates. Our group of Hayden, Lorraine, Matthew, Michael, Richard & I rendevous here readying ourselves for the trek come the morning.
    Going up the mountain, consolidating cars is recommended as it cost $70 per vehicle to stay overnight on the Mountains and thus, share the fare seems fair.
    Now to the task at hand, once hiring of equipment at our start point at Telephone Box Junction is completed we set off, in our ‘normal’ boots for 2km to King Saddle Shelter. The snow is patchy up until here, which was a bit of a surprise as i thought there would be a better cover of snow at a lower elevation than when i was last here 2 years ago.
    With snowshoes now attached, the weather is fairly kind as we zig-zag up from King Saddle and the first views of nearby mountains are seen on our lefthand side. Arriving at ‘The Cricket Pitch’ for a break a quick game with a shovel used as a bat and trekking poles as stumps, Richard bowls to Beaver with the fresh new snowball, the ball has limited life and the bowler goes for the ‘new ball’ after each delivery. When Lorraine recieves a brute of a ball to the body, stumps are called and the group sets off to our camp at Kings Spur Hut.
    The afternoon entrails us to head up to Stirling’s summit, but as time goes on the clouds  start to build up from Buller, fortunately enough cloud-break allows for distant views over snow-capped Crosscut Saw towards Mt’s. Bogong, Feathertop Hotham and the heart of the Victorian Alps. It’s brilliant up here with a huge blanket of snow laying over the summit and tracks marking where skiers have gone before us, and a lone Snowgum that’s suffered significant effects of snowdrift. We head back to camp via Bluff Spur Hut with an hour or so of daylight up our sleeves to have a cuppa and a rest or build a snow wall around the tent. When the sun has set and we’ve had our fill, the fire-heated hut invites us all to keep warm and chat amongst ourselves while having a sip…. but tiredness creeps up like Winter’s Ghost sweeping across the mountain and we’re all ready to turn in somewhere between 7 & 8pm.
    Dawn breaks and a brief sunrise glow gleams towards my tent and i enjoy brekky under the vestibule looking eastward with mountain views….. and the dunny just to give a little perspective.
    Breaking camp at 8:30 to head back down the mountain via the scenic route sees us back at King Saddle and onward to Razorback Hut. From here Beaver takes us, what looks loike a track leading away from the hut through mud and slush, and a bit of a challenge for the modern snowshoe, but not for the much maligned Yowie’s that trample everything in their way. Fifty metres on, connection to the main track winds us back to Telephone Box Junction to complete a worthwhile snowjourn.
    Paul M

  • Churchill Island, Aug 23rd



    Walk report
    Churchill Island
    August 23rd
    Leader: Margaret Madge

    On Sun 23/8/15 Marg led a walk to Churchill Island which was once owned by her great, great grandfather. The road in is still named Samuel Amess Drive after him. The weather was fine and the sea was calm and flat enough to produce reflections of the clouds. Twenty walkers attended.
    We met at the chocolate factory just over the bridge on Phillip Island and walked through the Phillip Island Nature Park to the bridge to Churchill Island. Along the way there were wetlands and info boards about the birdlife and history of the area. We stopped regularly to photograph the nesting cape barren geese and read the boards. There are also swans, pelicans and over 50 other bird species using this wetland. It was called Wadjil garook Nangana [Wetland out look] by its original owners the Yalloc Bulluk clan of the Bunurong people. Churchill Island was called Moonar’mia. It is now maintained by Phillip Island Nature Parks and adjoins the Churchill Island Marine National Park. It’s only about 100 metres over the bridge to Churchill Island and before the bridge was built they used to drive cattle and sheep across the mud flat here at low tide.
    The southern end of the island has low scrub opening into grassy paddocks which are populated by highland cattle and black faced sheep some of which had lambs. There were yet more cape barren geese which also had goslings. Spring is nearly here. We continued up the track on the east side of the island to the information centre and cafe where we stopped for morning tea. The track continues in a loop around the northern end of the island which is more covered in trees. Along this part of the track we found ourselves commenting on how peaceful the island felt. We continued on toward the ancient Moonah trees. A very old species of Melaleuca or tea tree which can live for around three hundred years. Further along the track we were looking back across to Phillip Island as we came to a monument to the first Europeans to land here.
    “In 1801 James Grant had some of his convict crew fell some trees and build a blockhouse on Churchill Island. They cultivated a patch of soil and Grant planted seeds of wheat, corn, potatoes, peas, coffee berries, apples, peaches and nectarines given to him for the purpose of creating a garden “for the future benefit of our fellow men be they Countrymen, Europeans or natives” by John Churchill of Dawlish in Devon, England. This was the first European garden and crop of wheat grown in Victoria.” Wikipedia.
    Turning up a small hill we passed a couple of draught horses and the original historic homestead which has been restored and is open to the public. During school and public holidays there are farming activities on display include wagon rides, cow milking, sheep shearing, whip cracking, working dogs and sheep shearing. We left that for another day and continued back to the info centre for lunch. After lunch we returned to the west side of the island and followed the track past the paddocks back to the bridge having completed about a five or six k loop around the outside of the island.
    Back across the bridge and through the wetland to the chocolate factory for coffee and farewells. True to form this was the fourth possible coffee stop marg provided. Thank you marg for a great walk, relaxed interesting and educational and great company from all.
    Mark D

  • French Island


    (Lyndal pic)
    Walk report:
    French Island
    Sunday May 16th
    Leader: Lyndal

    A beautiful sunny autumn morning set the tone for a really enjoyable day out on French Island. Just fifteen minutes on the high speed substitute ferry and you enter another world.
    20 Peninsula bush walkers made the trip. We were met by islander Lois who was a walking encyclopaedia on all matters “French” from koalas to the most minute orchid. Her grandparents had settled on the island and Lois is currently the official French Island tour guide, although on the verge of retirement.
    What is different about French island? Unregistered cars on unsealed roads, no electricity or gas supply, an abundance of large koalas, chicory to drink and a community meeting to discuss the bandicoot population.
    Our walking plans were curtailed because the heavy rain had caused flooding on the first walk circuit. Lois managed this situation by dropping us off the bus, pointing us in a direction and then reappearing some way along. Back on the bus and off we went again!
    Lunch at the general store, powered by generator, solar and a wind turbine, gave us a relaxing break as the food was prepared from scratch and took time accordingly. Some of the early diners were taken up to a road with a number of koalas resting in the trees. We learnt to spot koala droppings under a tree and then look up to find the producer. The koalas are eating many young gum trees and are not everyone`s cuddly delight it would seem.
    After lunch we were taken to the beach walk which was most attractive and caused some bush walkers to comment “isn`t this gorgeous”. Just across the water the Phillip Island bridge and San Remo could be seen.
    At this stage of the day we acquired a new group leader: Jess, the kelpie cross. She led us along the beach and where human instincts said go up this grassy path to find Lois, Jess our leader continued along the beach, with 20 trusting walkers in tow. A cooee from Lois got us back on track.
    It was time for the moment some of us had been waiting for all day. The visit to Lois` ancient chicory museum and a scones, jam & cream tea. It was very delicious and interesting to view all the paraphernalia in the old shed. Geese, ducks, sheep and ponies were free-ranging and our dog friend Jess got a bit out of control.
    With not a moment to spare, Lois returned our group to the ferry as the boat prepared to cast off. We arrived back at the mainland thoroughly satisfied with a fabulous fun day in uncharted territory for many of our number.
    Lyndal deserves a great thank you for the organisation she put in to make the day so enjoyable and interesting! Philippa B

  • Main Ridge- Cape Schanck


    Walk Report:
    Main Ridge-Cape Schanck
    March 29th 2015
    Leader: Matt Freeman
    A small group of 5 walkers met at the Cape Schanck car park and then drove in 2 cars to the starting point at the corner of Browns Road and Hyslops Road Main Ridge. The walk followed the Two Bays Walking Track, which extends from Dromana to Cape Schanck via Arthurs Seat State Park, Rosebud South and the Mornington Peninsula National Park over a total distance of 26km. Our walk of 17.4km covered about two thirds of this distance.
    Starting off down the unsealed Hyslops Road to Limestone Road, we followed the track into Greens Bush, then along a short section of Greens Road, before passing two track junctions to Baldreys Crossing. The walk then became very scenic, with lots of ferns and other sub-tropical plants, plus boardwalks and bridges over a number of small creeks. There were quite a number of other walkers and joggers going both ways on the track. We stopped in a sheltered area for morning tea, after which we were startled by what appeared to be a Tiger Snake sunning himself on the track in front of us. Fortunately, he decided to crawl away into the grass after a few minutes!
    We crossed Boneo Road, where lots of cars were parked, and then stopped for lunch at one of the tables provided. The last 5km of the walk starts off quite easy up until the turnoff to Bushrangers Bay. We saw another snake on the track, plus a very tame echidna, who obligingly stayed still for photos, before rolling himself into ball. After the turnoff, there were quite a number of steep steps to climb, before the track levelled out for the last stretch to Cape Schanck. We arrived at the car park after a total time of 5 hours and 40 minutes for walking and stops. Everyone handled it very well, with no immediate signs of blisters or other aches and pains.
    After driving back to the start of the walk to pick up the cars, four of us went to the “Blue Mini” café, located at the Rosebud swimming pool, for coffee, relaxation and a chat. Thanks to Matt for organizing and leading this most enjoyable, but somewhat challenging walk.
    Ray V

  • George Bass Walk


    George Bass Coast Walk
    Saturday 15th November 2014
    Leader: Robyn A
    This walk starts at Punchbowl Rd near Anderson and goes along the cliff tops to Kilcunda. After reading signs about falling off cliff tops we rounded a corner and there before us are beautiful green rolling hills with a massive, angular, pale, flesh coloured pink house sitting on the cliff top. I thought it was a different colour last time I did this walk but on looking back at photos it was the same pink. Amazing! It is a structure that seems to purposely defy its breathtaking surrounds. We move on shaking our heads at the “wisdom” of town planners. 
    This walk is named after the hardy maritime explorer, George Bass, a man hardly known for walking. However he did his bit by sailing across/through Bass Strait in his small boat and proving that the mainland was separated from Tasmania.
    The walk climbs out of stretches of scrub and into wide, rolling fields of grass. Bass Strait licks at inaccessible craggy bays below. Headlands stand defiant, their features etched by thousands of years of ocean brutality and windswept surgery.
    A short walk along the beach leads us to some perfect rock sitting spots for a scroggin break and then it’s back up the hill and along the cliff tops. Sometimes we are quite sheltered by scrub so much so that the sounds of the sea are all but blocked out.
    The occasional steep section inevitably raises the sweat but just as the joy risks being nudged aside by effort, there’s a stretch of flat and easy. At the Kilcunda end of the trail the track becomes quite flat as the coastline stretches before us all the way east to Cape Paterson
    At the weather-beaten hamlet of Kilcunda we had lunch. After lunch some continued on to the trestle bridge to have a look under and around it and then back to the rotunda ready to head back to the start but without the beach section. We were then able to enjoy the ocean view from a different perspective.
    There was much discussion about the history of the bridge but without any signage there was much guessing. From that well know font of information on the internet I have found the following:
    “The 91 m long Kilcunda Bridge was built over the Bourne Creek. It is protected by the National Trust. This trestle bridge was constructed for the Victorian Railways to carry coal from what was then known as the Powlett Coal Fields. It is a particularly significant monument because most of the steam-locomotive fuel that serviced the Victorian Railways network, from 1911 until 1978, crossed over this bridge. Now disused, the bridge is a tourist attraction and a part of the Bass Coast Rail Trail.”
    Fifteen walkers, including some visitors to the club, enjoyed a lovely day and thanks to Robyn for keeping everyone together- a difficult job!

  • Phillip Island, 26th October 2014


    Picture taken by Fiona W.

  • Bluff circuit walk



    Bluff Circuit Walk
    November 2014, Written by the leader!

    After a four hour drive and the mandatory lunch stop at Mansfield bakery, Tim and I reached Eight Mile Flat. This was to be the starting point for our three day circuit adventure.
    Changing into our walking clothes, filling water bladders/bottles and a final checking of packs, we were off.
    The next five hours were to be spent climbing up Eight Mile Spur to Rocky Ridge. It was quite an effort to reach the ridge. Apart from the Tk being steep, their were overgrown sections with the occasional detour around large fallen trees.On the way up you could hear birds tweeting away in the tree tops, going about there daily business. The more we climbed the better the views of the surrounding mountains became. Mt Buller was the main one observed, with its grassy ski slopes and ski lifts easily visible.The air was very still, which meant we were sweating a lot. Occasionally  a breeze would blow past and our arms would automatically fan out like a bird drying its wings. Where ever possible we would find a shady spot to take a break and rest.
    Having reached Rocky Ridge,the daunting sight of the Bluff lay before us. A good rest was in order before the next leg of our journey to the top of the Bluff.
    Before we could get to the start of the Bluff Tk we had to descend down off the Ridge to what is known as Refrigerator Gap. A short walk along the main vehicle Tk and we were at the start of the Bluff Walking Tk. The next 1.5 km  to the top would take us 1.5 hrs approx to reach. This Tk is all up, with the final section a bit of a rock scramble to the top.
    It was a fantastic feeling to finally step up and onto the Bluff itself. The 360 degree views of the surrounding mountain ranges soon made all the hard work, aches and pains worth it. No words can describe what lay before us not even, jaw dropping or even gob smacking could come close. The late evening glow of the sun on the ranges was mesmerizing. With the sun low in the sky it created long shadows across the ranges which highlighted their spurs giving them a 3D effect.
    Taking in our fill it was time to get to the small snow plain on the south side of the Bluff before night fall. This is where we made camp and after a hot meal and a quick stick fire as Tim called it, the two of us retired to our tents for a well earned rest and sleep. I did have a quick look up at the stars and was amazed at how many there were. It was a “Wow” moment!
    Before long the morning sun of the new day was upon us. With a moan and a groan as I exited my tent, I found Tim already up getting his breakfast ready. ” How do you feel” I asked. Tim,s reply was ” F$&!@?Fantastic”got any Panadol !
    That’s not what he really said, but he was feeling the previous day’s effort just as I was.
    With breakfast out of the way and camp packed up, we were once again on our way. Today we were heading for Ritchies Hut via Bluff Hut and Pikes Flat. We had a long descent to do to get down to Pikes Flat which lies alongside the Howqua River. First we had to get to Bluff Hut. We did this after making a slight detour around a snake that was sunning itself just to the side of the track. “Hate snakes” Reaching the hut we had a rest and a look around. This is a beauty of a hut. It was rebuilt a few years ago after the devastating bush fires that went through this area.
    Making our way down the shortcut tk and the steep Jeep Tk we reached Pikes Flat. Finding a grassy spot under some shady wattles we rested and relaxed beside the river. Several 4wd convoys cruised in and out, staying just long enough to say “yep seen it, what’s next, let’s go.”
    Rested up and with rain threatening we were once again on our way. A nice swimming hole in the river caught our eye and before long we were in. Very refreshing and very cold, but worth it. The plums eventually came back down.
    Ritchies Hut was now only 4km away. This is where we were to meet up with Lorraine and Greg who were coming in to meet us and stay the night.
    One hour later we arrived to see Greg and Lorraine setting up their tents having just arrived before us.
    With camp set up it was time to relax.
    The afternoon was spent by the river, sitting in it or with feet dangling in as we chatted away the afternoon.
    Later a fire was lit , with drinks and a packet of chips appearing. ” Now this is camping”
    Sitting around the fire it wasn’t long after dark that it started to rain.
    “How to put a bummer on a good night.”
    With good nights said it wasn’t long before we were all in our tents. It rained most of the night only stopping in the morning.
    This was our chance to get up and start packing before it started again.
    Tim and I were returning to Eight Mile Flat and the car via the Low Tk, while Lorraine and Greg returned via the High Tk. I have never walked the Low Tk before. It involves crossing the river twelve times. With the river level low it was the perfect time to try.
    We all left together only separating at the junction for the start of the Low Tk. We were interested to see which group would return first and how long it would take to walk back via this track.
    Both groups separated and I think an unofficial race begun to see which group would return first.
    Tim and I were enjoying the walk along this Tk. It is mostly in shade unlike the High Tk. There are great views along the river as you cross it. No two crossings are the same. Some perfect swimming holes were spotted and noted for next time.
    After a few hrs and with very wet feet we arrived back at the car to find Lorraine and Greg just walking in as well.
    Thanks to Tim for the company, and to Greg and Lorraine for coming out and joining us.


  • Mitchell River Base camp


    Walk report:
    Mitchell River Base Camp
    12 – 14 Sept 2014
    Leader:  Al & Deb
    Distance:  24km Angusvale to Echo Bend Camp.

    Echo Bend Camp Ground AEST 17:00 Friday, hikers start to gather adjacent to a tin shelter with a washing machine tub for a camp fire, not that anybody has ever used one of those for a fireplace before! The light fades, tents are pitched and dinners are had before wine, JD’s & beers are sipped to the sounds of classical crooners. A nice relaxing evening preceeding a big days hike.
    08:45 Saturday, troops file out of 2 4WD’s some 20km upstream at Angusvale on the Mitchell River, thereafter hitting the trail alongside the Mitchell. It’s a fairly flat start, quite often treading on ground that is occasionally underwater from flooding & passing trees and shrubbery like Bottle trees (brachycyton), lillypillies, clematis and even Fairy’s Apron Orchids, all identified by our esteemed Club Leader who has wealth of horticultural knowledge!
    As we tread further on our elevation increases gradually meandering to and fro from the river and the sound of the rapids ebbing and flowing to a point on just how many adjectives can you fit into one paragraph before our path leads us inland to a rest stop? Michael takes Paul B down a track to search for a camp ground that lies beside the river and discover a beaut place to lead a overnight camp sometime in the future.
    The track now is into some serious undulations and a creek crossing that takes some sure footing, otherwise you could end up in the drink with a naked boy as witness to your misfortune, fortunately this scenario did not play out!
    The first of our 2 big highlights for the days trek came just on our lunchbreak with a magnificent view across The Amphitheatre. The Amphitheatre is a sandstone rock face gouged out by the Mitchell winding around in front of a hillside over many a millennia. Rock debris settles at the base of the cliff sitting at an angle that resembles a theatre setting. As we climb higher above this viewing spot to the top of the cliff a lookout deck provides a spectacular vista upstream under blue skies. During lunch at the nearby picnic ground a Goanna strolled across the path going about its business, that was until Andrew, like Papparazi hounded the lizard so much it scuttled off into rehab.
    Post lunch the troops press on in and out of ‘temperate rainforest’ gullies for a few hours eventually leading us to our 2nd big highlight, Deadcock Den… now who (and how) would come up with a name like that? My guess is someone found a deceased Rooster in the Den…. Anyhow back to the story at hand, Deadcock Den, just off the main track is a magnificent canyon with a cascade of water pooling within an open room of rock pools and scalloped rock walls. Just beyond Deadcock is the Den of Nargun, although we did not visit as it is accessed more easily by car, these two together would be an excellent place to visit. Not far from here the steep track takes us back to Camp 15 minutes away where Deb has the fire stoked and the chairs re-set around.

    Day 2 sees us hiking for an hour in the opposite direction from camp on well formed tracks lead us to a reasonably steep descent through a little scrub and rock trekking back to the Mitchell. There at our destination is what looks like a solid stone wall damming the River. Alas once in full view, the Glenaladale Weir built in 1893 succumbed to Mother Natures forces later that year and now huge chunks of wall lay idly downstream leaving a massive gap in the wall allowing kayakers and rafters a free pass of the river. A good half hour or more is spent scrambling up, over, on and around the weir and exploring it’s surrounds before heading back up the hill to Camp and ending our weekend.
    Paul Moldrich

  • Melbourne Parks


    Walk report:
    Melbourne Parks
    Leaders: Kris Stone and Eileen Haycock
    31 August 2014
    It was a beautiful day, warm and sunny, with blue skies above. Rather a change from previous dull and misty days. Kris and Eileen must have had a direct line somewhere.
    The day began with a train journey to Melbourne. Soon we were wandering at a relatively relaxed pace through Federation Square and along the Yarra River where we stopped to watch the many rowers practicing their strokes, as they were yelled at by the man on the bike. There were numerous people pounding up and down the tracks beside the river, families with kids and dogs, pushers and prams, everyone seemed to be out on this beautiful day. Across the river we came across the Myer Music Bowl with its statue of Sidney Myer and memories of summer music functions. Nearby we came across the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden, a sunken garden officially opened in 1935 and designed by Hugh Linaker as part of Victoria’s centenary celebrations. The cross-shaped water canal leads to a blue tiled grotto with a bronze figure of a women, and the gardens were full of brightly coloured Primula plants.
    Further on we admired the gates to Government House, the Governor was at home but not for us.  At the Observatory Gate there was a decision to make, to look around the Shrine of Remembrance, join a long queue for a cup of coffee, look around the book shop, or wander a little bit of the nearby gardens. Unfortunately the Children’s Garden was closed for refurbishment, and so on to look at the rainforest plants of the eastern states and the tropical glasshouses. There are just so many interesting areas to see here, but not enough time to see everything. Lunch was beside the lake watching the antics of others and birds hunting for lunch.
    But other parks beckoned and so on we went to wander back across the Yarra river to Yarra Park, and the sports complexes, AAMI, Rod Laver Complex, Hisense Arena and the MCG. At the MCG there are the magnificent statues of sports people, Shirley Strickland and Betty Cuthbert, and a few footballers and cricketers. 
    At the Fitzroy Gardens there was the Conservatory full of more colourful Primula and Cyclamen plants, and Captain Cook’s House, the Fairy Tree and the Miniature Village to look at and admire. But that cup of coffee beckoned and so we joined the many families also enjoying the local cafe. 
    Soon we were on our feet again wandering through the rest of the Fitzroy Gardens where today did not seem to be a wedding day as so often happens over the weekend. The Treasury Gardens were also well patronised, and there we enjoyed the antics of the wood ducks as they hassled their chicks about and had to put up with the aggressive male that raced maniacally around the area.
    Then back on the train to Frankston after an enjoyable day’s walk across the Gardens of Melbourne.
    Many thanks Kris and Eileen for an interesting and enjoyable day and to the co-walkers for their company.
     Ros Sh

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