• Bass Coast Rail trail


    Bass Coast Rail Trail
    Saturday 4th June
    Leader: Jan D
    Five hardy souls met at Kilcunda to ride the Bass Coast Rail Trail. The rain was supposed to start around 2pm so we hoped to be back by that time. There was barely any wind so it was a lovely ride hugging the rugged coast for a short time and then passing through farmland and coastal bushland to Wonthaggi. The trail is reasonably flat and on a well formed track. It extends from the shopping area of Wonthaggi to the Coal mine in Wonthaggi so we rode there and signed up for the mine tour.
    The leader was very entertaining and gave an excellent insight to the lives of the miners. His father was a miner and he had also done extensive reading of the area. The tour went for 90 minutes and was excellent. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone going to that area.
    After the tour we had lunch and then it was back on our bikes to Kilcunda and to miss the rain. That didn’t quite happen but it was still a very enjoyable ride.
    Good on you, Jan for organising your first activity for the club. Well done!
    Cheryl C.

  • Two Bays Track


    Two Bays Walking Trail: aka Lighthouse to Lighthouse
    Sunday 15th May
    Leaders: Chris, Marty & Ray

    After a well organised car shuffle, 14 eager walkers assembled at 7am below the McCrae Lighthouse. The sun rose as we headed along The Bay Trail where we were refreshed by the salt spray crashing over the bluestone wall at the base of Anthony’s Nose. We then began our first ascent through the Latrobe Reserve, past Heronswood, and across the Bunurong Track. A few of us suffered flash back at the site of Boneseed growing freely. Onwards and upwards we moved through the burnt area of Arthur’s Seat. This zone was declared high risk by Parks and a major controlled burn was recently done. Along the way we took time to enjoy the view (and catch our breath), before heading down to McLarens Dam for morning tea with the ducks.

    After leaving Arthur’s Seat National Park we followed the Little Blue Wren (walking track symbol) through the Rosebud South Street section. This lead to more hills, but some beautiful farm land properties. From here the trail leads into the Mornington Peninsula National Park – Greens Bush section. This area was purchased from the Green family and incorporated into the National Park in 1989. This trail passes through eucalyptus forest with a bracken understory, before opening out to give a view across grasslands and gullies of coast banksia and blackwood. At the half way point near Baldry’s Crossing we stopped for lunch. A friendly off leash dog took advantage of 14 people relaxing by inspecting all of our lunches. His owner had no chance of retrieving him after a couple of members obliged.

    At Boneo Road we were spoilt by a pop up establishment named “The Stagger Inn”. Philippa and Jill arranged table cloths, and served an assortment of hot beverages, cake, biscuits and chocolate. At this point I think it was exactly what we needed before our last stretch past Bushranger’s Bay to Cape Schanck. The spectacular coastal scenery provided inspiration towards the end. And then, there we were at the Cape Schanck Lighthouse. All kinds of motion sensors were consulted. We had travelled approximately 29kms in 8.5 hours, with an estimated 6.45 hours walking time.

    Special thanks to Ray, Chris and Marty for all their planning and training walks. Then taking turns to lead the complete Two Bays Trail. Also a big thanks to Jill and Philippa for their hospitality at The Stagger Inn.
    Two bays Trail – tick it off!

  • Tasmania



    Sunday 17th April.
    Up early to greet a misty morning, dressing warm and packing lunch , flasks and Michael took a camping stove. The drive to the start of the walk was a scenic tour in itself. The mist cleared to reveal lush grass, shrubs and trees changing to autumn colours .We really did drive through Paradise ,seeing Mt Rowland on the left. Mt Rowland looked very, very high, steep and rocky.  Following directions from the book of walks , 200m east of the Memorial Hall we turned left onto a gravel road , known as Kings Road which after 1.4K revealed a small ( very small ours was the 2nd car and it was full) car park. Actually it was just pull over on the road.  We signed our names and intent in the book and then   began to walk uphill for the next 800m. The track went off to the left through dense Eucalypt forest .It became increasingly rocky and steep and soon hands as well as legs were needed for balance and gripping the rock ahead . We had crossed a gully and then began to climb in earnest. We climbed through a forest of trees and shrubs and always behind us were panoramic views .We clambered up the rocks needing big strides and our hands to support and pull us up .We climbed for a long time. Still it was a beautiful track, there was birdsong, trees, shrubs and clear views. Nearer the top the rocks changed in colour and character and the vegetation changed too becoming alpine.  We had to be near the top now, looking down and around there is not much that is higher than us , apart from clouds.
    The actual summit is hidden by rocks until it is very close so the final few meters ascent is a very welcome surprise. Wow but was it worth the climb. Such a clear day and from the summit 360 degree views. We were ready for lunch, the restaurant at the top of the world.  We were on alpine heathland and could see Cradle Mountain, Barn Bluff to the south, Sheffield and the Northern coastline on turning round. Near the top we met another walker who had walked from Gowrie , she reported that the track was just fine and not at all neglected. So much for local knowledge at the information centre.                                                        Walking down of course was hard in a different way, we had to watch every step, knees were on guard , poles useful. Not far below the summit, there was a drop of a couple of meters where we had to lower our packs down separately ??
    It was a happy return to Mole Creek after a wonderful day. It was also great to return to a kitchen, a hot shower and home cooked food. Later the guys lit a fire in the little lounge and we planned the next day.

    Monday 18th April.
    Again waking to misty morning fog ( as per the song) and Paul having predicted good weather the plan was to walk to ( but not up ) the Walls of Jerusalem. Again it was great to enjoy the sunny autumn morning as we drove to the start, turning down Mersey Forest Road and crossing over Fish river. We saw that the river had been dammed and there were signs of construction work. Just after the Fish crossing the left fork leg southeast uphill for about 1.5 K to a car park on the slopes of Howells Buff. The walker registration booth is here and we signed on and began our walk. To walk all the way to Mt Jerusalem ( our plan) is 21.5K return. There was steep climbing head but today a mere 650K. We were heading into an area of wilderness 12 K wide and 40K long with 4000 lakes and tarns. The 5 peaks around the central basin is called the Walls of Jerusalem. The alpine plateau is 1200m above sea level. To protect the vulnerable tundra much of the walk is on boardwalks.
    Initially the track was very steep but I good track through shrubs including lomatia and tea tree. After 2.5k we reached Trappers Hut and had a break there. We also met some other walkers .
    There was more uphill then the tracked plateaued out somewhat as we approached Solomon’s Jewels. I really loved the alpine terrain with sphagnum mosses, bog plants, alpine ferns, thick  grasses, little streams with steep tufty banks, tarns with the freshest water possible. The trees were snow gums and pencil pines .We approached and had a look at Wild dog Creek Campsite , it was getting colder by now. On through Herod’s Gate and Lake Salome on the left. We had decided to walk as far as Damascus gate, and enjoyed views across a valley spotted with tarns to the Great Pines Tier.  Returning was a joy to walk through the scenery again from a different perspective . Returning to the plateau we were fascinated to see hundreds of Pandani trees some in clusters some single standing like soldiers. Paul said it was unusual for so many of them to be out in the open ( unlike bush walkers).

    Tuesday 19th April,
    After 2 monumental climbs this day would perhaps be easier. Another sunny but somewhat windy day, leaving Mole creek this time driving east through Deloraine to Liffey. First we visited Bob Browns former cottage called Oura Oura . He had given the cottage and property to Bush Heritage Australia in 2011. I was very interested to  see this modest wooden cottage where he had lived , hosted meetings to plan the campaign against damming the Franklin river, promoted Green politics, nursed his aging parents and from where he cycled to Launceston at weekends to work as a doctor. As we walked onto the property we read a sign saying “Trespassers Welcome”.  The cottage stood white, pretty outside , simple inside, surrounded by 14 hectors  of grass, woodland, birds backdrop of mountains. Perhaps it would be less comfortable in the depths of winter but on this day it was pleasure and privilege to wonder the grounds, peep into the house through the windows and just enjoy being there.

    The afternoon was spent at Liffey falls, a more gentle walk through the rainforest. We walked to the upper cascade. Crossing a bridge and looking down onto the rocky base of the falls we noted many small towers hand build from the nearby rocks and stones. The stones were all different sizes and it was hard to believe they were not held together by cement ( they were not we went down to check). At the end we viewed the giant Eucalyptus Obliqua ( browntop stringybark) , this specimen is 3.39 me diameter and 50m wide. I tried to photograph it but it would not fit into my camera.
    This was the last night in Trappers Lodge Mole Creek.
    The next day Wednesday 20th April began our next series of adventures in Cradle Mountain National Park.
    The report for this will follow in the next addition of Boots n All.
    Stay tuned

  • Powelltown


    Powelltown – Ada River Track
    Saturday 9th January.
    Leader:  Greg

    Powelly Pub really exists!  It is not a figment of the fertile imagination of Greg Richards.  And more than that it is run by people willing to please customers, and serves a really good lamb pie (doesn’t it Greg), and ice-creams, drinks, a good beer, even orange juice.  Yep so I’ve started this report backwards for one of the pleasant things about day walks is the camaraderie afterwards.

    To start at the beginning is a really good place to start.  Three cars, 9 people: the aforementioned Greg with Wane & John;  Andrew & Rosemary;  Lydie, Pauline, Ray & Bruce (your scribe) all meet at the allotted spot by the big log at Powelltown.  (Having driven through some delightful tall timbered country on dirt roads getting there following the GPS!)  This time it was jumpers on for some as the temperature up there was a bit cool at 8:30 in the morning.  The jumpers come off once the walk started and even more clothing was stripped off as the day wore on.

    There was a skirt down the road, left turn, gravel road, right turn into old logging track and so to the start of the walk, and very soon we were exploring Ada No2 Mill site which was the most fruitful of the mill sites.  The biggest thing was the old steam boiler rusting away but so large and so much iron that it should be there for many more years to come.  Is it really true that the last person to position the anvil when the final iron rivets were driven in was left to die within the cylinder as there was no room to get out?  Ask John for substantiation or just accept it’s another furphy.

    We were promised, in Greg’s inimical way, raging torrents, flooded swamps, and leeches.  Leeches there were and free flowing rivulets of blood down legs, much too late to use the salt when inspected on return to the cars, but hey, it’s January: the swamp was only oozy, the raging torrents just a free running creek.  Good quality water as we refilled drink bottles.   We saw scrapings of lyre birds, collected some lyre bird feathers, heard many and varied birds, saw a black cockatoo.  The bush gave us different growth zones: varieties of beech down the creek gullies, dark areas with much canopy above, transition zones and of course the tall majestic mountain ash.

    Rotted trestle bridges aplenty even with old signs about unsafe bridge.  Very old signs as that bridge has now collapsed and well beyond being “unsafe”.  With low flowing waters we rock hopped across the river (well, creek may be a better descriptor).  Then onwards and upwards to the Ada tree eucalyptus regnans or mountain ash to mere mortals: now reduced to 65 metres high, well struck many times by lightning so reducing its height.  A massive girth, and some estimated 225 cubic metres and 225 tons of timber.

    This was looking first hand at the history of our tall forests and our timber industry and if that was all for the walk, well done.  But look there’s more!  There’s the “exploration” bit.  This was just out of the Ada tree car park (1.5 kms from the Ada tree).  A quick right turn, scramble over a rampart of earth blocking the entrance and we are on an old road – still with the occasional traffic sign.  This was cut from the embankment of yet another creek, very steep in most places to our left, so steep that there was clear sky for the trees were way down the steep sided walls, so “way down there” to give us our sky view.  Scrambling over or under many fallen trees across the road way. Greg kept the “technical” difficulties until we were soon to face them.  There was a wash out of the road, so a scramble up hill, cross a creek then oh where oh where is the road?  Pretty well much back to the left your scribe contended correctly and so to be praised and awarded the Junior Bushwalkers’ Badge!  This “exploration” was so good as it was a gentle downhill walk all the way.  To be countered once we meet Dowey Spur Road with a gradual uphill walk back to the awaiting cars.  Carrying a large male gut or pot belly was too much for your scribe who thanks Greg (with his re-emerged left achilles tendon pain) and Pauline for accompanying him on that last 4 km.  Well, Wane drove back to pick us up for that last half km.  We were not too proud to gratefully accept.

    It was reckoned that we’d walked some 17km.  A great walk.  A hearty thanks to Greg for yet again a walk well displaying Australian bush and gobsmacking views.  To me this is the very nature of bushwalking.  Thank you Greg.


  • Helicopter spur walk


    Leader; Richard

    Richard  picked us up on the way thru Friday night. We stopped for dinner at Mansfield, but by now 7pm. Most places were closed, so our options were slim. On thru the night up around Mt. Sterling. The half moon giving us some light as we pulled into the Upper Howqua river camp site. Many others had the same idea. We drove through the camping area to find a spot at the end of the area and set-up under lights.
    A quick breakfast then packs up and off up the spur. To begin with we followed an old logging trail weaving up the gullies until it reached the turn-table. Here we had snack and reduced our layers ready for the climb. The pad was well used for an uncommon trail. We gradually climbed up the spur still in tall forest, but Richard pointed out the presipus high above us which was the first of three escarpments we needed to climb over!
    The first escarpment was really a scramble up various ledges. Weaving our way left and right to follow signs of pervious paths up gullies between the rock faces. Finally levelling out a bit before the next step.
    At the base of the second one we stopped and rested studying the escarpment in front of us. Then we began to climb, first to the right then up ledge to the left, up through a chimney to a shelf. Here we stopped to admire and photograph a rock spire that jutted up through the trees. On up to scrabble on the plateau  of the second escarpment, the view becoming more spectacular as we gained height.
    One more to go! By now the spur was getting narrower, dropping away on each side. It was hand over hand up each shelf and a relief to get onto the plateau and a gradual climb across the alpine meadow to reach the 4X4 track of helicopter spur. The quantity and variety of wild flowers increase the further we climbed. Much excitement about the first discovery, soon to be overwhelmed by colourful expanses along a bit further. More photos. The Alpine Spring was at its best, white, yellow and mauve the main colours. (Ask Paul for their names)
    We follow the wheel tracks up the main well used road that follows the escarpment form the bluff to Howitt Hut.  Just along the main track we came to a saddle and climbed up onto the escarpments edge to get a spectacular view of the Howqua valley below and the “Crosscut Ridge” on the horizon.  Here had lunch then climbed up the peak to our west, aptly named “Picture Point”.  At 1600m. it is 800m above the river below, its peak giving you 360” view of the surrounding mountains. Spectacular, but the next peak along “Mount Magdala”  is another 125 higher and is tree-less, so the view there was “top of the mountains” with a shear drop to the valley below.
    After taking in the view we zig zaged down it back to a large gap in the escarpment rightly called “Hells Window” for the wind rips through here with mighty force.  On down to saddle below to a flat meadow with large old Snow Gums dotted about, to choose a camp site for the night. Water was retrieved form the “Hell Fire Creek” only 500m down and below the back of the saddle, but the climb back up was horrendous. That night we joined other campers around their camp fire and swapped yarns and stories till late.
    Day 2. Wake to a chorus of birds and the sun starting to light up the surrounding peaks. A casual breakfast, then pack up and continue along the saddle then up around a rocky path around the back of “Big Hill”.  Across another grassy saddle then start the climb up to the Howitt peaks. At a camp site amongst a group of very old snow gums, we stopped for June to explore the gully below for a water source. No luck! So on up past the “tree line” through the alpine heath land, full of flowers, to drop our packs at the junction and climb to the summit of Mount Howitt.  The cold wind made us rug up while we had morning tea and took in the view.
    Back to collect our packs and walk out to West Peak to begin our decent.  We picked our way down rocky shelves and zig zagged   through snow gums down the ridge. Soon we were in a forest of Woolly Butts and then enclosed in tall scrub. Down, Down, Down until we finally popped out into the ferny valley of the South Branch of the Howqua River. We crossed over the river to find a grassy patch on the other side for lunch and cook up a cuppa.( Richard had a final swim in the river).
    Instead of negotiating the boggy creek side, we climbed up onto the 4×4 track to follow it down the river valley.  The track crossed the river 6 times before it opened up in to a grassy river flat. You could see why they used to run sheep and cattle here.  Where the track came back to the river we left the walking trail to follow the 4×4 track back across the river to the cars parked on the other side.
    Before we departed we all had a refreshing dip in the river, changed into civilian cloths and jumped in the car.
    On the way out we stopped to explore  the Bindaree Falls. They are only a short distance from the road along a well formed path.  The water cascades over a horse shoe escapement to fall 60m like a lace curtain into the ferny gully.  There is a viewing platform in the rocks caves behind the falls, Spectacular!
    Back into the car, to wind our way out of the mountains into Mansfield. But by the time we got there little was open that late on Sunday night, only fish and chips!  Although it was a long drive home, we all had enjoyed a fantastic journey through the best the high country, the stuff dreams are made of! Thanks to Richard for every thing . Great company. For June especially, it was a home coming, She knows these mountains very well.
    Paul B

  • Pyarmid Rock/ Cape Woolamai circuit


    Phillip Island: Pyramid Rock am, Cape Woolamai Circuit

    Sunday 27th December
    Leader Fiona

    Pyramid Rock Phillip Island

    Pyramid Rock Phillip Island

    Cape Woolamai Phillip Island

    Cape Woolamai Phillip Island


    We were up and out very early this morning to meet on the Island by 8am. After a scorching 36 degrees on Christmas Day, followed by 14 degrees Boxing Day morning we were pleased with moderate temperature. On the way to Pyramid Rock we were welcomed by the local Black Swamp Wallabies, Cape Barron Geese, rabbits and hares. After a short car shuffle to Kitty Miller Bay we began our rock scrambling along the coast. Here rests the Speke Shipwreck that came into strife in 1891 when the Captain mistook the Cape Schanck Lighthouse for Aireys Inlet Lighthouse. The all steel ship was on route from Peru to Geelong to purchase wheat. The Speke broke up over days and pieces including the bow can be seen scattered all over the area. While we posed for a photo on the bow I was swarmed by insects as I poked my head through one of the holes (see photo).

    Our leader insisted that we press on to pass the bluff before the tide came in. Unfortunately when we reached the bluff we were faced with a high-low tide. This made passing the bluff too dangerous. We had two options – retreat, or scale the vertical cliff face while being whipped by waves. One of my regular nightmares involves being trapped on the coast with the tide quickly approaching so I made a hasty retreat back to the nearest inlet. When we climbed up the inlet wall we were faced with an electrified fence, or an VERY steep decline to the next inlet. Everyone took a minute to do a risk assessment. I voted for sliding down on our backsides, rather than shock therapy or out of control tumbling. We all made it down without fractures, but had very dirty posteriors. People pay good money for these kinds of adventures! (see photo). After all that intrepidness soggy feet was a mere relief as we rested on the beach for scroggin, then returned to Pyramid Rock for lunch. Gaiters, shoes and socks were removed and hung on the cliff railings to dry as we ate.

    We then all competed with the migrating tourists to Cape Woolamai for the afternoon. The circuit walk starts along the busy patrolled golden beach before heading up the dunes through the Short Tailed Shearwater (also known as the Australian Mutton-bird) rookery. Approximately 500,000 Mutton-birds nest here from September to April, then fly to the Alaskan Aleutian Islands. Cape Woolamai is also home to nesting Little Penguins and Pacific Gulls. Being the highest point of Phillip Island we were exposed to amazing views, ancient pink granite formations, and the islands volcanic past, before heading back down to the beach. We were nearly knocked out like bowling pins by small children scooting down sand dunes on skim boards. Maybe that’s what we needed on the before mentioned cliff descent? After finishing the return walk on soft sand Bruce stated “I hate walking on soft sand. But I’m going determined to get fit – or die in the process”! I told Bruce I would make a seat and dedicate it to him if the latter occurred. He thought that was a lovely idea.

    At the end of our walk we all gathered at the Lifesaving Club for a well earned ice cream – Magnum being the popular reward. It had been a long day filled with adventure and beauty. Thankyou Fiona for leading two wonderful walks in one day.


  • 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