Author Archive

  • George Bass Walk

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    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!
     
    Cheryl 

  • Phillip Island, 26th October 2014

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    Picture taken by Fiona W.

  • Bluff circuit walk

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    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.

    Richard

  • Mitchell River Base camp

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    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

  • Blairgowrie-Sorrento

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    WALK REPORT
     
    Wednesday September 3rd,
    Blairgowrie – Sorrento    
    Leader: Margaret Madge 
     
    Between the small hills known as the Eastern Sister and the Western Sister at Blairgowrie is Sullivan Bay, the location of Victoria’s first, yet unsuccessful settlement in 1802. 
     
    On September 3, 2014 seven new arrivals to this area met to commence their own journey on that mild, partially sunny day. Commanded by our captain, Margaret we set off towards the colonial settlement at Sorrento. 
     
    Evidence of previous habitation by seasonal visitors was evident in the specially developed encampments through which we passed, sometimes on formed tracks, and at other times forging our way where few had previously trodden. 
     
    At Sorrento the sea was calm and we took some relief in the local conveniences followed by a strategic climb to the reconstructed site of the tramway that once transported those who came by boat from Melbourne in the first half of the (20th) century for a day of picnicking.
     
    Shortly afterwards the compass played up as five of the crew took the incorrect track (it must have been Russell’s fault as he was the only male in that group) whilst the other two forged ahead to establish the correct route. 
     
    We all met up and followed Hotham Rd to Normanby Rd which eventually led to the Sorrento Cemetery tucked away in the sand dunes and sheltered by the surrounding vegetation. On climbing the track up the dune beside the cemetery we soon arrived at Coppins Lookout overlooking Sorrento Back Beach.  With the tide out, rock shelves exposed and a clear atmosphere we were entranced by the beautiful, extensive coastal views in each direction.  Below us the café stood out like a lighthouse for the caffeine addicts.
     
    Sadly, the café was closed and we had to sate our appetites with the rations we had brought from home. Mustering the crew Captain Margaret led us to Coppins Track only a short distance away.  This we followed at a leisurely pace taking in the ever-present views.  At Diamond Bay we altered course briefly to observe the beach before returning to head inland along Ivanhoe Street, then via the walkway to Settlers Cove estate and into Westmore Avenue which returned us to our starting point.
     
    Thank you Margaret for navigating a great morning passage, and to crew members for pleasant company on the voyage.
    John T

  • Melbourne Parks

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    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

  • Flinders ranges

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    Trip notes July 2014.
    FRIDAY.  With Fi and Paul in one car and Lorraine, Janine, Sarah and Jack in the other, we meet up at Bridgewater only to find the camping area closed for renovations. So we drove on to the Wedderburn caravan park and set up tent for the night. There was a great Camp Kitchen to have dinner in.
    SATURDAY.  Wake to find quirky objects and characters around the camp. The equally quirky camp hostess took great pleasure in showing us her creations.  The weather deteriorated as we drove, so we sort refuge in the civic shelter in Ouyen to have lunch in the freezing wind.   At 3pm. We pulled into the Mildura information centre to look around and get info on accommodation.  The Borong Caravan Park across the river looked best. While we were booking in a Lady fainted, so we had to do our First Aid bit to help her recover. Fortunately the passing storm cleared and we were able to sit around the camp fire watching the pelicans cruising on the river as the sunset.
    SUNDAY. After driving through more rain, the sun came out for us to enjoy the beautiful riverside facilities at Renmark for morning tea.  Then on to the Monash Adventure Play Ground for the Kids (?) to play and have lunch. With more storms due we again abandoned the Free camping for the facilities at the Burra caravan Park.  With tent up we then went sightseeing, exploring the historic town.
    MONDAY.  More sightseeing, then a charming drive up the back road directly to Hawker through fascinating open Salt Bush country then lovely green rolling hills of the lower Flinders Ranges. Lunch in the park (play ground handy of-course.). Off up the highway to see the ruins of Wonoka Township. Not much was left. Then onto camp on the Moralana river bank (dry) for a $10 note in the tin, for the local Homestead. What a romantic true bush-camp setting!
    TUESDAY. Woke to sky quilted with orange-red clouds silhouetting the rugged outline of the flinders ranges and fragrance of the campfire! Off along the back-track across to Wilpina Pound.  We stopped at Black Gap to park Paul’s car. So Fi, Loraine and Paul put on their packs to set off on a thee day hike, up and over into the pound, and out the other side. While Janine and the children drove on around the other side to base camp at Wilpena Pound.
    THURSDAY. We all met up to camp the night in Wilpena Caravan Park.
    FRIDAY. Lazy breakfast then off south. Stop in to view the amazing ruins of the Karinda Homestead. Morning Tea back at Hawker to savour the ledengery Quondong Pie. Lunch at Quorn, get fuel and food. Then onto Wilminton’s Stoney Creek Bush Camping Park.  He sold us a barrow (ute) load of redgum firewood which lasted us for days.
    SATURDAY. Pitchi Ritchie Train ride day!  We all drove over to Port Augusta. Paul stood on the station and waved them off on their steam train. Then attended to getting food supplies. The shopping list went well until the tricky item of Emery Boards?. A male lost in the female isle! With some local help he found the item and checked out.  Then dashed across to Quorn to meet the others. We all headed for the Emporium Cafe (discovered on the way up), for a country cooked lunch. Great!  Fi  Stayed with Paul to wave off the train on its return journey.  The kids really enjoyed a better “carriage host” on the way back.  Paul and Fi walked around town, but their mind was really on the cake cabinet back at the Emporium!  Afternoon Tea was served with a huge chunk of cake with cream and ice-cream. Heavily laden they tried to walk it off around the local Botanical gardens. Then drove home to Wilmington to wait for the train riders to return.
    SUNDAY.  Sarah’s 10th. Birthday. Balloons, and presents. Then off south to Mt.Remarkable, for the Birthday cake and M/Tea. Again Fi, Lorraine and Paul put on their packs, but this time we all walked down into the awe inspiring Alligator Gorge. Photos everywhere!. But there was water in the creek which in places covered the stepping rocks and we all got wet boots.   At the other end, Janine and the kids walked back to get the car and drive around the other side to base camp at Mambray Creek camping area. While Lorraine, Fi and Paul hiked down through the National Park. (see Lorraine’s walk notes)
    MONDAY. We all met-up back at Mambray Creek camping area.  then retrieved Pauls car. Another night around the hot red gum wood campfire.
    TUESDAY. A lay day for Fi and Paul to clean, dry and sort out the equipment, while Lorraine, Janine and the kids explored Port Germein (Jack got blown off the pier) and Port Pirie. A storm warning had been issued, so upon their return we struck camp and headed south to Adelaide. Driving around Adelaide was horrendous in the wind and rain. A quick stop for dinner, then out the Adelaide hills (great view of Adelaide’s lights) to find the Belair caravan park and pile into the cabin and listen to the storm raging about us.
    WEDNESDAY.  Wake to more rain, so abandon the walk thru the national park, and head down to Hahndorf and explore town before M/Tea at the German Cake Shop. Time to head home, so back onto the free-way and down to Tailem Bend for lunch at the railway museum. Still wet and cold at Nhill.  So using Paul’s Seniors discount, Grandpa, two grandkids and his three wives bunked down for the night.
    THURSDAY. Pack-up for the last time! Stop at the Big Koala for M/tea. Then drop into Ballan to find a rotunda to shelter under for lunch . The weather cleared as we came back into Melbourne and we dropped people off to their various homes. What a great trip!
    Paul B

  • Balnarring- Coolart

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    Walk report
    Balnarring-Coolart
    Wednesday 17th June 2014
    Leader: Chris Spencer

    On a good morning for walking, eight of us headed off from the Balnarring
    Hall carpark, for the Coolart Wetlands and homestead.
    After walking just over a kilometre down Sandy Point Rd, we turned right
    into Luxton Drive. Russell and I commented on the huge cypress trees, that
    must have been planted over a hundred years ago.
    Once entering the wetlands reserve, we went to look at the bird hide, on the
    banks of  Coolart Lagoon. There was a note on the whiteboard inside, remarking on the lack of birds in the area at the moment; sure enough when we were there, not many were to be seen. The reason wasn’t fully known apparently. Both the bird hide and our morning snack stop ( the theatrette and meeting building ) had excellent information and pictures of the various birdlife, that could be seen on a good day.
    After the morning break. some of us had a look through the homestead; it is a magnificent building, with large formal rooms and an impressive staircase.
    Following this, we headed on a very pretty walk, meandering through the wetlands and then along the beach, and the banks of the Merricks Creek, a tranquil spot.
    Finally we arrived at Balnarring  beach, and walked along Balnarring Beach Road, back to our cars. Enjoyable coffee and eats followed at the Red Hill Bakery.
    Thanks Chris for an enjoyable walk. Keith M

  • Navigation training

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    Navigation Training
    Lysterfield Lake
    Saturday June 14  
    Leader: Richard Kraus
     
     
     
    The objective for the walk was to navigate our way around the park using a map of Lysterfield and a compass.  We were shown how to orientate the map using visual observation as well as a compass.
     
    At 9:30 am, we met in the top car park situated on the Eastern side of Lysterfield Lake.  From here using our map to guide us we walked in a southerly direction along a track to the southern end of the lake where we crossed the foot bridge from East to West continuing to walk along the track until we reached an intersection where we turned right and headed north to a point where we began using our map and compass to set our bearings and walk from point to point using visual targets, to ensure we were keeping on the chosen route.  Continual observation of the map and the surrounding area taught us to identify markings on the map such as man made objects, ruins, water course, roads, density of the forest and interpreting contour lines.
     
    We continued to navigate our way around the park in a circular direction travelling from North to North West changing direction to East back to North East then again East.  We walked cross country in high grass, up hill, down into valleys, frequently having to climb over or around fallen trees, across knolls and open clearings.
     
    Historical sight, ruin, man made object, dam, road or intersection awaited at the end of each destination.
     
    The first man made object was a bench seat.  A little further along was an old ore cart used in the Quarry around the mid 1920s.  Along the side of the track Marty discovered a Fungtopus.  An incredible fungus that looks like an octopus! The Octopus Stinkhorn is native to Australia.  It emerges from an egg called superumpent – this means it erupts in an explosion of enlargement. At maturity the Stinkhorn gives a fetid odor, reminiscent of rotting flesh.  This is to attract flies that land hoping to have found a place to lay their egg. The species are spread by the gleba attaching to the body of flies.  The eggs are edible and taste similar to a very rancid radish. Aborigines used this bush tucker as a very last resort. Do not try at home.

    We stopped for morning tea at a dam. Continuing on we arrived on top of a grassy knoll where we found a tram wheel base used to transport materials from the Quarry in the early 1900s.
     
    Near the intersection of Donelan Track and Powells Track was chosen for our lunch break.  The apple tree, the clumps of lilies and the snowdrops were evidence that the area had belonged to a homestead at one time.  The homestead was built by the Donelan Family in 1878. The homestead was situated further up the hill at 218m on one of the highest hills in the park. They managed 100 hectares of razing/dairy/cattle property.  The homestead was demolished in 1960 when the State Government closed down all farms in the region.
     
    From the intersection a bearing of 1100 E we located the remains, a pump, well and milking shed that formed part of Boys Farm that was set up in the 1930s and operated until the 1950s.  It was designed to train boys as young as 14 and 15 in farming.
     
    From here was our last bearing of 840 E.  Our destination was the lookout where we settled ourselves under an embracing tree surrounded by an abundance of kangaroos.  The shy little joeys peeping from behind tree trunks and bushes cautiously watching these two legged creates invading their space. Big Daddy was not far away either!!
     
    Throughout the day we saw many kangaroos; we were serenaded by the Grey Currawong and heard Kookaburras laugh.
     
     Homeward bound, travelling south we arrive back at the car park at approximately 3:30pm where we gathered at the café for that hot cupper or ice cream for some.
     
    The day was a whole new experience for me and I believe it was enjoyed by all.  It was filled with many interesting things to see and learn.  Lots of laughter and good company! 
     
    Thank you, Richard for a great day and for imparting your knowledge with us.
     
    Giselle

  • OT Dam

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    Walk to OT Dam, Dromana
    Wednesday June 4th
    Leader: Margaret Madge  

    Seven highly experienced bushwalkers met at the Hillview Community Reserve on quite a pleasant day. As we started the walk, up that steep climb of 1.3km to the OT Dam, there were mutterings of ‘this must be doing us good’ and unusually not much talking. Once at the top, we remembered just why it was worth making the effort. The surface of the dam was very smooth and the surrounding dense bush was reflected quite beautifully. As usual, there was someone else there who was keen to find out about the origin of the dam and our knowledgeable leader Margaret was able to tell the story of this Peninsula icon. We then made our way around the dam to the boardwalk and again, took some time to admire the environment – a perfect photo opportunity (see attached photo). Continuing on our way, through the bush tracks, more undulations and unmade roads, we occasionally glimpsed our stunning bay. As we emerged from the bush, a leech was spotted on my scarf, most unusual, but my fellow walkers dispensed with him promptly. No morning tea this time but a lovely coffee at the shop opposite the reserve, which is now under new management. Thank you Margaret for a very pleasant morning.  
    Ann Balette

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