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.