DAY WALKS FROM WARRAGUL, GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA, FEB. 2017
Roughly, Gippsland is that part of Victoria lying to the east of Melbourne, and running up to the New South Wales border, between the sea and the inland “High Country”.
While walking in the Snowy Mountains in January Megan suggested that I try some day walks in Gippsland and so, striking while the iron was hot and the country was burning, I hopped on a train on a day when the Canberra forecast was for 39*c.
I am a slow learner, but am realising that train travel in Australia is slow, tedious, and uncomfortable, but as a pensioner I thought it might be advantageous to use my concession. So I took a NSW Railways bus from Canberra at 8.30 am bound for Yass, an hour away, where I hopped on the “express” Sydney to Melbourne XPT train. I arrived at Melbourne at 6.30 PM, shattered, and with a virus, picked up from the very sick man in the seat next to me which clobbered me when I returned home a few days later to a few days of 42*c . I was very grateful that Megan met me at Southern Cross station, Melbourne, and took me home, first a one hour suburban train trip and then half an hour by car with rain bucketing down.
The next day, only 26*c, but dull overcast, we drove the scenic route , 2 hour drive, to Tidal River on Wilson’s Promontory, where we did a number of attractive walks, finishing up with the ascent of Mt Oberon which overlooks Tidal River and a huge area of “the Prom” . “The Prom” is the southernmost point of mainland Australia.
The next day we visited Tarra-Bulga National Park, about an hour’s drive to the south- east . What a contrast with the heat and dryness of Canberra only 2 days before. From a dessicating north-west wind, a brown landscape and 39* to this beautiful, green NP and a day of walking in the mist and a maximum temp. of only 13*c.
Tarra-Bulga NP is located in the Strzelecki Ranges, one of “only four major areas of cool temperate rain forest in the State”. This is a beautiful area of lush, moist rain forest gullies, beautiful streams, incredibly tall and straight Mountain Ash forest, huge tree ferns and relics from Gondwanaland, such as myrtle beeches.
My third day, a complete contrast to Tarra-Bulga : a blue sky day of 21*c. Megan took me on a beautiful walk into sub-alpine country to Mounts Saint Gwinear and Saint Phillack in the Baw Baw NP, about an hour’s drive north-east of Warragul. For part of the way we walked along the Australian Alps Walking Track which runs 655 km from nearby Walhalla all the way to Canberra through the “high country” . Another superb day.
Then it was a long day back to Canberra, getting up at 5 am, to catch the 8.30 Sydney XPT, except that that train was delayed by 2.5 hours, having collided with a car on the way down from Sydney. I only arrived home at about 9 pm!
Great thanks to Megan for looking after me so well and arranging all these wonderful walks.
WILSONS PROMONTORY PHOTOS
through Tea Tree (Leptospermum sp) scrub
The beach at Tidal River, flanked by Mt Oberon
Megan on the summit of Mt Oberon.
Tidal River Beach from summit of Mt Oberon
View from Mt Oberon summit
TARRA-BULGA NP PHOTOS
MOUNTS SAINT GWINEAR AND SAINT PHILLACK PHOTOS
Greenhood Orchids, by the hundreds
Leucopogon montanus, Snow Beard Heath
Now we are on the Australian Alps Walking Track
Chionogentias muelleriana Alpine Gentian
Stylidium sp., Alpine Trigger Plant
Prasophyllum alpestre Highland Leek Orchid