Leader: Peter

Participants: Roger, Uwe, Colin A, Phil and Gill

We met at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie out of Yarra Glen about 9:30 for a heart starting coffee and trip briefing. After a radio check in the carpark 5 vehicles left at about 10:15 and headed north to the Old Toolangi Road where we turned right onto gravel. Airing down in Paul’s Lane we had views out over the netting draped vineyards. Soon we were underway climbing a steep rocky track through tall gum trees. Climbing again up to Spur Track we were greeted with majestic views over the rolling tree covered hills. The clear blue sky was a beautiful backdrop to the green trees. Dropping down onto Paul’s Creek Track dust encircled the vehicles as we drove along fine clay tracks.

Had it been wet the track would surely have been very slippery. We meandered our way along the track then arrived at bitumen. We drove through Toolangi and on to Sylvia Creek Road to a picnic area where we enjoyed a leisurely lunch break. We took a walk on Wirrawilla Rainforest Walk which is a raised boardwalk leading into a beautiful fern gully running along side the Sylvia Creek. Giant Mountain Ash and Beech trees created a dense canopy for the lush ferns and under story.

By 1:15 we were back in our vehicles and heading out to Downies Spur track. This had presented Peter with several challenges a week previously when he did his reccy run. However, we soon had a dozer driver on our radio channel alerting us to his presence on the track. He had been very busy and had managed to tame the track considerably in just a few days.  We still had deep bog holes to observe, but the dozer had smoothed a way past most of these potentially tricky obstacles. As we passed the dozer we waved a cheerful greeting (but I think our trip leader was a little disappointed with the easy run we had!). We drove up Paul’s Range Track with several deep ruts to negotiate and then down the steep Spur Track to the Link Track and onto Paul’s Lane before exiting the Toolangi State Forest.

As we aired up beside a grape laden vineyard in the hot afternoon sun, we decided an ice cream back at the Chocolaterie would be a fitting conclusion to our great day out on the tracks. So back we went!

Report and photos by Gill and Phil