Tuesday 2nd April 2019

Leader:  Daniel (with visitor Paul)

Participants:  Colin & Heather, Mark with Ignatius, Geoff & Peggy, Graham, Peter

Into the forest

A total of 11 people (members and visitors) met at the True Value Hardware Store car park at Warburton for a day of Victorian hardwood forest exploration. It was pretty chilly and quite misty – those wearing shorts were certainly feeling the 7.4°C air temperature.

The trip rating was “medium” but was open to reclassification to “difficult” as recent rains may have left some of the tracks slippery. Fortunately there was no threat of bushfire and the forecast was for a (eventually) sunny day and a high of 29°C with light northerly winds.

The planned trip included travelling on some seasonally open tracks and logging roads dating to the 1800s. Highlights were a morning tea stop at Starlings Gap where we took a short walk to see the rusting remains of a steam powered log retrieval winch and boiler.

Morning Tea at Starlings Gap

The lunch stop was at the intersection of Lay’s Fire Track and Mississippi Road.  Only basic or bush facilities were available throughout the trip.

The route followed was as follows:

• Meet at True Value Warburton Hardware, 3459 Warburton Highway at 9am for trip briefing

• Into the bush from Big Pats Creek Rd.

• Mississippi Fire Line to Starlings Gap for morning tea

• Big Pats Creek Rd,  Braham Rd, Oat Patch Tk 

• Braham Rd, Patrol Rd, Crooked Creek Tk

• BS Fire Line Braham Tk, Braham Rd,  Lay's Fire Line / Mississippi Rd junction for Lunch

• Mississippi Rd, Stringybark Tk, Lyrebird Tk, Lyrebird Rd, Brahams Rd and back to the hardware carpark for official trip end.

Contemplating a potentially slippery corner

This was Daniel’s mentored trip as part of his trip leader training, and he provided clear instructions and information.  Congratulations, Daniel.

An enjoyable day was had by all those who had joined the trip including a visitor.

For reference…

The Yarra Ranges State Park is renowned its hardwood forests - Mountain Ash (eucalyptus regnans), Mountain Grey Gum (E. cypellocarpa) and Messmate (E. obliqua ). These forests are one of the most productive ecosystems in the world, the Mountain Ash being the tallest flowering plant and hardwood in the world. Specimens can reach over 100m in height.

Spectacular Scenery in the Yarra State Park

Native fauna species include swamp wallabies, wombats, platypus, echidnas and several species of possums and gliders. The trip leader was lucky to observe a number of Superb Lyrebirds before they scampered into the understory. Pied Currawong and Crimson Rosella were also seen at Starlings Gap.

Text:  Mark

Images:  Paul, Mark