It was just a perfect Otways day, and the 25 people who joined us for this great walk on 28 March were able to experience the remoteness and the beauty of the Otway Ranges with memories that should linger for a long time.

We can all be so thankful to the Otway Ranges Environment Network that managed to convince the Victorian Government to stop logging in the Otways in 1985, thus conserving the variety of eucalypts that grow in the area for us all to appreciate and to provide habitat for our indigenous fauna.

Group at start

The group assembled at Mt Cowley, the highest point in the eastern Otways (654m above sea level) and Lachie explained the procedure for the walk.

Unfortunately as mentioned in the March Newsletter, a fuel reduction burn is planned for the area. One could question why they are endeavouring to burn rainforest! Vehicles had been along the track marking and removing trees in preparation for the burn, and with the recent rainfall the track had certainly deteriorated since Lachie had reconnoitred the walk.

Muddy trackTrudging along the muddy track.

However the conditions improved, and the magnificent vegetation certainly outweighed the initial disappointment of the works that had been carried out. The magnificent tall trees were the feature of the walk. We identified Mountain Ash, Eucalyptus regnans, Mountain Grey Gum E. cypellocarpa, Messmate E. obliqua, Narrow-leaved Peppermint E. radiata, Manna Gum E. viminalis and in the more open forest as we approached Allenvale stands of Blue Gums E. globulus and E. bicostata.

EucalyptsWalking through the stands of eucalypts


Tim and Cathy

Tim and Cathy at the base of a Mountain Ash


RainforestIn the rainforest section the track was lined with arching tree ferns underneath the canopy of the tall eucalypts.


LunchA tall giant tree had made way for the planned burn, but it did make an ideal lunch stop

 

Blue Gums
As the forest opened up we walked through stands of Blue Gums.

 

KoalaThis koala had settled in one of them and obviously had plenty of leaves to eat.

 

Group at end

A tired but happy group at Allenvale at the end of the walk

 

Report by Margaret MacDonald
Photographs by Penne Kwiat

Events Calendar

Nov
25

Sat 9:00am - 3:00pm

Nov
26

Sun 9:30am - 11:00am

Nov
27

Mon 9:30am - 11:00am

Nov
27

Mon 11:00am - 1:00pm

Weed of the month

Freesia

Freesia

Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.

More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.

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