After Parks Victoria and the Surf Coast Shire, the next largest manager of public reserves is the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC).
They have responsibility for a large part of the coastline, as well as Taylor Park in Torquay and Queen’s Park in Lorne. This article focuses on Queen’s Park.
After passing through the town, past the pier and the Grand Pacific Hotel, past the last house, on the right is a block of forest extending about 600 m to the St George River, and about 600m north. It is 44 ha of shrubby foothill forest, herb-rich woodland, coastal headland scrub and disturbed sites, making for a diverse species list of five fungi, 11 ferns and bryophytes, 23 monocots, 77 dicots, 88 weeds, 71 birds and 21 animals.
Heading down the Great Ocean Road from Eastern View, the landform changes to steeper and wetter with richer soils, and consequently the vegetation also changes to taller trees and denser understorey. Thus, the forests of Queen’s Park support species such as Silver Wattle, Acacia dealbata, Mountain Clematis, Clematis aristata, Prickly Currant-bush, Coprosma quadrifida, Blue Gum, Eucalyptus globulus, Musk Daisy bush, Olearia argophylla, Banyalla, Pittosporum bicolor, Native Elderberry, Sambucus gaudichaudiana, and a variety of ferns. Around Anglesea and Aireys Inlet, these may only be found in gullies such as Distillery Creek and Moggs Creek. Azure Kingfishers, Nankeen Night-herons, Powerful Owls and Rose Robins have been sighted here.
Disturbed sites include a caravan park and the slaughterhouse site, where meat was butchered for the returned soldiers building the Great Ocean Road after World War 1. Teddy’s Lookout overlooking the St George River is a popular viewing point and there is a range of walking tracks including a tramway used for transporting timber to the Lorne Pier between the 1890s and 1920s.
St George River
The Friends of Queen’s Park have worked here for many years, tackling the great variety of weeds that are a legacy of Lorne’s past.
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.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.