"April ‘18 U3A Walk: Our leader, Vaughan's choice of location was to another beautiful & historic area, Carter’s Sawmill Tramway Track along Plain Creek to the Waterfall in the foothills of Mt Buller on a perfect autumn day."
A 'mid month' interim report with photos from Margaret Walshe. Thank you, Margaret.
The fiirst Easy Walk for the year on Wednesday April 4 will be to Plain Creek, Carter's Timber Trick.
Situated on the Mansfield – Mount Buller road just past Sawmill Settlement, I have started the walking year before with this walk. It is not difficult, through magnificent forest giving good shade, and the added interest in some remnants of the tramway. Some of the walk is beside Plain Creek. We will leave the Senior Citizens parking area at 9.30. Please ring 5762 1980 so we can arrange transport.
On Wednesday May 2 we will drive to Beechworth to walk around the lake and enjoy the trees in Autumn. Meet at 9.30 am.
The destination for the first Easy Walk for 1918 on Wednesday 4th April is still to be confirmed. More details in the next newsletter and on the website.
Six walkers enjoyed the fine weather and a good display of wildflowers in the Reef Hills. It has been a good year for this area, and particularly for wattles.
Starting from the Picnic Area, which is a concentrated centre for flowers, we walked up Tower road towards the Quarry before turning right down a bush track and viewing quite a deep mine shaft before meeting the Rifle Range road and then the Wattle road. This road has a very good display of purple flowered Rough Mint-bushes, particularly near a low section of the track. We turned left here and walked the straight road to the hill where the fire-watch tower used to be. Down the hill to the Tower road and left then right on a bush track which has a line of mines including “The Lion” and leads down to “Wrangler’s Gully”, and the alluvial diggings, uphill from here to the Quarry and back to the cars. We were lucky to find a few Flying duck orchids flowering.
They are very small – about 2 cm, but quite spectacular. Also, after lunch, we drove to Baines road to see a small display of Tiger Orchids.
There are no more walks this year. Easy walks will start again in April.
Thank you for your work and help over the year, and have a good Christmas,
A fine sunny day saw five walkers complete the 4.1 km circuit starting from Wenham’s Camp in the Warby Ranges. As usual, we started by having morning tea at a picnic table, then taking the northern arm of the Friends' track, we found a great display of wildflowers. There was also a “bush shanty” which had been constructed by some energetic people beside this track. The track followed the creek (which leads to Brian’s falls) for a short way before heading north to a ridge. We took the left fork at a track junction and headed south. This track follows another ridge which gives a good view of Wangaratta, and we had lunch on a bare granite outcrop surrounded by Spur-wing wattles in full bloom. We were trying to find a grass tree that was flowering on the way back to Wenham’s, but only saw one as we drove out! It was such a great day that we were wondering how we could get some more walkers in the future. The walks are not hard, a change from walking round the lake.
Easy Walk - Wednesday November 1
We will be walking through the Reef Hills. The area covered will depend on the wildflowers. We will leave Benalla at 10am.
We have just received our first batch of photos taken at this month's Warby Ranges walk. Thank you Marg Walshe!
After being cooped up inside by the cold and wet weather, on Wednesday September 6 five walkers defied the forecast and had two great walks in the Killawarra Forest. The wattles were putting on an excellent show and seem to have increased and grown since our last visit. Most were Golden Wattles augmented by Varnish Wattles, and the Gold-dust Wattles were just starting to flower. It was a bit early for orchids but there were quite a few Blue Caladenias and one Leopard orchid. Two new bridges have been erected over the creek on the Wildflower Circuit after being washed away in the 2012 flood. After lunch we walked the shorter circuit starting from the Camp Ground. Total walking distance was 5.4 km.
Coming up on Wednesday October 4
We are returning to one of my favourite walks, the “Bike track” starting from Wenhams Camp in the Warbys. It is not too steep, or long, and has a good range of vegetation and wildflowers – particularly grass trees. We will leave Benalla at 10.00 am.
Euroa Arboretum - Wednesday August 2
Seven walkers had a great day on the various tracks through the Euroa Arboretum. There was a good display of Acacias including Acacia flexifolia (Bent-leaf wattle which flowered profusely in the Reef Hills this year), and Acacia lanigera (Wooly wattle). On the Northern side was a spectacular Acacia podalyrifolia (Queensland silver wattle or Mount Morgan wattle). Very bright yellow flowers and small blue-green phyllodes. Growing with this, was an Acacia vestita (Hairy Wattle) and nearby was a fenced area for Silver Banksia seed production, which would have flowered earlier this year. It was good to see many improvements and artificial mounds for future plantings.
We had lunch beside the lake before another short walk, and then drove back to the town to walk the Apex Seven Creeks track downstream. A very pleasant sunny day.
Next Month- Killawarra Forrest
There should be a good display of flowers in the Killawarra Forest at this time of year. We will walk a circuit from the central camp ground before lunch and possibly a shorter circuit afterwards. We will leave Benalla from the tennis court at 10 am.
Vaughan Cowan 5762 1980.
The July easy walk planned for Rocky Ned Falls was cancelled due to weather and track damage caused by trail bikes. This beautiful photo of Lower Rocky Ned Falls was taken the week before the cancellation.
Easy walk Wed Aug 2
I have heard that the Euroa Arboretum has recovered from several years of drought, so we will have a look. No climbing required for this walk. We will leave the usual car park at 9.45am
If it is not too wet we will visit Rocky Ned Falls in the Strathbogies. It is some time since we have been there, and it is a pleasant walk. We will leave Benalla at 10.00 am.It helps transport arrangements if you can ring Vaughan Cowan at 5762 1980 beforehand.
Easy Walk Wed June 7
The weather made a mockery of the onset of winter, with sunny skies and no wind for the eight walkers. We parked the cars in the Spring Creek picnic grounds, off Adam’s road in the Northern Warby Ranges, and had morning tea before walking up Tower road and Cox road to the Warby Tower Lookout. The lookout tower was erected in 1955, and the fire lookout tower was 12 metres above ground level. The Tower was decommissioned in 1991, and dismantled in 2002. The lower half of the legs were left standing. The view from here was due north and very flat except for a hill to the north east, which I later found was Goombargana Hill a bit north of Brocklesby in NSW – quite a long distance!!!
We had lunch before visiting the nearby Survey Cairn. This is a 3 metre high stone cairn, very well constructed. It was erected in November 1941 by the 3rd Field Survey Corp, Royal Engineers to provide more accurate maps in the event of an invasion.
We also had good views of snow capped mountains to the South East, before making our way back to the picnic ground. The distance walked was about 5.0 km and quite easy.
First, a report from Marg Walshe and some photos of the combined Beechworth walk with the mid-week walkers:
BRIGHT Wednesday, 10 May '17 On a near perfect autumn day, 12 happy walkers travelled to Bright. Our leader, Vaughan Cowan had chosen this location for the autumn foliage, included The Canyon & Cherry Walks ... distance 10 kms. The Canyon Walk commenced in Centenary Park on the southern bank of the Ovens River passing by amazing narrow water races carved by the hands of early miners through solid rock; interpretative signage added to this part of our history. After reaching the railway bridge (Alpine Rail Trail) we retraced our steps to the Suspension Bridge over the Ovens River to return on the northern bank. This track lead us to scenic river & town views, steps down to the river & interesting rock formations. Following lunch, upstream on the Cherry Walk (named after the Cherry family) also reflecting the past, passing by areas rehabilitated following alluvial gold mining & further documentation. Crossed the river on the footbridge to the northern bank with more photo opportunities & afternoon tea amongst the vibrant colours of the introduced deciduous trees. Many thanks to Vaughan for another memorable visit to Bright, a canvas of colour plus incorporating the history of the gold rush era.
Easy walk Wed June 7
Starting from the Spring Creek picnic ground, we will visit the Warby North lookout for great views. The walk is relatively short and not too steep, and is ideal for beginners!! We will leave the Centre car park at 10.00 am and please let me know if you will be walking on 5762 1980.
Seven walkers enjoyed the autumn weather on the visit to the Northern Beaches in Wangaratta. This walk starts at Apex Park and follows the Ovens River downstream. The track is very good and is called the Bullawah Cultural Trail, as it has very impressive interpretive signage describing the lives of the Pangerang people. These appear regularly along the track and describe Aboriginal spirituality, culture, food, sculptures, stories and language.
Particularly interesting is the native garden with plants used for food and medicine. We had lunch overlooking Kingfisher Beach admiring the massive River Red Gums before returning to Apex Park, a total walk of 6.8 Km.
Easy and Midweek walk Wednesday May 10
Yes, I am combining these walks at Bright as they are not too hard and are divided into a morning and afternoon walk along the Ovens River, with lunch back at the cars. Anyone not wanting to do both walks can enjoy the Autumn foliage in the Centenary Park or visit the shops in the afternoon. Of course the main object of this visit is to admire the Autumn foliage. We leave the Centre Car Park at 8.30 am. Please let me know if you are coming on 5762 1980 so I can arrange transport.
Vaughan reports that Marion is recovering well from her fall and is hoping to do more walks in a month's time.
All the best Marion from all at U3A.
Photos: Marg Walsh
EasyWalk Wed April 5
We will visit the Northern Beaches in Wangaratta. It is a mainly tree- sheltered walk beside the Ovens River. Some new artwork and a native garden have been added since our last visit.
We will leave the Centre Car park at 10am.
Please ring Vaughan at 5762 1980 beforehand so we can check transport.
Just a reminder that Easy Walks commence in April. More news in the March newsletter.
The Reef Hills have turned blue with the best display of Chocolate Lilies I have seen for years!! Four walkers had morning tea at the picnic ground before starting down Four Mile road and crossing the ridge to walk about half a kilometre down the Reef Hills road. We crossed the creek and headed northwards to visit a mining site .
Mining site at Reef Hills
Returning to the creek, we noticed blue stains on our pants from walking through the lilies (they wash out OK). The next track runs parallel to the Reef Hills road and rises gently to the picnic ground. After lunch we drove down Double Gates road to find some Tiger Orchids. On the way out we picked up some rubbish for disposal. The only adverse items for the day were the ever-present mosquitoes!
Walkers on the top of Mt Tatong
A combined walk for Seniors Week for which eight walkers met at Barkly St and Tatong Pub and drove towards our destination. The quagmire on Tiger Hill Road at one place meant that our hike started a little further from our lunch site than originally intended.
We walked and talked our way up up and up uphill, negotiating logs [all sizes] wet and sometimes boggy ground and rocks until we reached ‘a top’. Vaughan could see a track through the trees! We were on track for lunch on Mt. Tatong. All this uphill I might add, was without a map. What navigation.
We had crossed boggy patches with lots of wild flowers [14 species in total] including Greenhoods of two varieties, Caladenias white and pink and Harbingers of Spring (Anguillaria dioica) in profusion. Carol recognized the calls of a number of birds and shared her knowledge willingly.
Lunch on top of Mt Tatong was a delightful place, on the rocks with views to Winton Wetlands filled with water and maybe even a sparkling glimpse of the Winton Raceway Pit sheds.
An easy walk down the road back to the vehicles with still more wildflowers and bird calls to delight our hikers for this Senior week walk. A great hike which was probably about 10Km, enjoyable company, well led and of course afternoon tea with biscuits at Tatong Pub!!! Thank you, Vaughan and Marion.
Easy walk – Wednesday November 2
We will make our annual trip to the Reef Hills. The wet weather has been good for the wildflowers this year.
We leave the Centre car park at 10.00am. Ring Vaughan on 5762 1980.
There are no walks scheduled for December or January and the Easy walks will commence in April.
Easy Walk Wednesday September 7
Nine walkers enjoyed the warm weather and the wildflowers on the “Friend’s Track” in the Warby Ranges. The circuit was 4.5km, but we extended it a bit by including Quat Quat Lookout, where we had lunch while admiring the views of the countryside and the mountains to the South.
We found 15 Genera of wildflowers, the most prominent being Box-leaf wattle, Grevillia alpina, Leopard Orchids, Stypandra glauca and masses of Greenhood orchids, both Pterostylis curta and Pterostylis nutans.
To make an interesting day a bit more exciting, we met a car and caravan on the narrow road in, which required a bit of manoeuvring negotiating.
Then on the return to the cars we found notices to inform us of a lost dog. On the way out we met the dog, which was happy to jump into the car while Phyllis rang the owners. The reunion was extremely joyful as the dog had been missing for about ten days.
Seniors Week Walk - Mt Tatong - Wednesday October 12
The easy walkers have visited this area every few years, but it will not disappoint mid-week walkers. This year it is a combined walk for Seniors Week. Most of the track is along existing roads, but there is a short easy off-track section before reaching a cleared area with great views over Sam’s Creek valley.
Ring Vaughan on Tuesday 11th October on 5762 1980. We leave the Flexible Learning Centre car park at 9.30am.
Margaret Walshe sent in these photo from yesterday's Warby Ranges Easy Walk.... "Photos of our walk leaders, Vaughan & Marion Cowan showing their knowledge & interest in wild flowers including tiny orchids, plus a couple of other snaps". Thanks, Margaret.
Photographs: Margaret Walshe
Wednesday August 3
Four walkers enjoyed the sunshine as they traversed Dave’s Hill, near Mount Meg at Thoona. We expected a muddy track, but found it was quite solid because of the elevation, and only encountered occasional springs and seepage areas. The views east to the Warby Ranges and west to Mount Meg were spectacular.
We lunched on the eastern side, overlooking green paddocks and grazing sheep. On return to the car, we decided to drive a bit further to visit Pine Gully and check out the falls. This was well worth the trip, as there was an exceptional flow in the creek and over the falls.
Wednesday September 7
We will be walking part, or all, of the Friend's track, starting from Wenham's campground in the Warby's. It is a classic walk, and there should be quite a few flowers on display. We will leave Benalla at 9.30am.
There will be no easy walk in October, but the November walk will probably be in the Reef Hills.
About Easy Walks
‘Easy Walks’ are aimed at maintaining fitness by introducing people to bushwalking, and giving people who have walked in the past the opportunity to continue on shorter and easier tracks. It is also a very social occasion, as we normally have morning tea on arrival at the start of the walk, much chatter as we walk, and lunch either on the track or on return to the cars, depending on the length of the track. Most walks are about 4km, although we sometimes go further if it is fairly level, and we try to pick areas that do not require too much climbing. We do not start the walks till April due to the summer heat. The last walk of the year is in November, as we find it gets too busy nearing Christmas.
We leave the Barkly Street car park (tennis courts behind Aldi) at 10.00 on the first Wednesday of each month from April to November.
Convenor/s and contact details
Contact Vaughan Cowan on 5762 1980 prior to each walk, or for any enquiries.