The last walk for 2019 was a leisurely stroll along part of the Benalla Walking Track followed by a delicious shared morning tea and a discussion on proposed walks for next year.
Convenors, Wendy and Margaret wish members a Healthy and Happy 2020 and we look forward to seeing you on a walking track in March 2020.
Watch this space for the program commencing March 2020!
More photos of the Yarrawonga/Mulwala trip from Marg and Wendy and some GPS distance details and maps from Andi
Photographs: Margaret Walshe
Photographs: Wendy Sturgess
And from Andi, some maps and GPS based data on the walk..."by my GPS, the walk was 5.9km (as good as 6) and for Chinamans Island, I clocked up 2.4km, but I did keeping going off-track...
The Cumberoona took us 7.9km (so 8km)".
Images: Andi Stevenson
Twelve members plus visitor, Bill from England, walked along the Yarrawonga foreshore of Lake Mulwala to Chinaman’s Island and return on Wednesday 6th November. Interpretative signage along the route depicted Aboriginal history; Early settlement; the construction of the Yarrawonga Weir and Lake Mulwala to the present with revegetation of indigenous plants along the track.
The top deck of the restored PS Cumberoona and Paddle Wheeler was the venue for a BBQ lunch and informative commentary of historic and local landmarks; the early Riverboat Trade and the significance of the Paddle Steamers on the Murray River.
The day concluded with a visit to the Yarrawonga Weir, 1,992 km from the Murray River mouth. Construction of the Weir and its offtakes began in 1935 and completed in 1939, the water impounded by the Yarrawonga Weir forms Lake Mulwala. A hydroelectric generation facility and fish lift were added to the structure in 1994.
A day of walking, historic facts and a cruise!
Many thanks to the car owners who have generously offered to drive to our various locations during the year, you are an important cog in the group’s wheels.
Photographs: Andrea Stevenson
Photographs: Andrea Stevenson
The spring wildflower walk on part of the Sunrise Track, Warby - Ovens National Park on October 2 was our challenging walk for the year. We welcomed our former Convenors, Vaughan & Marion Cowan, thanks to Vaughan for leading the walk. Marion is keen eye sighted & named some stressed indigenous plants in the parched soil due to low annual rainfall. Although steep & rugged in places, the nine intrepid walker endured these conditions ... Congratulations. The rewards were the impressive Xanthorrhoreas, some coming into flower & views east to Mt Buffalo & the mountain range.
Photographs: Margaret Walshe and Wendy Sturgess
November - A walk along Yarrawonga foreshore to Chinaman's Island; a visit to the weir; lunch on the PS Cumberoona
U3A Easy Walk - Wednesday, 6 November - Yarrawonga
A walk along the foreshore of Lake Mulwala to Chinaman's Island. Originally an area used by the Aborigines to hunt for food & to gather fruit & seeds from the Riverine vegetation. Later a market garden undertaken by the Chinese immigrants. The area has been rehabilitated, with walking tracks overlooking the Lake & the Murray River with interpretive signage.
Following lunch we will visit the Yarrawonga Weir, completed in 1939; the largest of the 14 weirs along the Murray River downstream of the Hume Reservoir.
Lunch on the PS Cumberoona: As this will be our last walk for 2019, we will lunch on the PS Cumberoona departing 12 midday for a BBQ Lunch and 1.5 hour cruise around Lake Mulwala, cost $28.00, payment on boarding at 11.45 am. NOTE: Walkers, please meet at the Seniors Complex, Fawckner Drive, Benalla carpark at 8.45 am; bring water & nibbles. People wishing to join us for lunch & cruise only, meet at the PS Cumberoona, Yarrawonga at 11.45 am. As numbers are required by the PS Cumberoona, all participants please confirm booking with Margaret Walshe, ph: 0357623906/ 0427005202 by Wednesday 30 October ‘19. U3A Benalla “Taster Time” - Come & enjoy the Mighty Murray River. Margaret Walshe
A near perfect Spring day was enjoyed in the Euroa area by four enthusiastic participants on September 4th. The morning was spent at the Arboretum wandering along & off tracks. We attempting to identify & compare the numerous indigenous plants coming into bloom, some without labels! This was intercepted by frog croaks & other aquatic creatures in the ponds & waterways. The many colourful native birds chirping & feeding on the nectar rich flowers heralded in Spring. A fascinating morning discovering what nature has to offer. The afternoon was equally as interesting and varied along the northern section of the Seven Creeks Walking Track. This area encompasses the Floodplain Riparian Woodland with areas of revegetation & the creek crossing at The Rockies. We finished at the VC Memorial Park; three bronze statues representing Ted Tubb, Alex Burton & Leslie Maygar stand in pride of place, immortalising the bravery of three local area Victoria Cross recipients.
U3A Easy Walks, Wednesday, 2 October 2019 - Spring Wildflower Walk
Do come & join us for a walk in the Reef Hills State Park or the Warby Range National Park to
discover the local parks & enjoy the display of spring wildflowers. Participants please contact
Margaret Walshe Ph: 57623906 or 0427005202 by Monday, 30 September; meet at the Seniors
Complex car park, Fawckner Drive at 9.45 am.
U3A Easy Walks - Wednesday, 2 October 2019 - Wildflower Walk Spring is not far away, do come & join us in the Warby National Park or the Reef Hills State Park and enjoy our local wildflowers. Participants please contact Margaret Walshe Ph: 57623906 or 0427005202 by Monday, 30 September; meet at the Seniors Complex, Fawckner Drive at 9.45 am.
Photographs: Wendy Sturgess
On August 7th five stalwart walkers braved the threat and reality of inclement weather during the walk of the walking trail from Glenrowan to Hamilton Park and return, a total distance of 8 kilometres. Showers came and went but we avoided the worst of them. The route took the us through the upper part of the town along the original Hume Highway route to the southern edge of the Warby range where a lovely view of Mt Buffalo would have been possible on a sunny day. There is even a seat there so one could stop a while to enjoy the scene. We continued on down the hill past several farmlets with a range of animals such as sheep, horses and alpacas who were curiously watching our progress. On return to Glenrowan, the group found a covered table and ate their lunch while protected from the rain. A lovely lady in the neighbouring house thought she would spread some cheer and brought a sample each of goodies she was making for the school children – an act of kindness to be passed on! It was her way of thanking us for being out and about enjoying winter she said. After lunch we explored the old railway station precinct and the historical display and garden depicting the story of Ned Kelly’s siege of the pub.
The day concluded with afternoon tea at the Glenrowan Bakery before returning to a very wet Benalla.
September - Euroa Arboretum & VC Memorial Park – September 4th
The Euroa Arboretum sits on 27 hectacres that was previously a sheep farm. During the construction of the Hume Freeway the area was used by the RCA. Since the 1990’s the area has been developed into a parkland specialising in growing Australian plants & trees indigenous to the area. The interesting VC Memorial Park & Track follows the Seven Creeks. Please confirm your attendance with Margaret Walshe, ph: 57623906 or 0427005202 by Monday, 2 September. Meet at the Seniors Complex, Fawckner Drive at 9.45 am.
On Wednesday 7 August, the Easy Walk group will go to Glenrowan to explore the historic railway station precinct then take the walking trail to Hamilton Park before returning to the cars at Glenrowan township.
Please meet at 9.45am on the day in the car park behind the Senior Citizens Centre To confirm attendance, contact Wendy Sturgess on 0403226649 or email email@example.com by the Monday prior to the walk.
July - Rail Trail Walk from the old Tarrawingee to Everton railway stations.
These old stations have now been converted to picnic areas with a comfort stop - the buildings have been designed to look like steam engines.
Eight walkers set off on the 5 km trek from the old Tarrawingee station stop through the peaceful paddocks to the next old station site at Everton Upper. Here the walkers stopped for a picnic lunch and rest before continuing on for another 2.5kms downhill to the road just near the Everton Pub. A most pleasant walk on a lovely sunny winter’s day. On the way home, a stop was made at the Milawa Bakery for afternoon tea
Photographs: Marg Walshe and Wendy Sturgess
Photograph: Nicole McFarlane
On a frosty, sunny morning in early June, six walkers followed the Bullawah Cultural Trail along the Ovens River, Wangaratta.
In the Pangerang language Bullawah (bulla meaning two and wah meaning water) signifies the two suspension bridges crossing the river and the joining of two rivers and the coming together of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.
Interpretive signage tells of ancient Aboriginal stories, spirituality, culture, sculptures and food including the Bush Tucker Garden; a fascinating journey.
Following lunch we checked the nearby start of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, Wangaratta to Bright, another interesting part of our history
The July Easy Walk on Wednesday 3 July will start at Tarrawingee ‘Railway Station’ and the group will walk along the rail trail to ‘Everton Railway Station’. We will meet at the Seniors complex car park at 9.45am to drive to Tarrawingee. Please confirm your attendance with Wendy Sturgess on 0403226649 by Monday 1 July
Wendy Sturgess/Margaret Walshe
This walk will take us along the Ovens River discovering Aboriginal stories, sculptures & interpretative signage. A five km or longer walk dependent on weather conditions. Meet at the carpark behind the Benalla Seniors (U3A) Complex at 9.45 am for departure at 10 am. By June, hopefully we will be required to consider wet weather gear! Bring water and something to nibble along the way plus lunch. If attending please contact Margaret Walshe phone: 0357623906 or 0427005202 by Monday, 3 June ‘19
Wendy Sturgess Margaret Walshe
Photographs - Margaret Walshe and Wendy Sturgess
On Wednesday 1 May, eight walkers set off in intermittent drizzle to walk part of the trail from Lake Sambell to Lake Kerferd along Silver Creek.
Following lunch at the Lake Sambell picnic area, we walked part way back towards the town past several sculptures and through a magnificent tree lined walkway to the memorial Chinese gardens below the Lake Sambell spillway, then followed the lake edge back to the cars.
After this walk of about 6 kms, the day concluded with afternoon tea at the Beechworth Bakery.
Sad to see that there had been no rain in Benalla on return as Beechworth had been wet most of the day.
April’s Easy Walk followed the Benalla Lake Walking Track to enable U3A members to attend the afternoon Funeral Service of Noel Meagher.
Starting on the northern section, we explored plantings in the Botanical Gardens and the Aboriginal Community Garden and were inspired by the magnificent remnants of Red River Gum forest. We attempted to identify birds in the trees, on the ground and water! Along the southern section, we wandered off the track to discover loops, nooks and crannies and evidence of early settlement along the waterways.
Eight walkers were welcomed, including four new members and I thank all for their contribution to the history of the area.
April 3rd Easy Walk - Lake Benalla Walking Track
A change of location has been made to Benalla U3A Easy Walk, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 due to the Funeral Service for Noel Meagher at 1.30 pm on this date. Noel was a long term member of Benalla U3A, a Convenor and friend to many.
The Benalla U3A Easy Walks Convenors, Wendy Sturgess and I,invite all new and long time
participants of U3A Easy Walks to join us on Wednesday, 3 April for a walk around our beautiful
Lake Benalla Walking Track and surrounds concluding with lunch in the Gardens. If attending please contact Margaret Walshe, Phone: 57623906/0427005202; meet in the carpark behind Seniors Complex, Fawckner Drive, Benalla at 9.45 am for departure at 10 am; bring water and a snack to nibble on whilst walking plus lunch.
The Yarrawonga Walk will be rescheduled for later in the year.
We look forward to welcoming old and new members on the first U3A Easy Walk for 2019.
Wednesday May 1st Easy Walk - Lake Sambell, Beechworth
The walk around Lake Sambell and nearby passes by part of Beechworth’s early gold mining history. Beechworth is a well-preserved historic town, colorful in autumn featuring many mature deciduous trees. The morning walk will be around Lake Sambell with an extension to the walk following lunch.
Meet in the car park behind the Seniors Complex (U3A), Fawckner Drive, Benalla at 9.45am for departure at 10am. Participants, please contact Wendy Sturgess on 0403 226 649 by Monday, 29 April 2019, phone: 0403 226 649.
We will follow the walking track along Lake Mulwala to Chinaman’s Island revegetated parkland with interpretative signage and lunch in the park; approximately 6 kms.
Meet in carpark behind Seniors Complex (U3A), Fawckner Drive, Benalla at 9.45am for departure at 10am. Participants, please contact Margaret Walshe by Monday, 1st April 2019, ph: 5762 3906; or 0427 005 202.
Suggestion for walkers: place convenors mobile phone number in your mobile phone contact list: Margaret Walshe 0427 005 202; Wendy Sturgess 0403 226 649.
Wendy Sturgess and Margaret Walshe
Bells Peak, off the Tiger Hill Road back in the 19th century was a wonderful wildflower area, as well as having the wooden rail trail travelling through its lower area. Over the years the lower area has been damaged by fire wood removal with further damage by vehicles. I was excited to see the area fenced off and the track repaired. While it will take some time to get full re growth I am sure it will recover its former glory.
Even so, we found quite a few flowers I did not expect so late in the year or with so little rain.
Bells Peak looks down on the valleys towards Tatong (although it is not in view) and the Sam Creek Valley to the North. The views are magnificent.
We had six walkers who all managed the steep section to the higher levels, and enjoyed our lunch on the peak.
In early October five walkers enjoyed fine weather to explore the northern part of the main section of the Reef Hills. We had morning lunch at the junction of Indian’s and Johnston’s roads before heading down Indian’s road. This area had a very good display of wattles during late winter, but they were passing their best. At Tower Road, we headed up a track near the Pistol Range to return to the cars. A pleasant walk, with interesting Mine Shafts and dumped rubbish.
We drove to the Picnic Area for lunch before looking for wild flowers nearby. There were quite a few in the area, but the dry winter has had a dramatic negative effect.
Coming up on Wednesday November 7th - Belles Peak off the Tiger Hill road near Tatong. It is a very attractive area which we have not been to for some time. There is a short stretch of steep climb (which we will take slowly) but otherwise easy. We will leave Barkly Street car park at 9-30am. Please ring 5762 1980.
Kennedy Lane Wildflower Reserve and surrounding area
On a near perfect early spring day, 10 walkers set out on Wednesday 5 September from leader David McVicar’s property to walk along Kennedy Lane & Webster Rd, Lurg.
Several varieties of wattle & hardenbergea were in bloom along the roadside plus homes & farm animals emerging from bushland settings. In the Reserve we also found varieties of grevillea & heaths. Pauline noticed the Grevillia lanigere (red flower) about to burst into bloom whilst Marion’s eager eye searched the ground, firstly discovering leaves then Nodding green hoods struggling in the dry, rocky soil. The bushland would welcome substantial rain!
Lunch was enjoyed on David’s patio with the group attempting to identify bird calls & birds in the trees & grevillea bushes. Back along the undulating roadside bush track with pauses to identify the flora. The return was through the property with landscape planting’s of native trees and olive groves. Seats were strategically placed tempting us to linger and admire the scenic views of the foothills & the Strathbogie Ranges.
Our thanks to leader, David & his friendly dog, Max, who accompanied us, plus convenor, Vaughan for an easy but most interesting 7.4 km walk around nearby Lurg.
We will visit the Reef Hills on October 3, walking Indians road and Johnstons road before visiting the Picnic area for lunch and a wildflower check. We will leave the Senior Citizens Car park at 10.00 am. Ring 5762 1980 to ensure you are not left behind.
Seven walkers had a pleasant stroll along Honeysuckle Creek in Violet Town in early August. Parking in the recreation reserve, we walked South underneath the railway line and crossed the bridge on the old Hume Highway. It is hard to believe that this narrow road used to carried so much traffic. We then walked back along the Eastern side of the creek to cross another bridge and enjoyed our lunch in the reserve. It is amazing that such a small town has such good walks, sporting facilities and of course the regular Market.
Coming up on Wednesday September 5 - Kennedy Lane Wild Flower Reserve
A walk close to Benalla, we will visit the Kennedy Lane Wild Flower Reserve. David McVicar will lead us here and on a district walk. Please ring Vaughan on 5762 1980. We will leave Barkly Street Car park 10.00am.
Wednesday July 4 – Friend's Track,Warby Ranges
We had a beautiful sunny day for seven walkers on the Friend’s Track in the Warby Ranges. This walk is one that everyone should try. It is used by the Bushwalking Club to introduce children to walks in the bush.
We started from Wenhams Camp. After visiting Quat Quat Lookout to view Wangaratta and the surrounding countryside, we walked on to another clear spot for lunch. We were loath to leave here as it was very pleasant. The next stop was on top of Mount Warby, then a short walk to Wenhams.
We walked in a clockwise direction to see if was easier, but decided the normal anti-clockwise circuit was best!!
Wednesday August 1st - Honeysuckle Creek, Violet Town
We will travel to Violet Town to walk along the Honeysuckle Creek. Should be very easy and pleasant. We will leave the Senior Citizens car park at 10am. Ring Vaughan beforehand on 5762 1980
Eight walkers travelled through Swanpool to Police Track and the Strathbogie Ranges. We had morning tea beside the road in sunshine before heading over a small creek to start the climb. At first there is a steady south west climb with pine plantations to the right and native bush on the left. The start of the bush track is clearly marked on the left, and has a steady climb to the north west, then south to the viewing area. This is a large rock with a protecting fence and great views of Whites Rock, Sugarloaf creek and Mount Buffalo in the distance. We lunched here before returning to the cars. The distance was 3.89km. Before leaving the area we visited the Airman’s Memorial.
Easy Walk - July 4th
We will walk the Friends track in the Warby Ranges. We usually travel in an anticlockwise direction, but this time we will try the reverse (which means a down-hill finish). We will leave Barkly Street car park at 9.30. Please ring Vaughan at 5762 1980
Wednesday 20 May - Beechworth and Lake Sambell
Unfortunately, the usual display of autumn foliage suffered from the continuing summer climate this year. However, it was a great day for a walk.
We had eight walkers who headed from Lake Sambell toward the many well protected mine shafts. We went as far as Silver Creek Caravan Park before retracing our steps to Lake Sambell for lunch. We concluded the day with a circuit of the lake and admiring the improvements to the dam wall. It is a very attractive area.
Wednesday June 6
If the weather is OK we will visit the Rocky Ned Lookout for great views of the Sugarloaf Creek and White’s Rock. We will be heading up the police track from Swanpool. We will leave from the Senior Citizen’s Car park at 10am.
Vaughan Cowan 5762 1980
About Easy Walks
Easy Walks are aimed at maintaining fitness by introducing people to bushwalking and giving previous bushwalkers the opportunity to continue on shorter and easier tracks. Walks will
be approximately 5 - 7 kms without a lot of climbing, usually within an hour’s drive of Benalla. Participants will require sturdy shoes & able to carry a backpack containing snack, lunch, adequate water, water-proof jacket & personal items. Members are asked to notify the convenors of
attendance 3 days prior to the walk to enable carpooling,travel costs, and other arrangements.
Easy Walks are held on the first Wednesday of the month recommenc-ing in March 2020 and leave from the carpark behind the Senior Complex (U3A), Fawckner Drive, Benalla.
Depending on the season and weather conditions meeting
times are usually around 9 -10 am or as determined by the
convenors. Please check the monthly U3A Newsletter and
confirm details with the convenor.
Convenors and contact details
Wendy Sturgess ph. 0403226649; Margaret Walshe ph. 0357623906; 0427005202