There are no more walks this year. The first mid-week walk is in February (Also to Mt. Buffalo – but easier) and the Easy walks start in April.
Thank you for your work and help over the year, and have a good Christmas,
Led by John Boehm, six walkers had a great, if strenuous day walking from Tatra car park to the Back Wall on Mount Buffalo. The track wends its way past many huge boulders and features such as the Chinaman’s Dam, built in 1898 to provide water for sluicing, but was washed out by heavy rain about a year later, Cannon Hill (a rock on top resembles a cannon), and “The Giants Playground” with many boulders.
The Back Wall is an almost vertical cliff situated to the south of the Horn and meets Boulder Creek at the base. We had lunch on top of a huge boulder with more than 180° views. The track was reasonably easy to follow, but was not well maintained. The grassland section was very narrow and the higher areas were overgrown, requiring a push through waist high vegetation and fallen branches at times. Having said that, it is one of those “must do before you die” walks for all those capable of walking the distance which was about 12km return.
There are no more walks this year. The first mid-week walk is in February (Also to Mt. Buffalo – but easier) and the Easy walks start in April.
Thank you for your work and help over the year, and have a good Christmas,
The Spit is a fascinating area to walk. It is apparently the most easterly example of a lunette in Australia, having been built up over millions of years by the prevailing winds from the west.
The walk out from the car park on the Winton North road has an elevated pasture paddock lined by trees on the right, and increasingly good views of the Lake on the left. There is a good range of flowering trees in this area, and many more have been planted. After viewing the art work and exhibits at the end of the spit, we walked on to the “Bluff” for lunch. This is an elevated area which is an island when the water level is higher, and gives very good views of the central area of the lake and a wide range of birdlife
To return to the cars you can retrace your steps, or take the vehicle road through the paddock. I think a car shuffle for the return (provided the track is not too wet) would be the best way to view the area. We had five walkers and only saw 2 beautiful black snakes.
Mid-week Walk, Nov 8
The Back Wall track begins on Dicksons Falls Nature walk track on Mount Buffalo, and takes you to the southernmost point on the plateau passing Giants Playground and ending with great views from the edge of the Back Wall. The walk is about 12 km. Leave Benalla 8.00 am. John Boehm will be leading the walk, and please ring: 0428 254 801.
Carol and Graeme from Alexandra, and Gwenda from Bonnie Doon joined eight walkers from Benalla to start the walk from Buckland Gap. The walk was in the Stanley Forest and was designed by Doug Kneen.
We started on a short track to Bates Picnic area. The stream here has been dammed to provide water for sluicing for gold. Historic, and a very pleasant spot. We then climbed to the top of a hill to view the snow on the mountains, but there were too many clouds. Down to Six mile road to view magnificent tall trees and masses of Silver Wattles, then turned North East along the Ridge road. We turned right to walk along Rooneys track for lunch in the Clarke Corner picnic area, where we just finished eating before a heavy shower of rain. On with the wet weather gear, but it did not last long, and we walked the Lady Newton road to Murmungee Lookout. Great views to the South with some sun and lots of clouds. Further up the track we met a very good sculpture beside the road. It was carved into a dead, burnt tree, and had “Robert “ carved into one side. Am not sure whether this referred to the sculptor or the subject.
We drove into Beechworth for afternoon tea beside the lake.
The only down side was the lack of wildflowers due to the roadside spraying of Bracken. The walk distance was just under 10km.
We will do the Spit walk in the Winton Wetlands. There have been a few changes here such as a new road and some “Wall Art”. We will leave Benalla at 9.30 am. Please ring 5762 1980 to let me know who is walking.
This track was surveyed by Doug Kneen two years ago and the walk was washed out twice. Third year should be more successful!! We start from Buckland Gap and visit Bates Dam before climbing Jensen track to a lookout area, then follow various roads and tracks to Clark Corner for lunch. On the way back along Lady Newton Drive is the Murmungee Lookout. We will leave Benalla at 9.00am. Please ring Vaughan on 5762 1980.
WED AUG 9: GRADES 3&4 SCHOOL OUTING TO THE WARBYS
Teacher: Mrs Spinks
10 of us kids had a really fun treat on Wednesday, ‘cos our teacher, Mrs Spinks, drove our school bus up to the Warby Ranges to teach us how to bushwalk. We all like Mrs Spinks, even though she is a bit strict, especially with naughty boy, Rupert, who’s always in trouble! We all carried Backpacks with us, all but Rupert, who said his Mum forgot to pack it. Lucky for him, Mrs Spinks always carries a spare. She said this is what grown up Bushwalkers do.
Mrs Spinks told us we were walking along The Sunrise Track, but it was already mid-morning, so we reckon she was fibbing. We all got puffed climbing up the steep hills, but of course Rupert showed off by running ahead. Boy, did Mrs Spinks get cross! Guess she didn’t want to lose anyone. But she did cheer up when Rupert found some wildflowers for her to take photos of. They were Helmeted Orchids or something. Not sure why she got all excited, but she said they were rare, whatever that means. There were also lots of those funny looking spiky plants, which Mrs Spinks told us used to be called Blackboys, but are now called Grass Trees, so that nobody gets offended, she said. Grown-ups are funny like that.
When we reached some fallen logs, Mrs Spinks told us it was lunchtime, and that we all had to sit down and quietly eat our playlunches. Natch, Rupert pretended to fall off his log. Very funny – NOT! Vaughan from Grade 4 got sick of Rupert showing off and started a competition to see who could throw Rupert’s funny old hat the furthest. Mrs Spinks pretended not to notice.
On our way back to the bus, Mrs Spinks decided to annoy us all by turning left along a steep track down to a boring place called The Quarry. She told us it used to be where in the Olden Days men used that old rusty thingy called a pulley, to dig out humungous rocks to build churches and stuff in Wangaratta. We reckoned it sounded like a lot of hard work, when they could have just used bricks like everyone else. Rupert pretended to start the rusty old machinery there but Mrs Spinks told him not to be silly. He also got into trouble again trying to open the old dug-out cupboard which had a name on the door saying “EXPLOSIVES”. We didn’t have a clue what that meant, but I heard Mrs Spinks mutter “just as well”.
Back at the school bus, we all piled in and were driven to Glenrowan to have some yummy cake Mrs Spinks had made. We all reckoned it looked a bit too healthy, but she said we needed to eat healthy food or we wouldn’t grow up brainy (like Rupert). Marion from Grade 3 got frightened and started to cry ‘cos she noticed some really spooky looking men in funny helmets watching us from the Glenrowan Pub veranda. Mrs Spinks said not to worry Marion, ‘cos they weren’t real. Duh! She said some men led by a dude called Ned Kelly used to hide up in the hills and rob banks and stuff. They all made those funny helmets out of old metal to protect their heads from police bullets. Pretty cool, huh? I think they all came to a sticky end but.
We all had to clap and thank Mrs Spinks for our outing (or she would get cross) and had to write an essay about our walk and what we learned from it. I thought I would please my teacher and try to write a funny essay, ‘cos it was really a cool day. Rupert of course didn’t write his essay, as he said the dog kept eating it (he doesn’t have a dog). Boy, did HE get into trouble! I guess every class has a troublemaker.
Signed: Beverly Rae Thornell, aged 9¾.
Seven Creeks / Balmattum Hill
Vaughan led a group of ten from BBQ area in Euroa, along the Seven Creeks Walking Track. From “The Rockies”, a sandy bend with large boulders and an interesting bridge, we set off under the freeway & up the Balmattum Hill Walking Track. The climb was picturesque and warming, the slippery track a little treacherous, but everyone survived. We passed piles of small rocks, which WWII soldiers had carried up in training exercises. Eventually we all made it to a high point on Balmattum Hill, with magnificent views.
Lunch was eaten in the lee of lovely granite boulders, then we carefully descended, and followed the North track by Seven Creeks. Back at the cars we were grateful to those who provided walnut cake 3 & Tim Tams. A group of escapees from Violet Town Nursing centre occupied the next picnic table, and roped Bev in to describe our walk.
I recorded the walk as 7.8km, being 4km up, with a slightly shorter return North of Seven Creek. Vaughan had previous recorded it as 7.3, so I might have wandered more. The part of Balmattum Hill we enjoyed is Crown Land, Balmattum Hill Bushland Reserve, 78.6 Ha, only a fraction of the entire hill. The actual point of the hill appears to be another 50 metres higher, 1.5km WSW of our luncheon spot.
Mid-week walk Wed Aug 9
Walk up the Salisbury Falls track to Mt Warby and then continue along the Alpine Views track to complete the circuit. If the weather is clear we should be able to see snow on the mountains. Helen Spinks will be leading this walk. We will leave Benalla at 9.30am and please ring Helen 5762 3223.
Mid-week Wed July 12 - If it has not rained too much, we will try the Seven Creeks / Balmattum Hill walk again at Euroa. It was cancelled last year because of flooding, so will try again. We will leave Benalla at 9.30. It helps transport arrangements if you can ring Vaughan Cowan at 5762 1980 beforehand.
Eight midweek walkers left Benalla on a crisp winter day heading for the Warby Ranges. We left the cars on the east side of the range at the bottom of the Chick Hill walking track. The climb up to Chick Hill was quite steep and required many rest breaks however the sunny day and good views (including distant snow on Feathertop and Hotham) were appreciated by the group. During the walk the vegetation was quite varied with stringybarks, red box, Blakely’s red gums, casuarinas, the odd grass tree and other understory shrubs.
Eventually we reached Chick Hill and stopped for a snack before continuing towards Ridge track. At the track we turned south and headed for the summit of Mt Glenrowan where we were rewarded with magnificent views and of course lunch.
We could easily imagine how bushrangers such as “Mad” Dan Morgan and Ned Kelly could have used this same vantage point many years before to observe activities in the Glenrowan township.
Overlooking Glenrowan (image to be added)
A geocache was located and our visit recorded. The last recorded visit was Christmas 2016.
After lunch we headed back along Ridge track to the junction with Chick Hill walking track. At this point 5 headed back to the cars down the steep walking track that was climbed earlier in the day. The other 3 continued at a leisurely pace along Ridge track to Taminick Gap where they later met the others in the cars for the obligatory afternoon tea.
Thanks to Vaughan Cowan for organizing such good winter weather and another pleasant midweek walk.
First, a report from Marg Walshe and some photos of the combined Beechworth walk in April with the Easy Walks group:
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.
Mid-week walk Wed June 14
We will be visiting Mount Glenrowan in the Warby Ranges. Normally we walk from the Tamanick Gap, but this time we will start from Wirrinya Avenue off the Warby Range road and climb Chick Hill on the way. There is a steep climb for the first 400 m, but there are good views even if it is foggy, and the climb will keep you warm. We lunch overlooking Glenrowan and return the same way. We leave Benalla at 9.30am. Please let me know if you intend to walk on 5762 1980.
Wednesday April 12
Unfortunately the School Holidays and the approach of Easter probably affected the attendance on this great walk, but Irene, Kerrie and I enjoyed the fine weather, magnificent trees and views from Mount Samaria.
We left the car in the Wild Dog Park and walked back along the road to the Eastern most track up the mountain. After admiring the views we had lunch on the top before descending by the more Westerly track, which leads over the road to the start of the Wileman Track. This leads to a detour to the falls and a descent of 79 steps. There was a reasonable amount of water in the creek and good views to the West. We had afternoon tea in the Samaria Wells Park. Walk distance was 6.7 Km.
Coming up - combined 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.
Seven BBWC walkers took advantage of the perfect autumn weather to undertake a walk on Mount Stirling. The forecast temperature for Benalla was about 31 degrees compared with a pleasant 17 degrees for the mountain.
We left the cars at about 10am at Telephone Box Junction and headed off through the Alpine Ash forest. We encountered some horse riding groups and a few intrepid mountain bikers on this section before lunch. All enjoyed spectacular views of Mount Buller Village and summit.
At lunch we encountered the first of many students from the Timbertop campus of the Geelong Grammar School who were undertaking overnight(s) hiking activities. Their youthful enthusiasm for their task while carrying their large backpacks impressed us.
The first half hour or so after lunch was relatively steep going requiring a few rest stops. Soon though we arrived at the rock cairn marking Mount Winstanley and enjoyed the alpine views while appreciating the magnificent veteran snow gums that were a feature of this section.
We returned via Razorback Hut arriving back at the cars around 4pm. Vaughan observed that sections of the walk were a little more difficult than he remembered, but we were all feeling pleased with ourselves and experienced a real sense of achievement.
The photo was taken on March 8 on the Razorback Trail in the Mount Stirling area. The group were resting and looking towards Mount Buller and the surrounding hills.
Many thanks to Vaughan Cowan for leading yet another interesting and enjoyable midweek bushwalk.
Coming up - Mid-week walk April Wed 12
We will walk from the Wild dog car park to the top of Mount Samaria, then back on part of the Wileman track. We will visit the falls if there is enough water in the creek. We will leave the Centre car park at 9.30am. Please ring Vaughan on 5762 1980 to check numbers and arrange transport.
Mid-Week Walks commenced the year with a further trip to Mt Buffalo. This time the walk was to The Lookout, The Horn.
For details of the next walk on Wednesday 8th March, contact Vaughan Cowan on 5762 1980.
Photographs - Margaret Walshe
Another of our esteemed bush walking members, Nigel Lacey, has passed away. His funeral in Melbourne coincided with this walk, so we dedicated the walk to him.
We started from the Reservoir on Mount Buffalo and walked the Mac’s Point track. This track leaves the Rocky Creek 4WD track after crossing the creek and heads south, with an interesting, well sign-posted route. You then turn right at a junction (with the other track leading to the “Giant’s Causeway”). The path follows the western side of the ridge and then climbs to the lookout. There are good views to the East where the Cathedral, the Hump and the Horn are all visible. During lunch we drank a toast to Nigel (which Marion had carried in her back pack).
Mac’s Point Mt Buffalo
The return track branches to the left about 250m from the top, and leads to the Rocky Creek Track and back to the start. A very pleasant day with six walkers. The walk was about 6.7km.
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.
Walkers on the top of Mt Tatong
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.
Mid-week walk – Wednesday November 9
We are hoping to walk to the Mac’s Point lookout on Mount Buffalo, but at present the road in is closed. It may be open in November, but there are plenty of alternatives. This walk starts from the Reservoir and heads south for great views over Bunyip Creek.
Leader: Vaughan Cowan 5762 1980
Meet at the Centre at 7.45am for 8.00 departure.
There are no Mid-Week walks scheduled for December or January.
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.
Wednesday August 10th
Based on Tiger Hill road Tatong, Irene and Rob Erskine and Meg the Jack Russell, led us along O’Dea’s Road in Sam’s Creek valley. This is a beautiful area with wooded hills each side, a good road, with limited traffic and Sam’s Creek and tributaries meandering through. We had 11 walkers, all keen to get out in the open with no rain. On the way out we surveyed the cataracts above, and the main falls from the top, then walked on to meet John Knapper and Molly the Black Labrador who escorted us upstream to the base of the falls where we had lunch.
The falls are spectacular, especially as the Creek is not very large. We could have sat there longer enjoying the sun, but John had two more falls near his home to show us. These were smaller but no less attractive. Some of the group then walked back to the cars on the road, while the rest climbed up the side of two falls to follow the stream back to the road. A beautiful area. We had afternoon tea in the Erskine dining room overlooking the valley. Thank you Irene, Rob and John for a wonderful day.
Coming up on Wednesday September 14
We will be exploring a loop walk in the Stanley Forest, starting from the Buckland Gap. It was on the list for last year, but the weather intervened. Hopefully we will make it this year. All on roads or good tracks, but it might be slippery if wet. There should be wildflowers at this time of year.
We will leave the Centre car park at 8.45 am. Please ring 5762 1980 beforehand.
The weather has not been conducive to walking recently, and two midweek walks have been cancelled, however we managed one easy walk in July.
Mid-week walk – Wednesday August 10
Irene Erskine will be leading the walk from the Erskine residence, along O'Dea's road to enjoy the delightful Sam's Creek valley, and visit some very impressive waterfalls. Some of the walk will be through private property, so take this opportunity to visit the hidden area between Tatong and Mount Tatong. Meet at the Centre at 9.15am for 9.30 departure. Ring Vaughan 5762 1980
June's mid-week walk to the South Blue Range near Mansfield was cancelled due to a threatening weather forecast.
Mid-week walk – Wednesday July 13
We have done the loop walk along the Seven Creeks in Euroa several times with the easy walkers, and it is very enjoyable. This time we extend the walk by climbing Balmattum Hill as well. It is fairly steep, but we can take our time and enjoy the view.
Please ring Vaughan beforehand on 5762 1980. Assemble at the Centre car park at 9.15am for 9.30 departure.
Midweek walk - Wednesday 8 June
Sue Pendergast will be leading the walk on the South Blue Range near Mansfield. We walk along the conglomerate ridge with great views of the Alps to the East and Lake Eildon to the west.
Ring Sue on 5768 2403 or 0428 401 690 for details.
On Wednesday May 11, twelve walkers from both the Easy and Mid-Week bushwalking groups met at the old tennis courts to set off for Bright on a rather cloudy morning. It started raining when we reached Myrtleford which was rather ominous, but we drove on and had a morning tea stop at Centenary Park in Bright. The rain stopped and we drove to Deacon Avenue to start the climb to Huggins Lookout. The view over the township was great, with quite a lot of autumn colour. After a lot of looking and chatting we went back down to the cars.
Then on to Alpine Park, Wandiligong where we had lunch before setting off for the Wandi Wander. It started at the footbridge over Morses creek, up to School Road where we had great views over the township. It was interesting to see an orchard of persimmons, the trees loaded with lovely golden fruit. Walking south we continued over the Royal Bridge to the “Diggings” where we visited the new building on the site of the old Joss House, and in the opposite direction to the Chinese Bridge. Then on to the Swing Bridge and back to Alpine Park for afternoon tea. The rain started again just as we were leaving to come home. As Vaughan was unable to come on this great walk we had many leaders which created a lot of talk. Marion
About the Bushwalking Group and mid week walks
Walks are organised by the Benalla Bushwalking Club Inc. and are held on the second Wednesday of each month, weather permitting. These walks are suitable for the retired person of reasonable fitness. U3A members wishing to go on these walks need to join the Benalla Bushwalking Club for insurance purposes. Membership fees at present are Single $30, Family $40. We pool cars and share transport costs.
2nd Wednesday all day - meet at Barkly Street carpark - old tennis courts behind Aldi. Information on meeting times for specific walks will be included in newsletters and on the calendar on the website.
Convenor & Contact Details
Vaughan Cowan 5762 1980
Developed and maintained by members, this website showcases U3A Benalla & District.
Photographs - acknowledgment to U3A members;
Weebly 'Free' images;Travel Victoria and
State Library of Victoria