January 2007 - Queenscliff, taking the ferry home.
With Wendy soon to be heading home, we all headed out for the day for the beach.
As luck would have it the weather cooled by the time we reached Queenscliff so we had fish and chips at the local park and then wandered around the shops and 2nd hand stores.
Returning home taking the 40 minute journey via the ferry across the bay to Sorrento and then driving up the peninsula home.
Queenscliff is located on the south-eastern tip of the Bellarine Peninsula. It sits just inside the entrance to Port Phillip Bay, 103 km south of Melbourne and 30 km from Geelong. On one side is Swan Bay and, on the other, Shortland Bluff overlooks the channels leading into Port Phillip Bay.
October 2007 - Point Leo with the girls.
With the warm weather coming so early in the year, a quick visit to the beach with the girls (including the dog)
April 2007 - Steavenson Falls
Catherine, Puppy and I headed off to one of Victoria's highest waterfalls, Steavenson Falls and taking the extremely steep walk to the very top of the falls.
The waterfall descends 84 metres into the bush and fern-fringed Steavenson River below, named after John Steavenson, who first visited the site of what is now Marysville in 1862, the falls opened to tourists in 1866.
October 2007 - Stones Outstation Weekend
Stevo and I convoyed together from home at about 10:30am Friday morning chatting along the way via the UHF all whilst the rain came down by the bucket load. Stevo was optimistic that the rain would be clear once we made our way over the Black Spur, although I was doubtful to say the very least. Yet he was right about 50KMs out of Marysville the weather began to clear and stayed fine upon arriving at Stones right up to the time we began to setup camp and once again the heavens opened up. As luck would have it the weather cleared just as soon as we sufficiently drowned and our camp was setup!
We headed out for a bit of an explore before it got dark and I cease to be amazed at how Lake Eilden’s water level has dropped, we came upon a camp ground with toilets that was used for boats which is now currently an estimated 3KMs from the water..
Heading back to camp Stevo amazingly spotted a Bowerbird nest along the side of the track. Ray turned up at the campsite first followed by Gavin a little later we had an amazing dinner of roast pork, vegies with gravy or apple sauce all cooked in the camp oven by Stevo.
Saturday we began working on the hut, Ray and Steve cleaned out the dirt and rubble around the fireplace before Stevo was alarmed by the presence of a fictitious snake. Gavin and I leveled the high ground areas around the outside of the hut creating a full away from the hut and Jason and his son Noah arrived to help with the timber slabs on the chimney, before Clarkie and Justin also arrived.
Jason had to leave early to get his son off to work, Clarkie and Justin needed to find some tracks in Toolangi. Stevo and I left Saturday afternoon and on the way out spent an hour or so wandering the old mine shafts littering the hills on the way out and Ray & Gavin spent Saturday night at camp and headed out on Sunday morning.
September 2007 - Stones Outstation Hut
On Sunday Catherine, Caitlin, Meg and I headed up to Stones for the continuation of the working bee on the Hut and Meg wasn’t in the best of moods as surprisingly she was still asleep at 8:30am when I had to wake her to get her dressed to leave.
On the track into Stones we met with Wayne coming the other way who informed us that people had decided to pack up early and skip working today. (Most people had gone up on Friday or Saturday and camped at the hut for the weekend.)
Stopping to chat to everyone as they made there way out we found ourselves at Stones on our own. We stopped for a picnic at the hut I had packed for the trip and then made for the 3km walk to Lake Eildon.
On the walk we came across a very large wombat who was not impressed with us turning up at dinner time and 5 ducklings hiding from predators under a fallen tree in the creek. We also came across many kangaroo bones and rubbish that had once been on the bottom of the lake, such as boat parts, batteries and old bottles.
We also found concrete boat moorings that were at least 1.5kms from the water now and finally reaching the lake itself you could see the high water mark on the hills which was at least 50ft up from the current water level.
On the way home we made a quick detour through the township of Eildon before hitting the road in earnest for the 2 hour trip home.
August 2007 - Mt Baw Baw
Today we headed up to Mt Baw Baw for the snow with Michael and Aunty Nona [Fiona].
Although the weather wasn't ideal, it was a great day, tobogganing, building a snowman and a snowball fight between the boys before heading home.
Mt Baw Baw is located just 114 km east of home, along the Warburton Highway, turn off at Yarra Junction and continue through Powelltown, which joins the main road at Noojee.
Mt Baw Baw is situated adjacent to Baw Baw National Park and the summit is 1564m high whilst the village is at 1470m
May 2007 - Marysville to Healesville via the back roads.
Taking Yellow Dog Rd past Mt Strickland and then down to Mt Donna Buang via Acheron Way, from Mt Donna Buang to Healesville via Ben Cairn Rd and then on home.
The sun was shining when we headed out from home but once we neared the Yarra Ranges National Park the weather closed in with rain and fog giving the forest an almost surreal quality. It was cold too, with the temperature hovering around the 5-6 Deg mark.
It was to cold to stop and eat our picnic lunch outdoors, so we ended up eating lunch in the car amongst the mist and tree trunks, whilst I took puppy for a bit of a run.
After lunch we turned down a narrow track, but half way along we decided to bail out and turn around. The track descended quite steeply and although there wouldn't have been an issue making our way down, it would have been near on impossible to head back up if we found that the track had been blocked further along.
Connor had his first encounter with leeches when we stopped and wandered around an old collapsed concrete building, its purpose still eludes me.
The intention was to do the Cement Creek Rainforest walk but with our previous encounter with leeches and the fact Meg was asleep at the time we choice to save it for another time and keep going.
Reaching the lookout tower at the summit of Mt Donna Buang, Caitlin, Connor and I climbed the stairs to the top of the tower where the wind howled and visibility was non existent, being barely able to even see the car park below.
From here we headed down to the picnic shed at the bottom of Mt Donna Buang where we fed the wood barbeque with any sticks we could find, which successfully made copious amounts of smoke but no warmth to speak of. Here we ate afternoon tea and the kids and puppy ran around inside the shed, whilst Cath and I had a hot cup of coffee.
Heading home we took the Ben Cairn Rd where Lyrebirds continuously ran across the road with all the elegance of chickens competing in a 3 legged sack race. Along the way there would have been some amazing views but due to the mist we could only get a sense of them.
May 2007 - Camberville to Mt Torbreck via Snobs Creek.
Leaving late, the intention was to stop for lunch at Camberville then head to Mt Torbreck and exit near Eildon via Snobs Creek Falls.
TomTom Navigator took us an interesting way from home to Camberville via some very windy roads resulting in both Puppy and Caitlin becoming car sick. Reaching Camberville we were soon to discover that the town isn't actually a town, but instead the derelict relics of an old forestry settlement.
Making out way into Marysville (which is the nearest town and shops) we stopped by the lake to eat our lunch purchased at the bakery. Meg and Puppy both wanted to be the first into the lake to play with the ducks, but luckily neither succeeded.
Heading back to Camberville with the intention of taking Camberville Rd we encountered a sign informing us that a bridge was closed due to works but not telling us if the road was still possible to transverse or not. Deciding that the option of driving it, with the prospect of only needing to turn around again we would be better off leaving Camberville once again to seek an alternate route.
Back out on the main road again we headed for the Eildon Warburton Rd turnoff. Trying to make up time and reach Mt Torbreck before sunset we barrelled along the Forestry roads past Big River and kept going.
The turnoff for Mt Torbreck was quite rough and boggy requiring low range and a bit of right foot as well. Reaching the picnic area at the base of Mt Torbreck with only a little light left we began our way up the very steep and rough path for the summit. It soon became apparent that the walk doesn't actually go to the summit of the hill but stops at a rocky outcrop on one side, from here I took a few photos with the last of the days light.
We made our way out in the dark in the direction of Eildon and I realised the inadequacies of the headlights in the Landrover, low beams didn't travel far enough and High beams didn't light the sides of the tracks which made for slow progress. Finally making our way out onto the bitumen via Eildon Jamieson Rd we headed for home.
April 2007 - Marysville along Lady Talbot Drive, exiting via Mount Margaret Rd.
We stopped at Phantom Falls and walked our way up to the waterfall which is a an easy if not a little over grown walk of 800m return. We imagine the waterfall would be quite spectacular when the drought has lifted.
After meeting the Ranger on the road whilst I was taking some photos he suggested that we should stop at the Beeches for our picnic at the shady tables there.
Unfortunately this trip will be remembered not for the beauty of the lush landscape, nor the rivers or waterfalls, but for the leeches!
It was our first experience with the horrible little creatures and even as I type this my brain cringes at the memory.
April 2007 - Ada Tree.
Located in the Yarra State Forest, we walk through the Myrtle Beech rainforest to visit the Ada Tree.
One of the largest known flowering trees in the world its estimated to be over 300 years old, the Ada Tree stands about 70 m tall with a circumference of 15 m measured at 1.5 m above ground level.
April 2007 - Werribee Open Range Zoo.
Catherine, the girls and i headed out to the Werribee Open Range Zoo, although it wasn't quite what i was expecting we had a good day none the less.
Werribee Open Range Zoo focusing on displaying Australian and African animals. It is part of the Zoological Parks and Gardens Board which also includes Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary, and is located on the Werribee River in Werribee Park, adjacent to the Werribee Mansion.