Saturday, July 30, 2005

Tree Fern and Buttongrass Walks

Photo: Hairpin Banksia

Walk overview

Length: 9.3km and 3.5km
Time: 5 hours
Grade: Medium
Ascent: 235m
Maximum height: 300m
Region: Gembrook, Victoria
Map: VICMAP 1:25,000 Gembrook South

"The mountain forests of Bunyip State Park, often overlooked by bushwalkers, have a fascinating natural history with a wide range of vegetation types. these include swampy heathlands of prickly tea-tree and heathy woodlands of taller stringybar trees with an attractive understorey of Hakea, Banksia and Bush-eal. Walking through these forests is always a pleasure, the more so in spring when flowering shrubs and plants add a touch of colour."

"In Victoria buttongrass is a rarity but of all places there is a small patch lurking in a swamp not far from Gembrook. The Friends of Bunyip State Park, a volunteer community group, have constructed a first class walking track to ease passage through the wet heathlands."

Source: Day Walks Melbourne

My comments

We combined the Tree Fern and Buttongrass walks to make a reasonably easy day of walking for us. And it was just as well. Chris had sore feet and I had a headache, so something more arduous would have been quite tough.

We both enjoyed the Tree Fern Walk with its changing vegetation throughout the walk. We particularly enjoyed the atmosphere in the fern-filled gully between Windy Point and Link roads, though taking photos was a little treacherous due to slippery sloping tracks and the dim light. The track was hard to find in a couple of places (this is clearly not a popular walking track), and the directions a little unclear at times.

The Buttongrass Walk would probably be appreciated more by people who are more knowledgeable about native flora. However, I was pleased that there was a pamphlet available that showed the various wattle and hakea species that we saw and photographed.

My rating

Not a bad walk, but a little far to travel for a short walking day.

Photos from this walk

For more, see: Tree Fern and Buttongrass Walks photo slideshow