Sunday, September 03, 2006

Masons Falls Circuit, revisited

Photo: wildflower

Walk overview

Length: 13.5km circuit
Time: 4.5 hours
Grade: Medium
Ascent: 420m
Maximum height: 570m
Region: Kinglake National Park, Victoria
Map: Outdoor Leisure Map, Kinglake National Park

"Just north of Melbourne is the Kinglake Ntional Park. It was established in 1928 and has been extended several times since. The park is composed of four large blocks which are separated from each other by private property. The oldest section of the park is the Sugarloaf Block and this contains the popular Masons Falls and a lookout at Mt Sugarloaf. These features are linked by a series of walking tracks and management roads that provide an excellent circuit walk."

"A major feature of this walk is the wide variety of plants. The track initially follows a high ridge covered with messmate forest then descends into a fern-filled gully where blackwood, wattles,
pomaderris and tree-ferns dominate. Many orchids, lilies, daisies, correas and grevilleas are also found in the forest. This diversity of plant life means there is always something flowering."

Source: Day Walks Melbourne

My comments

The weather we had for our walk today was almost the same as for the first time I did this walk in June last year. It rained lightly for the first hour or so and the forest was cold and misty. We were soon warm though, and also excited - approaching the top of Mt Sugartop we saw a group of lyrebirds - the first of many sightings for the day.

As we headed west along Running Creek Track we started to notice lots of different wildflowers. It was a little hard to photograph them in the rain, but it eventually eased off and we had two camera clicking away.

As if by magic, the sun started shining as we descended into the glade known as The Tryst. All the wet ferns glistened in the morning sunlight and everyone was feeling very glad they'd been talked into coming along, despite the doubtful weather forecast. We had patches of sunlight as we made it to Hazel Glade, and took lots of photos of fungi and wildflowers. We also spotted more lyrebirds and were able to get pretty close - close enough to try for a photo.

It was quite late by the time we arrived at Masons Falls - we'd been taking so many photos, the time had really flown by. The sun went in long enough for us to get a couple of photos of the falls (they really need to be photographed in the morning, when the sun is in a better position), and didn't really appear much when we stopped for a late lunch at the nearby picnic grounds.

We finished the walk along Boundary Road, taking almost an hour more than the suggested time. Everyone agreed it had been worth the effort, and I'm sure I'll not be the only one of us eager to do the walk again some time.

My rating


Photos from this walk

Photo filmstrip with highlights from Masons Falls walk
For more, see: Masons Falls Circuit photo slideshow