Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Graham Creek Walk, 10th April, 2011

On Sunday the 10th of April, six Walkabouters met at Fridays Camp Ground for a 12km walk through the forest of the Brisbane Ranges.

The Brisbane Ranges are a series of low hills that were formed by the upheaval of land along the Rowsley Fault west of Melbourne. The terrain is rugged with many deep gorges and rocky outcrops. Many species of flora and fauna are particular to the area such as the Brisbane Ranges Grevillea and the Yellow tufted honey eater.

The area is scattered with the remains of mine shafts and diggings left behind from the gold rush in Victoria during the 1850's.

This is a close-up of the mine shaft, showing the detail of the hand operated winder used to lift buckets filled with dirt and rock and miners hopeful of finding gold. This mine shaft is safely covered to prevent accidentals falls and is maintained by the Friends of the Park and Parks Victoria.

We walked passed stands of  Grass-trees (Xanthorrhoea spp.) scattered amongst the predominantly Brown Stringybark Eucalypts that make up the forest.

Grass-trees in the area are threatened by  Phytophthora cinnamomi (cinnamon fungus) that attacks the roots of the plant and causes root rot and the eventual collapse of the plant.
Cinnamon fungus has been found to spread through the use of machinery and bush walker's shoes carrying infected soil.

Grass trees may also be severely affected by fire.

 Our keen-eyed walk leader spotted numerous flowering orchids along the side of the paths. The above orchid is called Parsons Bands and flowers during Autumn. We also saw many tiny multi-stemmed Greenhoods which eluded many attempts to be photographed.

After carefully making our way down the side of a rocky embankment and up the next hill, we had lunch beside Graham Creek.

The fallen log would have provided a great resting place if the picnic table and benches had not provided a better one.

There were many photographic opportunities along the track,

 including more stands of Grass-trees....

 ....Silver Banksias (Banksia marginata)...

.....and the evidence of recent rains along the creek beds.

The recent deluge appears to have brought much debris down this creek.
This area of Victoria generally receives less than 500 mm of rain on average each year.
The summers are hot and windy, so the recent rains have brought lush undergrowth and vibrant green to the bush.

 We continued along the tracks, through the woody heathland of valleys of Yankee Gully and Grahams Creek. We did not see any koalas in the trees, but we enjoyed the many little birds flittering among the branches and undergrowth.

After arriving back at Fridays Camp Ground, we enjoyed a well earned cup of tea, biscuits from the Malvern Presbyterian Church fete, before an uneventful drive back to Melbourne.

Walkabouters Club of Victoria Inc.


  1. The Brisbane Ranges is my favourite bushwalking area in Victoria. Each time I walk there I am never disappointed - on Sunday it was the grass trees moving in the wind, the minute orchids and the cold fresh air on my face.

  2. Thank you for this blog. It is great to see more photos and to have more detailed descriptions of the geography, flora and fauna...and the old mineshafts etc. It is making me want to join again! I might have to get a bit fitter though.

  3. I love walking through the Brisbane Ranges. Every time I go there I see and learn something new. I am looking forward to another walk later this year so I am get to know it event better!


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