You Yangs Walk

The weather was partly cloudy and the temperature was around the twenties. It was near perfect condition for a walk in the You Yangs. We met up with a couple of families (one of which is visiting from Hong Kong for a lunch picnic near the tunrtable car park.

We had original planned to make the climb up to Flinders Peak but the track was closed for repairs. Instead, we deciding to walk to Bunjiil Geoglyph which is a much easier walk. It was spring and the flowers were in full bloom. That makes the walk quite pleasant.

When we reached the Bunjiil Geoglyph, there we 2 geocaches that we could find. One was Apollo 11 and the other was Where Australian Eagles DareApollo 11 is a multicache which requires you to get to Flinders Peak for clues to solve a puzzle. Fortunately, we solved the puzzle from our last visit to the You Yangs.

The two caches were relatively quickly found. We looked around a bit before heading back to the Turntable car park. Before we left the You Yangs, we visited Big Rock which is quite impressive.

Overall, it was a lovely day out for all of us.

Garfield Mine Track

It was already 12:30pm when we arrived at Chewton about 5km from Castlemaine. The weather was cloudy with occassional break of sunshine. The temperature was around 16C and there was light wind. It was coolish when the wind was blowing and the sun behind the cloud. We found a picnic spot near the town oval and had lunch before the walk.

The start of the walk is at the end of North Street. There was plenty of car parking spots. Apart from a family that was there before us, there was no one else around. The family soon left and we were alone for the duration of the walk.

Near the car park was the ruins of the Garfield Waterwheel. There was no wheel but the foundation appears to be mostly in tack. There was an information board close to the wheel but, as we found out later, the map does not appear to correspond to sign posted track on the ground.

The walking track was littered with quartz pieces. We wondered if it was remanants of the mining activities in the past. We soon walked by a sign that said Manchester Reef. Closeby is an enterance to an abandoned mine. Near the enterance is a shaft that went directly downwards. It was really exciting to have discovered a geniue mine that has not been prepared for tourist (ala Sovereign Hill in Ballarat).

Beyond the mine, the track was leading us further away from the car. We had expected a loop as was shown in the map on the information. When we approached the Pyreneness Highway, we decided to backtrack and return via the same way we came.

The landscape and ruins on this walk hides the story of mining in this area. It was a shame that there are no sign boards to provide us with information along the way.

The track was not exactly flat but it wasn’t terrible difficult either. Anyone with reasonable fitness should be able to attempt it easily. However, in many parts of the track, there were loose stones. It was a very relaxing day for us. We will definitely come back again.

Buttongrass Nature Walk

The weather forecast for the day was 23C and isolated showers in the morning. As we drove to Bunyip State Park, it started to rain. Fortunately, when we arrived at the car park of the Buttongrass Nature Walk, the rain abated and the sun revealed itself.

The road from Gembrook to Mortimer Picnic Ground appears to have been recently sealed. The brochure of the Park from Parks Victoria indicated that it would be an unsealed road. The sealed road makes the drive (for a 2WD vehicle) easier.

Although a portion of the road is unsealed, the drive wasn’t too bad. The condition of the road is very good compared to some we have travelled on. When we reached the car park, there were at least 4 vehicles already parked. We thought that we might have some company along the walk. However, we did not see anyone else along the way.

From the car park there is a short walk of about 200 metres leading to the start of the walk. The waypoint for the geocache Grass Buttons # 1 is an information board for the walk. The final location of the cache was worked out from the information on the board and we were quickly on our way.

The walk to the final location of the cache was fairly long. The surrounds was typical of the Australian bush. The hide was fairly obvious to a geocacher. We were the first to find (FTF) this cache and there was a prize waiting for us! This was our first FTF after caching for one and a half year.

The kids also fancied a Geocaching Badge in the cache. We took a badge and left a Zebra, Camel and safety pin in exchange for the badge. We signed the log and continued our journey.

In this leg of the walk, we noticed that bush fire had recently ravaged this section of the park. This might have been the fires that occurred in February of 2009 (last year). It is also heartening to see that the recovery is very much on its way.

Our next stop was for the Geocache Grass Buttons # 2. While the previous geocache was a multicache, this one was a traditional cache. The cache was located quickly. Again we claimed the FTF prize and left a dog and an elephant in the cache. At this point, it started to drizzle lightly for a short while but it did not pour. We were still very comfortable continuing the walk.

Continuing our walk, we saw lots of Button-grass on both side of the track. It is quite a sight to behold. The next Geocache from the last one was only a short distance away. Grass Buttons # 3 was a bit more challenging then the other 2. It was difficult, if not impossible, to locate it by sight. We manage to get to it by touch with some degree of stretching. Again we collected the FTF prize and left a lion and a ram in the cache.

After rehiding the geocache, we make tracks back to the car. On the way, we saw mushrooms growing in the wild. Throughout the walk, wild flowers and butterflies can be seen everywhere. We wonder what this park will look like in spring. We suspect that it would be a very different experience in different seasons. We will need to make more trips to find out for ourselves.

We had a very different geocaching experience today. After a year and a half of geocaching, we had finally got our first FTF. To top that, we had 3 FTFs on the same day! The prizes were an added bonous. Many thanks to hi pressure for providing us with such a wonderful experience.

hi pressure

Geocache hunt: …Springs Eternal

We took this walk to hunt for the geocache …Springs Eternal. It was quite a lovely day for a walk. The total distance walked was about 2.4km. In one section of the walk, we turned into the wrong track and had to back-tracked a bit. It added about 50m to the walk.

When we approached the Geocache hide, we had to leave the track. The coordinates was about 10m off. We still managed to locate the cache by virtue of reading the description carefully. That helped narrowed the search somewhat.

The cache container was a lot larger than average. We did not do any swaps. That ended the last activity for the day on a high note.