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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Exploring Beenak and Kurth Kiln Park

From the 1870s, Beenak, at the head of McCrae's Creek, in the rugged forest east of Gembrook, 70 km east of Melbourne, was home to a few timber cutters and settlers.

With the sawmilling boom of the early 1900s, Beenak developed into a small settlement, with a school, post office and general store, and peak population of about 100.

Much of the area has now reverted to forest, and bushfires of 1926 destroyed most of the surviving buildings.

The original Beenak Cemetery is still in use, and a notice on Beenak Rd identifies the tree where there was an official Mailbox where mail was sent and received. The Post Office was physically located towards the east. Postal services started in 1878, and closed in 1951.

The area is now part of the Kurth Kiln Regional Park - Beenak Rd follows part of the original route from Gembrook, with some private properties and plantations on the northern side.

The eastern section of Beenak Rd past the last private property is unsealed, stony, narrow, winding and steep, and is subject to falling trees and branches. It eventually leads to a junction with the gated access track to the communications towers on Mt. Beenak, then goes south and west past Tomahawk Gap, then back to Gembrook.

I visited the Beenak area, along Beenak Rd, on September 22, 2007, exploring Jim's Fireline Track. I also took the opportunity of hiking along Spencer's Fireline Track, to the west, near the Kurth Kiln Picnic ground.

See all of the photos of the trip at

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