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Ths author is a Chartered Professional Engineer, providing specialized consultancy services in International Broadcasting Engineering. He is graduate of the Royal Melbourne Instiutute of Technology.and holds the rank of Member, Institution of Engineers Australia . he is a recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for Services to Shortwave Radio, and was employed by the PMG's Dept/ATC/Telecom Australia from 1956 until 1997...

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Toorongo Falls Reserve - Noojee State Forest

The Toorongo Falls Reserve is 100 km east of Melbourne, deep within the Noojee State Forest, at the bottom of Mt Baw Baw.

It's home to wet forest types, including Mountain Grey Gum, Mountain Ash, Manna Gum, Blackwood & Austral Mulberry. A variety of ferns thrive in the damp conditions including the Necklace Fern, Soft Tree Fern, & the Long Fork-fern.

In the reserve live Common & Mountain Brush Tailed Possums, Ring Tailed Possums, Sugar Gliders, and a variety of bats. Red-Bellied Black Snakes are commonly found during warmer periods.

The 14 hectares reserve contains two bushwalking tracks, which total 2.2 km, taking a loop around the Amphitheatre and Toorongo waterfalls, and allowing visitors to take the wide range of native experiences the area offers.

The two observation platforms are a highlight of the walk with stunning views given from each. The platforms were dropped in place by helicopters where ground crew awaited to complete the installations.

The Tracks were officially opened on November 24, 2004, following a $650,000 grant from the State Government to redevelop the site.

One of the major outcomes from the Toorongo Falls project was the partnership between Department of Sustainability and Environment, and the local and indigenous communities.
The relationships forged with the Wurundjeri community were extremely beneficial to both parties. The track construction crew gained enhanced track building and stonewalling skills, and DSE gained a beautifully crafted track that greatly adds to the visitor experience.

The area was an original border of two Aboriginal tribes. Wurundjeri who were to the west, and part of the Kulin Nation and the Brayakoloong, part of the Kurnai nation, who lived of the river flats of the Latrobe Valley. There is still evidence of Aboriginal heritage today, with many culturally significant sites being situated in the reserve.

I visited the Reserve on September 1, 2007, completing the two walking tracks, through a superb forest environment.

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