Wonga Park

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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, May 19, 2008

Mt Juliet Walkiing Track, Yarra Ranges

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Mr Juliet is amongst the highest peaks in the Yarra Ranges region, with the summit at 1120m. The highest is nearby Mt Donna Buang, 1223m.

The mountain lies within the Melbourne Water Maroondah Catchment Area, and a very steep walking track leads to the Summit.

Public vehicular and walker access on the network of management roads in the vast catchment area surrounding the mountain is prohibited, excepting some roads which walkers are permitted to use.

The first part of the track follows Road Three, a management road, for about 2 km from the gate at the Maroondah Highway, 7 km east of Healesville.

The foot track starts at the junction of this road and Road Five - from there it is 4.5 km to the summit, where a stone cairn is located.

Mountain ash regrowth at the summit currently restricts the view of the surrounding hills.

According to historian George Start, the cleared area around the cairn was visible from the fire tower on Mt St Leonard during the 1950s, but the regrowth of mountain ash following the 1939 fires has now reached a height that obscures the summit and views from the summit.

Mt Juliet is one of several trigonometric cairns remaining from the original Geodetic Survey of Victoria.

The summit walk is amongst the most difficult in the Ranges, with a rise in altitude from 211m to 1120m, with the final section over rocks.

Mt Juliet developed as a popular destination for walkers visiting the Healesville area at the turn of the century.

Writing in J.W. Lindt`s visitor`s guide to the area in c.1910, Nicholas Caire described the scene that rewarded walkers after the arduous climb to the summit:

"A trigonometrical station. The highest and about the most accessible mountain near Healesville, from the top of which a most extended panorama is obtained of the surrounding country. Melbourne, the Bay, Macedon, and the You Yangs, being easily seen on a clear day. Snow lies on the summit during winter".

On May 18, 2008, I did the lower 4 km (return) section of the Track along Road Three, which was a rise in altitude of 105m. Perhaps one day I may attempt the full walk, but the thought of a 900m climb with no views at the top is not to my liking!

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