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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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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Britannia Creek, Yarra State Forest

The Britannia Creek runs through the district of Wesburn, 60 km east of Melbourne, and is a tributary to the Little Yarra River.

The Creek is "fed" from Tugwell Creek, originating high up in the Yarra State Forest wilderness, creating the obscure and difficult to reach Britannia Falls.

Gold was discovered in the area in the 1850s and the district later became a logging region.
There was enormous loss of forest in the huge bushfires of 1926 and 1939, and logging in the region is now very closely controlled by the Government, with only a handful of sawmills still operating in the general Warburton region.

There are Upper and Lower Falls. The Lower Falls were originally reached from a gated 1 km jeep track, known as Bedggood Way, starting at the junction with Britannia Creek Rd, adjacent to the disused sawmill. Sadly, the condition of this Track has deteriorated, due to the activities of trail bike riders, and runs parallel to the creek, past beautiful ferns and tall Mountain Ash.

Access to the Creek and Falls is no longer possible from Bedggood Way, due to the effects of masssive erosion, fallen trees, and huge mud slides.

There are many fallen logs in the forest, left there after the timber cutters moved out in the early 1920s.

Nearby is the large Britannia Park, originally constructed as a Girl Guide Camp, but available for the general public. In a pleasant forest environment, it contains barbecue facilities, a picnic area, a Rotunda, a swimming pool, cabins, community centre, and tall trees believed to be hundreds of years old.

I explored this area on August 16, 2008, on a very cold and wet day, on a 3km trek in thick mud, starting at the old sawmill on Britannia Creek Rd, and following Bedggood Way.

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