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Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Scenic Gingpo Track, Olinda Forest

The Gingpo Track is in the Olinda Section of the Dandenong Ranges National Park, 35 km east of Melbourne.

It is so named due to an extensive plantation of Gingpo trees in the extensive Hamer Arboretum, which adjoins the Park.

Many of the walking and management tracks in the Arboretum are named after the various tree plantations through which they pass.

I explored this scenic track on November 27, 2008, on a 4 km circuit hike from the Valley Picnic Ground, which took me along gated Yallambie Way, Simmons Avenue, and Boundary Rd. Parts of this circuit are steep, and sections of Simmons Ave are overgrown.

The RJ Hamer Arboretum land is a small part of the original Dandenong and Woori Yallock State forest, proclaimed over 110 years ago. A succession of fires destroyed the original eucalypt forest and during 1948 -1955 softwood trees were planted on site as part of plans to improve Victoria's timber supplies.

The fires of 1962 destroyed the majority of these post war plantings and the government then investigated the future use of the area. Plans were developed for the establishment of an exotic forest Arboretum to be used as part of a firebreak for the Olinda township.

The RJ Hamer Arboretum is the first known occasion in which a forest style Arboretum was completely established by planting. A basic planting design was completed in 1970 and planting was carried out for the next 15 years.

Sadly, (2008) large tracts of the Arboretum are becoming choked with weeds and other unwanted plants, and it appears that maintenance is minimal.

The Valley Picnic Ground was once a farm prior to about 1958, and is reached from Silvan Rd, then along Boundary Rd.

See the full set of Photos of my trip

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