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Friday, April 02, 2010

Exploring the Olinda Volcano, the VW Track

Huge old tree
VW Track
VW Track
About 250 million years ago, a volcano erupted, forming part of what we now know as the the Dandenong Ranges.

The focus of the volcano was near the present day village of Olinda - lava ran down the eastern slopes.

The Olinda Forest lies in the volcano crater, now part of the Dandenong Ranges National Park, 30 km from Melbourne town.

The Silvan Reservoir sits in the crater!

In the 1870s, the area was heavily timbered and most of the trees were cut down and taken out by bullock wagons.

Logging cased in the 1970s.

The well-known Olinda Falls is formed by the Olinda Creek, which rises near the top of Mt Dandenong, and ends at a storage basin at Lilydale.

Several smaller streams flow into the Olinda Creek.

The Olinda Creek Valley consists of a rugged gorge, with the Falls about half way down, nestled between steeply sloping spurs which lead down from Mt Dandenong.

On the eastern spur is the unusually-named VW Track, a foot-track starting at the crater rim at Bartlett Track, at an altitude of 414 m, and ending at the Olinda Creek Rd, 292 m.

This track is designated by Parks Victoria as a "5C" category track, for recreational purposes - it is to be closed off and the area set aside for rehabilitation.

I explored this Track on Wednesday afternoon March 31, 2010. I parked on Falls Rd, then followed gated Bartlett Track, reaching VW Tk, which is unsigned, but accessible! There are limited views from the track, and many rock formations may be seen, leftovers from the last eruption!

The last section of the track is quite steep and rocky and is not recommended in wet weather.

See all of the Photos of my visit!

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