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Monday, July 26, 2010

Weatherhead Range ascent, Bunyip State Park




On Sunday afternoon July 25, 2010, I went out to the Bunyip State Park, 70 km east of Melbourne.

The winter day was cold, but sunny, and I climbed up to the Weatherhead Range Plateau.

The Park is very large,16,600 hectares. The area was used for logging from 1898 until 1990, and was turned into a state park two years later. The park is named after the Bunyip, an Aboriginal mythical creature.

The terrain in the park is mostly dense forest and swampy heathland, with Prickly Tea-Tree, Mountain Ash and Mealy Stringybark present.

In 2009, 2400 hectares, or about 15% of the park, was burnt in the Black Saturday bushfires.

The Weatherhead Range is in the southern section of the Park, and runs east-west, ending at Mt Towt in the east.

Public access to the Range is by foot, horse, or bicycle and it may be reached from the north or south.

I chose the northern approach, along gated Guide Track, which starts at the junction of Camp Rd, not far from the Gembrook-Tonimbuk Rd.

About 200 m from the gate is the entrance to the Buttongrass Reserve; a nice 3 km circuit track starts there, which I had completed previously.

I climbed Guide Track to its end at the junction with Lupton's Track, high up on the Plateau, where the Blackboy Range meets the Weatherhead Forest.

That was my turnabout point, at an elevation of 320m, one of the highest points in the Range!
I had ascended some 200m from my starting point.

The views from the Track were amazing, with magnificent panoramas across the Park and Diamond Creek valley to the north, towards the rugged Black State Range and prominent Mt Beenak.

This Track is very steep and sustained, with deep ruts caused by water run-off. I would not attempt this route immediately after heavy rain!

This area is somewhat remote and reasonable fitness is required.

Lupton's Track starts at the junction with the Tynong North to Gembrook Rd, and is an alternative route.

These tracks are kept open for fire management purposes, and care is needed to avoid horseriders and young hoons illegally using trailbikes.

The views, in my opinion, are the best in this section of the Park!

The distance trtavelled was about 5 km.

If you are lucky, you might even come across a Bunyip, which live in the forest!

Warning: Camp Rd has become badly potholed and special care is needed in 2WD vehicles.

See all of the Photos of this beautiful place!

4 comments:

  1. Any idea how the Weatherhead Range got its name?

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    Replies
    1. The Weatherhead family. Julie W of Peppermint Ridge Farm is the 4th generation of Weatherheads in the area as far as I know. Worth looking up on internet and she and her husband are doing wonderful things on the property

      Delete
    2. The Weatherhead family. Julie W of Peppermint Ridge Farm is the 4th generation of Weatherheads in the area as far as I know. Worth looking up on internet and she and her husband are doing wonderful things on the property

      Delete
  2. Thanks for your comment, Paddy!

    The Weatherhead Range name derives from a family of timber cutters in the district. A number of mills had been built in the 1880s and Horatio Weatherhead and his sons moved there in 1908.

    ReplyDelete