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Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Ascent of Blue Mountain - Wombat Ttate Forest

Blue Mountain is in the Wombat State Forest, 100 km west of Melbourne, in the old gold mining region near the towns of Trentham and Newbury.

The mountain is a steep high lava volcano with a broad lava flow to the northwest. The mountain consists of two slightly differing types of trachyte lava - the bulk of the mountain and the northern flow are of anorthoclase trachyte while a small flow near the summit is a coarser rock with phenocrysts of feldspar.

The Summit is at 837 m, rising 120 m from the flat area near Newbury.

This is one of the most elevated eruption points in the Newer Volcanics of Victoria. It is a distinctive landform and the broad domal shape contrasts with the surrounding dissected topography on Ordovician sedimentary rocks. It is accessible, on public land, there is abundant outcrop and it provides a very good example of a rock type of limited distribution in the Newer Volcanics Province.

There is a tall fire observation tower at the Summit, closed to the public, but the views from the base of the tower are excellent, with Mt Blackwood prominent. The electronic equipment on the tower is powered by solar cell arrays.

The steel tower is relatively new, having replaced an old wooden structure - the concrete blocks which formed the base of the former tower are still there.

An old cemetery is located just off the access track. We climbed this mountain on December 1, 2007, as a 9 km (return) hike, starting at Amelia Lane, Newbury, and then on to Tower Track.

One echidna was seen on the track!

The full photo set is at Blue Mountain

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