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Friday, March 12, 2010

Exploring Mt. Cannibal, West Gippsland

Mt. Cannibal Nature Reserve is 90 km east of Melbourne, in the district of Garfield North, north of the Princes Highway, and not far from the commercially-run Gumbiyah Park.

The summit is at 241 m, an increase in altitude from 138 m. A 3 km circuit track (steep and rocky in parts) from the picnic ground goes through forest and links two lookouts - Northern Lookout, and Southern Lookout.

Southern Lookout offers superb views to Wsternport Bay, French Island, Phillip Island, the Mornington Peninsula and the Westernport Biosphere Reserve.

The Northern Looking commands spectacular views to the Black Snake Range and the Bunyip State Park.

The Reserve is managed by the Cardinia Shire, with support from the Friends of Mt. Cannibal organization. The Summit is popular with Meteor Observation Groups, and Amateur Radio activities, being relatively free from electrical and visual pollution.

I did the circuit walk on March 11, 2010, and was impressed at the work which has been done in creating the new Southern Lookout and directional marker (sponsored by Rotary). There has been a major reconstruction and realignment of sections of the Track, with wooden steps installed and gravel surfacing. Brightly colored markers along the Track refer to points of interest - a well produced set of Trail Notes is available from a metal box at the start of the Track. A comprehensive Information Board in the picnic area provides details about the Reserve, its fauna, flora, and geography.

The Forest is home to the second higest population of forest owls in Victoria.

The large granite rocky outcrops in the Reserve are over 350 million years old, and represent one of the largest displays in southern Victoria.

See all of the
Photos of my visit!

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