Monthly Archives: July 2013

Werribee Gorge – again

After my last walk at the gorge went for just two hours, I thought I’d head out again and try and lengthen my next trip by checking out the Centenary Trail.

The trail branches off the gorge circuit trail and heads out to a landform called the James Whyte Island Reserve. It’s been given the ‘island’ tag because it looks like one, with the Werribee River and gorge on one side and Myrniong Creek and its valley on the other. It’s quite am impressive sight, flat topped, steep sided and covered in grass.

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The island, through the trees

 

The track leave the gorge circuit trail and descends gently through open, rocky  woodland into the gorge, reaching the bottom at Junction Pool. It’s a pretty spot to sit and while away the time. A sign says it’s a place where native water rats and platypus make their home. From there the track crosses Myrniong Creek and steeply climbs the edge of the island.

Junction Pool

Junction Pool

In the valley you can see plenty of green plastic protectors for newly planted young trees and shrubs. A sign along the track explains they’ve been planted in an effort to create a bush corridor to connect the Lerderderg park in the north with the Brisbane Ranges in the south. Fingers crossed it works.

The view from the top of the island is impressive – down steep sides into the gorge and all the way to Melbourne’s skyline, the Dandenong Ranges and You Yangs Regional Park.

I followed the track back to the gorge circuit and then instead of doing the full circuit, took the short circuit walk for something different. It was an easy although slippery walk on hard compacted earth that had a thin layer of moss on it. The track came out at Meikles picnic area where I had lunch and a nice hot drink using my little gas stove. Bit of a shame to see a burnt out van in the picnic area. Obviously something criminal happened there in the two weeks since I last visited.

A wary wallaby

Followed the same track I walked the last time I was here, saw another koala, got to the car and headed home. This time I was out for about four hours. Still time to get home and clean the bathroom.

 

 

Werribee Gorge

I sometimes wonder who the parks people are thinking of when they give  estimated times to complete a walk. Very slow, unfit people I think.

I recently went out to Werribee Gorge, about an hour drive out of Melbourne on the way to Ballarat, to do the 10km circuit walk of the gorge. I was expecting to be out for at least half the day as the track notes suggested it would take about four hours. It took me two-and-a-half – and I wasn’t walking quickly or failing to stop and take in the views and scenery.

The view back to Melbourne and the Dandenong Ranges

The view back to Melbourne and the Dandenong Ranges

While it ended up being a short walk, it was still a nice time out. And it meant I was home in plenty of time to do some housework.

I parked at Meikles Point picnic area by the Werribee River that cuts through the gorge. The track passed the toilets and then went up a ridge through some nice forest to the top of the gorge. The walk up the ridge was a great way to warm up on a cool day. Passing under some eucalypts I spotted a koala high in a tree, swaying in the breeze. It was too far away to get a decent photo unfortunately.

The track wound around above the gorge, passing spots that gave views back down to Melbourne and the Dandenong Ranges and down into the gorge. It then went steeply down into the gorge along a rocky track and joined the river below.

Looking down into the gorge

Looking down into the gorge

It’s a nice river, narrowing and flowing swiftly in places before widening out into flat, calm, reed flanked pools that the track notes say are home to platypus.  The track comes to a nice beach, Needles Beach, that would make a great spot for a swim on a hot day.

Needles Beach

Needles Beach

The track continued to follow the river’s edge with a bit of rock hopping here and there, including a bit of adventure where you had to hold onto some wire rope that had been attached to a rock wall you had to get around.

Adventure!

Adventure!

It then joined an old aqueduct which ended back at the picnic area where I’d parked the car. All up a nice, easy, short walk.

Feeling sickly

I’m sick. I hate being sick. Bloody flu. I’ve got all the symptoms – headaches, congestion, coughing, sore throat. Basically everything that would make going out and attempting anything outdoorsy very unpleasant.  It’s frustrating because from my sick perch on the couch, the view through the living room window is of blue sky and friendly, fluffy clouds. Sigh and dammit.

Blue sky outside

Blue sky outside

I’ve struggled through a week of this flu without trying to take too much in the way of medication. I’ve found it’s never helped much in the past anyway. Especially when they replaced pseudoephedrine in Sudafed tablets. But today, after several mornings of waking up coughing and feeling terrible, I’ve had enough. My outdoor adventure today was a trip to the chemist, where I bought syrups and gargles and tablets and powders and vitamins. I’m going to try hitting this flu with everything the pharmaceutical industry spends millions  of dollars in advertising saying they can fix.

I know that rest is one of the only things you can do to get over a flu. And it’s something I’m also trying to do. But the itch to go outside, even just for a walk around the block and feel the sun on my face, is almost overwhelming. Hopefully by next weekend I’ll be over this and be able to get out and do something more fun than sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself.