3rd February 2022
Fryers Ridge Conservation Reserve Walk. Taradale.
Twenty five members enjoyed a modest 7.5km hike through the Fryers ridgeConservation Reserve, recently refreshed with healthy rain. No big climbs or rough descents to scare new members or test returning members. For the last 3.5kms we followed the main Coliban Water Channel and learned some of the history of the Coliban Water Management System. For those of us who walked along the Channel last year, we were pleased there was no cause for any of our members to jump into the channel this time. A pleasant hike to start this year’s program, giving members the chance to renew contact with each other and get to know new members.
Here is the link to the map of the walk on All Trails. MAP
17th February 2022
Pennyweight Flat Quartz Hill Loop Walk mainly in the Castlemaine
Diggings National Heritage Park. Castlemaine/Chewton
A large group of 28 members travelled to the car park of the Pennyweight
Flat Children’s Cemetery. A walk north along Colless Road, before
turning into PikeStreet Track and entering the Castlemaine Diggings
Park. Plenty of track variations as we moved east passing and crossing
Dirty Dick’s and Sailors Gullies before climbing up to Quartz Hill. Had
a good look at the open cut mining that has reduced the hill. From there
south towards the Garfield Water Wheel before turning west/north to
climb up to Quartz Hill Track. Followed the latter track back to Colless
Road and our start point. Finished with a pleasant hour at open air
setting at The Malmsbury Bakery for coffee and food. The walk was 7.5kms
and provided a few more walking challenges for the group. Pleased to
confirm our Whip Ian did a great job and we did not lose a walker!
Here is the link to the map of the walk on All Trails. MAP
3rd March 2022
Spring Gully Mine, Eureka Reef and water race loop walk
Under an azure sky the group left the Spring Gully Mine car park. After a breathless 600 metres slog up Spring Gully Road, the terrain levelled off, as we joined a single file track atop the earth wall of a 150 year old water race. A circuit along the Eureka Reef Heritage Walk for a taste of mining history, followed by a good look at the remains of a Cornish Chimney. Walked past a silent Dingo Farm and joined the Goldfields Track for the last section of the loop walk back to the Spring Gully Mine. A solid 9.2km hike, followed by a pleasant warm-down at the Malmsbury Bakery. We earned our vanilla slices, cakes and yes, cornish pasties. A most enjoyable walk.
A link to the Alltrails map
17th March 2022
Mt Macedon Memorial Cross loop walk
Walkers gathered at our usual meeting place under leaden skies and
drizzly rain. As we approached Mt.Macedon the rain stopped. Starting
from MacGregors Picnic Ground, shrouded in mountain mist, we joined the
Macedon Ranges Walking Track (MRWT) for a delightful forest walk. The
vista opened up as we approached the Memorial Cross. From there pleasant
walking along Francis Road and Clyde Track, before rejoining the MRWT
for the last stretch. Along the way, couple of Hirudineas’ (leeches)
tried to befriend Helen, but it seems she has enough friends in her life
as she shook them off ( with shrieks). Coffee, cakes and a good chat at
the Mt. Macedon General Store was a nice way to finish a most enjoyable,
near 9km, walk.
The link to the Alltrails map is HERE
Click on the image to enlarge it.
31st March 2022
Two Gullies Walk
We had a keen group of 16 walkers head for Porcupine Ridge Road for the
start finish/point where the Goldfields Track crossed the road. A
pleasant day for walking had us head east through lush forest for a
couple of kilometres before turning north. Increasing evidence of mining
and recent storm damage as we climbed up to Wewak track, which we
followed for a short distance before turning south along Link Track
which joined us back up with the Goldfields Track for the last leg to
the finish point.
Learned something about Charles Sanger, the fighting
between Irish and Italian miners in Fighting Gully and heard from Kerry
about the work being done to map a local species of Grevillea (Grevillea
Obtecta, known locally as Fryerstown, Taradale and/or Elphinstone
Grevillea) which is becoming rarer. Kerry pointed out an example of the
low spreading shrub and our keen eyed walkers spotted several more
examples as we walked along Wewak Track.
Lunch at the Glenlyon General Store which was pleasant.
The Alltrails link is: HERE
21st April 2022
20 intrepid walkers travelled to the Creswick Regional Forest to drop off a couple of vehicles at the proposed finish point and then went on to the start point on White Swan Road, towards Ballarat. A very pleasant walk along the Goldfields Track and the Slaty Creek diggings. Rather than stop for a break at Chapel Flat and go on to the Slaty Creek Camp Ground, we mysteriously returned to our start point at the White Swan Reservoir. Although not completing the planned walk it was an enjoyable 8+km hike through the forest. Our leader has been formally accepted into the “Where the hell are we Club.” There were another couple of challenges facing the group. Firstly a walkers car refused to move from where it was parked and ultimately was taken away on the back of a truck. Secondly, to allow the leader to go back to support the stranded walkers, it was agreed the convoy would drive north along Slaty Creek Road out of the forest to Creswick and lunch. The navigator of the lead vehicle showed the Google map with Slaty Creek Road and off they went. 50 meters on from the camping Ground they saw the road sign and promptly turned south instead of north. All ended well and the group enjoyed their coffee and lunch at the Smokeytown Cafe. Peter will be gifted a compass.
5th May 2022
Welsh Village, Nimrod Reef Walk
Walkers gathered at the parking bays near the Garfield Wheel ruins to start the walk. Clear skies, although rain was forecast early afternoon, lifted spirits as we took off uphill for near 500 metres. Pleasant walking down to Golden Point and along Forest Creek to the Welsh Street bridge ruins. From there we turned inland to head for Nimrod reef. Followed the reef and later site of a slate mine for a distance before joining a track to the Welsh Village ruins. John provided an insight to the mine workings and the history of the Welsh Village. Stopped for a break at the large Rosemary bush on some terraced ground which housed Nimrod Reef mining structures. As well as plenty of historic ruins, we also came across a pretty imposing looking spider, which turned out to be a Red-headed Mouse Spider, Missulena occatoria,(see photo). From there we worked our way back to the Garfield Wheel via Sailor’s Gully. It was a very enjoyable walk, taking in the historic significance of the area and, including some challenging sections of walking. Finished around midday and drove to the Malmsbury Bakery for coffee, food and plenty of conversation.
The Alltrails link is; HERE
19th May 2022
The group travelled to Lawson’s Parade, Castlemaine to start the walk through Kalimna Park at Milkmaid Flats. An enjoyable 6 km hike, with plenty of variety and a few steep climbs and descents to keep us challenged. Walkers largely kept together, or at least within sight of each other, which was particularly important early on in the walk, where there were a myriad of interconnected and crossover tracks. There were interesting stops at some building ruins and the unknown miners gravesite. Stopped off at the Malmsbury Bakery for coffee, food and plenty of chat. A nice way to finish an enjoyable hike.
The ALLTRAILS link is here
2nd June 2022
Coliban Water Channel Walk
The walking group gathered out front of the Red Brick Hall with the
temperature hovering around zero.
After a small hiccup and delay, when one of the designated cars was sidelined due to unwelcome noises
emanating from the left front wheel, necessitating the requisitioning of a replacement, we drove to the start point of the walk without further incident.
The sun broke through and the temperature rocketed up to a
balmy 5 degrees as we set off along the Channel.
The 9.5km walk was most enjoyable, with lovely views and some interesting ground covered. We were able to spend a little bit of time viewing some of the engineering solutions along the water channel. Fascinating Stuff! Had coffee and food at the Harcourt General Store which was a success. All up a most enjoyable outing.
The Alltrails link is HERE
16th June 2022
Malmsbury channel and river walk to Ellis Falls
Members gathered under leaden skies and drizzle for the mid winter walk
and lunch. We started at the Malmsbury Botanic Garden, followed the road
to the Water Channel crossing and headed north along the channel bank.
Left the channel 2.5kms in and worked our way down to the Coliban River
and Ellis Falls. Plenty of flow in the river with water cascading over
the falls. Spent some time exploring the river environs, in particular
the gorge areas. Chris and John S gave us a first hand insight into the
platypus research project they participated in and the spot where they
positioned one of the traps in a fast flowing narrow section of the
river. Pleasant walk back to the start point. Across the road to The
Stables Restaurant for lunch. Kosta and his staff welcomed us and made
sure lunch was delicious and enjoyable. A terrific outing all round.
Three of our members; Helen Atherton, Julie Nash and Greg Potter took
photos and passed them on to me. I have taken a sample from each for
inclusion on the web page walk record.
The Alltrails link is HERE
30th June 2022
Smith’s Reef WalkOn a pleasant sunny winter’s day we travelled to the Maldon Historic Reserve and walked a loop through regrowth forest along well marked tracks, following the Maldon Castlemaine Steam rail line for a way before turning south east to Smith’s Reef.
We heard about the Muckleford Fault Line and how there continues to be seismic activity in the region.
It was a very pleasant 8.4km hike.
Some of the group went into Maldon for coffee and food and reported finding a very good venue and were well looked after.
Our leader showed some exasperation at the groups tendency to not walk at a consistent pace and break up into small groups. Nevertheless an enjoyable outing.HereThe AllTrails link is:
7th July 2022
Monster Meeting, Expedition Pass Reservoir Walk.
Seventeen walkers gathered on a cold morning to travel to Chewton for a 11.2kmloop walk.
After starting at the Monster Meeting site we followed ForestCreek to Expedition Pass Reservoir. No volunteers for a swim!
Worked our way west along Welsh Street to the Nimrod Reef, the southern arm ofwhich we followed. From there across Sailor’s gully to pass Quartz Hill and head towards the Garfield Water Wheel ruins. From there climbed the ridge before heading east down to Chinaman’s Gully before rejoining the Forest Creek Track to the Monster Meeting site finish.
The weather held up nicely and everyone was pretty satisfied with a solid and interestingwalk.
Coffee and food at the Malmsbury Bakery was a nice way to finish a most enjoyable morning and early afternoon.
The AllTrails link is Here
21st July 2022
Rail trail Castlemaine Forest WalkOn a very cold morning, zero when we gathered, 20 members car pooled to Castlemaine, where we parked next to the Maldon Castlemaine Rail line. Peter Harding a former conductor on the steam train filled us in with some of his experiences.
Followed the train line on the south side for a kilometre before cutting north into the forest along a single file walking track. Our leader reminded us he had not done this walk for 12 months or so and it showed when he took a wrong turn and we had to back-track a short distance. Very pleasant walking in the open forest with Golden Wattles just starting to bloom in some places.
Completed a 5+km loop in the forest before walking back along the north side of the rail line tothe start/finish point. The cold start to the day was replaced by a warming winter sun which was great and made for a lovely 7.2km walk. Finished up at the Malmsbury Bakery for coffee, food and plenty of chat, which put the seal on a lovely walk.
The AllTrails link is: Here
4th August 2022
Goldfields Track from Fryerstown to Chewton
A pretty good day for a walk. Convened in Fryerstown in front of the Burke & Wills Mechanics Institute Hall and heard a little of the history of the place and some of the characters that settled there during theGoldrush.
Climbed out of town heading north and soon came to the ruins of the Spring Gully Mine. From there past the Dingo Farm and followed the track as it gained height near The Monk. Offered the side trip to the top of The Monk, taken up by most of our walkers. Our youngest (and fittest) walker Helen A, was challenged to run up the last 200 metre climb to the top, which she took on, seemingly quite effortlessly. The rest of us huffed and puffed our way to the top.
Continued on to Dingo Park Road and turned off along the water race to Chewton. There was some consternation about signage indicating Chewton was 7 kms away. My assurances it was less than 3 kms were accepted, with a healthy degree of scepticism! Fortunately I was right! A very enjoyable 10.3 km hike with plenty of challenges and history.
Finished with lunch at The Stables.
The AllTrails link is: HERE
18th August 2022
Fryers Ridge Loop
A cold drizzly morning when we met. The leader announced a change of plans and we convened off the Old Drummond Road near Shirley Drive.Although the weather threatened we only got some intermittent drizzle and it brightened up as the morning progressed. A pleasant walk through open forest, with some steady climbing the first couple of kilometres. After the break we tackled a solid climb before following a track north. Cut through the bush to arrive at the Coliban Water Channel, which was then followed back to the cars.
A pleasant 7+ km walk.
Stopped for coffee, food and a chat at the Malmsbury Bakery. As always a nice way to HEREfinish the walk. The AllTrails link is:
1st September 2022
Campaspe River Walk Kyneton (approx. 7 kms)
Sixteen happy hikers met at Quarry Reserve/ Barry Doyle Rotunda adjacent to Campaspe River west end of Piper Street in perfect hiking weather.
We joined the river track at Quarry Reserve and followed the Sculpture trail heading west under the bridge then on to the Kyneton Racetrack. An instant change of plan at the racetrack gate took us along Brocklebank Drive to George Street then back down Wedge Street, Beauchamp Street to re-join the river track and back to Quarry reserve. From here we followed the river track through to St. Agnes Place where we took a well earned rest break. Along the river track we learnt about the purpose of the reservoirs, historical mill sites, the old swimming pool adjacent to the recently constructed outdoor gym, wattles and environmental matters associated with the river. After a brief history on the Mollison Street bridge we started our return journey. We walked through the Hellebore Garden, up the steps and followed the road/path through the botanical gardens then picked up the river track back to Quarry Reserve.
The track is mostly paved, but a little damp under foot in places. The gentle undulations along the way made this track suitable for all members.
At the end of our walk we were welcomed at Duck Duck Goose and Larder in Piper St where we enjoyed coffee, treats and the usual debrief.