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Posts Tagged ‘You Yangs’

Old pier, Clifton Springs, Bellarine Peninsula

A recent walk took me to the quiet township of Clifton Springs, near Drysdale on the Bellarine Peninsula. The town is perched on the edge of red sand cliffs looking north-west across Port Phillip Bay, and I found a pretty little loop up from the marina, along the edge of the cliffs in front of houses with views-to-die-for, up alongside a ravine and then back down onto the lovely white sand beach. From here you can see the remnants of a number of the old piers which stretch far out into the shallow waters of the bay.  This photo, taken from Clifton Beach, shows the You Yangs in the distance, across the water.  A lovely late afternoon walk.  On Sunday I will leave behind the gentle gradients of the Bellarine Peninsula to tackle the 7 day Overland Track in Tasmania, from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Claire – a classic long distance Australian walk I have wanted to do for years.  Apparently it has stopped snowing (and you thought Melbourne weather was unpredictable!) – for the moment!  Needless to say I will be packing for all sorts of contingencies!!

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A friendly echidna beside Branding Yard Track, You Yangs Regional Park, near Geelong

On Sunday afternoon we took off to the You Yang mountains, just north of Geelong.  Seemingly plonked in the middle of the plain, these knobbly hills of huge granite boulders and quiet bush are really worth a visit.  We started with the short 3km Big Rock walk, which takes in – no surprise here – some REALLY BIG rocks and sweeping views across Port Phillip Bay.  We then headed up the mountain to join the 5km Branding Yard Track, which dips to a quiet part of the park, out of the westerly wind, and passes by beautiful and varied bushland, the enormous Bunjil Geoglyph rock sculpture and extensive waterholes.  The highlight though, was most definitely this wonderful echidna, which was feasting on ants beside the track and seemed not at all bothered by us – walking right up to just a few feet from us before eventually losing interest and heading off in search of more tucker!

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Well, while we are in post production with Melbourne’s Best Bush, Bay & City Walks, I am getting itchy feet, so have just started out on the next Walks Guidebook, which will cover Greater Geelong, the Bellarine and Great Ocean Road area.  It’s pretty chilly here this winter, but when the days are clear it makes for really beautiful walking.  We had a wonderful wander at Edwards Point, near St Leonard’s township, last weekend, venturing out into the remote-feeling saltmarshes of Swan Bay.  Yesterday, the kids and I took in Serendip Sanctuary, at the base of the You Yangs, which is just swarming with birdlife, include huge flocks of magpie geese, and pairs of cape barren geese, making the most of the lush, full wetlands and billabongs.  There were also some impressively immobile tawny frogmouths, feathers all plumped up against the cold.  Australia’s native wildlife is making the most of the bountiful seasons after the last decade of drought and the kangaroos and wallabies were looking very well fed and content, as they literally bounced around the carpark!  The Serendip Sanctuary is a wonderfully interesting and easy day out for families and international visitors keen to acquaint themselves with Australia’s birds and animals.

Edwards Point Sanctuary saltmarshes, Swan Bay

Wetlands at Serendip Sanctuary, near Lara

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