After a few “best of” walks, it was back to doing what we do best: finding and exploring new, obscure and beautiful riparian areas in the Strathbogie Ranges.
This was our last walk of the year, and it was one of the most spectacular to date. A lot had changed in the month since the Wombat Creek walk, with lush green paddocks giving way to long, seedy grass.
With the sun beating down after weeks of cold weather, the reptiles were making the most of it. Around each new rock, several small lizards scattered back to their homes at the sounds of walker’s footsteps. A startled brown snake slithered over the walk leaders foot in a desperate bid to get back to safety. Solid hiking shoes and gators aren’t just for keeping your feet dry.
Being quite a long walk (7.5km), the pressure was on to get to the end point in the allotted 5 hours. A feat easier said than done. There was simply too much to look at, with the spectacular Charman Falls and indigenous cave art being the two biggest attractions.
Skirting the falls was quite a physical feat, due to the slippery and steep descent that faced our intrepid walkers. Rewards lay at the bottom though, with spectacular views looking back up toward the top of the falls. Morning tea next to the falls was also a highlight.
The last remnants of the spring wildflowers were almost gone, with most flashes of purple being Paterson’s Curse. The infestation is particularly bad in the Sheans Creek area, with Balmattum Hill being almost completely purple in years gone by. Blackberries weren’t prevalent, but a few outcrops were spotted along the creek. Other weed species including large areas overwhelmed by Slender Thistles were also observed.
Thanks to all of the walkers who came, and again to the generous landholders for allowing us access to the creek through their properties.