Another walk, another inexplicably sunny day. After seemingly endless rain and gloom, the SRCMN’s overseers once again called in a favour with the higher ups to make sure the weather was absolutely perfect for our third Adventures in Nature walk.
The target this time was the aptly named Big Hill, an oft passed but rarely trekked hill just off the Hume Highway in Longwood. Access is surprisingly easy, with the Big Hill Nature Conservation Reserve extending all the way down to Faithfull Rd. There’s plenty of parking space for those who’d like to climb it in their own time.
After a brief introduction, the group of 24 set off up the increasingly steep northern slope. As they ascended, the keen eyed among them would have noticed a subtle change in the characteristics of the granite. Different layers of granite produced smaller rocks lower down, and huge boulders at the top which can be seen from the highway. As always, our resident geology expert Neil Phillips captivated the crowd with his explanation of how Big Hill, and the Strathbogie Ranges came to be. Most of the Strathbogie flats were the result of magma flows pushing sideways under the earth’s surface, never quite erupting as volcanos. Nearby hills, such as the one just west of Euroa, were formed by completely different geological processes and over vastly different timelines to their granitic neighbours.
After a quick jaunt to the survey marker at the peak of Big Hill, the descent toward Winding Creek began, with walkers threading their way down between moss covered boulders. A brief lunch on the bank of the creek was had, before setting off to find the waterfall upstream. The fungi were out in force in this damp native bush area, with some weird and wonderful varieties on display.
The waterfalls were discovered, with beautiful little cascades running over granite rocks in the swollen creek. Unfortunately, the sight was slightly spoiled by the thick blackberries choking the banks. A great candidate for blackberry control. From there, it was a gentle ascent up to the community who had kindly allowed us to pass through their land and park our cars at their entrance on Gap Rd.
As always, we’re thankful for those who made the effort to come along, as well as Neil for sharing his knowledge, the kind souls who helped ferry walkers back to the starting point, the SRCMN committee for assisting with the logistics and planning and the landholders who allowed us to walk through their properties.