The Wallaby Gully Nature Conservation Reserve is truly one of the Strathbogie Ranges hidden gems. After a couple of circuit walks within the reserve, we felt it was time to go the whole way through the reserve and pop out on Ponkeen Creek Rd.
The conditions were perfect, with blue skies and warm weather making it feel like spring had finally sprung. The spot where the reserve touches Upton Rd was the meeting point, with 18 seasoned walkers lacing up their hiking boots to tackle the sometime steep but always beautiful trek. We began by walking out onto the rocky plateau where a spectacular view of some of Victoria’s famous peaks was on full display. Justus Hagen, local mountain expert and loud shirt enthusiast, shared his extensive knowledge of Victorian geography with awestruck walkers.
Signs of deer were numerous, with hoof prints, rubbings and wallows obvious to those who were looking for them. A few actual deer made appearances throughout the walk, along with the more usual suspects of roos and wallabies. A red-bellied black snake and a brown were spotted too, neither wanting to socialise with their new human colleagues.
From the rocky plateau, walkers descended down into the eastern gully, sticking to the unnamed creek as closely as possible. After a brief lunch stop at some picturesque falls, walkers continued down the creek to its confluence with another unnamed creek on private property. From there, a meandering stroll with some hills and valleys saw walked back to their cars just before grand final kickoff.
Thanks to the landholders for allowing us access to their properties, to all of those who forwent their grand final viewing, and to those who volunteered their time and vehicles to make the car shuffle so fast and easy.