Up Into the Singing Mountains:

Our family celebrate Xmas tomorrow (due to work commitments), so what better day to continue our exploration of the ‘closed track’ which used to link Downey (North of Tanjil Bren) with Newlands Rd (Baw Baw Plateau)? We are hoping that this track will complete our ‘Winter Route’ of The Upper Yarra Track (http://www.finnsheep.com/THE%20UPPER%20YARRA%20WALKING%20TRACK.htm). It has been very hard going, so we might have to find an alternative track up the ridge from Strahan (North West of Tanjil Bren) to the Block 10 Road.This track crosses the West Tanjil River just below Downey, follows it upstream on the true right bank for a couple of kms then heads up a ridge towards the plateau.

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Spot is an expert at these river crossings, well practiced in keeping his paws dry. These huge iron pipes used to form an immense culvert.

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He loves to lead the way; having a good time, I’d say! The way is marked with tape.

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Sometimes it is hard going for the dogs (as well as the people)! This herringbone fern is particularly awkward to navigate.

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Sometimes you come across the ruins of a forest giant. Who knows how tall this one was before its top broke off? Remember, these were the world’s largest trees – up to 120 metres tall! http://www.theultralighthiker.com/our-largest-trees/

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This younger tree is vying for the record.

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It has come up right next to the stump of its parent tree. The younger tree is more than 3 metres diameter at its base; The stump larger still.

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It was quite a substantial road once. This cutting is over 5 metres deep. 2-3 semis could easily pass on it. Such a pity such tracks were not retained for land management and recreational purposes.

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Tiny just can’t help but drink from every deer wallow! There was plenty of good deer sign, but the area must be well-nigh impossible to hunt.

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Everywhere along the way are scenes of great beauty.

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And interesting wildlife: this pigeon was almost as tame as Della’s! Gippsland is wonderful!

Unfortunately we made it only about half way to the top. We may try coming down from Newlands Rd next time to see how far you can get that way. Hope you all had just as wonderful a Xmas day!

Even though the forecast was for 35C yesterday, at Mt Baw Baw and Tanjil Bren it only reached 21C! 14 degrees difference! We are so lucky to have these mountain areas (relatively) so close by. Wonderful for cool summer hikes. The Upper Yarra Track traverses the outstanding Baw Baw Plateau with many camping and scenic attractions. The Mt Darling- Snowy Bluff wilderness is also only a couple of hours away and being around 1.5km in elevation too is much cooler in the summer months. Of course, check the weather outlook. It can snow at any time of the year at these elevations – and there is always the risk of bushfire in very dry conditions. After rain is always nice, as everything will be cool and freshened up.

Update: Many thanks to ‘Paul’ who writes 1/03/2016: ‘I managed to break through the old closed road that closely follows the ridge up to the end of Newlands on the weekend. It was a hard slog, especially at the end where all signs of the road disappears. The path is marked now – though not as well at the top. I’m glad I had my gps to retrace my route. It was a great day.’

So, you clearly can get through. A little more work there folks and we will have a circuit. Please let me know if you have improved the route so I can advise others.

More Spot & Tiny adventures here:






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