Langi Ghiran

Just west of  Buangor, off the Western Highway, is the Langi Ghiran State Park. This is a beautiful park to visit for a day or camp at for a longer period. There are at least five walks to choose from and we completed one to the reservoir and another to the Lar-ne-jeering art site.

The reservoir walk follows Easter Creek from the picnic ground past a small dam and weir and onto the old reservoir that was constructed to supply water for Ararat. Along the way there are impressive large granite boulders, magnificent views and patches of Correa aemula, Hairy Correa.

The other walk we chose was to the granite rock shelter which protects ancient art. People have come to this shelter for thousands of years.

Newstead Cemetery

Every cemetery I visit usually provides some new insight on how cemeteries are arranged and managed. Newstead Cemetery is the first I have come across that has been dissected by a waterway. Another feature is an area to scatter ashes, on a tree cover hill, grazed by sheep. This cemetery is also larger than most and includes a separate area for suicides marked by a lonely stone with a plaque.

An impressive Cootamundra Wattle in full flower is a current highlight and two very tall palms dominate the skyline. A Cupressus sempervirens, Italian Cypress, is a reminder of the type of more formal trees seen in many cemeteries and is on the National Trust Register on Significant Trees.

Over time headstones fall into disrepair and it was interesting to see two different attempts to keep two particular headstones upright.

Lena Wattleworth Bushland Reserve

The Lena Wattleworth Bushland Reserve is managed by Parks Victoria on Cemetery Road Clunes, sandwiched between the railway line and Ballarat – Maryborough Road . I have driven past this reserve on many occasions but never stopped to have a look until recently.

It is relatively free of major weeds but there were a few boxthorns and phalaris and gazanias on the edge. There are some lovely yellow gums and in the spring the leaves indicate there will be some orchids, native geraniums and common everlastings along with wattles.

Memories of what we used to see

Clunes Cemetery used to be a nice place to see native orchids and lilies in the spring, but on a recent visit it was a surprise to see how much vegetation had been removed to put in a new fence. Hope the trustees put as much effort into weed control. It will be interesting to see what comes up in the spring. The shrub and tree layer has gone but perhaps the orchids survived.

…and this is the clearing for the new fence.

Buried Rivers of Gold Heritage Trail

The Australasian Lead is the site of one of Australia’s most tragic underground mining accidents where 22 miners died when water began flooding into the mine.

According to signage onsite, when the gold mine closed the land was then used as a tree nursery and a few hawthorns remain. This probably also explains the row of upright oaks that line the path.

This reserve is just on the edge of Creswick on Australasian Drive and is managed by Parks Victoria. A cairn commemorates the site of the shaft where the lives were lost. The Buried Rivers of Gold Heritage Trail is a drive you can take in the Creswick area. Brochures used to be available from the tourist information centre.

A Muddy Moorabool River

We have been looking at places to take a group of Field Naturalists recently and so have been checking out various places between Ballarat and Meredith. The Moorabool River near the Slate Quarry Road Bridge, near Meredith, was looking a bit muddy after all the recent rain but it is still scenic with lots of interesting views of the rocky escarpment.

Bamganie Bush

This patch of bushland is near Meredith. It seems to be a favourite place for people on motorbikes and some sections would be a bit beyond a 2 wheel drive given the current state of the roads. We visited after there had been a good amount of rain and the number of ant nests was amazing. It was lovely to see Autumn Greenhoods. Now is also the time to see a few fungi.