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24 October, 2011

by Oanh

Now we’ve settled into our flat in Melbourne, collected the boxes that were not destroyed by the floods from my parents’ garage, married our Brisbane stuff with our UK stuff, and have furniture and the other accoutrements of a non-bicycle-touring life, we’ve started adventuring outside Melbourne’s city limits to take walking trips.  It helps that we have a car (came with my new job!)

We’re still a little ambivalent about what we do with this blog.  But maybe you’ll enjoy reading about our adventures in Australia?

Our first bushwalk was on Grand Final weekend at a park remarkably near our home: Organ Pipes National Park.  It was tiny and there wasn’t much by way of walking to be had, but it was just nice to be out, among the gum trees.  We’ve not touched the camera much since getting back and, although we planned to take a camera with us, somehow managed to leave it on the dining table at home.  There were plenty of lovely blue Superb Fairy Wrens, which would have been extremely difficult to make a photo of, so I’m glad we couldn’t even try.

Our next bushwalk was in Brisbane Ranges National Park, following the Boar Gully circuit.  After a short drive on the freeway and then a longer drive on some gravel roads, we reached Boar Gully campsite, where we parked the car and took note: it will make a pleasant weekend camp sometime.  A guidebook – Daywalks Victoria by John Chapman and others – provided us with map and walk notes.

It’s rather strange to walk without wonderful 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey maps, marking the location of every rock cairn and post box.  But I guess Australia is much, much bigger than the UK.  I plan to commission the OS folks to map bits of Australia that I want to walk, just as soon as I’m a millionaire.

In the more popular parks, Australian walking paths are fairly easy to spot and often well-marked.  We followed the walk notes without too much difficulty, and our walk mostly followed what seemed to be a fire-break trail, criss-crossing wider park management routes.  The walk was fairly level except for one steep descent down to the gully and then back up the other side again.

We chose this walk mostly because it was reputed to have lots of lovely wildflowers and we spotted quite a few orchids and lilies, as well as some daisy-like flowers and lots and lots of gorse-like flowers (called bush pea flowers, usually, telling you what their shape is like). There were also heaps of grass trees, probably more than I’ve seen anywhere, except for out west past Mitchell way.

White Finger Orchid


It’s interesting being back in the colours of Australian bush – that dull grey-green – and things like yellow, blue and pink flowers really jumped out.

We also spotted lots of little birds, which might have been pardalotes.  This time, we had our camera and I took plenty of flower photos.  Pardalotes (if that’s what they were) are tiny birds, about the size of a thumb.  Accordingly, they move ridiculously fast and they never stay in one spot for more than a second.  I don’t think I even managed to have the camera out any time we spotted one.

Lastly, and most wonderfully, we spotted an echidna.  We happened to be downwind of him (or her?) when we saw him snuffling in the undergrowth and got to watch for a while as he busied himself with finding ants.

"I'm going on an ant hunt..."

"I'm gonna get some big ones..."

8 Comments leave one →
  1. 25 October, 2011 8:45 am

    Wow, that second echidna photo is a beauty!

    • 25 October, 2011 10:42 am

      Thanks, Greg! Such a privilege to get to see these cuties.

  2. 26 October, 2011 3:23 am

    Great Echidna shots! Well done. Have wacked a ling on our FB page.


    • 26 October, 2011 11:09 pm

      Thanks for the compliments and the link, Frank!

  3. Sally Walker permalink
    26 October, 2011 8:57 pm

    Wow! Am very jealous of your echidna spotting! Adorable!

    • 26 October, 2011 11:10 pm

      I still regret never seeing a hedgehog whilst in UK, so very happy the echidnas have come out to play back home. They seem abundant in Vic (okay, one on each long walk we did…), so we’ll try to find you some when you visit!

  4. Helen permalink
    27 October, 2011 2:08 am

    Hey Oanh, that Echidna is such a cutie- great shots! Love the punky caterpillar too. Happy walking and shooting 🙂


    • 27 October, 2011 8:59 am

      Yay! I’m glad someone likes the punky caterpillar! (We very much did)

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