Home > Travel > Pot, Pigs and Banjo’s

Pot, Pigs and Banjo’s

October 24, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

We took off for the Otway’s again on Tuesday and headed out to a bush camp 14k east of Gellibrand River which is on the road between Colac and Beech Forest about an hour and a half from our place.  The Old Beechy Rail Trail runs 45k from Colac to Beech Forest through Gellibrand in the beautiful Otway Ranges and the idea was to camp a night at Dando’s Campground and a couple of nights back in Gellibrand where we could spend some time walking portions of the Rail Trail.

This country is a mixture of rolling, lush hills and magnificent eucalypts and blackwood rain forest but the place was raped and pillaged by loggers in the late 1800’s and the early 20th century.  Although the forests have recovered, the magnificent giant Mountain Ash’s have gone but pockets of the original forests still remain especially along the Rail Trail. 

Gellibrand and surrounding areas were once renowned for their hillbillies, hippie communes and extensive pot plantations but the place has taken on a more gentile nature these days.  Pine plantation logging still goes on in the area but old growth logging is now banned.  At one stage, we were walking along a track with beautiful eucalypts on one side of the road and pines along the other.  Very odd.

We took the van down a good gravel road to the Dando’s bush camp but were dismayed to find it so crowded.  It had a clean toilet but no tank water but we were carrying plenty so no drama there.  We setup camp and went for a pleasant walk along the Gellibrand river but retreated back when the stinging nettles got a bit too much on the bare legs.  As you may have determined, we had the place to ourselves and it was a peaceful night but I swear I could hear banjos and pigs in the distance!  Just my fertile imagination, methinks.

The next day, we headed back to the camping ground at Gellibrand and had the place pretty well to ourselves. They had trouble finding a dry spot for us since 125mm (5”) of rain had fallen up that way in the previous week.  We tossed on the hiking boots and headed south along the Rail Trail for a couple of hours and then back again for a very pleasant afternoons walk.  As you can see from the map, we started at Gellibrand and turned around about 1k past Wimba station site but there was much to see along the track.  Magnificent parrots everywhere, remanets of the the old railway, and of course, a beautiful walking track.  We only saw three bike riders in the two days so it was practically all ours.

The next day, we did the same but headed north where we found a lovely spot for lunch at the old Kawarren station and decided to head back from there and so covered about 35k of the best walking you could imagine in the two days.  That night, we headed over to the Gellibrand pub for a great dinner and were there for an hour and the only people in the place.

It’s times like these I wonder what the workers of the world are doing.  Just a fleeting thought I might add.

Slide show of 27 photos here.

  1. june in florida
    October 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    So green, thought you guys were having a drought. Are you thinking maybe you should have bought the camper years ago.

    June – That part of the country always gets plenty of rain. We’ve had about 4″ ourselves in the last month or so but we’re far from out of a drought. Our reservoirs are at 37% up from 29% this time last year so marginal improvement.

    “Years ago” we were working and were travelling more overseas trips than local ones so no need for a camper then.

  2. Muppet's Mum
    October 24, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Nice. Perfect weather too.

    MM – Great walking weather.

  3. October 25, 2009 at 1:59 am

    I love walking on fallen tree debris. Soft and quiet…

    What are those trees in the camp ground? They look a bit like tall and skinny false cedars from the trunks…

    Scott – They’re eucalypts, one of 700 species here.

  4. October 28, 2009 at 2:30 am

    Reg, I should have simply said “Are those one of your 700 hundred species of Eucalypts?”

    I would have looked so much smarter…

    Scott – I was trying so hard not to be a smart-arse too 😀

  5. October 30, 2009 at 1:25 am

    Terrific pictures, so Australian! When I was in your country, I loved the shapes and colours of the eucalypts, and those long skinny leaves, and the textures on the bark. Took lots of pics, but unfortunately I had the old kind of camera back then, not a digital one, or I would have taken so many more pictures!
    I think I’ve said before, I’d love to go camping in one of those campers, but not on my own!
    Have had some computer troubles, Windows stopped working, then when it was repaired, didn’t have keyboard, fixed that (as you see I can type again), but now there’s no sound, I am stumped, younger son is coming over on Saturday so he thinks he can fix it. Grrrrr sometimes I hate computers!

    shammy – We loved walking in the forests in Canada too. Even in Cape Breton National Park! See here and here.

    Pity I’m not just around the corner or else I could fix your computer problems pronto for you. With your sound, go into the Control Panel and check if the sound isn’t muted or turned down. I’ve been evaluating Windows 7 for a few months and just bought a copy and it’s an amazingly painless Operating System to install these days. Baa, bring back Windows 2 or 3!

    • October 31, 2009 at 4:46 am

      Son thinks he changed the sound card before he gave me the computer (it was his old uni computer, he now has a laptop) and I only have the drivers for the original sound card, he’s coming on Sat so he will fix it, he’s a genius!

      Must be an old computer for it to have a sound card. These days they come integrated on the motherboard.

      It always does the ego good when people (especially parents) think you are a genius because you can dabble around inside a computer.

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