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Thread: Vic High Country With Col. (Part 2 / Final Report)

  1. #1
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    Jan 2015
    Northern Suburbs Melbourne

    Vic High Country With Col. (Part 2 / Final Report)

    Hi everyone,

    My first report ended with me exploring the Macalister River, prior to returning to my campsite high in the Vic Alps.

    It was so much cooler down there in the valley, the fresh eucalyptus smells were something to behold.

    Beside the river I saw a Blue Berry Lily (Dianella Revoluta) in fruit. These berries are a particular favourite of the Satin Bowerbird who lines the inside of his Bower with them to attract the females. (If only it was that easy!) they are a favourite of King Parrots and Crimson Rosellas as well. The fruits are edible (supposed to taste like grapes) and were a good source of protein for the aborigines, they also used the colour of the berries to dye baskets and other ornaments.

    Time to return to my chosen camp spot and again across that scree.

    With the typically perfect Victorian weather I was experiencing I chose my see through mesh tent as my abode that night.

    This campsite not only had views but was ringed by the skeletons of once grand snow gums which had been killed by past wildfires. I hoped to feature these with my night photography later.

    As the sun slowly made its way lower in the sky the views took on another dimension with the smoke from the Dargo fire in the east being more prominent.

    As with most sunsets and indeed sunrises the best colours are often after the sun has left the sky or before it has risen, as was the case this night as well.

    This shot appears to show the glow of a distant bushfire but the one burning at the moment was in the opposite direction.

    Now in near total darkness I could relax whilst waiting for the stars to put on a show, this was the opportunity to prepare and consume another masterfully prepared meal. And it was a raging success, no one does two minute noodles with the passion and skill as I Ha!!!!

    And what a show I observed that night with the stars so bright being so far from civilisation and at nearly 1600 metres in height.

    With my fire cranked up the glow and colours that were cast on the surrounding trees had to be seen to be truly appreciated.

    Even though I had seen and experienced quite a bit this day after having left Melbourne early that morning, I still had trouble dropping off to sleep as I gazed at the stars and sky above me, absolutely stunning, eventually however the zzzzzzds were being punched out.

    Well before dawn I was up to witness another new day (strange saying that, who ever sees an old day start at sunrise!)
    Again I worked the ridge line to get different perspectives on what I was seeing. The best sky was the one seen early but the valley below did take on an number of different hues as the day brightened. The smoke from the fires had filtered along the various valleys over night which I’m sure contributed to the spectacle that I witnessed that morning.

    I scrambled a short distance down the slope so I could capture the suns rays lighting up this tree.

    And not only did I get that shot but I also spotted a group of Spitfire grubs, they look similar to the caterpillars of buttterflies and moths, however they are the larvae of a species of sawfly, and are a relative of the wasp family.
    They*feed during the night, usually alone, and during the day cluster together in large groups of 20-30 (sometimes more) as a defence against potential predators, they can*also squirt from their mouths a yellow liquid made from eucalyptus oil when they are attacked or threatened, hence the name ‘spitfire’.

    Back near my tent I took these shots of scenes that I had taken the night before, but now with the light coming from another direction the view had a different feel to it.

    And then an hour or so later as I hit the road, the light painted another picture again.

    The Spitfires again.

    The view from the road, quite spectacular, and then the next from the cliff face.

    I now drove back down to the Macalister River and continued on the King Billy Track towards Lovicks Hut. This track is very slow going but some of the scenery and stunning vegetation made it all worthwhile, particularly as you again reached altitude. This area had somehow avoided previous bush fires so there were many magnificent Snow Gums along the track.

    Looking back up the track that I had just driven down to where Lovicks Hut is located, and then the hut itself.

    The first hut at this site was built in the late 1950s by Charlie Lovick, it had slowly fallen into disrepair, and had become dangerous and so was demolished in 2003, it was completely rebuilt in 2006

    Thomas Lovick came to Australia as a convict in 1830, three decades later his son William Lovick who was living in squalor in Melbourne, decided to move with his Irish-born wife to the Howqua River to search for gold. He found enough to build the Merrijig Hotel in 1873. He then saved to buy land for farming and his first three boys became the first mountain cattlemen driving cattle into the high country each summer.

    The Lovick family became high country guides in the late 1800s when they started escorting intrepid skiers to the new snowfields of Mt Buller. In the 1920s Frank Lovick became a local legend himself, driving a mob of cattle down from the bluffs, following an almost vertical gully in the dark and through metres of snow, he led the cattle out saving them, his mate and himself; the feat has never been attempted again.
    Franks brother Jack was awarded a British Empire Medal for saving the lives of the many lost and injured men and cattle amid the rugged snow-capped mountains.

    Inside the new hut it was quite spacious.

    From there the track climbed up to an open ridge line that had nearly 360 degree views.

    From here I made my way down to the Howqua River, I passed Bluff Hut but as I had been there a number of times didn’t stop. The waters of the Howqua were lovely and after a quick paddle and then swim I continued on.

    And then the final couple of pics from the weekend, the last one from the bridge at Sheepyard Flat where you leave the valley (or arrive) and then I was on the road back to civilisation, bugger!!

    I hope you enjoyed seeing another part of the magnificent Victorian Alps.

    Regards from Col.
    Last edited by Big Col; 17-03-18 at 07:07 PM.
    Life is not a destination but a journey, make the most of it and remember, the worst day above ground is a whole lot better than the best one under it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 2Lost's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    Appriciate you work Col and the photography. Well done

  3. #3
    Forum Fixer OffRoadDave's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Melbourne S/E Suburbs
    Another excellent instalment Col, thanks for taking the time to share your trip with us.
    Cheers Dave

    My farm ute

  4. #4
    Forum Enthusiast Spike69's Avatar
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    Feb 2016
    Gymea Bay
    I could look at high country pics all day (night!), and yours are excellent Col. Thanks very much. <sigh>.....
    So much to see, so little time.......

  5. #5
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    Nov 2017

    Luv ,Vic high country

    Col, thanks for taking the time to share your trip with us. I just luv the Vic High Country.

  6. #6
    Forum Master Dave Gavin's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    Montrose, Vic
    Great write up and pictures. Where was your campsite? Had a great view from there.

  7. #7
    The Boss Smokey2.8's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Sth Sydney
    Ok. Now Iím officially in total shock.

    Absolutely stunning pictures mate.


    A huge thanks for sharing.
    Adam aka Smokey

    2.8's Sound great, but a worked 3.0L goes better

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2018
    Newcastle NSW
    That is a great photo essay Col. Your photos are amazing. I looked at them with envy.

    How and when did you get into photography?

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us.


  9. #9
    Busy planning trips and mods... Red GU's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Great report, great pics. Particularly like the sun coming over the mountain and lighting the tree. Great part of the world there.

    Dave and Fiona

  10. #10
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    Jan 2015
    Northern Suburbs Melbourne
    Thanks for the comments guy's,

    A couple of questions were asked, my camp that night was beside the Howitt Road just before the Bar--ards Neck, the censor may get to that name again, but it is officially called that as I explained in my report. It was up an obscure side track, middle of nowhere really. There are plenty of spots along that road that would be nearly as good, as shown the scenery is quite spectacular there.

    I have been interested in photography most of my life but have only got into it more seriously in the past 10 years or so. No whiz bang cameras but reasonably good. Any camera these days can take good photos but the person pushing the button just needs to know what's a pic and what's not, plus you have to work hard at making the most of what mother nature presents to you. The star in this show is what I take or show you, certainly not me. Most shots are taken on basic settings which anyone can do, there are basic fundamentals with photography and understanding those will improve your own shots dramatically.

    I'm more than happy to help or advise or even teach anyone who is serious about wanting to take better pics of where ever they are or what your trying to capture, believe me it is not rocket science.

    Thanks again to everyone for your positive comments, yes the reports do take time to put together but having them appreciated and showing you some of our great country is really satisfying and makes the effort all worthwhile.

    Regards Col.
    Last edited by Big Col; 20-03-18 at 04:08 PM.
    Life is not a destination but a journey, make the most of it and remember, the worst day above ground is a whole lot better than the best one under it.

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