Most places I have visited during my Churchill Fellowship have been amazing and inspiring, but one has really challenged me…
Posts from the ‘iphoneography’ Category
What to call a place that uniquely honours gardeners that lost their lives in World War One?
Sometimes leadership refers to committees for answers, and sometimes there is no choice, with heritage and government departments providing no options. Occasionally however, land tenure, ownership, bureaucracy and process can be separated from the creative influencers that drive inspirational projects, resulting in an enticing name being found – encouraging visitors, viewers, actors, and restorationists alike…
Mount Majura presents the landscape entrance to the bush capital, framing the transition from the highway-in to Griffin’s Northbourne legacy. How often have you driven past and not gone in?
The Canberra Times rated the walk up Mt Majura as one of the top 5 ‘uphill’ walks in Canberra. So being here a decade now we figured we should make the effort to find a starting point and give it a crack.
More than a heart-starter, the Mt Majura walk (also part of the Centenary Trail) showcases the bush capital landscape, from far-reaching vistas to a variety of bushland types that together build the fabric of the landscape.
The walk begins in critically endangered Box Gum Grassy Woodlands – of decent condition but absent of much fauna (200 years ago one might have encountered echidnas, bettongs, red-necked wallabies) – and ascends through one of the most significant patches of habitat for Glossy Black Cockatoos in the region.
A corridor of Allocasuarina has been supplemented by recent habitat restoration efforts. Although none of the elusive birds were on show today it must be one of the closest and most accessible places to happen across them.
The crackle of the Cockie’s cones echo their recent presence… channeling Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks – perhaps the bed of half chewed casuarina cones could be called a ‘chewbed‘.
A walk well-worth repeating in the hope of encountering the elusive Cockatoo.
Minnamurra Falls must be the spiritual home of the Lyrebird (at least an adopted one anyway). Nestled in a sandstone ampitheatre, rainforest gullies provide a sheltered haven for these charismatic birds.
Foxes are known to take juvenile Lyrebirds (Ref 1), and there is also evidence that fox control enables populations to rebound (Ref 2). Gratefully, there is a high priority placed on fox control in the National Park by the Plan of Management (Ref 3), and this geographic harbour with a good control program would make a strong-hold. The sheer sandstone cliffs surrounding the gully make a natural barrier to fox incursion from over-the-top, meaning fox control in this locality is easier than more open sites [i.e. those open to reinvasion from all sides].
Seeing Lyrebirds foraging so easily, with their entourage of Yellow Robins and Scrub Wrens picking up the crumbs, inspired me to scrounge around for further info on this amazing creature. So here are some curios I uncovered scratching the surface of the literature litter…
Fitzroy Falls is really a showcase of waterfalls – from above, from on top, from the side and from afar. In fact it’s every way of experiencing waterfalls while staying dry. A great Winter waterfall way.
The Western Rim Walk is like a virtual tour guide of spectacular views and different perspectives of the waterfalls. Fitzroy Falls, Twin Falls and the Grotto – each tip from sheer sandstone edges forming the Yarrunga Creek, and ultimately flowing to the Kangeroo River. Metre-for-metre its got to be one of the best waterfall walks around…
Glow Worms are like Fireflys that failed to launch. I’m sure there is a more apt technical description like ‘Glow Worms are the larvae of fungus gnats’.
In local colonies they present an astronomical Milky Way-like phenomenon in the right setting (like at Newnes). So it was we were searching for that starlight on the ceiling experience at the ‘Glow Worm Glen’ at Bundanoon in Morton National Park.
Whilst the parking and access arranged by the Council were not particularly welcoming, the interpretive signage from NPWS was right on one count…
The experts recommended searching for Glenn over the Summer months – but we had an hour to kill and the need to burn energy in Ms 4 & 6. While the sign said two hours return – we were “nah, that’s always overestimated”.
So it was “off we go kids – lets go find Glenn” – and we streaked down, down, down, the 1 km path to the Glen. A beautiful rapid stroll through urban interface, sclerophyll and into a rainforest gully.
The trail is easy and well-established and the boardwalk at the base is great. Ending in a sandstone room with a bubbling stream – the ideal place to find Glenn, Glenys and Grandaughter Guilfoyle hiding in the cracks.
Alas – the NPWS folks were right the best time to find Glenn is in summer-time. We were back out in 50 minutes round-trip – meaning we have an hour and ten minutes up our sleeve to do it next time!
On a Winter long weekend hundreds of visitors have their breathe taken away on the cliff-hanging platform at Fitzroy Falls.
But a fraction take the Wildflower Walk.
With its pre-Wattle Winter-promise of not-a-lot I didn’t have high hopes either…
However – a minute off the main boardwalk and a prominent ray-gun call from deep childhood memories piqued the ears. Sure enough there it was again just ahead of us and responding to far-off calls ahead and behind us.
Largely uninterested in our presence we were treated to a blasting male Lyrebird calling and scratching, scratching and calling. A unique and amazing Australian wildlife experience.
As for the wildflower experience – there was enough botanical engagement to ensure a Spring return…