Grampians Peak Trail: Bugiga Campground Report

On 24th July ten of us met at the Mt Rosea Car park for a walk into the Bugiga campground. We headed up the track in very overcast weather and met Mark Whyte the new parky looking after tracks and roads. He escorted us to the campground, we arrived just as a heavy shower came through. We took cover under the shelter and experienced the gale wind sweeping up the mountain gap and straight through the shelter, which has been aligned to take advantage of the view but does not give protection from the prevailing wind. While in the shelter we noted that there were no tables only long bench style seats. The campground has been constructed with steel and timber. The walk ways are all raised timber which blend in with the surrounds, the tent pads are hard wood and also raised. We did note there was nowhere … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Summer Newsletter, Activity Reports

2015 Grampians Wildflower Show

Reluctantly the Community Association of Halls Gap has made the decision not to have a show as such this year. Several of our more knowledgeable workers will be unavailable for a variety of reasons and we couldn’t find a suitable person to take on the co-ordinating role. We haven’t quite let it disappear though. We will have a limited display of flowers in the foyer of the new hub building with free access, and hope to conduct guided walks in the local Botanic Garden and possibly bus tours too for which people will pay. We will sell up to date notes for selfdrive tours too. This means that if some new enthusiastic folk emerge to revive the show they will have some sort of framework to start with.(Pomonal’s native garden show will be on the same weekend, October 3 & 4 ).… Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Summer Newsletter, Articles

From the Editor (also From the President)

Welcome to the Summer edition of the newsletter. Once again I am writing this summer newsletter with worrying news coming in of fires in our neighbourhood, including in our park yet again. The Moyston fire was scary with quite a lot of farmland burnt.  And the Rocklands/ Black Range fire was in that most important state park, under the management of our Grampians team and containing quite a few important cultural heritage sites. The change brought lightning strikes within our park, and a few small but worrying fires, but also rain. It has been a torrid start for the year for our Park staff and still several months of fire weather to go. For Stawell, the whole year was the fifth driest on record,and was the third successive year of below average rainfall, with a particularly dry Spring .

However visitor numbers have improved, and it is good to see … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Summer Newsletter, From the Editor, President Report

From the Park Desk

David Roberts

I hope all Friends of the Grampians Gariwerd had a wonderful, safe and rewarding Christmas period. The Grampians National Park lived up to its reputation as a great holiday destination with crowds flocking to the area and enjoying the best we can offer. The team here were kept busy servicing the facilities, responding to visitor enquiries, providing customer service and trying to manage the huge crowds particularly through the central corridor.

Over these periods we are fortunate to have 2 additional Rangers join our team to assist in the increased workload. As always, the Grampians have attracted 2 excellent Summer Rangers, Amelia Travers and Matthew White, who are invaluable over the December and January period. They work across the range of our teams functions, provide weekend capacity for customer service and business continuity during periods of extreme weather and bushfires. We thank them in advance for their tireless … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Summer Newsletter, From Parks Victoria

Activity Survey Report

Wendy Bedggood

Last year I sent out a survey to help us better plan our activities. I would like to thank all those who responded, around 2/3 of our members which I was very pleased with. One third of our members live in Melbourne or other regional areas and 1 interstate member. Nearly half  the respondents indicated distance or lack of mobility meant  receiving the newsletter  was their priority. We will plan to have a mix of activities on both weekends and a few on weekdays as sometimes that is the best time for our guest leader or speakers. The ‘Nature walks’ was the most popular activity selected, so we will make sure we have several of these throughout the year.… Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Summer Newsletter, Activity Report

Lunch at Deirdres

Wendy Bedggood

We had about 18 members and partners at our  last activity for the year which was a lunch at Laharum Grove an olive plantation with a restaurant ‘Deirdres’.  Deirdre uses mostly locally sourced, in season produce which was served on platters and we just grazed on each course as it came out. The Olive Grove was burnt during the fires in January and it was good to see many of the trees which are coming back but many have still not sprouted. We discussed some ideas for activities for the coming year and walk destinations.… Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Summer Newsletter, Activity Report

Piccaninny Walk

Wendy Bedggood

The first Saturday in November, 18 of us met at the Piccaninny car park. As rain had been predicted for weeks with none showing up, I had predicted this day would be the same, not so. A heavy shower came down just as we were about to set off so we all hopped in the cars till it passed. We set off, a fairly easy walk and managed to spot a couple of orchids and a few other wildflowers notably a cute duck orchid and the bronze Caladenia, I had hoped we may have found more in that far southern part of the Grampians, but like the rest of the area the plants were suffering from lack of rain. We did however find some very interesting yellow worms which at first we thought were the single strands of telecom wire, only they moved when we went to pick … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Summer Newsletter, Activity Report

Advisory Group Report

Margo Sietsma

The Advisory Group met in December for a very busy afternoon. We always start with lunch and a short time to catch up, then proceed to business.

Dave introduced Caitlyn O’Rielly, our new Volunteer Co-Ordinator to the group (replacement for Kathryn Dyson). I had already met her and in fact we had put together an unsuccessful grant application together back in September.

Caitlyn has her position funded for 2 years, she will be working with School Groups and Volunteers, establishing partnerships with long term groups and with the disability sector with less abled volunteers.

Grampians Peaks Trail Master Plan

The Liberal Government announced funding for the trail to $10,000,000, Labour has committed $19,000,000 and a contribution from the Federal Government up to $10,000,000.

Local governments have been lobbying local members for funding for the trail.

Plans need to be ready after the election as there will only be … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Summer Newsletter, Advisory Group

Update On The Grampians Peaks Trail

Margo Sietsma

Prior to the election both parties made firm commitments to the Trail, and it seems assured that the new government will honour the promise.

The plan is to start with upgrading and building in the popular area near Halls Gap. The first section of the walk starts by following Stony creek past Venus baths, with a new section linking to the Pinnacle track (so not going into the Wonderland Car Park). From the Pinnacle it heads towards Mt Rosea Carpark, with a hikers camp site about a kilometre before reaching the road and there will be a separate camp for groups on the other side of Siverband falls Rd.. The Advisory Group visited the site and I was most impressed. The setting is charming, in low forest with views across to the opposite range. All 12 sites are for a 2 person tent on an elevated timber pad … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Summer Newsletter, From Parks Victoria

Round Table Report

Wendy Bedggood

The last Grampians Roundtable meeting for the year was in December. We reviewed the original purpose and role of the roundtable and decided it was still relevant and a worthwhile group to keep going.

It aims to:

  • Improve communication between stakeholders, land management agencies and the community
  • Develop a shared understanding of complex land management issues, including fire management
  • Provide information that can contribute to DEPI and Parks Victoria’s decision making procedures, practices in relation to land management in the Grampians
  • Provide information that can contribute to government policy without being an official or formal source of advice to government.

I represent FOGGs, other members of the group represented are Hamilton Field Nats, CFA, Landcare, Wine growers, Apiarists, tourism industry, rockclimbers, the VFF, CMA’s, councils and the indigenous community, some of these groups are not regular attendees and we will be looking at ways we can help improve … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Summer Newsletter, Meeting Report