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30 Days of Mallei

Day 15:

 

I might have posted a comparison photo like this not too long ago but this one is more like the original. Not exactly just Mal, but I think that’s ok for today!

 

Dogs at Cockatoo

April…

August!

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Bushwalking with dogs: RJ Hamer Forest Arboretum

 

Lu was obviously useless at looking the camera, and I couldn't say anything to get her attention or Loki would break his stay. She was hoping there was something she could run off and hunt.

Lu was obviously useless at looking the camera, and I couldn’t say anything to get her attention or Loki would break his stay.
She was hoping there was something she could run off and hunt.

So we love taking our dogs bushwalking all around Victoria, but I always find it challenging to find places to take them! So I’ll document our walks here and then if people are searching for places to go, hopefully this will help.

Where: RJ Hamer Forest Arboretum, Olinda

Difficulty/fitness required: Umm… Depends… if you just go along the Mathias Rd track, you’d need maybe 2/10… If you go off to either side, I’d say 8/10

Hilliness: Quite hilly

Leech-factor: Not that we encountered, however I wouldn’t put it past some of the muddier areas.

Animal/Wildlife factor: Low-Medium – I suspect there are rabbits around, and there are certainly signs of wombats, and there’s probably roos, too, but we only saw birds.

Interesting bits? Well, it’s quite interesting because it’s an arboretum, so there’s clumps of different kinds of trees that you go through/past, and so you get sort of different ‘atmospheres’ as you’re walking. Oh, and if you park at the main carpark off Chalet Rd, there’s a beautiful view across the arboretum and the hills.

Map: Oh, probably, I didn’t bother.

On/off lead? On, sadly.

 

 

I really wanted to go somewhere close to home this afternoon so I sucked up the onleashedness of this forest, clipped on my Urban Walkjoring belt (it’s just a regular belt), harnessed up the Lumen (must get a harness for Loki) and off we went. We parked off Silvan Rd because I wanted to avoid doing anything too hilly, and knew that if we parked on Chalet Rd, we’d be hit with a downhill (and therefore, eventual uphill) straight away. But in doing so, we found a cute little track off into some trees that went straight downhill, so we took it. We found ourselves wandering through different groves of trees, like the oak grove pictured above. There were cute little single-tracks through here that went down down down. I suspect eventually it looped along at the bottom of the hill and eventually worked its way back up but I chickened out before then because of my calf injury and the fact that I’m not supposed to walk up hill. Whoops.

So we worked out way back up and followed Mathias Rd along for a while, considered taking another side road but it, too, went downhill – that’ll have to be for another time. There’s plenty more exploring to be done in here before we move, I think, and will be good for our fitness to do that hill walking (once it doesn’t hurt to do so!).

This place would be really gorgeous in autumn when the leaves are changing.

 

That border collie is totally on leash....

That border collie is totally on leash….

Bushwalking with dogs: Narbethong Pine Plantation

This is basically what the whole walk looked like, including Lu being off in the bushes.

 

So we love taking our dogs bushwalking all around Victoria, but I always find it challenging to find places to take them! So I’ll document our walks here and then if people are searching for places to go, hopefully this will help.

Where: Pine plantation outside Narbethong – along Andersons Creek Road.

Difficulty/fitness required: 3/10 depending on mud-levels.

Hilliness: Pretty much flat.

Leech-factor: Nah

Animal/Wildlife factor: Medium-high: deer!!! Who would have thought there would be deer in a bloody pine plantation.

Interesting bits? Not really. Muddy dirt bike tracks and too-closed, too-dark pine forest.

Map: Yes. Can’t remember what it is right now. Rooftops Toolangi/Black Range map, I think.

 

So, we love pine forests. I’ll write up a report on walking up near Macedon at some point in the future. I love pine forests because they (generally) make nice, easy, open places for off-trail walking, there’s never any animals in them because Kangaroos don’t eat pine needles and neither do rabbits, sometimes dirt bikes make nice trails for the dogs to run really fast on, and they’re quiet and still. I like them.

The pine forest up at Narbethong? Not so much. We’d seen deer crossing the road up there once before so knew they were around but I figured they were just wandering into a paddock but wouldn’t bother with the forest. Why would they? Do they eat toadstools and pine needles?

Apparently they do. I found one big muddy puddle where you could smell the deer. Lu took off at one point (with Mal as well, so they must have seen something because other wise he doesn’t bother) and took a while to come back, so there was certainly wildlife around. Which maybe isn’t an issue for people reading, but if that doesn’t deter you then the lack of anything nice to look at should. You can’t get through the forest- it’s too dense and there’s too many blackberries. The trail we did last time was just super muddy and looked gross, and I washed the dogs yesterday so we weren’t going there. I found a different trail that seemed disused by dirt bikes so we took that but it was still just a clay trail through dense forest with lots of toadstools I had to stop Loki eating, ending in a bogan-y campsite. Boring.

So, all in all, I’d give this walk a 2/10. I didn’t even bother taking photos. If you want cool pine forests, head towards Macedon. I’ll write up a report about that when I have another minute.

 

 

Bushwalking with dogs: Yarra State Forest

So we love taking our dogs bushwalking all around Victoria, but I always find it challenging to find places to take them! So I’ll document our walks here and then if people are searching for places to go, hopefully this will help.

Where: Yarra State Forest

Difficulty/fitness required: 2/10 for the first 45 minutes, 8-9/10 for the hill.

Hilliness: Flat mostly for the first 3km, then sheer ridiculousness.

Leech-factor: I would have expected it to be VERY leechy, but neither I, nor the dogs had any. I wouldn’t go right after rain, though.

Map: Crummy DSE map from here was sufficient but it’s pretty crummy.

On Monday the dogs and I hit up the Yarra State Forest, taking the ‘Walk into History’ from Big Pat’s Creek picnic area. It was meh.

Today, however, we walked from ‘High Lead Carpark” off the Yarra Junction-Noojee Rd, doing section 6e on that map.

It starts off really beautifully, crossing the Big Creek over an old log and making your way through tall tree-ferns. Further on you cross a double log bridge and go up and down some stone steps into little gullies with creeks. Perfect dog drinking spots, and Lumen of course had to explore up and down the creek, cooling her feet off.

After about 45 minutes of fairly easy walking, we came to a junction- to the left looked flat but a bit overgrown, and to the right was a set of steps leading to the start of the big hill. The map warns you about this hill. It says that it’s a gradient of 1 in 4. I don’t know what that means though I’d assumed it was pretty steep. I also knew that at the start of the walk there was a sign telling me that the summit was in 4.8 km. I’d walked about 2.6km by this point with no climbing. Not a great sign.

Anyway, the hill was unlike any hill, ever. It was steep, and ongoing. It just went forever. Every time I thought there’d be a flat bit, there was more hill. I pushed and pushed. I walked a kilometer of hill and climbed 200+ meters in that time, and I still didn’t reach the top. It got to a point where I knew I could be going on for another kilometer still, I didn’t have lunch with me, and that eventually I’d have to go back DOWN the hill. We stopped and had a snack- Mallei came and lay promptly at my feet. He was tired. Lu of course was off exploring everywhere, she doesn’t GET tired. So at that point we came back down. The first part was really horrible, actually. I suspect it was the steepest of the 3 ‘hill parts’ that I climbed, and any little stick or twig acted as a roller under my feet. I counted 5 times nearly falling on my butt going down the first part. Down, down, down. I felt like it was slower going down that it was up. And my legs were burning- usually I don’t get sore legs on downhills, but today… Yup. So, the hill certainly isn’t for the faint of heart, and you’d need to be quite fit to make it up.

I’ll go back next time and see where the track on the left takes me (though I suspect it’ll just take me to the road and nowhere too exciting).