Enjoying some not-quite-local walks

The last few weeks I’ve been heading out of town to walk. During our various lockdowns, I’ve walked every street in town, multiple times. I’m not motivated to do it any more. So I’ve started to head out of town to find patches of forest to walk in. Being in an area where land has been extensively cleared for farming, that means driving for at least 30 minutes.

Kanyapella Wildlife Reserve

Formerly known as Kanyapella Basin, this is a shallow freshwater marsh with a significant River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) and Black Box (Eucalyptus largiflorens) forest.

It is probably much drier than it has been in the past and I’m not sure what of the necessary environmental flows have been provided. See Environmenal Water Management Plan for Kanyapella Basin (PDF)

I’ve done two 6km walks through the area – one in the northwest and one in the south. I didn’t see any waterbird species. There were plenty of mozzies though! And sadly, a dumped car and some plumbing or building trade waste.

Eucalypts lining a management track at Kanyapella Basin.

Rushworth and Whroo forests

Since moving to Ky, I’ve been a regular visitor to this area. In the past, I’ve mainly walked around the Whroo Historical Area. This year I’ve walked in many other parts of the forest – both sides of the town of Rushworth, and north and south of the Whroo Historical Area.

I didn’t realise how many dams are scattered through the forest (Mala loves them), or how much the vegetation changes. And it’s the first time I’ve done so many walks in spring, and been able to see the variety of wildflowers on show.

This area is a significant box-ironbark woodland. And so it’s not surprising that there’s an ecosystem change observatory managed by Monash University located here. The main species of trees include Grey Box (Eucalyptus microcarpa), Iron Bark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon), and Yellow Gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon).

Iron Bark in Rushworth Bushland Reserve

Goulburn River at Mooroopna

After driving past it regularly, I finally walked ‘The Flats‘ on the floodplain alongside the Goulburn River between Mooroopna and Shepparton. This area is of significance to local Yorta Yorta people who made it their home after a mass strike in protest of poor treatment and conditions at Cummeraganja near Barmah in 1939.

I remember seeing The Flats in flood in the 60s or 70s while living in Shepparton and Kyabram. As you can imagine, it’s filled with beautiful River Red Gums.

River Red Gums line the walking path at The Flats

More info