I love living in Melbourne, but every now and then I start to feel cemented in. To cure my nature craving, I went to Mt Baw Baw national park for the weekend with my fellow Tasmanian Penny and dutiful driver boyfriend John.
We were off bright and early (ok, not until 10) in the morning to do the Mushroom Rocks walk, one section of the epic 650km Australian Alpine Track where you can walk along mountain ranges all the way to Canberra. It was beautifully cool amongst the rows of tall straight trees that dissolved into the mist and so quiet. As the mist began to lift and a bird would occasionally call out – we even spotted a sneaky lyrebird scooting across the path behind us, trailing its long tail feathers.
Along the path, groves of wattles had dropped their seed pods, making an amazing red carpet against the rich greens of the moss and lush ferns. Little purple fruit and pink wild flowers were other spots of colour against the verdant growth until the landscape began to get dryer as we climbed up amongst the rocks.
We’d only been going about an hour, so we decided to keep walking to reach the top of Mt Erica. I had of course forgotten that I am not particularly fit and that walking up a mountain means really steep paths. I ended up letting John and Penny steam ahead while I took a slower pace to enjoy the scenery (and to try keep my lungs inside my body).
The slower pace did leave more time to look around. The bush changed so much as we went up; from the huge stone monoliths to lush grass under slim trees, to scrubby bushes in sandy soil then gracefully leaning gums with gently striped bark.
I spotted a skink sunning itself on a rock and by using sneaky ninja skills managed to take a decent photo without scaring it off. More exciting but less pretty was an evil looking thing hiding under the fringed greenery along the path, which I’m guessing from the appearance and smell (it was gross) was some kind of fly trap fungi.
I finally puffed to the top of Mt Erica where it was sunny, lunchtime and all our food was back down the bottom of the mountain.