We had now been away for one week, and it was day seven (Thursday 22nd November 2018). As we had done the morning previously, we headed to Fragas Cafe for a cooked breakfast and coffee. We can highly recommend Fragas…..great food and friendly service.
Marysville is a very pretty town which has recovered since the devastating 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. The town was literally destroyed as a result of the fire, with the primary school, police station, and almost all of its houses being burnt to the ground. The Murrindindi-Marysville bushfire killed 40 people and destroyed at least 500 properties.
It was a pretty bleak morning with lots of shower activity. We decided to visit the Lake Mountain Ski Resort, so we headed east out of Marysville on the Marysville-Woods Point Road. We soon reached the Yarra Ranges National Park, and took the Lake Mountain Road. As we travelled towards Lake Mountain, the outside temperature dropped to just 1 deg C.
Once we got to Lake Mountain, it had dropped to nearly 0 deg C and was bitterly cold. We spoke to one of the staff who told us that just 10 minutes earlier it had been a ‘white out’. Amazing, considering this was late November. There was quite a bit of snow still on the ground, the buildings, and vehicles parked in the carpark.
Lake Mountain is the closest Alpine resort to Melbourne. It was named after George Lake, who was the Surveyor-General of the area. Lake Mountain summit is 1,433 metres above sea level. The highest point in the area is along the Hut trail and is 1,480 metres.
As it was quite wet and cool, we decided against the summit walk, and took a short walk along Leadbeaters Track towards Koala Creek. The track is named after the elusive and critically endangered Leadbeaters Possum. Despite the weather, it was an enjoyable walk, with quite a bit of snow on the ground and the fronds of the ferns. There were a number of Flame Robins along the track.
We then drove back down Lake Mountain Road and stopped off at the Bjarne K Dahl Memorial Boardwalk. The boardwalk which was opened in March 2014, is dedicated to Bjarne K Dahl who had a passion for eucalypts and left his entire estate to support the establishment, cultivation and conservation of eucalpyts. There are a number of information/interpretive boards along the walk which describe the surrounding bush and the history of skiing in the area.
Our next planned stop was the historic area of Cambarville. We continued along the Marysville-Woods Point Road, passing through the Yarra Ranges National Park.
We soon reached the Cambarville Picnic area in the Yarra Ranges National Park. As I was short of my 44 QSOs from my activation of this park the day before, we decided to put out a few CQ calls from the vehicle. It was drizzling with rain outside and just too wet to operate from outside of the Hi Lux.
We had no internet coverage, so we were relying upon the good will of park hunters to spot us. I called CQ on 7.144 for about 5 minutes with no takers. Things were not looking good. So I tuned across the band and found the 10AM Smoko Net in full swing. Sadly the net control Paul VK5FUZZ could not hear me. But I did log 3 stations on the net, Scott VK7NWT, Peter VK5NAQ, and Ron VK5MRE.
When the net concluded I continued to call CQ, and logged Andrew VK2UH and David VK3FDZE. But they were my only callers on that frequency, so I moved up to 7.144 hoping that some of the park die hards who monitor that frequency, might pop up. Adam VK2YK was first in the log, and he kindly spotted me on parksnpeaks. I logged just a further 3 stations, David VK5PL, Ian VK5CZ, and finally Gerard VK2IO.
I had another 9 contacts in the log for the Yarra Ranges. This was proving to be a difficult park to qualify.
I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
Marija and I then drove up the Cambarville Road to the ghost town of Cambarville, which was once a thriving small timber community. Gold was discovered at nearby Woods Point in 1861, with logging commencing in about 1880. Cambarville was established as a timber mill town in the 1940’s. Two businessmen from Marysville, Alex Cameron and Fred Barton, constructed the Cambarville timber mill to harvest Alpine Ash which was vital to the economy of the town of Marysville. In 1956 a fire at the mill temporarily forced its closure, however it soon re-opened and continued until its closure in 1971.
The town was once featured a school, numerous houses, and various buildings associated with the mill. Very little remains today, however there are a number of information/interpretive signs detailing the history of the area.
We then drove back towards Marysville, stopping briefly to have a look at the Big Culvert, a granite and bluestone arch culvert on the historic Yarra Track. The culvert was constructed in the 1870’s as part of the improvements of the road between Melbourne and Woods Point, and the Jordan goldfields.
This is a truly pictureque drive, and we stopped every now and again to brave the wet weather and get a photo or two of the forest and ferns.
We had arranged to meet Tony VK3AN at Marysville, so we headed back that way, stopping briefly at Jock Lookout to admire the view of Marysville.
Once back in Marysville we met up with Tony and enjoyed a very nice meal and a few cold ales at The Duck Inn at Marysville. I had spoken to Tony many times on air, so it was great to catch up with him in person for the very first time.
After lunch Marija and I headed next door to the Marysville Lolly Shop. The shop was re-opened in 2012 after it was destroyed by the 2009 bushfires. If you have a sweet tooth, like us, this is a very difficult shop to walk out of without bag full of lollies and chocolates.
The weather had fined up a little, so Marija and I took a walk around Marysville, admiring some of the attractions including the old water wheel, the old police office, and the Steavenson River.
Lake Mountain Alpine Resort, 2018, <https://www.lakemountainresort.com.au/summer/the-mountain/facts-and-figures/>, viewed 17th December 2018
Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambarville,_Victoria>, viewed 17th December 2018
Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Culvert>, viewed 17th December 2018
A fantastic area.
Yes, it is certainly a great part of Victoria. Beautiful countryside. Marysville seems to have recovered well from the devastating bushfires. Although I suspect there are a lot of personal scars there, due to the deaths in the community. It was nice to spend some time there and pump a bit of money back into the local community.