ABC Breakfast Radio interview

This morning’s interview with presenter Matt Dowling regarding my work on tracks and trails promotion in the Strathbogie region. Commences at 43.30minutes.

ABC radio tracks and trails interview

A bike for every occasion?

My recently acquired touring ebike. Battery assist range 150km. It includes an auto power selection mode. Pedal pushing is always required, but you can choose how much effort to put in. You will keep fit!

Sub title: Central Victoria, the Centre for eBikes.

As I have aged (now approaching my mid 60s), I have progressed from road bikes to mountain bikes to hybrids and now, ebikes.

My message to everyone out there who rides or is contemplating riding is “Get on your bike!” If you are fit and able enough to provide your own power, find the bike that best suits your journeying and ride. If you think you are past it, reconsider. From 8 to 80 years old, anyone with balance who can get astride a bike frame now has bicycle touring at their feet!

With the advent of ebikes for all modes of cycling, the Central Victoria region is perfect for you and your bike. There are many kilometres of un-trafficked rural roads and tracks traversing diversely beautiful landscapes. You will be amazed at where an ebike can take you, from sealed flat stretches across the plains, amongst rustic rolling foothills, to tall treed dirt tracks through mountain forests.

Many people have asked me about the different modes of cycling I refer to in the cycling route descriptors I publish. Most often, about Gravel Grinders. Gravel Grinders as a specialty appeared somewhere in amongst my cycling experience. I missed their rise until alerted by a mad keen cycling cousin.

This alert coincided with the commencement of my mapping and publishing of walks and cycling routes in and around the beautiful Strathbogie region. A good port of call for those interested is the Gravel Grinders Melbourne fb page. The article linked below may be American, but is brief and indicative of gravel bike features for the uninitiated, as well as being fodder for dreamers. It is worth noting that one of the bikes listed is an ebike.

apple.news/AJlzTcm5gRhO2EROnKg-VTw

The cycling routes I have been recording will be found here on seanmathews.blog/cycling and the Connecting the Goulburn Broken Catchment Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/591666734808645 .

Walks can be found at strathbogierangesnatureview , VictoriaWalks and in Pozi online mapping

Natural world spaces

Natural world spaces beckon. A track, a trail, a waterway, a forest, a desert, a garden, a valley, a mountain, a park. They call on us to linger in place, to appreciate and contemplate. They feed our souls and refresh our minds. They represent and deliver the simplest pleasures of life, observing and feeling part of the interconnectivity of everything.

Rewilding: an urban beginning?

I recently read David Attenborough’s 2020 book, “A life on our planet: My witness statement and a vision for the future”. Ever since, I have been contemplating how on earth it will be possible to action the plans he outlines for preserving functional global climate systems, biodiversity, and saving ourselves from ourselves.

Rewilding is one solution Attenborough envisages. A small example may be when many urban neighbourhoods develop their own small forests and foster biolinks. The cumulative effect could be significant. Just as each relatively small piece of new built environment and mono cultural agribusiness diminishes our capacity to recover, each relatively small piece of new ecosytem and forest enhances it. See www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-56003562

Walking

As I head

toward the door

Questions

head my way

Where are you going?

Walking.

Where to?

It doesn’t matter, I say

Walking

a destination in its own right

Walking

the easiest way

we can fully engage

With the natural world

In walking

we place ourselves

at a new destination every minute

we escape ourselves

And we expose ourselves

to genuine experiences

of our surroundings

and the elements

on the human scale

What will you look for?

I smile

knowing whatever I look for

I will also find many things different

I don’t need to look

for anything in particular

because I will find

small parts of everything

Walking always takes me there

Tracks and Trails

Today, I wrote, edited and proof read in preparation for publication of many more tracks and trails. I did it for myself because of all the wonderful experiences I have when bushwalking. I did it for the community because I believe the natural world is one of the best places to restore yourself and others. I did it for habitat improvement, to help everyone learn the conservation values important for saving our future.

Hughes Creek Hill Wildflowers

I am trying to learn the names of the local wildflowers as I walk. I was surprised to find so many on Hughes Creek Hill in mid winter. The file names are what I think these are. Corrections welcome. There is also one unknown I need assistance with.

Lake Nagambie Walk

Trail Checklist

Name:

  • Lake Nagambie Foreshore Walk20191105_pho_LakeNagambie01

Responsible Authorities:

  • Strathbogie Shire Council
  • Goulburn Murray Water
  • Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority

Acceptable modes of transit:

  • Walk

Distance & duration

  • 3km return via High St or Lakeside Drive

GPS coordinates & map

36°47’07.8″S 145°09’11.0″E

-36.785508, 145.153068

20191112_pho_LakeNagambieMapGrading (using the Parks Vic Track and Trail Grading Manual):

Grade 2

Amenities:

  • Public toilets
  • Car parking
  • Potable water
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Playgrounds
  • Ornamental gardens
  • Platypus sightings possible under footbridge
  • Picnic areas
  • Seating, tables and automatic bbqs
  • Shelters
  • Boat ramp
  • Water sports
  • Boardwalk
  • Side exercise trail to Blayney Lane

Hazards

Snakes, slippery surfaces, embankments, falling trees and limbs, deep water

Restrictions

  • No camping
  • Restricted alcohol consumption times

Trailhead sign

  • No

Informational Signs

  • Yes

Directional signs / bollards or trail markers

  • No

Conclusion

This pleasant walk is in current use and offers many amenities to visitors. A feature map brochure, separate to the Nagambie Tourist Map and including the Regatta Centre Walk, would encourage more people to extend their visit beyond just looking over the Lake from High Street.

Honeysuckle Creek Walk

Trail Checklist

Name:

Honeysuckle Creek Walk, Violet Town

HoneysuckleWalk02

Responsible Authority:

Authorities

  • Strathbogie Shire Council
  • Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GB CMA)

Community

  • Honeysuckle Recreational Environment Project (HREP)
  • Violet Town Action Group (VTAG)

Acceptable modes of transit:

  • Foot and cycle

Distance & duration

  • 3km as a circuit or divided into 1km or 2km loops across bridges

GPS coordinates & map

36°38’01.0″S 145°43’05.8″E

-36.633606, 145.718286

Honeysuckle

Grading (using the Parks Vic Track and Trail Grading Manual):

  • Grade 2

Amenities:

  • Multiple entry points
  • Easy car parking
  • Open parks and gardens
  • Native plantings
  • Good for bird watching
  • Picnic tables and seating
  • Informational signage
  • 4 Bridges across creek
  • Public toilets in adjacent Recreation Reserve
  • Rubbish bins in adjacent Recreation Reserve
  • Shelter in adjacent Recreation Reserve
  • Sporting facilities including swimming pool and Skate Park in adjacent Recreation Reserve
  • Caravan Park
  • Commercial centre nearby

Hazards

Snakes, tree and limb falls, flowing water, uneven ground and slippery surfaces

Restrictions

  • No camping
  • No horses
  • No dirt bikes

Trailhead sign

  • Not present

Directional signs / bollards or trail markers

  • Present, but not always and can be unclearBrochure  – HREP brochure available

Conclusion

This is an established, easy, bushy parkland walk with options for longer or shorter loops available. It is currently in frequent use by the public.

Ruffy Snow Gum Reserve Walking Track

Trail Checklist

SnowGumWalk Extends from Noyes Lane, Ruffy.

This track meanders down an unused road reserve through open Narrow-leaf Peppermint forest until it crosses a walking bridge and enters the Ruffy Flora Reserve. A circuit of this reserve takes you through swampy riparian woodlands dominated by ancient Mountain Swamp Gums. The path continues past a tiny population of Snow Gums, remnants of a colder climate, and skirts a chain of dark deep billabongs into bandicoot and koala territory.

Responsible Authority:

Road Reserve: Strathbogie Shire Council

Ruffy Nature Conservation Reserve: DELWP

Acceptable modes of transit:

Walk (mountain bike and horse with track improvement)

Distance & duration

3km return, 1.5hrs to the Reserve.

Additional loops could be added:

  • 4km via Bunting Hill Rd
  • 6km via Terip Church

GPS coordinates & map

36°58′4″ S 145°30′56″ E

-36.967745, 145.514873

Snowgums Trail Ruffy

Grading (using the Parks Vic Track and Trail Grading Manual):

Grade 3. Flat, but with some uneven ground and open woodland debris underfoot. Could be rated easy with trail clearance.

Amenities:

The walk commences at the Ruffy Recreation Ground, Maygar Park.

Parking at the Ruffy Recreation Ground

Shelter and picnic facilities at the Recreation Ground

Toilets at the Ruffy Recreation Ground

Horse containment at the Recreation Ground

Hazards

Tree & branch falls, uneven surfaces, bogs, flowing water, snakes

Restrictions

Take your rubbish with you

No potable water

Trailhead sign & Informational Signs

No trailhead sign in situ (there is one in poor condition that has been removed).

Directional signs / bollards or trail markers

No directional signs on nearby roads

No trail markers along the trail, but some exist within the Reserve

Brochure 

Available

Conclusion

This trail has the potential to be a key feature for visitors to Ruffy. With some basic work, it could be improved considerably.  This trail is currently accessible to walkers and is in occasional use. However, until the trail has been cleared for snake sighting, recommended use is probably best confined to the cooler months. With improvement, it would be a viable all year walking, mountain bike and horse trail.