Off the ferry it was a ride through the Mornington Peninsula to Cape Schank and its magnificent view over Bass Strait
There is a lovely ride from Cape Schank to the township of Flinders before heading up to the first set of mountain twisties around the base of Mount Baw Baw.
And through some magnificent old growth forest.
After a run on the back roads of Gippsland camp awaited at Bruthen and the start of the Great Alpine Road.
From Bruthen the Great Alpine Road runs up the Tambo River Valley
Up to the summit of Mount Hotham
The northern side of the mountain is the most steep and a bit of a testing ride at times and then just after it flattens out there is a turn off to Mount Beauty over the Towonga Gap Road; with its beautiful views over the Kiewa Valley and the Mount Beauty Township.
Storms were forecast and a caravan was found beside the Kiewa River
After the storm the next morning was cool and the clouds still hung in the Valley
A 33 hectare urban forest created in the 1970’s from an old bluestone quarry
What a wonderful vision of the then Local Government Council to create this haven in what was then a very industrial suburb devoid of open space.
Only about 12 kilometres from the centre of Melbourne
The fate of the quarry was sealed when the digging hit an underground spring and the lake was formed.
Over the the four months of the Melbourne lockdown I have walked the trails of this urban forest.
Seen the changes as winter turned to spring and now as summer approaches.
The trees in blossom
The resident black swans with their cignets
The flock of Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos that came for winter and went back bush in the Spring. Unlike us terrestrial animals free to fly to and fro as they please.
The bird life by the lake is vibrant wattle birds, butcher birds all too quick for amateur wildlife photographer like me
But this little blue wren wasn’t shy and struck the perfect pose.
The hard bluestone walls that surround the lake loom large and bare the cracks from the many explosions that were used to extract the bluestone.
Those cracks now form handholds for climbers to practice their skills.
And in the rock faces there is the subtle marks of human presence
Mosaics of the birds in the park
And as the days got longer and warmer and summer is only an month or so away
The Blue Tongue Lizards come out to bask in the sun.
Walking in Newport Lakes and cycling on the Williamstown bay trail (posts here, here and here.) have made me appreciate my local space very much. How lucky I am to have access to these elements of nature in a big city.
After for months of lockdown in the City of Melbourne the restrictions that have kept Melbournians separate from the rural areas of the State will be lifted in a few days.
The Mighty Breva will roam again across the local countryside, on the coastal roads and over the windy mountain passes.
But before I sign off my local explorations
A pelican in flight a couple of evenings back down at the Koroit Creek estuary.