The August walk started near Bells Beach. Our leader Gail gave us a brief history of the area since the mid 1800s when most of the area was owned or leased by the Bell family.
We then walked through lovely heathland dominated by Golden Wattle Acacia Pycnantha, Coast Pomaderris Pomaderris paniculosa subsp. paralia, and, at ground level, Erect Guinea-flower Hibbertia riparia.
We stopped at the old Jarosite mine to look at the few remaining ‘artefacts’.The most obvious was a large old concrete well with some interesting modern graffiti inside.
Looking down the well
Graffiti in the well
Jarosite Mine concrete pad for diesel engine
The mine was only active for about six years in the 1920s, with the red ochre AKA Jarosite being used for red rust paint for bridges, roofs of houses, and our ‘red ratttler’ trains. Before that the ochre was thought to have been used by the Wadawurrung for ceremonial purposes, and for trade with other aboriginal tribes.
Near the mine site there were several trees with badly damaged trunks. This was apparently caused by feral deer, which are becoming a serious pest in so many areas. The young bucks rub their antlers against the tree bark in order to scrape off the velvet cover.
The steep walk up from there included lots of Sundews or Drosera, such as the Climbing Sundew, Drosera macrantha.
There were also lovely areas of Grasstrees, however some of these were clearly dying or dead from Phytophthora.
We made sure to use the well-constructed Phytophthora shoe cleaning points along the way. The flat pathway along the the top of the Ironbark Basin was less attractive as it was heavily mown for ‘Asset protection’.
Asset management along the top track
During morning tea, at the table in the car park, we enjoyed the sight of a pair of Scarlet robins, especially the brilliant red breast of the male. Unfortunately no one had a suitable camera to take a photo.
After this we walked down the pathway to the coast past the dam on which, many years ago, ANGAIR members had worked hard to help retain water. Unfortunately it has again lost its water holding properties.
Along the top of the cliffs we stopped at a couple of lookouts to enjoy the wonderful sea views towards Point Addis one way, and Bells Beach the other.
The best lookout
A new lookout
View towards Point Addis
View towards Bells Beach
There was one small patch of Gnat Orchids Cyrtostylis reniformis, a few Nodding Greenhoods Pterostylis nutans, and some delicate-looking, white Heath Daisies Allittia uliginosa.
We finished by walking down the signposted Koori Walk to Point Addis. A final pleasure was a few small bright yellow flowers of the Tiny Star, Hypoxis glabella var. glabella.
Thank you, Gail, for sharing you knowledge and time with us on this delightful morning walk.