Thirteen hardy walkers braved dire weather forecasts of rain and cold to do a circuit at the very south end of the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park on Sunday. The weather turned out, in fact, to be mild. The walk made a circuit along Amanda’s Track to Middleton Creek, with a return via the Goldfields Track along Brown’s Gully. All the area covered is part of a large proposed management burn in the draft Fire Operations Plan.
Walkers were rewarded with excellent displays of Baeckia ramossissima, not common in our district, and plenty of other wildflowers–plus lots of views of Cup Moth caterpillars, the most likely culprit in the devastation of eucalypts from Irishtown to Daylesford. The caterpillars even congregated in numbers on track signposts. Walkers produced a couple of common names for them: ‘Stinging joeys’ and ‘Chinese junks.’
The walk highlighted the variety of environments in this section of the Park south of the Wewak Track: grassy woodlands, dense low grade eucalypts, creek valleys with fine large trees, and some excellent wildflower sites.
The October walk will in the Fryers Ranges, held by some to be the premier wildflower part of the region. Check our Walks section for details.