Mt. Beckworth Scenic Reserve

The Reserve contains granite outcrops surrounded by sandy soil which supports open woodland with a wide range of spring flowering orchids. The 635 metre summit gives good views in all directions.

 Location

35 km north of Ballarat, 8 km west of Clunes. VicRoads 58 D7. Follow the Ballarat-Maryborough Road C287 north past Miners Rest. In 3 km turn into Coghills Creek Road; 3 km past Coghills Creek turn right into Fentons Road for 4 km and then turn left into Mountain Creek Road which leads to the Reserve.

Facilities

Picnic areas, toilets, parking area, Parks Victoria brochure, walking tracks.

 Flora

Long-leaf Box Eucalyptus goniocalyx    © FNCB 2011  
Eucalyptus goniocalyx flowers  © FNCB 2011 

Eucalyptus goniocalyx juvenile foliage  © FNCB 2011

Open woodland with grassy understorey. Dominant trees are Messmate Stringybark, Manna Gum and Long-leaved Box. Shrubs include Hedge Wattle and Daphne Heath. In spring more than 35 orchid species can be found flowering. Common orchids are Golden Moths, Waxlip Orchid, Brown-clubbed Spider Orchid, Tiger Orchid, Purplish Beard-orchid and sun orchids.

Fauna

Bird observers will appreciate the open vegetation. Watching around the dams in summer is rewarding. Wedge-tailed Eagles often soar overhead. Mistletoebirds, thornbills and honeyeaters are common. Rainbow Bee-eaters nest in the sandy soil. Uncommon species include Speckled Warbler and Southern Whiteface. Short-beaked Echidnas often dig up large areas.

Geology

Granite outcrops provide opportunities for rock climbing.  Weathering has produced sandy soil that is prone to erosion.  Note the sudden change from basalt lava flow to granitic sand at the creek crossing on Mountain Creek Road.

Historical Information

Mt. Beckworth was originally named Mt. Beckwith by Major Mitchell and previously had the aboriginal name of Nananook.  Exploitation by grazing, sand extraction and logging ceased in 1962.

Other Information

The “lollipop” tree at the summit is a district landmark.  In the 1940s a number of pine trees were removed from the summit and the remaining tree had its lower limbs pruned.  Cork Oaks have been planted on the northern side of the mountain.

Lollipop Tree, Mt Beckwith Summit,         Sunrise on Australia Day 2009.                © FNCB 2009
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