Category Archives: Places to visit

A Beaut View

As the tour of BEN reserves continued we had lunch at the Flagstaff Hill lookout reserve on Mt Bute, where there is a panoramic view 360 degree view.


Flagstaff Hill

Part way up to the Flagstaff Hill lookout tower (just out of Linton) is another BEN reserve. It was a gravel reserve and used to be covered in pine trees. Since the pines have been removed the native vegetation is slowly growing back.

Newtown Recreation Reserve

The first site on the tour of some smaller Ballarat Environment Network Reserves for the August excursion began at the Newtown Recreation Reserve. Since we arrived as most of the group had toured the reserve and surrounding bush, here are only a few photos of the plants. There were masses of coral lichen – Cladina confusa .

Orchids at Enfield

In the 1960’s the Field Naturalists Club of Ballarat regarded the “Sandy Patch” at Enfield the best place to find winter-flowering orchids.

The club will visit the Sandy Patch on Tuesday, 16 August, 2016 weather permitting.

Many types of orchid leaves are present and will flower during the next few weeks:








Some orchids are flowering already:

Emerald-lip Greenhood Pterostylis smaragdyna



Nodding Greenhood P.nutans








Wattles are beginning to flower:


Acacia gunnii

Acacia myrtifolia


Finding history in Creswick State Forest

Here are a few photos from yesterday’s excursion which looked at some of the remnants the gold mining days and forestry history. Some of us hadn’t visited/noticed these particular areas before so it was an eye opener. Next time you are out in the forest take a closer look. This forest was very popular on the weekend, with campers, a four wheel driving club, people fishing and looking for gold.


Mullawallah Wetlands

It is official, Winter Swamp is now Mullawallah Wetlands

La Gerche track

Saturday’s excursion was to the La Gerche Track at Creswick. I arrived late but here are some photos of some of the plants, places and patterns that attracted my attention.



Avalon Salt Flats

It has been a while since there has been time to show members who can’t make it on excursions what we have seen, so here are some sights from a visit in April to the salt flats near Avalon and a link to some other pictures from Serendip Sanctuary. On the visit to Mt Rothwell we saw quite a few animals but they are much more difficult to catch in a photo.

A step back in time

Creeping Grevillea

Creeping Grevillea

The November excursion was changed to the Wombat Forest area in the hope of seeing more flowers as reports were that Mt Beckworth was too dry. The first stop was at the site of Wombat Station (Rocklyn), where there was once a thriving gold mining town. We parked on the site of the platform. All that is present now is a rotunda built by the Great Dividing Trail Association (GDTA) and a track that follows the rail line. One of the attractions is the deep rail cutting. Continue reading

Tree Goannas and other sights from Gippsland

Tree Goanna and Red Wattlebird

Tree Goanna and Red Wattlebird

While having lunch at Cape Conran in Gippsland last week, we observed a lace monitor or tree goanna. Red Wattlebirds had been catching insects using a shrub as a perch, when suddenly they went in warning mode and began dive bombing something behind the barbeque, it was a goanna. It was a great chance to observe the goanna up close noting the distinctive yellow stripes as it decided to head for the cover of the bushes. Much to my surprise I managed to get one photo that included the wattlebird . Continue reading