Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Falls Creek, Wallace's Hut and The High Country

Mum and I planned it, yesterday we headed up into the Victorian High Country. All the way up to the Falls Creek area. I hadn't been that way for around 10 years. It is such a magical area.
The whole time we were up there I kept thinking of my friend Dave from Colorado. Dave (if you still read my blog), you would love hiking and exploring up here. You should come some day and walk the entire Alpine Walking Track.
n 2003, we experienced terrible bushfires as we did this year. In 2003, they were very bad through the Falls Creek area. The trees everywhere had been so badly burnt that they now look like skeletons. Some gum trees shoot new growth all the way up the burnt trunks, some shoot from the bottom and others only regrow from seed. Gum trees are fascinating in this way. Throughout this area, the trees were either the kind that shoots from seeds or the bottom. That meant that the old trunks were bare of all vegetation and bark. In the following photo you can see the trees to the right are merely skeletons. White and grey. In many places, it reminded me of thinning grey hair or even a graveyard. Morbidly amazing.

Looking North East from near Wallace's Hut. The view was amazing. The blue skies were amazing. How can you feel anything but joy at being in a place like this. I love getting right up in the high country.

Wallace's Hut is reportedly the oldest original Cattleman's Hut in the Victorian High Country. It was built around 1890. You are actually discouraged from staying here unless in extreme emergencies. The inside is very basic and pretty dirty. I'd hate to be caught out and have to sleep there anyway. Give me a tent and sleeping bag any day.
In 2003, we had massive bushfires in the area. The hut was saved - just. I am not sure if you can make it out, but just behind the hut, the skeletons of trees were the trees that were decimated in those exact fires. This past summer, we had really bad fires again, their kind of missed this area - thankfully.

Cope Hut was built much more recently, around 1929. It isn't that old at all. You are allowed to stay here over night. Basic shelter but comfortable. You can actually fit 10 people in the bunks. It is pretty clean but dusty inside. No spiders or snakes... The fires missed Cope Hut and the trees directly around the area. It was nice to see the snow gums in their original glory. They are such warm, wonderful colours and great shapes.

The end of the day... We travelled for around 380km in one day. Driving into the sunset wasn't that fun for Dad but it was for me. I took about 20 photos through the windscreen and thought that I would share this one. See you until the next entry...

2 comments:

Marg & Graham said...

Such a beautiful place and so little time to explore. The weather was magnificent as well - the sun warm and the sky cloudless.

kirsten said...

gorgeous photos! we have a ken duncan print of wallace's hut. good to know it is horrid inside! i won't feel jealous that we haven't made it up there yet. :)