R.Pepper - Treks 7 and 8 – Yarra Forests History Tour
Description: We will do Trek 7 from the R. Pepper book in reverse, commencing in Gembrook and finishing in Powelltown. Then there will be a 24 Km, half hour, transit through Yarra Junction to Warburton to commence Trek 8. From Warburton, Trek 8 will take us through the forest to finish at Noojee.
From Gembrook, our trek visits Kurth Kiln Regional Park, where a charcoal kiln was built towards the end of 1941 and early 1942. When petrol rationing was introduced in 1940 during the Second World War, charcoal was considered an appropriate replacement and the design of the charcoal kiln was purchased from Ernest Kurth, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Tasmania. However the use of charcoal was not that successful and the plant was closed in 1944. Today it is possible to view the historic remains of the plant, as well as the nearby picnic and camping areas.
We will then continue on to Powelltown which is located in the Yarra State Forest where there are numerous walking tracks —some of which are old tram tracks built to convey timber—which will take you to old sawmills and through forests dominated by towering mountain ash, grey gum, messmate, myrtle beech and southern sassafras.
Starting from Warburton the trek heads west into the Yarra State Forest, along Big Pats Creek Rd. The forest tracks wind their way through lush forest until arriving at Starlings Gap and the camping area. From here, the route proceeds north-east to visit the Ada Tree (time permitting). There is a 3.2 km walk to this mountain ash, which is one of the largest trees in the world. It weighs over 1100 tonnes and stands around 76 m high, but is thought to have once been about 120 m tall.
After viewing this natural wonder you continue south towards Noojee along New Turkey Spur Road and Lower Bennies Road to exit the forest along the Yarra Junction–Noojee Road. Just 2.1 km east of this junction is the detour to the historic timber Trestle Bridge. Then it’s only 2 km along the bitumen into Noojee situated on the Latrobe River.
Weather: Should be mild at this time of year, but rain is possible anytime. It could also be very warm so bring plenty of drinking water and food for breaks and lunch
Equipment: This is an easy trip and is suitable for AWD vehicles. A UHF radio (or one borrowed from the club) should be carried. Usual recovery gear should be carried if you have it (just in case).
Trip Standard: Easy - suitable for AWD vehicles
Fuel: a full tank ex Melbourne. Fuel also available in Gembrook.
Distance: Trek 7 - approx. distance is 40Km. Trek 8 – approx. distance is 60Km of high range driving.
Duration: Day trip
Convoy limit: 10 vehicles
Meeting arrangements: We plan to meet in the main street of Gembrook outside Spencers Store 97, Main Street and depart at 9.00am sharp. If you plan to get coffee beforehand then you will need to arrive a little earlier. We will aim to finish about 4.00pm in Noojee.
Trip Leaders: Fran and Chris Pearson - 0433 113 382 / 0407 922 522 firstname.lastname@example.org
Trek Managers: Graeme Carter - 0400 195 932 or email@example.com