Maribyrnong Valley and Macedon Ranges
Your first stop will be the Organ Pipes, a set of basalt columns formed by the cooling and cracking of molten lava a million years ago, are the most well-known feature of the park. Since the park was declared in 1972, the Friends of Organ Pipes National Park (Australia’s first Friends of group) have done a great deal of work to restore the indigenous vegetation in the park. The visit will involve a guided two hour walk through the park, including down a steep walking track to Jacksons Creek to see the work of the Friends of group and the Organ Pipes.
Next up is Hanging Rock, a sacred place for local Indigenous people and the backdrop to Joan Lindsay’s book Picnic at Hanging Rock and Peter Weir’s film of the same title. You will walk up Hanging Rock and view from the top of the Rock the work that Newham and District Landcare Group has done to establish the Macedon to Cobaw Ranges Biolink.
There you will enjoy a relaxing lunch at Hanging Rock Café, at the foot of the Rock, whilst getting to know your fellow field trippers.
The second last stop is Black Hill Reserve, near Kyneton, where you will get to observe the natural renewal and regeneration that has occurred since fires swept through the reserve in January 2015, as well as the Friends of Black Hill’s work to restore the infrastructure that was destroyed in the fires.
Your final stop before heading back to Melbourne will be to Moffitts Farm, near Romsey. Moffitts Farm has been transformed from a low productivity grazing property lacking biodiversity into an inspiring and successful example of modern sustainable agriculture delivering ecosystem services. Enjoy a farm walk with Patrick Francis, who as an agricultural scientist, former lecturer in animal production and farm management and Landcare journalist for 32 years, guides you through the impressive work that the Francis family has undertaken at Moffitts Farm since 1986. The 50 hectares farm now comprises 19 paddocks, and includes 13 hectares of revegetation corridors, forestry blocks and riparian area.
Note: There will be quite a bit of walking on this field trip and we recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes. Some of the climbs are quite steep so please ensure this is taken into consideration when booking.
Cost $60.00 per person (includes transport, access to sites, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea).
The Maribyrnong/Macedon field trip will depart from Southern Cross Station at 8.10am on Wednesday, 21 September 2016.