Winter Wanderings – Warburton & Mount Donna Buang

On a recent trip away with two other couples, we went from Warburton to the Rainforest Gallery in Donna Buang, this is apparently a little known treasure in the area, I guess with the name people think it’s an art gallery instead of a nature walk!

This beautiful site features a 40 metre long observation platform (one of only three of its type in Australia) which takes you into the rainforest canopy 15 metres above the ground. A 350 metre long elevated walkway takes you through the Rainforest Gallery where you will see magnificent 65 metre tall old growth Mountain Ash trees, ancient Myrtle Beech trees (many of which are 300 to 400 years old), ferns, mosses and other plants that make up this damp and diverse rainforest environment.There are several viewing spots along the walkway where you can pause and enjoy the sounds of Cement Creek flowing past on its journey to the Yarra River.

~ Parks Victoria

There are a few steps, but overall it is easy access, there is so much to see that the 350m walk took quite a while to do, and given there was 4 photographers keen on long exposures, it took longer than anyone expected. Oh not to mention a few laughs along the way. Poor Deanne drop a lens cover over the railing, so hubby Bill went for a little off trail discovery himself! Our other character for the Weekend was David….the Three men spent a bit of time acting the clowns and keeping everyone entertained.

It was a true rain-forest, and I was constantly being dripped on, the moss was covered in frozen dew drops, just starting to melt in the early morning sunshine just breaking through the breaks in the trees, it was quite dark so photography was a bit of a challenge.

We then continued up the Mountain to the summit. Now Mount Donna Buang is at an elevation of 1245 metres, so not overly high and not one of Victoria major snow resorts, but it does get snow, as it did this weekend, just enough for snow men and to keep tourists happy, later in the season they do tobogganing from here. The summit also features a lookout tower which is 21 metres high and offers panoramic views over Melbourne, the Yarra Valley, Dandenong and Cathedral Ranges, Mount Baw Baw and the Alps.

After leaving the summit we continued our drive towards Healesville, mainly dirt tracks and mud……….lots and lots of mud, and fog, mist and low cloud. We stopped briefly at a Hang Glider launch place, with great views……..One of the guys decided to have fun by posing for us on the ramp and pretending he can fly, such a hoot!

We stopped in Healesville for a late lunch and then drove back to Warburton for happy hour and dinner. We had all gone in two 4WD and had walkie talkies, so many laughs were had on the day.

Til Next time, safe travels and happy snapping…

~ Julz