21 August 2008


On Sunday 17th August 2008 we drove down to Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula to do most (but not all!) of the Two Bays Walk (there's a PDF to download from this site if you like). While D, SJ and I walked, E and L had a lovely relaxing day pottering around, eating delicious food and working on various writing/uni projects. We were once again unbelievably lucky with the weather. It has been rainy and cold in Melbourne for the last week (including snow in the Dandenongs the weekend before – the weekend after we were walking there!), but apart from some drizzle in the first hour, and some chilly wind towards the end, we were mostly comfortable. In the middle of the day we even had to stop and put on sunscreen because it was getting so bright and warm! We planned to walk the main route from Latrobe Pde carpark to Boneo Rd (Rosebud-Flinders Rd), but we made one on-the-spot decision to detour and see Kings Falls, walking from there down Waterfall Gully Road into the outer streets of Rosebud to rejoin the trail. We left our place at about 8:15, SJ driving us down, stopped off at a bakery to pick up some breakfast and morning tea, and started the walk slightly before 10am. We thought we might finish between 3 and 4pm, but I forgot to factor in stopping times for lunch and tea, and additional time for hills. We reached Boneo Rd at about 5:15, having walked about 21km (according to the signs) or 19km (according to our admittedly rather haphazard online mapping attempt). E drove us back to Melbourne, where we dropped L off and then SJ made delicious tofu burgers and we ate them with some bottles of cider. E gave us some of her PJs to wear after they let us use their shower, and then kindly drove us home.

That’s the short version. Here is the long version with pictures! You can see these and more pictures on my flickr and on E's flickr.

Latrobe Pde – Arthurs Seat [no apostrophe?] – Seawinds Gardens

We started the walk determined to do as much as possible, even if it rained. It was raining when we got out of the car, but not heavily enough for me to don my (sadly still unused) waterproof trousers. We snapped our ‘before’ picture and a shot of the map in case we got lost. Luckily, the trail is well signposted and well maintained (apart from some bits at the end), and our maps were generally spot on, so we didn’t get too confused.

The first 1 ½ kms gave us the steepest/longest climb of the day as we trudged up to Arthurs Seat – the hill ‘discovered’ twice in one year by Europeans: in 1802 by Lt John Murray on board the Lady Nelson, and a few weeks later by Matthew Flinders (who actually climbed it). If only he’d checked the internet he would have known it had already been discovered. The path is well maintained, and there are benches at intervals. We stopped at a couple of them for views and to catch our breath – the rain was very light by then, and when we reached the top there was short burst of sun!

Seawinds – Kings Falls – Rosebud

Then it was back downhill, stopping off at Minister’s Lookout (named not after the religious ministers kept in business by the number of deaths brought about by the very steep drop but for Joan Kirner, minister for environment when the trail was completed), admiring the vegetation and the signage. The walking signs often contained a larger and smaller stick figure. We at first thought this was a bit creepy and paedophilic, then changed our minds and thought maybe the kids were actually the creepy ones, but finally realised that these were the signposts for giant fanciers and their giants – they can only meet in secrecy in the hills, you see.

We were passed at one point by some extremely speedy walkers. They were obviously very fit, had good shoes (we always check, you know, and judge people on their footwear!), and were either heading somewhere with purpose or had overheard our conversation about hiding bodies in the surrounding bushland. Fortunately we found no bodies, nor did any of our party expire, despite my tendencies to taste all the strange berries and fruit we found along the way. The most notable of these occasions occurred later in the afternoon, when I discovered that a yellow, vile-tasting fruit made my tongue feel tingly and odd – lucky I only ever put the smallest smear on my finger and then lick it, and have water on hand to rinse my mouth. DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME, KIDS!

Once again, we hit more open countryside, and made the decision to detour to King’s Falls. This afforded us a bit of sun, a lovely view of the bay (and a large ship), and a sign containing a photograph of a hot man with a gorgeous mullet. Back in the trees, the landscape changed again, with an airy dappled atmosphere, and we pushed on to the lookout and around half the circuit to morning tea. Just before our rest stop we were lucky enough to see a pair of Crimson Rosellas. I had forgotten just how intense the red and blue of their feathers are. These ones were not particularly concerned about humans nearby, but I couldn’t get close enough for a very good photo. We stopped for white chocolate and blueberry scones at the entrance to Waterfall Gully Road, with SJ and I emptying the contents of our water bottles into D’s water bladder – it has proved to be very useful, and great for keeping hydrated when we are all getting too tired to go through the hassle of getting out our bottles.

We walked along the road and down a very steep incline into Rosebud, where we saw a man with an amazing moustache (unfortunately no pictures). I for one really noticed the difference walking on concrete and asphalt, and was very pleased to leave the town and reach our agreed upon resting place at the corner of Duells and Gardens Road. We had a leisurely cup of tea, applied our sunscreen, tended our wounds – I took off my boot and let my foot enjoy the fresh spring air – and admired the view of lush green hills (we were lucky to arrive after a couple of weeks rain), horses and vineyards. Our tea break took place at the first hygiene station of the walk. These foot-cleaning stops are designed to help prevent the spread of phytophthora cinnamomi, or Cinnamon Fungus, which kills many native plant species, and the resulting tree skeletons can be observed a number of times along the path. Here we were passed by the Hiker With No Sense Of Humour, who exchanged a few words with us and powered off ahead. Although it’s true that not many people can or do walk 20kms in a day, we are constantly reminded of our amateur status – or is it our sensibility that makes hiking more of an excuse to eat delicious food in new, beautiful places?

Rosebud – Greens Bush – Boneo Rd

With our well-cleaned boots (I highly recommend it!), we crossed the barrier to a beautiful section of the walk, bordered by private property, both farmland and scrub. In the interests of the next hikers to travel this path, there is a bench with a view of the opposite direction a few metres down the trail, and also a plaque dedicating the next section of the walk to a woman (possibly Stefanie Rennick, but this is going on scant information gleaned from the internet!) who was instrumental in bringing the path formal recognition. Much to my annoyance when I reached the bottom of the hill I realised I did not take a photo of the sign, which listed this person as a hiker, a naturalist and (I quote) “A woman for all seasons”. What does that even mean? My chagrin was somewhat alleviated by the unexpected glimpse of several Eastern Grey Kangaroos in one of the bordering paddocks – the first time D has seen kangaroos in the wild! After a long, straight, but by no means boring walk through farmland, a stretch of lovely boardwalk, and for a decent time along an unsealed public road, we reached Greens Bush, and decided to have lunch where the trail meets Greens Road.

Lunch was a delicious affair of cold egg, zucchini and cheese pie, roast chips of potato and parsnip, and some nuts and veg*n jubes for immediate energy. As we sat enjoying our food, the HWNSOH (so called because when I jokingly asked him if he’d been all the way to Cape Schanck and back, he deadpanned ‘No’ . . .) passed us again on his way back to his car. Although humourless, he kindly stopped for a few words, letting us know that the rest of the path to Boneo Rd was “pretty much flat” – this, of course, made us call him a liar every time we had to go up or down a hill in the course of the next 9km (or thereabouts). We were also treated to a few minutes of seeing a raptor circling above us – I didn’t have my glasses so I couldn’t really gauge the distance/size, and I now forget if the tail was wedged or forked, but odds are it was a Wedge-tailed Eagle or a Black Kite (I know, I make a terrible ornithologist). After lunch we pressed on for an hour through more gorgeous bushland and a couple of valleys. It was in this stretch we encountered our first runner (WHUT?) and the disgusting fruit I suggest you never taste. My energy was flagging quite badly, so we stopped at the cross-paths that indicated we had only 4 point something kilometres to go and ate the apples I’d bought the day before (I got the Granny Smith, D the Fuji and SJ the Royal Gala – yum!). Some not-very-serious walkers passed us on their afternoon stroll (yes, we judge your footwear), and also another runner. Cheered by these signs of life, we pulled ourselves up and set off.

The last hour was not the hardest for me physically (that barrier had already been crossed before our apple break), but it was definitely exhausting mentally as the sun began to drop behind the hill to our right and we walked on through the late afternoon into the stillness of dusk. We decided that even if E and L were waiting for us we would sit beside the car and have a cup of tea. The track meets Main Creek, and adheres closely to the creek’s path albeit halfway up a steep hill. This section of the path is narrow, and needs a little maintenance – especially to clear up the enormous weeds and thistles growing into the track. There were many signs of bush creatures and recent rain in the animal and waterfall tracks crossing our path. As we neared the end of the walk, we could hear the road, and by sheer luck I was walking several metres ahead of SJ and D and so was able to gesture to them to be quiet in time to not scare off a nearby Swamp Wallaby (aka Black Wallaby, it is the only surviving member of the genus Wallabia). It did that thing that wallabies do – that is, it stared at us and stayed absolutely still. YOU CAN’T SEE ME! I AM JUST A STUMP! NOT A WALLABY AT ALL! That sighting (unfortunately the photo is shit due to low light) cheered us up, and we soon reached the road and our long awaited cup of tea. It was the best cup of tea ever.

Picture by E, found here

In all, it was a fantastic walk, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has some experience doing long walks. If not, there are many points at which you can join the trail for a few kilometres or an easy afternoon stroll. There are no facilities or water taps on the trail (though there are some near the start if you are prepared to make detours), so carry enough water and food for your walk. It could be horrendous in the heat of summer and very difficult if it is pissing with rain (we agreed that had it kept raining we would have called it off at around Greens Bush), but we were lucky and in spring is beautiful – all the wildflowers were gorgeous. We will probably do it again another time – maybe starting later in the walk and going all the way to Cape Schanck.

16 August 2008


I am currently utterly entranced by Richard Long's "Art Made by Walking in Landscapes". I've never read, seen, or heard anything that so exactly echoes, magnifies the way I feel about walking.

Oh! It's amazing! This is the kind of travel that inspires me - it's not about Point A to Point B, but about reconceptualising what it means to move through space and time, through a world that is just as moveable, changeable, and alive as the walker. Ohhhhhhhh!!!


Tomorrow we are going to walk most of the 2 bays walk from near Dromana to Cape Schanck. I hope it doesn't rain TOO much! Now, off to pack and cook some lunch (and tea for tonight). I'm having a love affair with puff pastry at the moment. I suspect lunch will involve some excuse to cook more!

3 August 2008


let's see if this works!