Intrepid Tales on Insulin

Type 1 life adventures

Wandering Wednesdays #1: Tom’s Mine, Greater Bendigo National Park

IMG_0399One day a kid I went to school with turned up unannounced with a stark white patch on his head.  Not grey. Pure white. About the diameter of an apple. It stayed like that on his head for the remainder of our school years. It might even still be there. The story going around was that he had dyed his hair with eucalyptus oil.

Me, I use eucalyptus oil as a vapour when I’m getting a cold, to wash floors and as an air deodoriser in the dunny after a newspaper reading session.  It might not cut it as a hair dye but it’s been tried and tested for decades in the other departments.

As it turns out, the area I visited for the inaugural Wandering Wednesday was once a source for eucalyptus oil production. There is a variety of eucalypts along the trail to Tom’s Mine including the Green Mallee, Yellow Gum, Grey Box, Red Box and Red Ironbark. Parks Victoria have even kindly named and signposted some of the beauties along the way.

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The most significant use of this land though was for alluvial gold mining.

Bendigo was gold rush country from the 1850s and the impact on the landscape is highly evident along the 5.5km return track.

The advice is that you shouldn’t detour too far off the track in case you fall down old mines.

IMG_0425Lucky then that the path is so very flat, easy to follow and well arrowed.

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I think I’ll toddle back here in springtime.  The wildflowers are supposed to pretty amazing. It seemed quite stark here. That was partly because it is so dry at this time of year but also because it was such divergent terrain from the Macedon Ranges area I’ve been doing so many of my walks in.  Here there was red dirt and it was a bit scrubby – so different and yet just over an hour from home. Good spot for camping or picnics though.  Not sure the eucalyptus spray would be quite as effective in the compost toilet.

IMG_0344As I arrived at the Shadbolt picnic car park the Silver Bullet weather gauge told me it was 22.5C. When I departed it was up at 30.5C, which is mild for the times.  The morning was merely a quick blip of pleasant walking weather before the next onset of sweaty armpits and sleepless nights hits us.

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