East Gippsland has the most diverse range of forest wilderness still left standing in Victoria.
A: Lakes Entrance
B: Orbost - Bonang Hwy C612
C: Brown Mountain, Goongerah
Brown Mountain is just one of the many rainforest walks available when you make your way up the Bonang Hwy into the Errinundra National Park.
The Brown Mountain walk is accessed via the Legge Road, off the Bonang Highway. Take care as this is not signposted properly. Use your GPS or maps diligently.
How to get there:
Leave Lakes Entrance on Princes Hwy to Orbost.
First turnoff into Orbost (to Marlo), continue through the town centre. The road will split, take the right hand direction to continue following the Bonang Hwy (C612).
Drive along Bonang Rd/Hwy until just before the intersection turnoff to Bonang or Bendoc.
Before the large sign, Legge Road takes off on the right. Drive for 2.1 km along here and the walking track starts just before the large tall messmate tree on the left side of the road. Can't be missed.
This forest is extremely rich in arboreal (tree dwelling) mammals, mostly due to the extraordinarily diverse tree species.
It contains a rare stand of mixed eucalypts all of similar ages - including the Mt Grey Gum (Eucalyptus cypelocarpa), Errinundra Shining Gum (e.denticulata), Messmate (e.oblique), Cut-tail (e.fastigata) and the East Gippsland Peppermint (e.croajingalensis).
To have such a mix of trees growing so closely is rare. This provides an abundant source of food throughout the year.
Age of the forests
As you walk through these forests, take note of the age of the trees.
The term old growth doesn’t mean all trees are decrepit and about to fall down. It means there is a mix of ages - with a large number being the ‘great grandmas’ with their canopy having dead branches and many hollows.
Younger generations are still growing throughout and underneath.
There are also the native bush rats (clean and cute) and small native marsupials called the Dusky and Agile Antechinus.
These two are like large mice but with delicate pointy noses and pouches to carry their young in. They hunt and eat insects and other smaller animals like frogs and lizards.
Info kindly supplied by www.eastgippsland.net.au
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