People often think of Australia as hot, dry and dusty. They’re not altogether wrong, but it’s not always like that.
A line from one of my favourite Australian poems talks of Australia as a land “of droughts and flooding rains”.
We’ve certainly had those flooding rains lately.
Mt Emu Creek usually meanders quite sedately through farmland in western Victoria where I live, and joins up with the Hopkins River north of Warrnambool.
Recently though, it turned the farmland into a floodplain and created some new, beautiful imagery of its own.
Driving from Darlington to Camperdown in the Western District of Victoria, the Cloven Hills provide a dramatic backdrop for rocky farmland near the community of Bookaar.
Red Rock is a dormant volcano near Alvie in western Victoria which offers spectacular views of lakes, craters and dramatic landforms that are the result of volcanic action over thousands of years. It is believed to be a younger volcano than others nearby such as Tower Hill near Warrnambool, Lake Purrumbete near Camperdown, and Mt Elephant at Derrinallum. The views from the lookout are breathtaking: craters, lakes, hills and folds that rise dramatically out of the earth, and a patchwork of farms that thrive on the rich volcanic soil.It’s no wonder they call this “Lakes and Craters Country”.
On Coragulac Hill near the peak of Red Rock, is the War Memorial for Alvie and Dreeite servicemen who fought “for God, King and Country” as stated on the stone memorial. As I stood and read the names, I was very aware of the fact that it was exactly 100 years ago that some of these men were fighting and dying for our freedom. I spent two minutes in silence and finished with “Lest We Forget”. It just seemed like the right thing to do.
The no-through road runs along the eastern ridge of the northern end of Devils Gully. You can see right across the gully to the farms, feedmills and the road to Warrnambool on the other side. Walking down the road, the gully opens up to afford views of patchworked farm paddocks and the trees that line fences and laneways. Old farm buildings and an abandoned house add authentic rustic character to the scenery.
The Stony Rises are found between Camperdown, Pirron Yallock and Cobden in Victoria’s Western District.
The fields are full of volcanic rock, a testament to the fact that the dormant volcanoes in the area were once far more active than they are now. Ever since settlement, local farmers have used these rocks to create stone walls that divide their farms into paddocks. While some have fallen into disrepair, others are still maintained and used today.