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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lady Talbot Drive Mountain Ash and Ferns

The tall Mountain Ash - Eucalyptus regnans, is the world’s
tallest flowering plant, reaching heights of more than
100 metres. Extensive Mountain Ash forests occur in
Victoria's Central Highlands (east of Melbourne), the
Otway Ranges and Strzelecki Ranges in Gippsland. They can reach heights of 150 metres and their girth can exceed 15 metres at the base. The only other species that comes a close second in height is the Californian Redwood ( Sequoia sempervirens).

Mountain Ash can live for up to 500 years and they creates a shady canopy for a number of other native plants including Soft and Rough Tree Ferns and various wattle species. Numerous species of mammals, birds and reptiles inhabit Mountain Ash forest, as it provides nectar and seeds, nesting and roosting sites.

These photos were taken along Lady Talbot Drive which was named after the wife of Sir Reginald Talbot, Governor of Victoria between 1903 and 1908.
Lady Talbot Forest Drive is a round-trip of 46 kilometres and takes about 2 hours if driven at a leisurely pace without stops. Lady Talbot Forest Drive is an unsealed track that follows a winding path through eucalyptus forest along the Taggerty River. The drive begins a few minutes from Marysville, approximately 500 metres east of the town’s centre on the Marysville-Woods Point Road and continues through the Marysville State Forest and the Yarra Ranges National Park. There are magnificent tree fern gullies and creeks lined with ferns and mosses, old growth myrtle beech forest and waterfalls cascading over huge granite boulders. There are several lovely spots along the way for picnics.


These photos were taken not long before the devestating Black Saturday bushfires which destroyed Marysville and other areas of Victoria. 38% of the Yarra Ranges National Park was burnt. The drive is currently closed.

I will be posting about Marysville before, and after the bushfires at a later date.

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