Day Trip to the Hills

Posted by in Adventure on October 7, 2012 0 comments

As daylight savings set in, and everyone else was still asleep, I bunked my boys into the car for a day out in the hills. It was going to be a day without technology (for them anyway!), getting some fresh air and exercise, and possibly a little bit of a step back in time.

We set the GPS to Mt Donna Buang Summit Road and allowed it to guide us there. Usually when I have the GPS going, and I have a round-about idea of where I’m going, I veer off the course of the GPS and do what I think is the shorter course…. but this time, I just did what it told me, except for one accidental wrong turn that led me down a walking track instead of a road, and I had to do a twenty-point turn between two ditches to get us out of there!

We eventually found the summit road, with no one in sight, except for a brave group of cyclists trudging their way up the hill. About half way up, and the cloud was whispering through the trees making the rainforest foliage look both mystical and eerie in the dull morning light. I put my fog lights on for the first time since I had bought my car, and discovered that they really didn’t do much except make me more seen to other cars. The cloud became denser, the visibility almost to white, as we slowed to 20km/h with only the white line on the road to guide us through the cloud. The temperature went from 8 degrees Celsius at the bottom of the hill, to 1 degree Celsius at the summit. A summit that was a ghost town of ski-lifts and signs pointing to toboggan runs.

The Summit Car Park
As we decided that it wasn’t the most inviting place to stop for a bite to eat, we made our way back down the windy road and found a Rainforest Gallery. A layered ancient arrangement of ferns, moss, towering gums and other natives dating back hundreds of year on the edge of ‘Cement Creek’… unlike it’s name, it was a beautiful rushing flow of water cascading through the undergrowth of the rainforest.
We stopped here for a fruit break before heading back to the car and finding our next walking trail less than a kilometre from the rainforest… on the edge of Warburton township. There was a car park next to a school with a River Walking trail next to it. We looked at the map, saw that it had a few picnic spots along the way and decided on our journey… from the car, along the river, to the shops for afternoon tea. 
The river walk was pretty from start to finish. The Yarra River was rushing like rapids in the water and there were plenty of attractions along the way, and again, not many travellers to pass by… it was nice just being the three of us. First we met a blue heeler who had a stick that was twice the size of him wanting us to play with him, but wouldn’t let go of his stick. Then we found a Californian Redwood forest, that was planted in 1922, including twin trees joint at the base.
(sorry the river doesn’t look like rapids here!)
After we passed the redwoods, we came across a suspension bridge that was fun to swing on! And the ducks loved it too!
We soon found our picnic spot and stopped for our ham rolls, cut fruit, cabana & little gingerbread men, and the boys used their imagination with all that they saw… there was a tree stump that looked like a pirate face, a tire tube that really wasn’t an ideal rescue tool if someone got swept away in the river, and some great walking sticks to be made out of fallen branches. 
The tire… and a little more evidence that the River was almost in rapid form!
We eventually came to the township and wandered through the shops… the bric a brac shop, the antique shops, the junkie $2 shop, even found a handmade soap shop, a furniture shop where the sales assistant tried to get us to come back in two weekend’s time to participate in a Conversation with Chairs (instead of giving me one brochure on it, she gave me three… must have been a slow day!). We even went into the mystical eastern shop with all it’s hippy clothes and wares, and walking out buying a pan flute and a hard-covered box that looks like a first edition of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ which I’d been looking for as a box to keep our remote controls in on the coffee table (it wasn’t the Alice in Wonderland I was look for, but the style of box). We walked up and down the street trying to find a nice, country style cafe to have a devonshire tea in, and of course, the boys walked into the ‘Rainbow Ice-Cream Shop’ instead… but then decided that they didn’t want it.
We ended up at the tea shop… a place that makes 200 different types of tea, as well as hot chocolates using Lindt chocolate – YUM! As we sat waiting for our scones to be made, we found some magazines dating back to 1954, and proceeded to read them! Hilarious read… apparently smoking affects your libido!
So after we had happy tummies, we walked back along the river, and my boys, after all the moans and groans of getting them up early and going on a long drive, they were happy and thankful that we had a lovely day, with even a request for more adventures!
The three of us – trying not to break into laughter to take the pic!