Alpha Pinnacle Reserve

9th November 2009
The day was quite hot, exceeding 30 degrees, which made the walk somewhat harder. Initially we followed the track through Chauncy Vale then onto Flat Rock where the first real decision on what route to take had to be made. The left track was taken, partly because it had blue markers, and at the next junction we headed right to eventually pick up and old overgrowing track then through the bush to meet a logging road. The country ahead of hill looked dreadful and came as surprise, because instead of nice bushland it had all been logged and replanted with a Eucalypt plantation right up to the very boundary of the Alpha Pinnacle Reserve . This looked new and the gums were small and even Google Earth still showed the land as forest.
Other minor annoyance from the numerous spider webs all had been going fine until here. Things began to go less than hoped for from here. The first omen was Nigel tripping over an old bit of fencing wire and nose diving over some rocks; fortunately only a very minor injury resulted. The plantation and roading for it had also made the map outdated. There was no option but to walk through this unsightly area, with the only redeeming feature being some patches of Stackhousia (Forest Candles) that were larger than anything we had seen before. Eventually one of the original tracks was located and followed to a lagoon that looked like it had once been a bush retreat of an earlier owner. Beyond this the Alpha Pinnacle Reserve was reached.
Our return followed the reserve boundary, passing an intriguing hollow filled with plants, including strong smelling Bedfordia and Pomaderris heavily in flower. Part way down we made a successful short cut through the bush to meet a logging road, but on reaching the Flat Rock reserve boundary it did a sharp uphill turn and headed back roughly in the direction we had come from. This prompted us to opt for a branch track heading south, but this eventually petered out and left us with an uphill climb to a plateau where we had to walk north anyway to avoid a deep gully. On coming upon another track we followed it for a short distance as it seemed to head towards our goal, but alas it then dropped towards a gully, so after backtracking and following it in the other direction we eventually arrived at where the aforementioned logging road would have taken us. But our route added close to an extra hour to the journey.
A track was spotted that we hoped may allow us to avoid repeating the morning scrub bashing but again it soon changed direction so it was back to our morning tea stop and a push through the bush until we met the track again. Only about 15 minutes added to our day by this little diversion. We were now on a straight forward path so we arrived back at the cars without further complications, although all were feeling quire tired by the long day and heat.
Whilst this won't get marked down as a favourite walk, it was nevertheless a bit of an adventure and also gave us a reminder of the terrible destruction being wreaked on our country, and the plant biodiversity that is being lost from forestry. The contrast between the reserved land of Alpha Pinnacle and that bordering it is stark and dramatic.

Alpha Pinnacle

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