Here I am again with ‘two posts in the one day’ syndrome. Hopefully in the coming year I can cram in a few more entries than what I’ve done in the past. That’s the theory, but it’s open to pitfalls mainly due to the ‘I couldn’t be stuffed’ feeling after a day spent at work polishing my trousers.
A few weeks back I was up in the Mt Buffalo area, which is a fantastic spot to visit any time of the year. There’s a spot tucked away in the park which I’ve eyed off before, but never got around to visiting. The Monolith, Mt Buffalo National Park. What is it?
Well, as the picture shows, it’s a whopping big rock that looks precariously balanced, with a ladder up the side to climb to the top. This by the way is not a hike, as it’s about one kilometre from a car park, but it fits in perfect with my short post theme and a chance to upload a million photographs.
Oh, this rock is also a bit of a Mount Buffalo institution. You only need to peruse some old photos on the State Library of Victoria website. The SLV is my favourite image archive if I’m looking for something ‘ye olde’.
A quick search came up with quite a few Monolith photos with one which caught my eye. A photo by Alice Manfield who was a Mount Buffalo identity in the early 1900’s. Here’s the picture, which the SLV states was taken between ca. 1890 – ca. 1930. Yeah okay, I’ve no idea how they can’t narrow it down a little more, but a 40 year bracket is good enough I suppose.
That big rock with its safety fence on the top is visible for miles around the park and I was pretty keen to get to the top of it finally. So, I set off on a short meandering path…
…which led up amongst huge boulders until the Monolith was clearly visible. It really is quite imposing up close.
As I climbed the final section towards the ladder on the side I was feeling mildly pumped. This is of course not going to be that simple is it? As my son Ben says, “Your blog is called a fiasco which means you’re cursed. Nothing will go to plan”. Well, he’s right as I reached the bottom of the ladder and noticed something plastered in the middle of it.
Yes, there was a sign telling me the ladder was closed and to deter anyone climbing it a few of the lower rungs have been removed. Huh? All these years and the one time I actually get to it, they’ve closed it? I stood there for a while contemplating the surroundings.
I showed you an old photo from the SLV, but I’ve actually got one of my own. Here’s a photo of my mum, standing on top of the Monolith in 1950.
As I gazed upwards, I didn’t ponder for too long. I was going to climb it. Yeah yeah, maybe it’s completely ridiculous, but the rock couldn’t deny me after all this time. I adopted a wide legged, cowboy approach over the missing rungs and then sauntered up to the top. I was feeling the pressure of the criminality of my actions though, and was positive an SAS team was being mobilised to take me out. Oh, there’s a nice view up top.
At 1723 metres, the Horn is the highest highest point of the plateau and it was visible, although in danger of disappearing behind cloud.
I’d visited Mt McLeod earlier in the year and I could see its trig point perched on top of the summit.
What else? Not a lot, as I didn’t spend too long up there, as I was sure a Black Hawk was on its way to clean me up. Just before heading down, I perused the ladder. It really is quite steep when viewed from the top.
Quickly dropping down, I was back in the land of the law abiding and my visit to the Monolith was done. How quick was that? Don’t worry, I might pad out the post a little more with a bunch of pictures.
I was going to head back to the summit of Mt Buffalo, as it has a magnificent, sheer rock face, with a great view of the surrounding area. Surely I’d be rewarded with some nice photos.
My hunch was correct…
…as the sky was full of cumulus clouds…
…which were joined by a jet, trailing a contrail.
It’s not just the sky to look at. The whole area was full of intriguing items.
There’s an interesting sounding walk, which starts in the valley below and climbs all the way to the top of Mt Buffalo. It’s a 1000 odd metres of climbing in about 10 km and it’s called guess what? The Big Walk of course.
I’ve thought about doing it for some time, but it requires the logistics of having a car at the top. Well, I could walk up and down, but it’s not ideal. Little does he know it, but Smuffin is getting roped into the walk in January as he’s up there on holidays. I should let him know before he reads this I suppose. Here, have another fluffy cloud for good measure.
There’s a nice little hut next to the car park, which is always handy for the ‘moody shot out the window’ method.
Flowers are part and parcel of any alpine area and although the bending over is traumatic for my back, the pictures usually turn out okay.
That’s not the last stop in this photo extravaganza though, as there are waterfalls nearby to attend to. A humid walk amongst the trees is worth it to see the Lower and Upper Eurobin Falls. The Ladies Bath Falls, which is the first on the particular track is the most photogenic of the three. Let’s have a look.
The water swirling around the rocks was also a perfect photographic opportunity.
Following this, I set off for a bit of an uphill slog, which brought me to the Lower Eurobin Falls. After heavy rain, I can imagine these would look great, with a vast wall for the water to run down.
I did wander to the Upper Eurobin Falls, but they’re a little blocked by trees, plus my camera battery was dying on me. All in all though it’s a worthy spot to visit if the water is flowing.
Well, that’s about it. Do you realise that’s two blog entries in one day? The theory should be to let the last entry die its natural deat,h before pumping out a new post. This is a whole new technique though, so batten down the hatches, I’ve gone berserk! Let’s finish off with some more random photos…
Do you care about the names of flowers?
Your second one is a twining fringe lily.
The other two, I'm not sure enough to say 🙂
Love the "Children Roaming Dust" sign!
Yes, I do care about the names of the flowers! Even more so now that I've learned I should be giving all of my images a name when I upload them. I can't have photos labelled, 'flower' all the time! I do need to get a flower handbook going. I've got a bird book, so I've got that bit covered 🙂 Maybe I'll email you my flower photos as I get them, so you can put a name to them for me?!
Yes, I thought that sign was quite humorous as well! Thanks for dropping by 🙂
Sure, I'd happily become your flower guru, though I am merely an enthusiastic amateur working off a book and teh internets!
Well, the internet hurts my brain when it comes to plants! What's with websites that say, "type in the name of the plant and get a result". I don't know the bloody plant!!! That's why I'm on the website!!! It's painful just when I look at my research into gum trees. Do you realise how many there are?!
I think I've found the perfect book though, but unfortunately it's not out until May. It's called 'Plants of the Victorian High Country. A field guide for walkers' by John Murphy/Bill Dowling. Surely that is the book I need!
Until then I will be in touch with any unusual plants I come across!
Hi Greg, Thanks for posting this. I used to visit Mt Buffalo as a child (I'm nearly 30) and stay at the chalet with my family. I remember doing the monolith walk with my mum. And visit the beautifully frozen lake catani. Even though you posted this a few years back, your photos have really taken me back. Thank you.
Hi Camilla, thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment.
Yes, I love Mt Buffalo as well and it's a pity it's a bit of a long haul to visit on the weekends. The chalet used to look so spectacular and I think I read recently it's to be renovated? The whole area up there is fantastic and I keep meaning to go back for an extended wander up across the Buffalo plateau. Maybe this year, as believe it or not, but I've never made it to the highest point (The Horn)! A lot of unfinished business for me.
Thank you for the nice pictures. And thank you for climbing the rock and showing us the sign. Now I don´t need to climb it. The ladder can rest in peace.
Not that I will ever come near it, as I live in Europe…..
Found this blog looking for Mount Monoloth. http://i.imgur.com/gR3llCH.jpg
But that´s a different story.
I'm actually hoping to revisit the Monolith and give that closed ladder another go, as I've got a photo taken in the 1950's of my mother standing on top of the rock. I'd like to do a 'then and now' shot. One day!
Okay, I think Mt Monolith in your attached image is a billion times bigger than this rock. Impressive!
Thanks for dropping by!