Francine has been digging around in a pamphlet containing walks in the vicinity of Beechworth and has settled on one taking in Ingram’s Rock, where wild flowers are mentioned. The written route of the walk is actually a circular walk beginning and ending in Beechworth itself but we’ve already explored Beechworth so we chose to begin at one of the more interesting points en route, the Powder Magazine, which also has a parking area. The Powder Magazine was a gunpowder store for the gold mining activity in the late 19th century. It was designed with care so that, should there be an explosion, the blast all went upwards through the roof. Latterly, the roof was removed to prevent vagrants from sleeping in it.
We planned a there-and-back walk through the woodland of Beechworth Historic Park from the Powder Magazine to Ingram’s Rock, which would be a round trip of 6kms.
The path took us along an undulating track, mostly upwards on the way out. Steps had generally been cut on most of the uphill sections to make progress easier. Francine was delighted to find a couple of examples of what she suspected was an orchid on our outbound trip. Her first Ozzie orchid – excellent. As is often the case, precise species is thus far eluding us.
After three kilometres we we arrived at Ingram’s Rock. I was somewhat surprised to find a car parked on our approach. No matter, it had been a most enjoyable walk and the point was to get some exercise. Mr. Ingram was a Beechworth Mr. Bigwig from the mid-1800s. His named was engraved with the expanse of granite before us. Mr. Bigwig had taste; the views were worth the (mostly) gentle climb.
Shortly after beginning our return, Francine discovered another suspect flower beside the path. As she was photographing her new specimen she went into raptures over a third specimen and changed target. She could hardly contain herself, though access was very difficult. Francine had found two more orchids and the last, a Green Spider Orchid, was certainly one of nature’s masterpieces. We found a few more examples on the way down which were easier to access and photograph. Happy camper.
Also on the way back down, for those keen on scatology, we found an example of what we believe to Wombat poo. Wombats have a habit of leaving their scat on prominent rocks to mark their territory and this dollop of poo was certainly on a prominent rock in the centre of the path. There was also a large burrow which could well have been a wombat’s burrow though, since there was debris in the entrance, I doubt that it was still in active use.
Driving back out of the Beechworth Historic Park, we paused by Spring Creek again and met an Ozzie couple on tour bound for Tasmania. They shared an interest in orchids and pointed Francine back up the road a short distance where she’d find a Blue Sun Orchid. Four in a day – good stuff.