|Between Fish Creek (red star at bottom) to Don Valley |
(red star at top) is Bunyip State Park with Lawson Creek
falls (blue star)
What is a Bunyip? A bunyip is a mythical creature from Aboriginal mythology, said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds and waterholes (wikipedia). This creature is reported to be an imposter who causes mischief. In the location of Bunyip State Park, aboriginals told of many bunyip activities and warned that making ripples in the waters attracted the bunyips.
Bunyip State forest was logged until 1990 and the park is criss-crossed with a network of logging roads. Lawson creek waterfall is in the eastern end of the park far from the main park headquarters. Not a problem - our plan was to take the gravel road through the park and to the other side where we would meet the sealed roads to Don Valley. Well this is a case of a little knowledge being dangerous. We had a map of the park roads but not of the roads north of the park. More on that later.
We drove along a gravel road to the trailhead. This was by far the least developed track we've walked in Australia. The first pictures shows the official viewing area for Lawson's Creek falls. The falls themselves were nice and we enjoyed the walk and visit.
|Official viewing area for Lawson's Creek waterfall|
|Will in front of Lawson's Creek waterfall|
Because I was wearing sandals that weren't ideal for scrambling on steep muddy slopes, I stayed at the official viewing area. Well it turns out that this was not a wise thing. Moving around or maybe moving away from the damp area near the creek would have prevented the leeches from finding me. Australia is the only place that has land leeches, as opposed to water leeches. They sit in damp soil and sense vibrations and heat to find red blooded creatures to suck. The first one I noticed was crawling on my hand. "Hmm, weird black inch worm" I thought. Then a few minutes later another one was on my hand. After some thought, I realized that those wierd black inchworms might have been leeches and checked inside my socks. Sure enough I found a third one there! OK, at this point I had full on leech heebie-jeebies. I didn't find any more and none of them got any of my blood. *whew* Another tick mark on my creepy Australian animal encounter check list!
We continued up the road and reached a part of the forest that was very hot in the fire so that none of the trees survived. It was a eerily beautiful sight. Farther on, we finally exited the north end of the park where we thought we would reach a sealed road. Instead, we saw more gravel road which was blocked by sign that there was a major landslip. We had to go back the way that we came.. driving back through the large log that was in an earlier blog post and out the southern end of the park.
In the end, what should have been a 2.5 hour drive ended up taking 4.5 hours. For this and the leeches, I blame the bunyips!