Things to see (with pictures)

Update 28/3/2015

Mount Elephant – A self guided tour 


This is an introduction to Mount Elephant for visitors who do not have a guide.

Please tell us if you want other items added.

You can generally find more details on the "Study Mount Elephant" pages.

Things to see: Highway to the car park


Stonework at the entrance created by Alistair Tune using rocks from the railway ballast pit and burnt railway sleepers in memory of the 1944 and 1977 fires. Funded by Uebergang Foundation.





Track runs beside the railway line of 1910.

Trees here were planted in 2004. We have planted trees elsewhere each year since we we bought it.




Ballast was quarried in 1910 to 1913 with shovels direct into rail wagons by 20 men.






A small eruption point appears to be between the highway and the mount.


Reception Centre



Here is a small visitor centre with brochures and a rock display.
We are planning for another centre with more area and facilities.

Volunteer guides are on hand to help.
Here you can collect a brochure with map, basic details and emergency phone numbers.




There is a basic "portaloo" for your comfort. However it is preferable to visit the main toilets in Derrinallum.


Types of rock
are in a collection at the visitor centre. many are unique to Mount Elephant
There are many types of basalt and crystals of olivine and pyroxene.

The volcanoes in the district have their unique types of basalt and crystals.






There is a picnic table made by the local P12 College students.

Trees beside the track were planted in 2000 and 2001.


Ballast pit to the crater


The main track is called the Jack & Millie Borbidge track after a major benefactor.






You may find pieces of olivine or small volcanic bombs along the track.






Bird nesting boxes are fitted to some tree.See if you can find them.

They are generally near the tracks or signs.


many birds are starting to make their own nests. See if you can spot some.





There is another winding walking track cutting up through the trees to the saddle.

It is presently very basic and we are working to remove some of the hazards.







You may see some kangaroos and wallabies (or their scats) who have moved into this bush.








There is an interesting weed (swanplant) which is host to a migratory “wanderer” butterfly.

Click on the blue names for more details.







Rabbits are a constant problem. They live in family warrens.







There are places to rest and admire the view.




Keep a look out for small “volcanic bombs” and olivine dislodged beside the track.

Bowl



A breach in the cone has formed a sheltered bowl leading to the crater.

Here was the site of “Music on the Mount” festivals in 2000 to 2003.


To the east is a track to a lookout over Derrinallum and Lake Tooliorook

You can see the access track and railway line.

To the right is a diagonal fenceline which continues up over the mount into the crater.


The wire of this original boundary fence can still be followed running down into the crater and dividing the mount into 3 properties.

These diagonal fences runnortheast, southwest and northwest.








To the south is a track to the crater rim and a rocky walk to the floor and the plug of the volcano.




On the south side of the crater are some fenced areas of original tree violet Hymenanthera dentata .




To the left of the crater track a walking track takes you clockwise around the rim.

Above this track is a spectacular area of “running postmanKennedia prostrata






Or you can follow the vehicle track to the right to the summit and then anti-clockwise around the rim (if you wish).







Crater to the summit


There are still some logs of the original sheoak, banksia and blackwood forest from before the fires of 1944 and 1977.









Much of the mount is covered with a fine native “wallaby grass”, with seeds in your socks!






Photos in 1912 showed scattered Casurinas, Banksia and Blackwood about each 30m.

We are trying to restore these scenes.





Scattered over the mount are green “crop circles” which may be mushroom rings.. or UFO landings??

A small snake has been recently seen on this track. We think they are few as there is not much for them to eat.

Each autumn there is a “fun run” from Derrinallum to the summit. Entries are welcome.




At the summit there is a rabbit proof fence to keep majority of the rabbits to the western slope.

You can see native wallaby grass to the east and capeweed and patersons curse to the west.





The solar panel and GPS antennas on the trig point helps guide cropping tractors “hands free”.

The trig point helps surveyors map the country before satellite navigation

A fire spotting webcam sends a wifi signal 9km to an internet connected farm house.





Around the southern rim.


Eugene Von Guerard in 1858 sat here and sketched the view to the north across the crater.





This is his sketch (NGV)




The purple flower in spring is patersons curse, a bad weed which we have to spray each year.

A recently introduced flea beetle is starting to attack various parts of the plant.





Look for a stunted tree violet shrub where hawks eat the rabbits they catch. You may find a “lucky” rabbit's foot!






View from the summit.

At the summit there is a lookout map.

“On a good day you can see forever.....”

To the north near Beaufort is Mt Cole. Distant 70km.

NNW near Buangor is Langi Ghiran (950m high)



NW 5km distant is Deep Lake, which is good for camping, boating, fishing.


NW past Ararat is the Mount William range of the Grampians. Mount William made of sandstone and is 1167m high. It is distant 140km.

West at Mortlake is Mount Shadwell, another volcano.




South at Camperdown is Mount Leura which is also a volcano. It is sitting on the rim of a maar.



East 5km distant is Lake Tooliorook which is good for camping, fishing, boating and bird watching.


Behind Lake Tooliorook is Lake Gnarpurt and Lake Corangamite. These are RAMSAR feeding grounds for birds migrating from northwest China and Siberia.



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