Subaru 4WD Club of Victoria - February 2021 magazine

Page 9

TRIP REPORTS Mt Cole and Mt Buangor State Parks By Tim Folliard 23 to 25 January 2021 Saturday After setting up camp at Chinaman’s, it was time for a drive up to Ben Nevis. Chinaman’s is a good sized partially grassed, bollarded campground, with drop toilets, a tap (from dam water) and a large shelter area with tables and benches and a fireplace for cold conditions. On the first drive, my intention to find a short cut out of camp but a private road sign had me looping everyone back to camp along the more difficult entrance. OK, everyone ready now, map consulted and a series of dirt roads lead us to Ben Nevis, 877 metres high with great views to the west and south. There is also a memorial to a RAAF aircraft that fatally crashed here in 1941. There is a large tower with TV, radio and mobile coverage for the surrounding area (although not at the campground 5 km away).

Sunday The warming weather had everyone up early so this time I did locate the extension of Chinaman Rd. To call it a road (as many of the tracks here are called) is very generous. It had some good climbs and there were many ruts to contend with but after a short trip we were on Reservoir Road (track) leading into Mount Cole Reservoir. A few groups had set up camp (some with caravans which would have been interesting getting them in) on the few clearings on the southern shore. Tom entered for a swim and found it was shallow for a far distance, the Northern side was much steeper and most likely deeper. No facilities here but a good summer camp area for a small group amongst the trees. Then it was on to Mt Cole (828m). The weather was warming and the track steep and rocky. Missed the track to the summit so had to back track. We then made our way down the mountain and out of the park eventually connecting up with Ferntree Gully Rd (a dirt 2WD road in this case). The southern half of the park is wetter than the north. The southern section of the forest is far more lush than the northern section with a large number of ferns. We walked the Ferntree Waterfalls and the Cascades Mt Cole Reservoir

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