Gapsted Hills, September 14

Despite dark and cloud-wreathed hills (as viewed from the Gapsted cricket ground, where the walk began) and the thundering Stoney Creek beneath our feet, the sky was soon to break into blue. This meant that the six participants of this walk hardly had a wet foot by the completion of the first 8km.

Then it was up through farm paddocks, and onto the Gapsted Track into the Stanley Forest where a few early pea flowers, and the odd purple spray of sarsaparilla, could be seen. We soon left the track, and followed a motorbike trail on its meandering way through the bush above Long Flat Creek.

This lead through pleasantly undulating terrain, with one steep downward pinch to the creek crossing, where morning tea was held. We then encountered many flowers – a total of seven species of orchids, and numerous colourful fungi.

The next stage followed Long Flat Creek downstream. With creek song, and countless rivulets, plus the oozings from ancient mine shafts, well may we say that the hills were alive with the sound of water!

Back on the Gapsted Track, the party passed by the remains of the Chinese Dam, and then through to what had been the once thriving hamlet of Gapsted.

Once at the cricket pavilion we enjoyed lunch, and a fine view of sunlit hills.

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