Pyramid Rock and Redcliff Head Lookout Report

LEADER: Graham Patterson FACILITATOR: Judith Sise

Saturday Morning’s adventure to Pyramid Rock and Redcliff Head Lookout.

At around 9 o’clock, sixteen Naturalists set off in cars gaily displaying purple ribbons behind Graham with Judith bringing up the rear. This was an easy introduction to the geology of Phillip Island – a pyramid of volcanic basalt, (hence the name Pyramid Rock), on a granitic base. Redcliff Head was the site of an earlier mine for the red pigment from volcanic tuff. An unidentified bird of prey circled above, and a pied cormorant sat on the sea swept rocks below. The board walk was between coastal flora, all named by the walkers or Graham!

Saturday afternoon’s adventure to Rhyll Inlet involved carpooling so there was no retracing of the route. The SEANA President and delegates reminded the Leader of the AGM at 5 pm required punctuality. Graham, as always was nonplussed, drew all’s attention to Rhyll’s historic visitors, George Bass (named Phillip Island, Snapper Island), Lieutenants James Grant and John Murray (renamed Snapper Island to Phillip Island) and Captain Baudin and d’Urville (French explorers) who prompted an English settlement just in case the French had colonial intentions. Then, the walk through the mangroves and beyond to the mud flats where egrets, royal spoonbills, ibis, sooty oystercatchers, black swans, and terns were seen. Traversing the swamp melaleuca/banksia forest, swamp wallabies and small fungi were photographed. The Diamond Dolly Quarry of the only cretaceous outcrop on the Island was found and admired. We arrived in time for the meeting!

Sunday morning’s stroll along the boardwalks at the Nobbies to the underwhelming Blowhole! As always, a chilly wind searched for loose hats. A penguin conveniently posed at its small hole amongst the newly named Ecological Vegetation Class, (Bird colony succulent herb land) and Cape Barren Geese and silver gulls landed on the verdant hillocks. Graham suggested a further walk along Cat Bay but the smell of coffee from the Nobbies Centre Café was too alluring!

Sunday afternoon’s trip was to visit the Forest Caves then to the Scenic Reserve, close by. Being low tide, many other tourists made the short climb over the sand dunes and along the beach to a outcrop of basalt where the sea has worn away tunnels (caves). The Scenic Reserve was evidence that nature can resurrect itself after human intervention (farming and suburban development and “Hooning”). A lovely sunny afternoon.

Thank you to Graham Patterson, a knowledgeable, calm leader.