Tour through and around the southern Serra Range

Half day tour. Guide: Diane Luhrs Time: 3 hours
Distance: 60 km.

Sites visited. Cassidy Gap, Victoria Valley Rd, Victoria Point Rd, Henham
Track, Mirranatwa Gap and Grampians Rd.

Mostly good roads except for the short section
of unsealed road along Cassidy Gap Road).
Walking: Short walks at 5 or 6 different sites to examine the flora.
Good boots are recommended.

Trip notes. This tour provides an opportunity to gain a good appreciation of the varied country around and through the
Serra Range of the Grampians National Park. We first headed north along the Grampians Road (Dunkeld/Halls Gap Road) for
good views of Mt Abrupt and Signal Peak. We turned west into Cassidy Gap Road to enjoy the diversity of Spring flora along
the sides of the road and stop at a couple of places to have a closer look at the floral display. We passed through exposed
rocky sections, wet heath-lands, sandy sections and recently burnt regions, and stopped to compare the flora in the adjacent
burnt and unburned sections of this section.

We turned north onto Victoria Valley Road and travelled through farm land for views of Mt Sturgeon, Mt Abrupt, the
Victoria Range and the Temple before turning northeast onto the Victoria Point Road (VPR). Looking south-east from the
VPR we could see the fire-scarred section of the Serra Range (the result of an uncontrolled, extensive prescribed burn).
The road takes us back into the Grampians National Park through River Red Gum woodlands of the outwash
slopes. We stopped at Henham Track for an extended time to explore the diversity of the spring flora at this site. A short
distance from Henham Track is the Mirranatwa Gap – another good stopping place for panoramic views and Grampians
flora. From here we went down the face of Serra Range stopping to look at the extensive expanse of Grass-
trees. We turned south back onto the Grampians Road for our return trip with a stop to look for Tinsel Lilies.

Notes from the tour

As a leader it was a great benefit to repeat the tour as each of the three tours brought new findings at the
different sites inspected along the way. These new findings could then be shared with later participants. The
main focus of the tour was to lead participants to particular examples of orchids in the different locations.
However, the participants were able to share their knowledge of other different flora and of the birds heard and
seen during the tour that ranged through heathy woodland (where Brown Stringy Bark was the dominant
species), to Callitris and Desert Banksia sections of Cassidy Gap Road and onto the River Red Gum plains of
Victoria Valley. I particularly enjoyed the discussions that arose when unusual species were found.

Diane Luhrs

I enjoyed the Diane’s great company and the tour through the Southern Grampians and Victoria Valley. Diane
stopped in many places to view orchids and other varied wild-flowers. Highlights for me were finding the
Grampians Spider Orchid (Grampians Spider also seen 2 weeks ago on Serra Track), the Greenhood at
Mirranatwa Gap, Fringed Hare at Henham Track (with Grampiana) and the Bronze Caladenia and Blotched Sun
Orchid leaves at the same place. Caladenia pusilla was seen at the burnt section on Cassidy Gap Rd. I also
mentioned the Large Duck Orchid seen at the sign on the Piccaninny Track.

Brian Pfeiffer

I think that what I found most exciting was the easy time-line that meant that we could look and re-look at orchids,
so that they filtered into our brains – or mine, and hopefully, some images may stay there and be remembered.
Loved meeting and re-meeting FN people.

On the whole weekend: The three trips – grasslands, orchids and wetlands all built a picture of what is precious in the region. The
wetlands, their interconnections, their vast sizes (and small ones), the drains and what we should now try to aim
for in the future has set my mind thinking. I am most appreciative of the knowledge and generosity of HFNC and wish you well. I very much enjoyed my
second-only campout.

Geraldine Ryan

Bird and plant list

Route map