Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wyperfeld National Park..Part 2.

This is "Rabbiter' Camp", or more aptly, what is left of it. It is situated on Racecourse Road. The rabbit plague devastated plants and animals of the Mallee, changing people's lives and the landscape forever. A severe rabbit plague gripped the district in 1873- and so a slaughter was on!
The rabbit plague then seen farmers turn from their crops that were ravaged and their sheep that were starved to making money from culling of rabbits. Numerous ramshackle huts like the one in this image were erected and dotted along the Mallee landscape.

The sign reads .."Wonga Hut", a welcome shelter!
This hut was built in 1834 by the Committe Management to provideshelter for visitors to the Southern End of the Wyperfeld National Park, named "Wonga Lake Station". Until 1968, the only water available was that which was collected via the pipes on the roof of this hut, which was collected into a rain water tank.
Early houses of the region were built with logs and a bark roof. Later on, they were constructed out of corrugated galvanised iron as you see here. Presently there are some wonderful facilities here at the Wonga Lake area for visitors to the park. There is also an extensive collection of history to be seen in the visitors centre.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wyperfeld National Park, Victoria, Australia

Wyperfeld National Park is in Victoria's Mallee Region. It was declared a National Park in 1921. Wyprefeld lies 450km North West of Melbourne. It is a place that early settlers came to from different areas of the World. One of them being Germany, for which the name Wyperfeld originates.

This Mallee Area is extremely hot in the Summer months. So just how did the early settlers respond to the heat of the Summer months in the Mallee region? Pioneers needed to use what they had at hand. Resourceful settlers only needed an axe and local native pines to build a solid fence without nails or wire. (The style of fence was called "Chock and Log") But, how did they survive the Summer's heat without running water ? The answer lies in the diagram depicted below..

Charles Wilson occupied Wonga Lake region during 1863- 1865. This was a period of severe drought. He built a structure called A "Whim". This structure draws water from a well and although salty, was suitable for stock to consume.

In use, a horse was harnessed to the end of long horizontal pole joined at its centre to a vertical pivot. This allowed the horse to move in a circular path. One end of a rope was fixed to the pole at the opposite end to the horse and guided over a pulley suspended from a frame built above the well. The other end of the rope was tied to a bucket that was lowered and raised as the horse moved around the path.

The Whim set up..

The Chock and Log Fence..

Spring time is apparently the best time to visit the National Park, the abundant wildflowers Spring into life, with approximately 450 species of native plants. River red gum and Blackbox woodlands cover the floodplains of Outlet Creek and its lakes, while Pine-Buloke grow on nearby sand dunes. Seeds that lay dormant for long periods of time come to life and colour the area brilliantly.
Nankeen Kestral Eagle...

Mallee Eucalypts cover the Eastern section of this 365,800 Ha Park. A bird watcher's delight, Wyperfeld is home to over 200 species of birdlife.
Indigenous people "The Wotjobaluk" travelled along Outlet Creek visiting lakes and swamps..eventualy taking the route to the South end of the National Park where Lake Hindmarsh can be found. Such a lovely sight it would be if we were not in drought today!