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Walking in Blackhill Reserve, near Kyneton, Victoria

Updated on July 17, 2014
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Bronwen has lived in, taught in and visited a number of countries and loves to share these travel experiences with others.

Sign at Blackhill Reserve Eastern Entrance
Sign at Blackhill Reserve Eastern Entrance | Source

A Hidden Delight

Kyneton is situated in the Macedon Ranges, not far from Melbourne and I have enjoyed several holidays there. I've visited many of the interesting sites in the town, including the old Bakery, I've worshipped in some of the lovely old bluestone churches and seen bluestone schools and several other buildings. However, it was only recently that some friends and I discovered Blackhill Reserve.

What a surprise it was! Nestled among farms in the hills, it is not far to reach by car, but it opens up a different world altogether.

We found that there are two entrances: the main one at the front where picnic tables and information hoardings welcome visitors, and one on the eastern side, where there is a small notice-board, as shown in the photo. I was 'navigator,' and on my map it seemed to me as if that was the way to approach it, so we actually entered through the 'back door' after bumping along narrow, dusty, unmade roads. We later discovered that the approach to the main entrance is much easier to find and has more space for parking.

The route we chose was fine for us, as it made the Reserve seem more remote and mysterious. As we parked the car and climbed out it seemed that all was at peace. We stood and looked across to see sheep grazing peacefully in the shadows and in the far distance kangaroos nibbled the ample turf or hopped lazily from one patch of grass to another. Then we heard the eerie laughter of some kookaburras.

Huge Boulder Beside the Track
Huge Boulder Beside the Track | Source
Another huge boulder on the hill
Another huge boulder on the hill | Source

Huge Boulders

The easy dirt track wound between tall gumtrees, giving a varied vista of farms, blue dams and somnolent sheep. Then we noticed huge, moss-covered boulders towering above us. Some were perched very precariously, while others seemed to be emerging from the earth as if they were eggs about to hatch.

The way was quite long and sometimes steep and rocky. It felt mysterious and even a little scary, reminding us of Ned Kelly country. All was silent. One of us trod on a dry twig and in the stillness it sounded as loud as a gunshot. Then in the distance we heard subdued voices gradually growing closer. We wondered who they were. If we tried to take cover, they surely would have heard us blundering over the crackling twigs that littered the ground.

Then we rounded a boulder and there were walkers, just like us, coming from the opposite direction. The spell was broken. Soon they were followed by a jogging enthusiast who, as he passed down the track, hot and sweaty, panted a breathless, "Good day." And we had thought we had the whole world out here to ourselves! We reached a sign that announced 'The Monolith', and decided that must have been the biggest boulder in the Reserve. it was enormous.

Eventually our legs grew tired. As we sat on some smaller, flattish rocks to share our refreshments a flock of brilliant Crimson Rosellas flew past.

Refreshed, we turned back. On the way down the hill we spotted various wildflowers: Billy Buttons and Eggs-and-Bacon and thought that in Spring there might even be Nodding Greenhoods and other tiny ground orchids, perhaps even long-petalled Spider Orchids or Helmet Orchids and there were sure to be some sundews with their white flowers and sticky, predatory leaves.

Back at the car, we followed the map more carefully this time and actually found the main entrance, but we thought that the route we had chosen had been more interesting and full of small, delightful discoveries. If ever you find yourself in Kyneton, do visit the unspoiled bushland of Blackhill Reserve.

The Friends of Blackhill

There is now a volunteer group called The Friends of Blackhill who work hard to keep the place unspoiled. You can find more information about this delightful sanctuary on their website at <www.blackhillreservekyneton.com.au/>

Part of The Monolith
Part of The Monolith | Source

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    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 5 years ago from Northern California

      Voted up and more. I love day hikes. And now I know of good one if I ever visit Victoria.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you and great! Have you ever visited Australia? Victoria is one of the smaller states, but has a lot to offer.

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 5 years ago from Northern California

      I've only been to Australia online. If I visited in the flesh, I'd be mostly a Nature tourist. In Victoria/NSW, I'd also like to see Wilsons Prom, "The Man From Snowy River" country, the Blue Mountains, and some Mountain Ash forest near Melbourne.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Yes. We bewail the fact that the cities and towns seem to encroach more and more on our bushland, there is still a lot that is unspoilt. The Mountain Ash up in the Dandenongs are truly majestic and there are lots of birds there, too, little ones like blue wrens and yellow robins and then there are the bellbirds and even lyrebirds in Sherbrook Forest, if you are lucky. Victoria also has the Little Desert and the Mallee.

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      mours sshields 5 years ago from Elwood, Indiana

      This looks like a beautiful sight. I may look for more pictures of this on the internet. Thanks for sharing!!

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you for making the time to read this hub. Finding the hill with all those huge rocks hidden away among the trees was such a surprise.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Oh what a great hub which I have to award with that up up and away.

      Take care and enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Eddy, thank you so much. I enjoy your hubs, too, and feel deeply for you as you have been through so much but you haven't allowed it to make you bitter. You're still sweet and lovely.

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