The country around Kinglake is rugged and confusing. Landmarks should be carefully noted when hiking here.
If your bushcraft is good enough, you may care to venture farther; but do not take chances, for this is bad country to get lost in. Moving around the top of this mount you will sec how steep and broken the country is-and in summer there are not even muddy pools in the bottoms of the gullies.
The rough dray track that leads to the south-cast soon becomes a poorly defined footpad which follows the tortuous pattern of the main spur through to Mount Everard, and then away to east and south to the far corner of the forest; but so difficult is the country that red-painted tri- angular signs have been fastened to the trees-at not very frequent inter- vals - to help bushmen find their
The sketch map depicts the first mile or so of this route. You may care to tramp perhaps a quarter of a mile or half a mile along it; but keep clearly in mind that you have I to retrace your steps along it, and
look back every now-and then, so that when you start to go back you may recognise the way.
In the first hundred yards down the spur, you should be pleasantly surprised by a suddenly revealed view far across the Yarra Valley; and you will note the somewhat more luxuri
-ant undergrowth that grows on this
southwards sloping spur. A little farther on, where the spur levels out, the footpath enters a forest of thin, stunted eucalypts, and this stunted growth continues along the spur-top
all the way to Mount Everard.
There are some fine views to the west before Mount Everard is
reached, but only the hardy and the wily will find them, and probably only a bushman would know when
he was standing on top of Mount Everard itself. There is no view, because the trees crowd it out in all directions, and when I was there recently I had to check up on the fall of the land to be sure I had reached the top.
You may wonder why I suggest that you should tramp even a short way into this wilderness. It is something entirely different, and that, surely, is reason enough. Its strange, mournful vegetation, unlike any nor- mally seen by motorists who tour Victoria, will probably either fascinate or repel; and will certainly interest, because it reveals our country in a strange mood.
When you turn back, remember
that the track follows the time
honored route along the top of the spur, and therefore follows the highest ground. Do not try to avoid the climb back to the very top of Mount Beggary because you know your car is on the somewhat lower ground of the saddle to the north. Any attempt to skirt the top will lead into far harder going, and might easily lead into such a mess that you would wish you had never read this article.
One final word: This country tends to make a hot day seem hotter; tackle it on one of the many cooler days