Echidna Trail


The bush around this area was sparse with blackened, burnt trunks of eucalypts (Family: Myrtaceae) scattered around. Fire is a natural part of the ecology of the bushland and controlled burns are conducted for several different reasons. the main one being to reduce fuel build-up and to decrease the likelihood of serious (hotter) fires from being triggered. Controlled burning also stimulates the germination of certain plants, ultimately renewing the grasslands. Eucalypts produce shoots (known as epicormic shoots) from burnt trunks, and banksias (Banksia spp.) store seeds in certain woody fruits which open after a fire. The burnt ground also helps the banksia seeds when they germinate as the fire would have cleared the earth of a lot of the competition. Fire also induces the growth of the flower spike of grass trees (Xanthorrhoea preissii).

After about 2.5 km, the trail that was ascending along the side of the hill began to veer left heading westward instead, still ascending but instead heading directly to the summit of Woodsome Hill. The trail passed through Wandoo (Eucalyptus wandoo) woodland, probably the most ubiquitous of all the eucalypts, with troops of kangaroos lingering around gazing at us curiously from a distance as we passed by. Another half an hour of climbing brought us to the summit of Woodsome Hill (273 m) where we stopped for a short rest. The trail went downhill from that point (something the group seemed to welcome!), veering left once again at a sign marking 'Dicky Jones' Gully' before heading south-west to another junction. The Echidna Trail took a left turn here heading in a south-easterly direction that lead back to the carpark where we had started.

The walk back to the carpark was entirely downhill, almost a welcome cool-down before the end of the hike. It passed several junctions along the way as well as boulders off to the right - one of which had a tiny bleating lamb (Ovis aries) perched atop of it. Before we knew it though, we had reached the carpark, and I caught myself wishing that the hike had been just a little bit longer..

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