Rifle Range Reserve, Smiths Gully Walk

A fine two hour walk which loops around Smiths Gully Road and Rifle Range Road.

Another walk from the Eltham Environs Walking Group. This walk begins from Smiths Gully Road which is not far from where the St Andrew’s market is held. Most of the walking is done along unsealed roads and fortunate they are not busy as there’s not much space for vehicles to pass. We only encountered two cars on our trip.

There is a lot of beautiful rural scenery along the roads. Once you reach the Warrandyte/Kinglake you enter bushland leaving all car traffic behind. Further on the clearing is a pleasant place to have lunch if you’re walking over the lunch period. The track up the hill to the right takes you to a serene pond, probably dug out for fire fighting purposes.

On the way home via Rifle Range Road you go past the beautiful Jansz Estate Vineyard and there are some lovely vistas to take in along the road. Meals are not available but you can buy wine. Probably best to call first and just drive there in your car once you get back to it.

The rural scenery continues until you reach your car, one last final climb up a short and a not too steep hill.

Insects

I managed to get a photo of a bee and thanks to Ken Walker from the museum it was identified as a Reed Bee, one of the 1700 native bee species in Australia. So called Reed Bees because they nest in the pithy stems of reed plants.

The scientific name is Exoneura. There will be more and more bees on the yellow flowers as the weather warms up.

Gradient Profile

Using the SHealth app that comes with the Samsung S5 a graph is generated of various statistics of your walk.

Smiths Gully-Rifle Range Road walk gradient profile

 

Walk Description

From the Eltham Environs Walking Group, walk 18M

Commences near the intersection of Smiths Gully Rd and Salters Rush Rd. There is parking for about 6 cars on the Smiths Gully Rd verge, and for 3 in Salters Rush Rd (close to T junction). Proceed further, in an easterly direction, along Smiths Gully Rd, passing Joyce Rd on the right and Fox Rd on the left. Smiths Gully Rd rises gradually, terminating at a gate marked ‘Warrandyte-Kinglake Conservation Reserve’. Fox hunting on Tuesdays and Thursdays (except school holidays) prohibits normal visitors to the park.

Go through gate, and follow the rough path (signposted at the other end as Tuan Track) to a cleared area. About 200m past the cleared area, ignore the track coming in from the left (it leads to the site of an old house).

Near the top of the rise, and beyond a small area burnt in the 2009 fires, two tracks on the right lead downhill to Buttermans Track; ignore these. Thirty metres on, Tuan Track divides; take the left fork, and after 150m a track (Henry’s Track) enters from the right; pass this, and continue to the gate. If, inadvertently, you miss the turn and continue straight ahead to the crest of the hill, turn sharp left on to what is known as Henry’s Track, to return you to Tuan Track.

Go through the gate that leads to a small car park and Rifle Range Rd. Stay on this road, ignoring the minor road 170m further along on the right and Fox Rd, an additional 500m on the left. Also pass a further road on the left (the sign says Rifle Range Rd).

At the bottom of the hill, turn left onto Salters Rush Rd (no sign), pass Ginnivins Rd (on the left) and Cants Creek Rd, to return to the cars.

Map

Smiths Gully-Rifle Range Road walk map

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Photos

The photos were taken on different dates, the first walk on the 29th October and the second walk about a month later.

 

 

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