Budj Bim: more volcanic landscape

Camping and walking in Budj Bim National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We calculated that with careful driving, we ought to be able to include a 55 km detour from Port Fairy to Budj Bim on our way to Nelson, without charging.

To spend a couple of nights bush camping we also needed to use utility mode on the Kona which enabled us to recharge the Little Guy battery from the car. The battery in the Little Guy keeps the fridge running and lights on. Utility mode seemed to deplete the Kona battery more quickly than we had expected, so this made the trip a bit more of a stretch than we had hoped. But we were very pleased we made this detour.

The park is an interesting volcanic landscape resulting from the eruption of Budj Bim over 30,000 years ago. The Gunditjmara people developed an extensive system of aquaculture in this area to farm eels up to 8,000 years ago. We were unaware of the availability of the Gunditjmara tour, but certainly would want to do this on our next visit.

We camped in the rocky park campsite. Due to building works onsite, there were very few other people in the campsite.

We enjoyed the easy walk around Lake Surprise, inside an extinct crater.

On day two, we took on the more challenging Lava Canal walk, about 6 km long, about half of which is along the bottom of a rocky lava canal.

The Natural Bridge is a lava formation on the route.

Lots of mossy old stone walls built by the early settlers from the rocks that are all around.

Then there’s a scramble down into the canal gully.

More of the old stone walls crossing the canal.
The area was burnt during the 2019-2020 bushfire season.
Both sides of the lava canal are visible here.

Some of the wildlife we saw there…

Male Common Brown Butterfly

Female Common Brown Butterfly

A Rutilia fly which parasitises beetles.

A tiger snake that was keen to get out of our way …

And the spectacular Feather-horned beetle (see Karen Retra’s page on the Rhipicera) which are seen in large numbers only for a short period each year. The male’s antennae contain about 30,000 receptors thought to be for detecting the scent of the female beetles.

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