Saturday, 26 March 2016

Port Campbell Day 4

Today we headed inland to see the local area. We drove through pastoral lands and arrived in Camperdown.

The Djargurd Wurrung people are the traditional Aboriginal people of the Camperdown area, who had lived in the area for tens of thousands of years as a semi-nomadic hunter gatherer society.

The first British settlers arrived in the area after 1835 to establish sheep runs. Although settlement was met with resistance by the local Aborigines, the town's history also records remarkable instances of mutual assistance and friendship between indigenous and settler peoples. Notable on this account is the family of David Fenton, the Scottish Presbyterian shepherd and drover who built the first house in Camperdown in 1853.

In 1883 Wombeetch Puuyuun (also known as Camperdown George) died at the age of 43 and was buried in a bog outside the bounds of Camperdown Cemetery. His friend, James Dawson was shocked at this burial upon his return from a trip to Scotland, and personally reburied Wombeetch in Camperdown Cemetery. He appealed for money to raise a monument, but with little public support, primarily funded the monument himself. The 7 metre obelisk was erected as a memorial to Wombeetch Puuyuun and the aborigines of the district, and has been described as being still inspiring today.

The town was surveyed in 1851 and named Camperdown after the Scottish naval hero Lord Viscount Adam Duncan the Earl of Camperdown. The first dwelling was erected on the site of the present Commercial Hotel in 1853 and the Post Office opened on 1 January 1854 replacing an earlier one in the area named Timboon. It became the service centre for the vast pastoral empires of the region. The Port Fairy railway line was opened in 1883, and later extended as part of the line to the southwest of the state.

By the mid 20th century Camperdown had emerged as a more diverse centre for dairy farming which drew on its rich volcanic soil, for woolgrowing and for produce processing industries. By the late 20th century the town had become a major centre for tourism because of its unspoiled 19th century architecture and as a gateway to the southern tourist attractions of the Otway Ranges, the Great Ocean Road and the 'Shipwreck Coast'. In more recent years, however, the drought in Australia in the 21st has affected Camperdown's dairy industry.

Throughout the whole town are these large avenues of elm trees between the dual carriageways of Manifold St and Tower Avenue, it gives such an appearance of stature and grandeur.

The town is renowned for its classic historical buildings. Central is the 31 m high gothic Manifold Clock Tower, built 1897. Among the many other classic buildings are the 1886-7 two storey Georgian style Court House, the 1863 two storey bluestone (granite) Post Office and Theatre Royal (1890).

The Leura Hotel was rebuilt in 1902, becoming known as the grandest and most comfortable hostelry in the west.

Camperdown lies within the 'Lakes and Craters' region, in the Kanawinka Global Geopark sitting at the foot of Mount Leura which together with nearby Mount Sugarloaf are part of a large extinct volcanic complex known as the "Leura Maar". To the immediate west are the deep volcanic crater lakes Bullen-Merri and Gnotuk.

Kanawinka means the Land of Tomorrow in the language of the indigenous Buandik people.

Lake Bullen-Merri is a brackish crater lake it has a maximum depth of 66 metres, with a clover leaf outline indicating that it was probably formed by two overlapping maar volcanoes.

Lake Gnotuk and Bullen Merri are twin lakes separated by a high saddle of land. The edges are surrounded by prominent scoria tuff rings, which slope down to form deep craters. Lake Gnotuk is hyper saline (more than twice the salinity of the sea).

At the eastern end of the Camperdown township there are Mounts Leura and Sugarloaf, volcanic scoria mounds. Mt. Leura has a lookout at the western end there is a botanic garden built in 1869.

Climb to the top of Mt Leura and Mt Sugarloaf and take in 360-degree views of the coastal ranges and rolling western plains. Volcanic activity has shaped much of the surrounding landscape, leaving cones, lakes and craters.

Mt Sugarloaf a very different looking mountain to Kevin's Mt Sugarloaf at home in Newcastle he so loves to walk up.

Red Rock features a cluster of over 40 eruption points concentrated in a 4 km by 3 km area just south of Alvie and several smaller eruption points just north of the town. The massive eruptions, which created the well-preserved formations of maars, tuff rings and scoria cones at Red Rock, is believed to have taken place between 6,000 and 12,000 years ago. The presence of iron gives Red Rock its distinctive colour. The volcanoes at Red Rock form a contrasting landscape to the otherwise flat countryside formed by earlier lava flows, which gave the western district its rich fertile soils of immense agricultural value.

There are 9 complete craters up to 75 metres deep, some which were filled with water, forming lakes such as Lake Purdiguluc, Lake Werowrap, Lake Gnalingurk and Lake Coragulac. Lake Purdiguluc has been formed by at least 5 coalescing eruption points. The Red Rock lakes have been dry since 1999, which may be a cyclic event or due to over-extraction of groundwater.

Today's bird was this bird soaring high.

Here we saw the livestock being hand fed due to the drought being experienced here in Victoria.

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