Mansfield Weekend Away
Fifty-three (53) members descending (or ascending!) onto the foothills of the high country - must be some sort of record. It looks like we could strike some wet weather on the Saturday, so take wet weather gear, sturdy shoes/boots, and protection for your camera gear.
At last, here is the program - subject to change as usual. The program also includes a list of suggestions for free-time and etiquette for the weekend.
Please read, print out and take copies with you to refer to on the weekend. Hope you all agree, there will be some excellent photo opportunities and things to do - all thanks to Catherine Stevenson and her little helpers.
If you are arriving early, and happen to call into the Information Centre, bear in mind that we will have a ’showbag’ of information (supplied by the Centre), to give to everyone on Friday night at the pub.
One last small detail … special dietary requirements. Anyone who has special dietary requirements, please send an email asap (by noon Wednesday) letting us know whether vegetarian, gluten free, etc. This will help us fine tune the menus at the pubs and make any special arrangements for you.
Til the weekend … travel safely
Friday 3 May:
Allow a 2.5 – 3 hour drive from Melbourne to Bonnie Doon located on Maroondah Hwy.
Route suggestion – Hume Hwy, take the Tallarook (Yea) exit which takes you through to Bonnie Doon and Mansfield. Approx 5.00pm Meet at Bonnie Doon bridge area for sunset Sunset is 5.28pm. Last Light – 5.56pm. Public toilets are on the left as you drive into Bonnie Doon. (Blink and you miss it). Access via a service road on the immediate left as you enter the town.
There are 3 ways to access Lake Eildon and the Bonnie Doon bridge. Allow time to choose a set up point. In no particular order :
Choice 1 (easiest Location) – Drive through Bonnie Doon and continue on towards the bridge. At the bottom of the hill – Turn off to the left BEFORE you cross over the bridge – look out for signs for the Rail Trail and continue on a dirt track towards the rail trail. You can park here and go on foot over the rail trail bridge which takes you over Lake Eildon to the other side opposite the pub. Views of lake, hills and Bonnie Doon bridge. You can gain access to under the bridge from this spot. Mobility-wise - a flat gravel then concrete path onto the bridge. Choice 2 – Drive through Bonnie Doon. At the bottom of the hill turn right onto Maitongoon Rd and then first left down a dirt road to the lake. Faces North/North East. You can walk under the bridge from here. Gravel surface. Steep and can be slippery. Walking shoes advised. Choice 3 – (Longer walk to edge of water) Drive over the bridge and turn right into the carpark for the Bonnie Doon pub. Toilets inside the pub. Park and head down to the edge of the weir for a view of the bridge and hills. Faces South West. Dinner 6.30pm at the Bonnie Doon pub – 1738 Maroondah Hwy, Bonnie Doon. Probably dining in the Bistro, located at the back of the pub - there is a separate door from the carpark. Showbags of information and maps about the Mansfield District will be distributed to everyone during the dinner. Drive to own accommodation in Mansfield. Approx 10 min drive.
Saturday 4 May:
Sunrise 6.58am – First Light 6.31
6.10am - Meet at the Mansfield Visitor Information Centre, 173 High St Mansfield Toilets are located on the old railway station platform near the Mansfield Historical Society. The Visitor Centre toilets will be closed
Option 1 - Make your own way to the Bonnie Doon Bridge (Maroondah Hwy, Bonnie Doon). (10 min drive from Mansfield). The easiest option is same as “Option 1 for Sunset” above.
Option 2 – Mt Battery
Convoy and car pool to McLeod Lane, Barwite –10 minute drive out of town.
This is a private property through a locked gate. Park in the lane if the gate has been locked (if you arrive late). We can drive in 200/300 metres to park before a walk up a 100 m sloped/steep track for a view of Mt Buller and Timbertop (SE). (If it is raining and muddy we might walk).
Better views are through a gate and up a very steep track straight up to the top of the ridge. This is along the fence line. Alternatively there is a dirt road, which winds around the hill and also takes you to the top. I recommend coming back down via this track as the descent is quite steep. There are sheep, cattle and two alpacas on this property. Please do not disturb them. The cattle might be where you want to take a shot but wait for them to move. They might also think you are coming to provide food for them and may approach you. Not recommended. Better to keep your distance.
10-20 min hike to the top of the ridge of Mt Battery for 360 degree views. Hiking boots are recommended. Another option is to remain near the cars to shoot sunrise. You can also shoot just from McLeod Lane and not go into the property. Lovely view of the Paps (W).
After sunrise make your way back into Mansfield for breakfast (The Coffee Merchant/The Produce Store/Café 41/Alpine Pattiserie/ – for fresh croissant etc)
10am or 10.30am - a talk with Erica, owner of “Kilmuir Country Retreat” – 154 McLeod Lane, Barwite – on the historic shearing shed at Kilmuir. (Just near where we had the sunrise shoot). Park cars outside, to the right of the gate (front or rear of car facing fence) along McLeod Lane and walk into Kilmuir where the Shearing shed is the first building located on the left. The homestead is the owner’s home ie private. Please remain within the immediate property around the shearing shed and do not wander into the paddocks. After the Kilmuir tour
Free time to explore the district until 2pm.
2.00pm Meet at the Mansfield Information Centre
Convoy - 20 minute drive will take us to a private property in Merrijig. Located in the foothills of Mt Buller and Timbertop and in the same road as the location for the film “The Man from Snowy River”. (The film set is no longer there). This unique property features an old Slab hut, an old house (no access inside). There is also a shearing shed and other buildings.
Possible opportunity for portraiture shots with the owner of the property and his mates.
Portable toilets are located near the shearing shed. At this location is the largest registered yellowbox tree in Victoria. Sadly a limb fell recently. If time permits this could be an excellent light painting opportunity. Drive back to Mansfield for dinner.
7.30pm Dinner at the Delatite Hotel – 95 High St Mansfield
Post dinner Bush Poet recitals by Val Kirley and Ken Donaldson. (Half an hour).
Sunday 5 May
Sunrise is at 6.59 am First Light 6.32am. (Golden hour 6.48 am. Moonrise 6.56am – New moon at 8.47am)
6.15am Meet at the Information Centre in Mansfield
Carpool Convoy to an old house (7 minutes from Mansfield) for a sunrise shoot.
Breakfast in Mansfield.
10.15am Meet at Information Centre
Carpool Convoy to an interesting private farm (10 minutes from Mansfield) which features a dam, old farm machinery, windmills, a collection of old cars, sheds full of glass bottles, vintage stuff and a shearing shed. This property is opened to the public once a year.
A gold coin donation appreciated.
Safe travels home!
Contacts over the weekend :
Catherine Stevenson : 0415 974 533
Gayle Tout : 0417 024 700
Graeme Brown : 0406 864 654
Neil Anderson : 0450 659 993