Mount Donna Buang is an easy drive from Melbourne and even easier if you go via the delightful township of Warburton where several cute cafes servie tempting fare. And what's the best way to counter that temptation? Yep, we gave in and shared a flourless orange cake and really enjoyed that guilty pleasure. Luckily we were heading for a challenging walk - more of that shortly.
Warburton had a real community feel with live music, and a craft and food market in full swing down by the river walk, which we also enjoyed. Not to be distracted, we wended our way up the Mt Donna Buang road, just behind the town,
That mountainside road was a bit tricky in parts ... in one section, the road was partially closed where the cliff facing side had completely washed away (rather disconcerting), and cyclists seem to get great enjoyment (?) from torturing themselves on the unending gruelling climb up...why? We stopped about halfway to do the forest walk - it was delightful. We could hear plenty of birds, but they were very difficult for us to see, rather hidden among the tree canopy. So onwards and upwards we went.
The summit is a lovely area - picnic facilities and toilets, plenty of parking, and people enjoying themselves - even some very exhausted cyclists. We quickly organised ourselves to hit the track, and off we went on the summit walk (about 6 kms return). The landscape was surreal - lush ferns of at least our height, and some pretty muddy parts on the track sometimes.
There were a few birds around -again, we could hear them, but to always see them...as it turns out, the real gift was right at the start of this walk. Within a minute of starting, we came across a delectable great currawong - very plump - who was hopping about among the branches of a fallen tree. Little did we know, because it was moving so quickly, that it was also having its afternoon snack with an insect in its mouth. Here is the best of those shots:
And here is the sequence of events...
Even though the birds weren't easy to find or shoot, we both felt this was one of the best walks we had been on. A word of warning, it's a very comfortable walk for most of the time, but be aware that the last couple of hundred metres back to the carpark is pretty much an unrelenting steep ascent - we were certainly getting our cardio happening by the finish line! And drawing on those flourless orange cake calories!