Grass trees and grass hills

Through the flowering shrubs
Great Ocean Walk

The next morning began with a walk through flowering shrubs and singing birds. Especially the Australian Magpie is a real delight when singing. It does remind to a European Magpie indeed in several ways, but the voice is totally different: melodious, warm, full, beautiful. Like a flute. But according to reports, one better should not even appear harmful for their chicks...

Australian Magpie

through the Wattle bush

On one of the shrubs along the track, we found masses of beetles - all the same kind. We could not find out what they were looking for, but it must have been tremendously desirable!

Common Heath

A really nice plant I here found the first time: Common Heath, the Victoria floral ensign. In fact, January is not their time to flower, still, I found them pretty much everywhere flowering on rocky, coastal grounds. Descriptions say it would grow up to 1.2 metres, but all I have seen were much smaller, not even going up to my knee. The colour of the flowers does differ somewhat, but it's always shining and stunning.

Dipodium roseum

Also, it was the early season for the charming little Rosy Hyacinth-orchid (Dipodium roseum). It's none of the big sensantional species, but always a nice eye-catcher. As far as I remember, we've never seen it's leaves, there weren't there at the moment or disappeared between other plants.

Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Coastal Wattle
grass tree with old flower

After passing the rather grassy part of the coast with the shrubs we entered the grass tree forrest. That may sound strange as the grass trees do not really look like normal trees and more than that often grows in the shadow of the Coastal Wattle. And indeed, they are no real trees, but they look as if a grass was developing its tree-like version. They grow very slow and do appear very regular - all of their hundreds or thousands of leaves are of the same size and shape, as long as none of the track maintenance staff cuts them down. In January, when I did the walk, their flowering season was far-off, but some of the old stems survived.

To me, the ornamental leaves of the grass trees are really fascinating.

grass tree forrest
Great Ocean coast
Green Victoria
roadsigns Roo and Echidna

After climbing up again to the top of the coastline, the track goes inland for a while and we went through the grasslands. From my European point of view, the countryside looked like in the peak of summer it was really suffering from drought. But around me, they all were Australians and absolutly happy, how green everything was...

But green or not, the grasslands are the place of choice for Kangaroos like the Eastern Grey. They simply need more room to move than they have in the shrublands. We had seen some hoppers on the trail, but they kept rushing away. Keeping in mind what I've seen later, these ones must have been Swamp Wallabies.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo Redneck Wallaby

But there's a third species in the area and we found it not far from a homestead: the Red-necked Wallaby. A female sat there grasing with the scenic coastline in the background - I think of selling this picture to the Victoria tourism authority :-)

Macropus rufogriseus
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