04 July 2020
NATURE IN THE NORTH!by STEPH
As residents of the area, how lucky we are to be used to the sight of rolling green hills, quaint towns and dramatic oceans. Over the past few months upon reflecting of past travels involving all corners of the world, I truly believe this backyard that we call home is unmatched in its beauty. And so, I encourage you to explore our wonderful Shire post isolation- pack some local food, put your comfy shoes on and let’s go for a Sunday drive to the towns in the North of our Shire. In between these towns you will be treated to dry stone walls, mountain views and picturesque farm land.
Skipton sits on the banks of the Mount Emu Creek and is known as the “home of the platypus”, due to the thriving population that live in the creek. There is a platypus viewing platform on one of the many walks within the town and if you are visiting on dawn or dusk you may even spot one! The town features many historic buildings, shops and walks and it is quite easy to spend an afternoon strolling around. If you have worked up an appetite after all of your exploring, Mount Emu Creek Deli & Gifts has the tastiest home made slices and cakes I have ever tried: my favourite was the Chocolate Honeycomb slice. If it is a bargain you are after, the Skipton Op Shop was full of unique second hand items along with an area featuring local produce.
If you have more time the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail begins at the former train station and runs for 53km to Ballarat and is suitable for those travelling by foot or bicycle. Also worth noting that on the second Saturday of each month the Skipton Market takes place in the Mechanics Hall and on the third Sunday of each month the old courthouse and police station are open to the public.
Mount Elephant is open each Sunday afternoon from 1pm-4pm and is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in nature; you are bound to see a kangaroo or wallaby on your walk and if you look up you may see an eagle or a hawk. You will not miss Mount Elephant, visible from 60km within each direction and standing around 380 metres high it is a visual dominance, thus, it was nicknamed “The Swagman’s Lighthouse" during early European Settlement. You can find out more in the Mount Elephant Visitor Centre located at the base of the crater. One of the most spectacular views of Mount Elephant is at Deep Lake Recreation Reserve, located just 4.5km from the township of Derrinallum.
The Lismore Water Tower has recently been painted by the super talented Jimmi Buscombe and is a wonderful addition to the ever popular Australian Silo Art Trail. It is not to be missed with the feature being Brolga’s, a native bird to the region. Why not stop by Fairway Coffee and Eatery and grab a coffee before taking a walk and enjoying the garden at the base of the silos?
If it is fresh air, green grass views overlooking Mount Elephant or simply somewhere to cast your rod for the afternoon, then take a turn down the dirt track towards Lake Tooliorook. Located just south of Lismore It is a picturesque location to spend the afternoon with the family, there is even a playground and BBQ facilities. The lake is a hot spot for redfin, rainbow trout and eel and there is a pier that is the perfect spot for those who fancy trying their luck at fishing!
Isn’t it nice to be out and about amongst the fresh air after being in hibernation for these last months! The Northern towns of Corangamite Shire including Darlington, Derrinallum, Lismore & Skipton are full of surprises and after spending the day exploring them, I have no doubt that you will be planning your next trip in no time.