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Rubicon Valley Historic Area

Discussion in 'VIC Trip Reports' started by BIGCOL, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. BIGCOL

    BIGCOL Well-Known Member

    Hi all,

    Jen and I usually do a touring type holiday in the van on the Queens Birthday long weekend each year, as sitting around in the great outdoors can be a bit challenging in June in Victoria. We didn’t have to worry too much this time as on each day the temperature approached double figures Ha!

    We left for the Rubicon Valley Historic Area which is about 2 hours drive north east of Melbourne.

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    Once the van was set up and we had a warm cuppa in the tummy, I popped down to check out the Rubicon River which was less than 10 metres from the van; the sound of the water bubbling along was just so tranquil.

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    When we were at camp we didn’t venture far from our fire, although the fire was just for its aesthetic value only ok!

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    There were a number of roads and tracks nearby that I hadn’t been on before (Virgin ones as I call them) so I was keen to get out into the bush and experience what this historic area had to offer.

    On the way we came across this logging coupe which was quite a contrast to the surrounding forests. So much waste just left behind.

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    After they log an area they often set what’s left on fire, this clears away some of the waste that’s left and is also supposed to aide in the areas rehabilitation. Often those fires extend into nearby areas that add to the damage done.

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    We soon came to the Royston Power Station. It produces power from water that has been channeled by a viaduct from the Royston Dam over 2 kilometres away. The water is then diverted by another viaduct down to The Rubicon Power Station.

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    We came across this gate system that is used to regulate the water along the viaduct.

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    About twenty metres to the west of that system is the unusually named “Fifteen Thousand Foot Siphon Trestle Bridge”. It was so named because of its distance in feet from the beginning of the tramline at the top of a nearby haulage line.

    The Bridge was totally destroyed by bushfires a few years ago but has since been reconstructed to the exact original specifications.

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    A bit further along the track we came to the Rubicon Falls Dam, not large by world standards, Ha! but very picturesque just the same.

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    It had an unusual spillway or overflow. Note the dead tree that has been lodged near the spillway, the water must have been pumping through there at some stage.

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    Further downstream and along the track we came to the main Rubicon Power Station. This whole historic area was the site of one of the earliest hydro-electric power schemes in Victoria. The Rubicon scheme as it was known was completed in 1929 and consisted of four power stations and associated dams, aqueducts and pipelines. During the 1930’s, the scheme contributed about one-fifth of Victoria’s electricity needs. Whilst still in operation today, its contribution to the states power grid is now pretty small.

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    On display nearby is this Pelton Wheel. This particular wheel is a water impulse turbine and was invented by American Lester Allan Pelton in the 1870s. The Pelton wheel extracts energy from the impulse of moving water, as opposed to the weight like traditional overshot water wheels. Peltons paddle geometry was designed so that when the rim runs at the speed of the water jet, the water leaves the wheel with very little speed, extracting almost all of its energy, and allowing for a very efficient turbine. How about that!!!

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    bigmqswb1983 likes this.
  2. BIGCOL

    BIGCOL Well-Known Member

    Late in the day we took a track up to Morris Lookout. I was hopeful of a photogenic sunset that may be able to be seen from that elevated vantage point.

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    When we got to the lookout we were thrilled with the vistas that stretched out before us. Although a recent control burn had cleared the immediate area of undergrowth, it had also singed nearby trees which gave off an autumn type appearance to some trees.

    There were two distinct views; these next photos were to the north. You can just make out Eildon Dam in the distance.

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    The setting sun cast some lovely colours over some of the trees on the lookout.

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    At exactly the same time this was the view to the west.

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    As you can well imagine, Big Col was in seventh heaven with those views. It wasn’t to relaxing as I ran about capturing it all; even Jen was walking around quicker than usual, taking it all in Ha!

    The drive back down the 4 wheel drive track in near total darkness was another unique experience, but we were soon back at camp with the fire raging.

    The next day fog again surrounded our site for most of the day. But our fire that was going all the time we were at the van, gave us that cosy warm feeling. (Although it wasn’t that cold ok, Ha)

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    Another cuppa about to be had.

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    The ever present Rubicon River was so photogenic shrouded in fog.

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    Later in the morning we went for another drive to check out a few more virgin roads and tracks. As we climbed higher into the hills we came across yet another logging coupe. Again I was annoyed that the law stating that some habitat trees had to be left standing to assist the local wildlife whilst the rest of the area was being destroyed was not obeyed. The trees left were like lampposts with a little bit of foliage on the top. Bloody useless for what they are meant to do.

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    Further on we came across this next coupe, what took my eye was all the frost still on the ground as it was nearing midday. From our camp (at approx. 400 metres) we had climbed to nearly 1100 metres. It was around zero when we got up this morning but the temperature had quickly risen to a mild 7 degrees when we set off on this drive. It was a lot colder at this altitude, hence all the frost and ice everywhere. Even puddles on the track were still frozen! Aaahhh beautiful Victoria, (although it can be just a bit Piccadilly at times!)

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    It was so cold that water had crystallised on the ground.

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  3. BIGCOL

    BIGCOL Well-Known Member

    Snobs Creek Falls was a real surprise, the falls themselves drop well over 100 metres in a series of spectacular cascades with viewing platforms built to maximise the visual aspects of the falls.

    The falls themselves are located about 6 ks up Snobs Creek from the “Snobs Creek Fish Hatchery”

    In the early 1860’s, Snobs Creek was known as Cataract Creek but not long afterwards was changed to “Snobs” after “Black” Brooks, a West Indian man who operated a boot makers shop in close proximity to the creek and present highway. Snob is an old English term used for boot maker or boot repairer. Another useless bit of knowledge to file away in the old brain eh.

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    Returning to our campsite we crossed over the upper reaches of the Rubicon River.

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    Not far from the van we found this delightful water hole. In the warmer months it would be a brilliant spot to swim and frolic. (Although I suppose there is not a lot of frolicking done these days, but you know what I mean Ha!)

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    This next photo looks back at our campsite from the other side of the Rubicon River; it was taken just before we packed up and hit the road for home.

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    The devastation caused by bushfires throughout Victoria over recent summers will be evident for many years to come.

    These two contrasting photos from only a kilometre apart clearly show that impact; they were taken as we made our way back home via a very convoluted route, what else would you expect!

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    It may not have been as spectacular as some of the areas that we have visited, but I thought it was still worth doing a report on.

    I hope you enjoyed it.

    Col.
     
  4. Alien d2

    Alien d2 4x4 Earth Contributer

    Nice little teaser of a trip report.
    It's another of the spots on my list, maybe the last week of the year if all goes well.
     
  5. GXL4x4

    GXL4x4 Member

    Great report the picture are great
     
  6. deepop

    deepop 4x4 Earth Contributer

    thanks Col. Underrated area there - I love getting in there.
     
  7. phs

    phs Well-Known Member

    Great report great photos mate

    Good work
     
  8. smitty_r51

    smitty_r51 Well-Known Member

    Nice trip looks great
     
  9. BIGCOL

    BIGCOL Well-Known Member

    Thanks guy's, that weekend had a bit of everything very enjoyable. Not that far from Melbourne but a place I hadn't done a lot of touring through. I love a spot that has a bit of history, great camping with scenery as well, just perfect.

    Col.
     
  10. mac_man_luke

    mac_man_luke Well-Known Member

    Great photos there. Looks like a cool place will have to put it on the list.
     
  11. GUnka

    GUnka Well-Known Member

    Maybe an area to add to the list after new years @80lover96gxl
     
  12. paulyg

    paulyg Member

    Thanks for the report and pics, I never realized it was so nice up there. I must get up there and have a look.
     
  13. SPOD_Here

    SPOD_Here Active Member

    It's not often than I'm envious of people living in Melbourne, but two hours drive and they have that on their doorstep. Great picks, thanks for posting.
     
  14. BIGCOL

    BIGCOL Well-Known Member

    Thanks Gav, paulyg and SPOD.
    Yes that is one of the things we Melburnians are grateful for, plenty of spots like that so close to the burbs. Glad you guys enjoyed the report.
    One day I'll post some more reports.

    Col.
     

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