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Places In Victoria: The Black Range State Park & The Cheviot Tunnel

 

Basic Information

  • Name: Black Range State Park
  • Where: Victoria, Australia
  • Cost: Free
  • More Information: Parks Victoria

Narrative

Just outside the boundaries of the Murrindindi Scenic Reserve campground the dirt road enters into an area of farm land and a lumber mill. One of the good things about farm land is that it gave my wife and I a good view of some of the surrounding mountains that are usually obscured due to the thick vegetation:

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The farm land didn’t last to long though as we continued on the dirt road that takes us into the Black Range State Park:

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Once again the vegetation was quite thick but the trees here were not as impressive as the ones we had seen earlier in our trip. The dirt road through the forest also became much more rougher than dirt road we took through the Toolangi State Forest and the Murrindindi Scenic Reserve. I recommend a vehicle with some decent clearance to get through some of the rougher portions of the road, but a four wheel drive is not a necessity. As we drove through the forest we did get to see a wallaby hop across the road and try to hide in the brush:

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As we drove along the road we also got to see that some prior visitors had a sense of humor:

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The border of the state forest was quite evident because we literally came out of the trees and entered into nothing but rolling grazing land:

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The stark change in scenery was really amazing and really shows the effect the clearing of the land for grazing has had on the environment in Australia. As the road continued through the grazing land we actually had to open up some gates and drive through some herds of cattle that were grazing along the road:

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Towards the end of the course we finally reached the Cheviot Tunnel:

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This used to be an old tunnel for the rail line that used to haul lumber out of the Murrindindi, but now it is just a site to be seen along the four wheel drive trek. As we drove through the tunnel we could see little indentation along the old tunnel that were used by rail workers and pedestrians to avoid being hit by on coming trains:

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Here is a picture of my Jeep coming out the other side of the tunnel:

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Conclusion

From the Cheviot Tunnel it was a short drive to the highway that leads to Yea and the end of our trip. The four wheel drive trek from Toolangi to Yea via the Murrindindi can easily be completed in a day, but stopping and spending a day checking out the scenic reserve and camping out there for the night is highly recommended. Even one day driving the track is great way to spend a day away from Melbourne on the weekend.

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