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On Tuesday 12 February a group of people who are blind or have low vision headed off to Mount Macedon for two days of walks and fun, assisted by three great volunteers: Liz, Shirlene and Gary.
After an 8am start our first stop was for a coffee in the hamlet of Mount Macedon. The coffee shop also sold bread, jams, chutneys, books and served as the post office with pigeon holes for the mail.
We then met ranger, Helen who guided us on a very interesting walk at Macedon Regional Park. The walk was to a lake which was man-made at the turn of last century, to provide water for a proposed tuberculosis sanatorium. However due to public campaigning, the sanatorium was never built. What was interesting was that the park had indigenous plants, native plants, as well as introduced plants, such as rhododendrons. Originally, these plantings were based on providing pleasant walks for the patients at the proposed sanatorium. Although the walk was in the rain, it was very informative and an opportunity to see how community attitudes to fauna have changed over the years, from the ‘old world’ to valuing our native species.
Next stop was a picnic lunch at the famous Mount Macedon cross. We walked around the cross but due to the inclement weather had to abandon one of the planned walks. After a meal at the local pub we settled into our comfortable accommodation to get a good night’s sleep for the next day’s activities.
Wednesday saw us at Hanging Rock, the famous landmark from the book and movie, ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’. Our visit started at the Discovery Centre, where we learnt about the geological formation of the rock; and the history around the establishment of the racecourse and race meetings.
Next was a walk along the path to the top of the Rock. It was a steep climb, the path winding between rock formations and trees. We did not make it to the summit, as it was a very difficult climb, but instead walked around the base and then the surrounding area. After lunch we headed for home, via Hanging Rock Winery where we did some wine tasting - a pleasant end to our two days.
Thanks to Sandra from Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria for all of her organising and to Parks Victoria.