Sunday, September 9, 2012

Visit Yarramundi Reach - on the far reaches of Lake Burley-Griffin

On Saturday the KTNTM wanted to show Dad the Arboretum.  Unfortunately, the Arboretum was closed to the public as it is still a work in progress.  Instead, we decided to check out the nearby Yarramundi Reach.  Yarramundi Reach is sandwiched between Black Mountain to the North, the National Arboretum to the West, the Scrivener Dam and National Zoo to the South, and Lake Burley-Griffin to the East.  It is simply a spit of land jutting out into what is nearly the westernmost point of 'Lake B-G'.  Accessible off Lady Denham Drive, there is a walking loop and picnic area to explore. 

Firstly we had a look around the 'spooky forest' just to the South of Yarramundi Reach, which is planted out to an unidentified kind of nut tree with burnt-black trunks (note:  I have since found out these are cork trees that have been harvested for cork) and nuts (see pic below) littered everywhere.  It was dark and silent except for when a serious cyclist went whizzing by on the nearby bike path.  We disturbed parrots that were dropping nut shells from the branches above.  We saw green grass-parrots, rosellas and that lovely red/blue variety.  We also saw many ducks on the lake.  The KTNTM collected feathers and pretended a bear was after them.  Run!

There was sign post at Yarramundi Reach explaining that part of Walter Burley-Griffin's vision for Canberra was an arboretum at this site.  Almost 100 years later his vision is being fulfilled in the creation of the National Arboretum.  I found this a touching and encouraging sentiment; that one man's vision for Canberra a century ago had not been forgotten and indeed will come to fruition in the next decade.  Now that will be a legacy to behold.

Yarramundi Reach itself was quite desolate, just a bunch of natives, some naturally occurring and some planted in rows.  There were also a series of pines situated in a windbreak pattern about 20 metres from the shore.  The KTNTM enjoyed climbing on the huge boulders that have been placed along the gravel track and bounding up massive piles of aromatic woodchips, apparently the result of recent mulching of the lower branches of the pines.  When one of the KTNTM got bowled over by an over-friendly bull terrier we decided to head home, admiring the wattle in full blossom lining the main roads on our way home.  A simple but highly enjoyable outing.
Above:  Yarramundi reach on the centre right, with Government House visible behind it.

 Acorn on Cork Oak

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