Things to see (with pictures)
Mount Elephant – A self guided tour (8/10/2018)
This is an introduction to Mount Elephant
For visitors who do not have a guide. Scan this code to put it on your phone.
Or copy this link to your browser and click on the icons on the map: https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-37.9555198,143.202266,14z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!6m1!1s1_l9Sb4sXEBuAojZQb93iL3xWZDY
Things to see: Highway to the car park
After WW2 there was a rifle range here, with the firing mounds at the highway and the targets set into existing concrete bases to the north of the car park. The target was 30cm diameter at a range of 600m.
This is replaced by the current Visitor Centre in year 2016.It was financed by a bequest form Jack and Millie Borbidge, together with a grant from Rural Development Victoria, the Shire of Corangamite, and many local donors and volunteers.
It was designed by Jakob Kelly Architect, and built by MKM Constructions, Ballarat.
Walls are of "rammed earth" and it has off grid solar power.
The Centre is open every Sunday or by arrangement. Visitors here can prepare for their assault of the summit. For the less athletic there are displays of the geology of the area and of the surrounding grasslands, wetlands and birdlife.We can provide education packages for school visits at all levels.The Centre can also be hired for meetings or events of an environmental nature.
Ballast pit to the crater
Bird nesting boxes are fitted to some tree.See if you can find them.
They are generally near the tracks or signs.
Some of the boxes have been colonized by bees, so beware!
many birds are starting to make their own nests. See if you can spot some.
We have also installed some bat boxes which do not interest the bees.
You may see some kangaroos and wallabies (or their scats) who have moved into this bush.They are generally active at dawn and dusk.
you can usually see wallabies during the day along a track to the east of the car park.
And striped skinks live under many of the rocks.
Keep a look out for small “volcanic bombs” and olivine dislodged beside the track.
Bowl and crater
To the right of the photo above is an early diagonal fenceline which continues up over the mount into the crater.
(All other fencelines in the area run north/south or east/west.)
The wire of this original boundary fence can still be followed running down into the crater and dividing the mount into 3, each a portion of the original pastoral properties.
These diagonal fences run northeast, southwest and northwest.
Looking from the top gate to the left hand peak you may see some patches of 'running postman', a native pea.
In that area we have also planted a stand of sheoak, banksia and blackwood as in the early sketches and photographs.
Crater to the summit
Scattered over the mount are green “crop circles” which may be mushroom rings.. or UFO landings??
A small snake has been recently seen on this track. We think they are few as there is not much for them to eat.
The solar panel and GPS antennas on the trig point helps guide cropping tractors “hands free”.
The trig point helps surveyors map the country before satellite navigation
A fire spotting webcam sends a wifi signal 9km to an internet connected farm house.
Images of the progress of the fire can be sent to the incident controllers.
Around the southern rim.
View from the summit.
At the summit there is a lookout map.
“On a good day you can see forever.....”
To the north near Beaufort is Mt Cole. Distant 70km.
NW 5km distant is Deep Lake, which is good for camping, boating, fishing.
NW past Ararat is the Mount William range of the Grampians. Mount William made of sandstone and is 1167m high. It is distant 140km.
Southwest is Mount Noorat, which is similar to Mount Elephant and has a steep and deep crater. Walking track to the summit.
NW is Mount Buninyong, south of Ballarat.