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Published: April 1st 2013
For the Easter long weekend we headed a little off the coast to the little town of Koroit which boasts three important things; its origins, its dairy industry and a huge hole.
Located only a few kilometres north west of Warrnambool, Koroit is a little piece of Ireland on the western plains of Victoria. That sounds Irish already. All the shops, proprietors seem to have an Irish theme. For good reason. The town was settled by Irish immigrants. The town is also quite old. The oldest surviving building is the Common School, almost next door to the camping ground. This school building looks in fine repair and is the head quarters of the local Historical Society. All around the central part of town are old cottages, commercial buildings etc built in the mid to late 1800s. Some are in good shape, others look overgrown. There are also some very proud home owners who, despite the drought, are looking wonderfully cared for.
There is a historical walk around town identifying the oldest buildings and their history. Else, you can walk around and wind the clock back 125 years, imagine the horse drawn carts, dusty roads, markets
etc. The attitude of the locals is very inclusive and laid back. The notice on the camping ground office indicates that the office will be open whenever it is open.
The second big thing is the rural production. The country though at this time does not look like Irelands emerald pastures, more like acres of straw waiting for renewal with autumn rain. However, the area supports a very large dairy industry. We have sampled the French cheese from the Mousetrap, (Not very far from here as an emu would run) but here the industry is large scale modern production 24/7. Devondale is the big name brand here.
The third big thing at Koroit is the huge hole in the ground at Tower Hill. Now that sounds Irish too! Right on the edge of town is an extinct volcano known as a nested maar. This type of volcano exists where molten lava rises but then hits water bearing rock and then explodes. The circle of the crater is huge. The floor of the volcano is 614 hectares.
In the centre is a huge mount with very steep sides with steps and a
Now public library
steep cobbled path. We decided to be brave and climbed this path, and enjoyed the view from the top. We also walked around part of the lake/swamp area doing a spot of bird spotting. This part of the afternoon was most unsuccessful with all birds chirping from behind leaves, branches or any other obstacle. One little bird taunted us but Marg got a beaut shot. I got a couple (not worth publishing) as well, but as they dart around very quickly, it is the luck of the drawn who gets the good photos. A honey eater was preening in a secluded tree, and I got a glimpse only. No posing from these birds.
This was actually Victorias oldest national park, way back in 1890s. Unfortunately, it went into disrepair, neglected, so in the 1970s a program to plant 300,000 trees and shrubs in an attempt to re-establish the original flora and hope the fauna will return in due course. Seems to be working, and over the next 50 years they will see the benefit of all the hard work. However, some of the emus were grazing within lens view, a rock wallaby as well, but no sign
of the other native critters that live in the reserve.
A special thanks to Marg for the bird photo in the panorama.
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