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Dinner Plain

‘Have You Considered Relocating Because of Climate Change?’

A decade ago, I moved from Melbourne to Castlemaine in Central Victoria. Box and Ironbark, Peppermint and Yellow Gum country. Hilly sandstone country. The land of the Jaara people. It took me a while, but I fell in love with the place, and now its home.

But even at the start, I remember thinking ‘this is a crazy place to live in a time of climate change’. Already hot and dry in summer, its going to get hotter and drier in coming years and experience worse water stress. It’s the same story all over. Climate change is already happening, and bringing impacts everywhere. Along the inland rivers, towns are running out of water. Along the coast, at places like Inverloch, storm surge is stripping away coastlines. In Mildura, the town had 65 days last summer that were above the heatwave threshold. Parts of Australia are expected to become uninsurable because of more regular flooding. And in the mountains, our winters are already becoming more erratic. It goes on and on. Nowhere is immune.

We are all familiar with the plight of climate refugees – people whose environment or economy is so impacted by the effects of climate change that they have no choice but to move. Mostly these are seen as people in the global South – the ‘developing’ world (although Hurricane Katrina, which devastated much of the USA’s South and displaced millions, shows that this is also a reality even in the rich world).

Something that I have noticed in recent years is a growing number of people who have opted to move from choice, not necessity, who are seeking a friendlier climate. I have lost count of the people I know or have met who have bought land in Tasmania, especially in the south west or north east. Some of them don’t live there: they have bought land as a safety net in case it goes to shit on the mainland. I know people from north east Victoria, in towns like Wangaratta, who have moved to the cooler and wetter hills of South Gippsland. There are people who have swapped the dry inland slopes of Central VIC for the lusher coasts of the Otways. And I know people who have left the hill country of Gippsland and Central Highlands, tired from the relentless stress of ever worsening fire seasons.

Continue reading “‘Have You Considered Relocating Because of Climate Change?’”

Drink local.

Whenever I head into the Ducane Range in the southern end of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair national park, I always stash a couple of beers under some rocks in the river at Narcissus hut, where the hikers ferry drops you. There are few things better than a swim and a cold beer after four or five days of camping, hiking and climbing in beautiful mountains.

I have to confess that the best beer I ever drank (so far, anyway) was at Uncle Buds hut, at about 3,400 metres in the central Rockies. It was my first overnight trip in winter in Colorado. It’s a long approach around a lake, then a long climb up a ridge, and it was a perfect, mild sunny winters day, but slow going as we broke trail through fresh snow. We got to the hut and Donny produced some beers, including a classic US dirtbag brew, a PBR, and we sat on the verandah looking at the highest peaks in the state as the sun slid behind Galena Peak. We skied some insanely good powder the next day, but that’s another story.

There’s nothing quite like a beer after a long days ski, ride, hike, climb or paddle. And of course, if you’re out bush or in the hills under your own steam, that means cans. Which recently got me thinking about the environmental impact of cans vs bottles.

Continue reading “Drink local.”

Traverse Hotham cross country and snow shoe tours

Traverse Hotham is offering cross country (XC) and snow shoe tours at Mt Hotham. The aim is to make both these activities accessible to a new generation of people by offering tours of the trail network, scenic snowshoe walks and introductory lessons in XC skiing.

Hotham has a great network of XC trails but many visitors to the mountain are unaware of them. These are largely centred on the Wire Plain area including the unique Brabralung Trail right through to Dinner Plain and can be accessed via XC trail from Davenport Village or via the village bus network.

Continue reading “Traverse Hotham cross country and snow shoe tours”

Dinner Plain ‘village green’ update

At a recent meeting the Alpine Shire has confirmed that the ‘Village Green’ planned for Dinner Plain near Mt Hotham will not proceed in its current form. However it will continue to look into options for a ‘lower impact’ public space in the village.

Continue reading “Dinner Plain ‘village green’ update”

Cycle guide to north east Victoria

This is another great guide to north east Victoria. Like the Walk and Trails guide, the Bright and Surrounds cycle guide provides a fantastic introduction to all types of riding in the area from Myrtleford to Mt Beauty and Falls Creek to Dinner Plain.

It includes easy, family friendly riding, road riding options and the many shared trails (including the popular Rail Trails) plus details on Mountain bike riding. It is produced by the Alpine Shire. You can get free copies in local tourist information centres or download it as a pdf here.

Walks & trails guide to north east VIC

The Alpine Shire has produced a great walking guide for the areas between Myrtleford and Mt Beauty to Dinner Plain and back to Harrietville. Operating through the ‘Bright & Surrounds‘ tourist info program, the guide offers descriptions for walks in and around key towns plus wilder destinations like the Alpine National Park, Mt Bogong and the Buffalo Plateau.

Paper copies are available from tourist information centres in north eastern towns or online here.

This excellent resource aims to get more visitors to the region out on walking tracks, and makes it easy for first timers by providing full details on the distance and difficulty and notes for more than 65 walks.

Alpine Council suspends further work on Dinner Plain ‘village green’ for time being

At the Council meeting on December 18, Alpine Shire Council voted to suspend further development of the current feasibility work for the ‘village green’. Council will leave open the option of a village oval for future development once they have done the required vegetation offsets for Lot 3 (see below). Lot 3 is the land to the south of the village which is currently undeveloped.

Separate to this project, a planning permit has recently been granted for the construction of 7.1 km of new mountain bike trails in Dinner Plain, and the estimated cost of delivering this project is $400,000. Trail construction work is planned to commence in early 2018.

Continue reading “Alpine Council suspends further work on Dinner Plain ‘village green’ for time being”

Bright Mountain Film Tour. December 28 – Jan 6.

The Bright Mountain Film Tour (BMFT) is a celebration of mountain culture and those who embrace it. Over five nights, the best adventure films from around the world are showcased amongst the alpine communities of North East Victoria.

This​ ​year​ ​BMFT2​ ​will​ ​‘feature​ ​some​ ​epic,​ ​home-grown,​ ​Aussie​ ​adventures​ ​and​ ​some​ ​awesome female​ ​adventures,​ ​recognising​ ​the​ ​diversity​ ​in​ ​adventure​ ​sports’.

There are five shows over the Christmas/ New Year period.

Continue reading “Bright Mountain Film Tour. December 28 – Jan 6.”

Dinner Plain polo field to be ditched?

The proposal for a ‘village green’ in the alpine village of Dinner Plain would have seen almost 2 hectares of snow gum woodland cleared and significant visual impacts on the village. After a long consultation and planning process, the Alpine Council needs to take a final decision on whether to proceed with the development.

In a welcome move, Council Officers who have been assessing the concept report that there is ‘not majority community support for this project’ and recommend that it should not proceed. Council will take a final decision at a meeting on Monday December 18.

Continue reading “Dinner Plain polo field to be ditched?”

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