GET out there and smell the flowers, a bushwalking enthusiast says as the region basks in one of the best wildflower seasons in quite some time.
Good spring rains have brought a flush of colour to forest floors around Bendigo and Liz Martin has been leading groups out to discover the world at their feet.
"We are seeing things we have not seen for years. I led a walk out at Mandurang yesterday [Tuesday]," she said.
"We go out there every year and get excited if we see one Spider Orchid. This year we are seeing bunches of them, as many as 30 at a time."
Ms Martin and her groups have been climbing up cliffs and scouring patches hidden by fallen logs to find plants both common and rare.
"There's a Leek Orchid that hasn't been seen for a few years. What we are really hoping to see are flying duck orchids," she said.
"Everyone says I'm obsessed with them. They look exactly just like a duck with a beak and wings."
If you cannot get out this weekend, Ms Martin says you should tune in to the Bendigo Sustainable House Day event on Sunday next week.
It will include a virtual tour of a Mandurang wildflower garden.
While COVID-19 has made it impossible for organisers to allow people into homes and gardens, event goers can take part online.
If you do not want to wait that long you do not need to walk far from Bendigo to see this year's wildflowers.
Parks Victoria rangers have revealed some of the best places to see native wildflowers around Bendigo.
Solomon Gully circuit walk - Solomon Gully Nature Conservation Reserve
Rangers say this is a great place to see heaps of Bendigo Waxflowers.
A 1.5km, unsurfaced track. It is rough and steep in places, but suitable for families. Closed shoes with a good drip are recommend. The track is popular with families and runners. There is parking available off Burnside St (opposite Quarry Hill / Bendigo Lawn Cemetery).
The circuit is clearly marked and follows the Leanganook (Goldfields Track) up the hill, and then turns back down towards the cemetery near the bench seat and Goldfields Track information board (near the marker on the attached map). Solomon Gully is a mix of Heath and Box-Ironbark vegetation. Dogs permitted but should be under control at all times.
Wildflower Drive - Greater Bendigo National Park
Rangers are telling people to look for the Waxlip Orchids near the dam's southern end, but that wildflowers are being seen throughout the area's box-ironbark forest.
A gravel road that runs between the Strathfieldsaye Rd and McIvor Highway, suitable for 2WD vehicles but care should be taken after heavy rain as a few sections can become temporarily boggy.
The box-ironbark forest is good for birdwatching too, especially around the two dams.
It is popular with cyclists and runners. Dogs are permitted but must be kept on a lead at all times.
One Tree Hill - Greater Bendigo National Park
Thousands of Early Nancys and Chocolate Lilies are flowering at One Tree Hill tight now, Parks Victoria rangers say.
There's a good network of walking tracks starts from One Tree Hill. The only road access is vial Edwards Road, from Flora Hill.
Walkers and cyclists can get in from Spring Gully.
Dogs are permitted on walking tracks in the One Tree Hill section of Greater Bendigo National Park but must be kept on a lead at all times.
Rangers say it is a great place for families to explore for wildflowers because it also has the lookout and picnic area, though they want to remind parents there is no toilet for their children's more urgent requests.
Flagstaff Hill - Greater Bendigo National Park
Golden Pennants are common at Flagstaff Hill, rangers say. So are Purple Dampieras, Rosy Baeckea and Clasping Goodenia.
The rangers say it is a really interesting for wildflowers because there are patches of Box-Ironbark, sandy heath and Mallee vegetation.
The varied habitat also makes it great for bird watching.
Just remember, do not take your dog there.
Best to park at the Shadbolt Picnic Area.
It's another spot that's great for families because it has toilets and picnic tables.
I'm heading out now, give me a checklist to tick off
Sure. Here's what Parks Victoria recommends you look for this October around Bendigo:
- Early Nancy (thousands at One Tree Hill)
- Chocolate Lilies (thousands in flower at One Tree Hill)
- Bendigo Waxflower (heaps at Solomon Gully)
- Milkmaids (lilies)
- Yam Daisy (also called Murnong. Its root is an important food source for Jaara (Dja Dja Wurrung) people, curved/drooping stem is typical)
- Golden Pennants (common at Flagstaff Hill)
- Golden Moth Orchids
- Waxlip Orchids (lots at One Tree Hill and along Wildflower Drive, especially near the dam at the southern end)
- Pink Finger (Caladenia) Orchids
- Blue Finger Orchids (hurry, flowering is almost over)
- Leopard Orchids (hurry, flowering is almost over)
- Sun Orchids (just starting to flower - waiting for some sunshine)
- Rabbit Ears / Lemon-Scented Sun Orchids (just starting to flower - waiting for some sunshine)
- Nodding and Dwarf Greenhood Orchids
- Sundews (carnivorous plants doing their best to keep those mosquito numbers down)
- Daphne, Peach and Urn Heaths
- Golden Wattle
- Gold-Dust Wattle (low-growing, common understorey in box-ironbark forests)
- Hedge Wattle (just starting to flower)
- Sticky Everlastings (thousands coming into flower now, will last right through summer)
- Bushy Needlewood
- Common Fringe-Myrtle (varies from white to pink in colour)
- Black-Anther Flax-Lilies (heaps coming into flower)
- Cypress Daisy Bush
- Purple Dampiera (common at Flagstaff Hill)
- Rough Mint Bush (also purple, common in more heathy areas)
- Common & Slender Rice-Flower
- Gorse Bitter-pea
- Cat's Claw / Alpine Grevillea (common in red and yellow varieties, sometimes green)
- Rosy Baeckea (common at Flagstaff Hill)
- Clasping Goodenia (common at Flagstaff Hill)
- Pink Bells
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