Diamond firetail
Diamond Firetail by D Ong

This page is about Terrick Terrick National Park which is located in northern Victoria west of Echuca.

This page is one of several about national parks and reserves located in northern Victoria and the southern Riverina.

Terrick Terrick National Park protects one of the relatively few areas of undisturbed natural vegetation on the plains of northern Victoria.

This page includes some notes about the Terrick Terrick National Park, its Friends Group and other grassland reserves around Mitiamo.

 

Accessing the Park
The day picnic area, camping area and Mitiamo Rock (Mt Terrick Terrick) can be accessed from Mitiamo via the Lake Timms-Sylvaterre Road. This road is sealed almost to the park entrance. Turn right onto Picnic Track once the park is entered.

The largest grassland section can be accessed from the Echuca-Mitiamo Road via Kow Swamp Road. Vehicles (other than management vehicles) are not permitted on the grasslands.

 

 

Camping
There is a day picnic area and a free camping ground at the base of Mitiamo Rock (Mt Terrick Terrick). Toilets are located between the picnic area and the camping area.

Groups should contact the ranger, Mark Tscharke, by phoning (03) 5450 3951 or the Bendigo office of Parks Victoria prior to camping here.

For further information about the forested area of the park, contact the Bendigo office of Parks Victoria. Information regarding the grassland areas should be directed to ranger Mark Tscharke.

There are no commercial caravan parks close to the park. However, there are caravan parks in Cohuna, Echuca, Rochester, Torrumbarry and other towns in the region. Accommodation is once again available at the Pyramid Hill Hotel.

 

Maps
Mitiamo-Patho 1:50,000 7725-N
VicMap does not have a 1:25,000 map of the area.

A map of the park can be downloaded from the web site of Parks Victoria, ParkWeb. This is probably the best available map of the park.

 

Related pages on this web site

linkBushland Reserves of northern Victoria and southern Riverina NSW

linkBirds of Terrick Terrick National Park (photo gallery)

linkPhoto Gallery of the birds of northern Victoria and southern Riverina NSW

linkGuide to birding spots of Terrick Terrick National Park (pdf)

linksTerricks Bird List (pdf)

linkSite map (index)

 

 

 

External links

linksParks Victoria's Terrick Terrick National Park Page

linksParks Victoria's Visitor Guide to Terrick Terrick National Park (pdf)

linksUrban birder's 2009 visit to Terrick Terrick National Park

linksTim Dolby's Terrick Terrick National Park page

ttnpLatest Friends of TT Newsletter (pdf file)

ttnpEnhancing fauna habitat of Terrick Terrick NP grassland (research paper) (pdf)

 

Accessing the Park
The forested section of the park can be accessed from Mitiamo via Lake Timms-Sylvaterre Road. The grassland sections can be accessed from Echuca-Mitiamo Road via Kow Swamp Road or from Mt Terricks Road via Tomara, Clee and Jungaburra roads. Access from Gunbower is via the Gunbower-Terricks Road. (refer to a road map of the area).

 

Maps
Visitors are urged to obtain good maps before visiting the park. Information is available from local Tourist Information Centres and from the Parks Victoria web site. The brochure box at the main entry to the park is damaged and no longer contains park notes.

Hayman's double-sided Cohuna-Echuca-Gunbower Forest Activities Map is particularly good.

Topographic maps may be useful. These may be ordered from Information Victoria by telephoning 1300 366 356.


 

 

Related pages

linkBushland Reserves of northern Victoria and southern Riverina NSW

other linksBarmah-Millewa Forest

other linksBirding Guide to Cohuna area and Gunbower Island

linkIndigenous plants

linkPhoto Gallery of the birds of northern Victoria and southern Riverina NSW

linkSite map (index)

 

External links

linkDavid Kleinert's Gallery of the Environment: photos of northern Victoria and southern Riverina NSW (mainly birds)

linkDSE Pamphlet on Victoria's new Red Gum National Parks (pdf file)

linkDSE brochure on Murray River Reserves: Gunbower to Torrumbarry and Echuca (pdf file)

 

Terrick Terrick National Park . Terricks . Mitiamo Rock . Patho West NCR . Indigenous grasslands . Terrick Terrick East . The Meadows

Bushland Reserves
of
northern Victoria and the Southern Riverina

Lignum
Lignum and Box along Bendigo Creek in Terrick Terrick National Park
Photo: Keith Stockwell

Terrick Terrick National Park

including outlying indigenous grassland sections

Introduction

History

Park News

Click here to download the latest Friends of TTNP Newsletter (September 2013).

• During an activities weekend in early October 2013, Friends of Terrick Terrick National Park helped remove about 1.4km of unwanted fencing. A number of guest presenters addressed those present. A Pyramjid Hill plumber showed raptor photos he had taken, a Gunbower Island resident showed photos of the flora and fauna of Gunbower Island and a Parks victoria ranger spoke of his recent visit to Diamantina National Park in search of Plains-wanderer. A pair of Plains-wanderer was observed during a fauna survey on the grasslands at Terricks. Visitors enjoyed a number of mini-bus tours, including one to the historic Mount Hope station.

• The Victorian Government has invited people to apply for positions on an advisory committee to advise it on management of Terrick Terrick National Park. Applications close at the end of October 2013. Ring Parks Victoria for information and a copy of the Terms of Reference.

• The Friends of Terrick Terrick National Park is organisaing an open weekend starting at 7pm on Friday 4th October 2013 and continuing until after lunch Sunday 6th October 2013. The venue is the Davies Homestead site, Kow Swamp Road. Free admission. Free camp sites alongside the homestead from 3pm Friday 4th. BYO tent/caravan, food and drinks. Park tours. Evening presentations. Early morning bird walk (leaving Davies homestead site at 7.15am sharp on Saturday 5th October. Coach tours of the park. Working bees. Displays. Guest speakers Friday and Saturday night. Astronomy Saturday night ($3 per person).

• Please note that roads marked "Dry weather only" are, indeed, dry weather roads. Some of the unsealed roads are very slippery after rain. They do, however, dry out after a few days. In particular, Tomara Road, Clee Road, Echuca-Mologa Road and Davis Roa really should be avoided after rain.When Bendigo Creek is in flood, Jungaburra Road may be cut by floodwaters east of Kow Swamp Road. Sylvaterre-Lake Timms Road, however, is an all-weather road and gives access to the forested section of the park.

* Some outlying grassland paddocks (including Roslynmead NCR, Roslynmead East NCR, Terrick Terrick East NCR, Kotta NCR, Tomara Gilgais NCR, Wanurp NCR, Pine Grove NCR and Canegrass Swamp Wildlife Reserve), were added to the national park and "officially opened" on 30th June 2010. "The Meadows' is also a satellite area of the park. In addition to these grassland reserves, crown land adjoining Bendigo Creek between Hopper Road and Balderson Road has also been added to the national park.

* The Friends of Terrick Terrick National Park Inc. now has a Facebook page. Membes will soon be able to add photos and comments to the page.

• Please note that shooting is not permitted in any part of the national park. During the quail shooting season, DPI Game Management Unit (Kerang) has agreed to patrol the grassland sections of the park, especially during the Easter period.

* Good birding spots at the moment include the main picnic area/base of Mitiamo Rock and the eastern forest boundary immediately south of Echuca-Mologa Road. Look for Black Falcons alongside Kow Swamp Road between the Davies homestead and Echuca-Mologa Road.

newThere is a new page with photos of birds found within the park. Click here to enter.

* Because the grass on some grassland paddocks has been too thick and high to meet the needs of Plains-wanderer, Fat-tailed Dunnart and some other animals, DSE has burnt areas of some grassland paddocks. Some areas have been slashed by Parks. On some other paddocks, it has been felt desirable to leave some sheep grazing over the summer period. All sheep are usually withdrawn in early Spring when native herbs and lillies are flowering and setting seed. The wildflower display was poor last Spring because of the thick grass growth.

To help with management, some areas of red soil within the park's larger paddocks have recently been fenced off. Plains-wanderer seem to prefer red soil areas. Red soil areas can now be specifically managed to meet the needs of this endangered bird whilst grey soil areas can be managed to promote endangered grassland flora.

This page last updated in June 2013.

 

Introduction

Better known to locals as Mitiamo Rock, Mt. Terrick Terrick is a low granitic outcrop rising above the flat riverine plains at Mitiamo, west of Echuca and north of Bendigo, in northern Victoria. This hill, and two others, plus flat land surrounding them are covered in bushland surrounded by flat grasslands and cropped country. Together, the granitic outcrops, surrounding open forest, indigenous grassland plains and vegetation alongside Bendigo Creek form the core of Terrick Terrick National Park. The park protects one of the few areas of relatively undisturbed vegetation in northern Victoria. In the first decade of the 21st century, several outlying paddocks of native grassland were added to the National Park.

map of the park (pdf)Parks Victoria's Terrick Terrick National Park page (click here to enter)

map of the park (pdf)Click here to download a basic map of the park, including the grassland paddocks which became part of Terrick Terrick National Park in December 2009 (pdf file; excludes recent outlying additions to the park)

Over-grazing and the extraction of gravel in the past have had adverse impacts upon the areas surrounding the rocky outcrops. Yellow Gum was cut and Callitris Pine favoured. The understorey was depleted.

Before the national park was declared, the forested section was a State Park, and prior to the declaration of the State Park a reserve. Despite being a reserve for many years, some forestry and grazing continued until late in the twentieth century. Once these activities ceased, the vegetation began to recover but what we see today is quite different from how the area looked 200 years ago. There are more Callitris Pines and more tree thickets. In places, the shrub layer is no more. In other places, the shrub layer is recovering, young shrubs growing amongst a few very old ones. Some of the original animal inhabitants are now locally extinct. But others, e.g. Echidna and Kangaroos, have survived.

This page has a separate section about the human history of the Terrick Terrick area.

The purchase of a 1262 hectare grazing property, which was still covered in native grasses and which supported more Plains-wanderers than any area of comparable size in Victoria, plus the largest dunnart colony in Victoria, resulted in the reserve's status being upgraded to a National Park. The recently-acquired property is between the existing State Park and an area east of Bendigo Creek. In Victoria, grassy lowland plain is an endangered ecosystem. More recently, some outlying grassland blocks have been declared part of the National Park.

Davies house
Ms Dorothy Davies (this Welsh surname is pronounced 'Dayviss') lived in this house before it and surrounding grassland
paddocks became a part of the park. The house, now in a state of disrepair, incorporated a tiny hotel shifted from the other side of Kow Swamp Road. Attendees at the annual Friends weekend (first weekend of October) can camp alongside the house.
(Photo: K Stockwell)

To the east of the forested section, Bendigo Creek runs through the main grassland section. The creek area includes Lignum (a thin-leafed shrub which provides protection for small birds) and River Red Gum. The grassland additions means Terrick Terrick National Park has the largest native grassland area of any Victorian conservation park.

Before the large new additions, this park covered a contiguous area of 2,500 hectares. Additions have increased the size to about 5,890 hectares.

 

Terrick Terrick National Park protects four distinct habitat areas:

  • rocky (granitic) outcrops

  • open forest, including White Cypress Pine woodland

  • indigenous grassland plains

  • riverine areas (including Bendigo Creek and dams)

There is a different composition of plants and animals in each zone.

 

Vegetation

Rocky Outcrops

There are some prominent rocky outcrops in the park, including Mitiamo Rock (Mt Terrick Terrick) and Riegal Rock.

Mt Terrick Terrick illustrates the old saying that what is a mountain in one region may not even be called a hill in another: Mt Terrick Terrick is a mere 95 metres high. The "Rock" can be climbed in a few minutes but allows great views across the very flat plains of northern Victoria.

Isotome
Rock Isotome in rock crevasse, Mt Terrick Terrick
(photo: D Ong)

Rock Isotome (Isotoma axillaris) grows in cracks of granitic rock.

A variety of shrubs and grasses grow amongst rocky tors near the base of the rock outcrops. Some plants of this area include Deanes Wattle (Acacia deanii), Mint Bush and Rock Correa (Correa glabra).

Near one of the other granitic outcrops, Reigal Rock, there are some aboriginal wells, both large and small, one of which still has a rock cover lying alongside it! And the cap fits. There are some aboriginal wells on the western side of Mt Terrick Terrick, one of which still has its rock cap.

Open Forest

Some open forest in the park is dominated by Allocasuarina and some parts by Grey Box. But it is a native pine, White Cypress Pine, that dominates most of the woodland areas.

Terrick Terrick National Park has Victoria's largest stand of native White Cypress Pine (Callitris glaucophylla), giving such sections of the park a European rather than Australian appearance.

Terricks Callitris
White Cypress Pine
Terricks has a European appearance in places (Photo:K Stockwell)

Although White Cypress Pine is the dominant tree in much of the woodland, Grey Box usually grows amongst it. Many of the understorey plants have long since been lost from much of the woodland but everlastings and native grasses have recovered well.

Terrick Terrick Woodlands
White Cypress Pine, Casuarina, Box and Wildflowers
Photo: K Stockwell

The Grey Kangaroo, Black Wallaby and Tree Goanna are common in the open woodland section of the park. Threatened or endangered birds likely to be observed include Gilbert's Whistler, Mallee Ringneck, Cockatiel, Diamond Firetail, Peaceful Dove, Eastern Yellow Robin (possibly a hybrid between southern and northern forms) , Southern Whiteface, Grey-crowned Babbler and Brown Tree Creeper (subspecies Victoria). The Black Honeyeater has occasionally been observed. A pair of Painted Honeyeaters recently had a nest in the Park.

Diamond Firetail nests in the Park; its nests are often decorated with everlasting daisy flowers.

Diamond Firetail Xerochrysum
Diamond Firetail and Xerochrysum bracteatum
(Photo: D Ong)

Western Gerygone is sometimes observed on the western side of the reserve, rarely elsewhere in the Park.

Both local and Tasmanian forms of Striated Pardalote and Silvereye have been observed in the Park. The local form of Striated Honeyeater has a red spot on the shoulder whereas the Tasmania form has a yellow spot. Identify the Tasmanian form of Silvereye by the rufous (brown) colour on its sides.

linkClick here to download an A4-sized pdf brochure on the birding spots of Terrick Terrick National Park by Peter Allan and Keith Stockwell

linkClick here to download a bird list for Terrick Terrick National Park (pdf file; two A4-sized pages)

arrowClick here to read a report of an urban birder's visit to Terrick Terrick National Park

Access the open forest and rocky outcrop section of the Park from Mitiamo Forest Road, at southern end of park. Pamphlet box at entrance. VicRoads Map 30 E4. Topographic map: Mitiamo-Patho 7725-N 1:50,000 (VicMap).

Apart from Mt Terrick Terrick (Mitiamo Rock) area, few people (apart from bird observers) visit this park. But it is worth a visit, especially in Spring when the everlastings are in bloom.

Now that cattle grazing has ended and rabbit numbers have fallen, the vegetation is recovering particularly well, there are lots of young pine trees and everlastings are thriving. In places, wattle and hop bush are reappearing in the forested section. Hakea, Sandalwood, Drooping She-oak and Bulloke are regenerating well in parts of the park, e.g. to the eastern side of the cemetery and near the northern boundary. Some early visitors spoke of "bottlebrush" growing in the park; it is possible that they were referring to Hakea.

Unfortunately introduced weeds like Paterson's Curse, Horehound, Wheel Cactus (Prickly Pear), Box Thorn and Capeweed are a problem in the forested section of the park.

Indigenous Grassland Plains

The grassland section of Terrick Terrick protects several species of plant which are rare and threatened in the region, e.g. Annual Buttons, Pepper Grass, Bottle Bluebush, Fragrant Leech Orchid and Murray Swainson Pea.

The first and largest grassland plain addition to the Park was managed by the Davies family on a low-input basis, grazing stock at conservative levels, from the early 1900s until the late 1990s. They had no need to add super- phosphate, herbicides and other chemicals. Fortunately for animals such as the Plains-wanderer and the Hooded Scaley-foot, and plants such as Plains Leek-orchid and Annual Buttons, the owners were not tempted by the economic returns supposedly offered by the addition of super phosphate and so forth. Rather, they preferred the conservative approach and enjoyed a unique life-style. No fewer than 28 of the 1200 indigenous plants recorded for the property are of significance. Annual Buttons, which grows on the property and no where else, was believed to be extinct until discovered growing on this property.

Some grasslands plants found here are Bottle Bluebush (Maireana excavata), Yam Daisy (Microseris lanceolata), Broughton Pea (Swainsona procumbens), Red Swainson-pea (Swainsona plagiotropis), Drumsticks (Pycenosorus globosus), Paper Sunray (Rhodanthe corymbiflora), Pink Mulla Mulla (Ptilotus exaltatus), Bulbine Lilly (Bulbine bulbosa), and Lemon Beauty Heads (Calocephalus citreus). In addition, the grasslands support a number of different native grasses, including Windmill Grass (Chloris truncata), Poa, Spear Grasses (Austrostipa spp), Wire Grass (Aristida ramosa) and Wallaby Grasses (Austrodanthonia and Amphibromus spp).


Female Plains-wanderer
Photo: D Ong

The grassland supports the largest known colony of Plains-wanderers in Victoria. The Plains-wanderer is a small bird resembling Button Quail. This is a fastidious bird, demanding native grasses and daisies and grassland tall enough to conceal it from predators. Its plumage offers excellent camouflage. A few years back, Deniliquin bird observer sighted 27 Plains-wanderer on the grassland area. Parks Victoria believe that over 100 individuals of this species live within the Park. Plains-wanderer are regularly observed on the evenings of the Friends weekend each October.

Terrick Terrick Grasslands
Indigenous grasslands at Terrick Terrick, looking toward the Davies Homestead
Photo: K Stockwell

The Park's grassland birds are not prolific in number. Apart from Plains-wanderer, some other birds often observed on the grasslands include Australasian (Richards) Pipit and Brown Songlark.

The endangered Hooded Scaley-foot is a legless lizard found in the grasslands here; it grows up to 450mm in length.

The grasslands are home to Victoria's largest colony of Fat-tailed Dunnarts. Dunnarts may rely on a periodic abundance of such insects as locusts to stimulate breeding. A local ecologist believes that locusts and grasshoppers play an important role in the ecosystem and should not sprayed within the Park. For more information, check out his Save The Locust site. Many species of birds also feast on locusts and grasshoppers.

The best time for visiting here is Spring. It is usually very hot in summer. In summer and autumn, gaiters are advisable to protect against grass seeds. March Flies can be annoying in autumn. It is wise to avoid walking through high grass: the Brown Snake is found here. A walking circuit could incorporate Mitiamo Rock, Reigal's Rock and Rogers Road.

There are a number of out-lying grassland reserves in this area, many of which, as a result of legislation passed in 2009, have been added to the Park: Roslynmead East NCR, Terrick Terrick East NCR (corner Tomara Road and Clee Road), Tomara Gilgais NCR, Roslynmead NCR (between Davis and Murray roads), Kotta NCR (alongside Whitfield Road), Pine Grove NCR (alongside Mitiamo-Echuca Road), The Meadows Wildlife Reserve, Canegrass Swamp Wildlife Reserve (off Baxter Road),

As a management tool, sheep will continue to lightly graze the grasslands area over Winter to help keep introduced grasses at bay, to reduce the fire risk, to encourage the growth of native grasses and to help ensure that the grassland meets the fastidious requirements of the Plains-wanderer. The sheep are withdrawn when the native grasses are flowering and setting seed, i.e. over Spring and Summer. Conservation organisations and local conservationists support and advocate sheep grazing over Winter as a management tool.

See the indigenous plants section of this site for photographs and more information about the region's vegetation.

 

Riverine Area

A long length of Bendigo Creek has recently been added to Terrick Terricki National Park. The addition extends from Hopper Road north to Balderstone Road.

Bendigo Creek (formerly called Picanninny Creek) flows north through the main grassland area of the park. It is lined with Box, Red Gum and Lignum (Muehlenbeckia florulenta) This vegetation type is shown in the photograph at top of this page.

The importance of Lignum is not appreciated by many of us. Lignum, a large tangled shrub which is virtually leafless, provides good habitat for wrens and other small birds. It readily grows following heavy rain or minor flooding. It is a plant that prefers heavy grey soil depressions and is common along creek lines. Over the years, many farmers have removed lignum from their properties.

At night, Barn Owls, Boobooks and Tawny Frogmouths are sometimes seen along this section of Bendigo Creek.

The creek is reasonably wide in places, and some of the deeper pools almost always contain water.

Bendikgo Creek Terrick Terrick
Bendigo Creek, east of Davies Homestead, Terrick Terrick National Park
Photo: K Stockwell

Accessing the creek from the Davies homestead involves a reasonably long walk: the gate alongside the homestead is usually locked (except during the annual open weekend). The easiest way to see part of this habitat is via Jungaburra Road which crosses Bendigo Creek. It is possible to walk to the south for a considerable distance on public land alongside the creek. This section of the creek often affords good bird watching opportunities: e.g. Grey-crowned Babbler, White-necked Heron, Tree Martin, Brown Treecreeper, Superb Fairy Wren, Wedgetailed Eagle,Whistling Kite, Australian Ringneck and Red-rumped Parrot.

 

History of the area

Over thousands of years, rivers carried silt from the Great Dividing Range and deposit much of it over northern Victoria and southern NSW. Only a few outcrops of an earlier landscape protrude above the plains. The rocky, forested section of Terrick Terrick National Park is a remnant of an earlier landscape. Grasslands covered much of the plains whilst River Red Gum grew along the streams and Black Box grew on those areas of the plains only occasionally flooded for a few days at a time.

In such a flat landscape, uplifting along fault lines, has impacted upon rivers and led to the formation of wetlands such as the Barmah-Millewa wetlands, Gunbower-Perricoota-Koondrook forest, Kanyapella Basin and Lake Cooper.

As evidenced by remains found at nearby Kow Swamp, humans were present in the area for thousands of years. Terrick Terrick is a corruption of a term (Derricka Derricka) used by the Barapa Barapa clans.

The Barapa Barapa Nation is closely connected to the Wamba Wamba and Wadi Wadi peoples. Barapa Barapa country includes Gunbower, Perricoota/Koondrook Forests and the townships of Kerang and Barham. Barapa Barapa people also have extensive shared Country with its neighbours, the Wamba Wamba and Yorta Yorta – at Deniliquin, Kow Swamp and in Gunbower, Perricoota/Koondrook.

They referred to Riegal Rock as Ballyong (spelling?) and Bennets Rock rock as Pun ga (spelling?).

Material evidence of their occupation remains in the form of rock wells and coolamons.

In 1836, Major Mitchell's party travelled across the grasslands of the area. It must have been a good season, as they reported a lush blanket of grasses around the forest. Huge pastoral runs were established, one of which was Terrick Terrick Station which became famous for its wool. At an early stage, a few indigenous people were 'employed' on the station. The indigenous people of the area were subsequently taken to a reserve near Healesville. The remains of Terrick Terrick homestead lies south of the Davies homestead.

Some of the first Europeans to visit the area mentioned that there were emus, Rat-kangaroos and about 200,000 Grey Kangaroos on the plains.

Within a few years of European settlement, the Rat-kangaroo became regionally extinct and kangaroo numbers fell.There are no known recent sightings of emus in the present park, although emus are still often seen to the north on Gunbower Island.

In the 1860s, Land Acts were passed to break up the huge pastoral leases. Settlers were able to claim 280 acre blocks. The high rainfall years of the 1870s attracted many settlers.

One of the early settlers was a Welshman, Thomas Davies (pronounced Dayviss), who built a log hut. The hut was replaced by the present house in 1912. A descendent, Dorothy Davies, owned the property for many decades before being sold to become part of today's national park. The Davies grazed the property conservatively, and so the native grassland remained relatively undisturbed. Davis Road (pronounced the same but spelled differently) may have been named after the Davies family. A local insists that Dorothy did not people pronouncing her name as Davies (Dayvees).

Russell Shawcross helped run the property for Ms Dorothy Davies in her later years. After the property was purchased by the government, Mr Shawcross was permitted, at times, to continue to graze sheep on the grasslands for ecological purposes. He is a committee member of the Friends of Terrick Terrick National Park.

The opening of a railway line from Melbourne and Bendigo through Mitiamo to the Murray was very important because the roads were very poor. The early roads were essentially stock routes, most of which ran NE to SW or NW to SE. Rail travel was preferred to road travel. Railway passengers were often served a hot meal at Mitiamo. The plates and cutlery were collected elsewhere and eventually returned to Mitiamo. Today, with the opening of sealed roads (most of which run north-south or east-west), the railway is of minor importance.

In 1885, a fire burnt much of the forest. Fortunately, natural regeneration followed. But the White Cypress Pine took many years to recover.

In 1891, a delegation argued that 2,000 acres should be subdivided and farmed. Many locals objected.

Unfortunately, some land to the north of the present forested area was subdivided and cleared. Some of the blocks were purchased by timber cutters who worked in the forest.

For some years, management of the remaining forested area lay in the hands of Victoria's Mining Department and the extraction of rock began.

Meanwhile, the forest section was seen as a resource for timber. Surrounding land-holders wished to make use of the forest's resources and objected when much timber was being cut for use by central Victorian gold mines and, later, to supply firewood for Melbourne In April 1932, about 60 locals met and complained to the Forestry Commission about the amount of firewood being extracted from the forest. Concerned about non-sustainable timber extraction, locals subsequently petitioned the government to gazette the forest as managed timber reserve. 11,000 acres became a forestry reserve in 1972.

During the twentieth century, many locals enjoyed picnics near Mitiamo Rock (Mt Terrick Terrick) and became increasingly upset when more and more of the lovely country at the base of the rock was mined for road metal.

Historian Robyn Ballinger has found that between 1945 and 1959, 174,000 cubic yards of rock (road metal) was extracted from the park, much of it from around Mitiamo Rock and from the north-eastern section of the forest. Of that total, 44,706 cubic yards was extracted by Rochester Shire, 68,00 cubic yards by East Loddon Shire, 60,000 cubic yards by Gordon Shire and 1,394 cubic yards by others. If each truck carried 10 cubic yards, that is at least 17,400 loads of road metal.

Even at least one of the Barapa Barapa burial places was mined for road metal.

Following control by the mining department, the Forestry Commission became responsible for the reserve, and set about thinning the forest to maximise the value of millable timber. In 1960, the Forestry Commission reported that a 24 foot spacing between individual pines was best as it would result in a yield 26 shillings per acre plus grazing right revenue (source: research by Robyn Ballinger). Native Cypress Pine was favoured over Box and Buloke. Some Box trees were ring-barked and others removed for fire wood.

Eventually, as a result of complaints from locals about the despoliation of bushland by mining, the Mitiamo Rock area became a recreational reserve. Concerned about erosion and soil degradation, the Soil Conservation Authority set to work rehabilitating the land. The Authority built contour banks to help prevent erosion of the mined area. Unfortunately, the forest around the rock is nowhere as pristine and attractive as it was prior to 1945 and will take many decades and good management for it to recover further.

Later, as the forest became to be appreciated as for its ecological and scenic qualities rather than as an exploitable resource for timber and road metal, a State Park was declared.

Most locals are accepting of the forest becoming a conservation reserve but some regret no longer being able to cut pine trees for fence posts and other purposes. Some are worried about a bush fire spreading from the reserve onto their property.

Near the turn of the century, an awareness grew that most native grasslands had been lost to the plough, placing many plant and animal species at risk of extinction. Following searches for the endangered Plains-wanderer by Phil Maher and others, the value of the Davies property was realised and its was purchased and added to the State Park. The Victorian Government upgraded the park to a national park.

Between 1999 and 2009, a number of grassland paddocks were purchased by the government and became nature conservation reserves. In 2010, on the recommendation of VEAC, a number of these grassland paddocks were gazetted as sections of Terrick Terrick National Park. Patho West was purchased after the VEAC enquiry or it may also be part of the park today; instead, it is a separate nature conservation reserve.

During the summer of 2010-2011, much of the land around the national park was flooded. Even many of the sealed roads were under water. Some locals had to resort to horseback in order to drove cattle many kilometres to a milking shed and pasture on dry ground. The wet weather was followed by prolific grass growth.

In December 2011, about 50 locals met in Mitiamo to express their concerns about weed infestation in park, the lack of resources devoted to the park and about the fire risk the park posed to Mitiamo and to surrounding farmers. Prolific weed growth had followed flooding rains during the summer of 2010-2011. However, the locals argued that controlled burns were undesirable and likiely to result in an uncontrollable inferno that would kill White Cypress Pine, the dominant tree in the park. Some called for the return of grazing and lumbering.

Meanwhile, perhaps unknown to those at the meeting, a team of eight was removing woody weeds from outlying grassland paccocks and working their way toward the forested section. DSE undertook some controlled burns in some grassland paddocks. Parks slashed small areas of grassland. In other paddocks, in order to reduce the hightt and thickness of grass, sheep were not removed in Spring as has been the case in the past. Despite these measures, Plains-wanderers and Fat-tailed-Dunnarts did not find conditions to their liking and fell in number.

Whilst Parks Victoria is responsible for the management of the grasslands, Parks enjoys a good working relationship with the Department of Sustainability and Environment, the Department of Primary Industries and Trust for Nature (which also owns and manages some grassland paddocks).

If indigenous grasslands are ploughed, many species are lost. If indigenous grasslands are ploughed in two or three consecutive years, most of the native species are lost forever. Paddocks which have only been ploughed on a few occasions essentially recover, but some species are lost.

Conservative periodic grazing does not destroy native grasslands. In fact, grazing may help meet the needs of Plains-wanderers which prefer sparse, low grassland to paddocks in which grasses are thick and high.

Most locals are accepting of the reserved grassland paddocks. Some of the grassland paddocks were used by dairy farmers for only a few months each year and not ploughed. When many farmers decided to exit the industry they were grateful that they were able to sell their dryland grassland pastures for a higher price than might otherwise have been the case.

Terrick Terrick National Park and grassland reserves west of Kerang (e.g. Wanderers Plain-Bael Bael Reserve and Korrak Korrak grasslands) are amongst the largest remaining vestiges of an ecosystem which once covered much of Victoria.

Acknowledgement: Some information about the area's history was provided by Bendigo historian Robyn Ballinger who was guest speaker at the Friends weekend in October 2010. Robyn has spent hundreds of hours researching the area's human history. Some information was gleaned from old newspaper articles held by the Pyramid Hill Historical Society.

 

 

Greenhouse Offset

The then Department of Sustainability and Environment (now Department of Environment and Primary Industry) recently received funding to revegetate about 150 hectares of degraded land within Terrick Terrick National Park. The cost of revegetating parts of Ferris and Riegal paddocks was around $250,000 and was be met using greenhouse gas offset monies. Infested with weeds, both paddocks have been ploughed and grazed in the past. Areas where indigenous grasses and shrubs have 'come back well' were not affected. DSE prepared the soil and liaised with Parks Victoria, Friends of Terrick Terrick National Park and representatives of the traditional owners. Works complied with the Park's Management Plan and did not impinge on grasslands used by the endangered Plains-wanderer.

In addition, a wildlife corridor of indigenous vegetation has been planted across private land to link the main area of forest in the Park to Bendigo Creek in the east and Bullock Creek in the west.

If and when funding can be obtained, there are plans to create a fenced, vegetated, wildlife corridor from the national park north to Kow Swamp, with branches to Timms Lake and to Pyramid Hill.

FriendsGroup

Open Weekend

Friends of Terrick Terrick National Park Inc. are to run an open weekend in the park on the first weekend of October 2013. The meeting place is the Davies homestead site, Kow Swamp Road Terrick Terrick where free camp sites will be available from 3pm, Frida y4th October 2013 . On the Friday and Saturday evenings, there will be guest presenters.

 

Friends of Terrick Terrick National Park

Friends of the Terrick Terrick National Park organise an annual weekend of activities each year.

CLICK HERE to download the latest (September 2013) Friends of TTNP newsletter. Should you wish to join the group, there is a membership application/renewal form on the back page of the newsletter.

The Friends group wishes to work with Parks Victoria to enhance visitor satisfaction and to publicise this Park. Contributions during 2011 included building footpaths to the toilets, removing a makeshift shanty, removing some Wheel Cactus and planting indigenous shrubs around both the toilets and near the Davies homestead.

Friends of Terrick Terrick National Park is a member of the Loddon Plains Landcare Network. Several other national parks and reserves are also supported by Friends groups.

The following was written for this site by Chris Coleborn, the first secretary of Friends of Terrick Terrick National Park, when the group formed about seven years ago.

This Friends organization, with the support of Parks Victoria, seeks to preserve and protect this small gem of a National Park in central northern Victoria near the town of Mitiamo.

Terrick Terrick is an important National Park because it protects some of the last remaining native vegetation of the northern Victorian plains as well as being the habitat of a range of rare and endangered animals. It contains the largest standing White Pine (Cypress-pine) forest in Victoria. It also includes stands of Buloke, Grey and Yellow Box, and a fragmented understorey of remnant woodland plants, such as Hopbush, Gold-dust Wattle and Deane's Wattle.

Significantly, it encompasses remnants of the last remaining native grassland in Northern Victoria. Plants such as Annual Buttons and Plains Leek-orchids, Murray Swainson-pea, and the Red Swainson-pea flourish in the grasslands, while along the Bendigo Creek section other vegetation types such as Lignum swamps and Black Box woodland, with its associated animals, can be found.

A species of bluebush has recently been named. Maireana obrienii grows in and near the national park and is named after Eris O'Brien who forwarded specimens to the Victorian herbarium for identification.

Over thirty plant species of conservation significance are found in the Park, including more than twelve that are listed as nationally threatened. Most of the Cypress-pines are over a hundred years old. In the wooded section mammals such as Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Common Brushtail Possums, Swamp Wallaby and several species of bats may be found. Reptiles such as Gould's Sand Monitors and several species of snakes, including the endangered Carpet Python, are to be seen around the fascinating and striking granite outcrops or under the beautiful Cypress-pine woodlands.

Here too, such special birds as Gilbert's Whistler, Southern Whiteface, Black-chinned Honeyeater, Crested Shrike-tit, Hooded and Red-cap Robins, Painted Button-quail and Australian Ringneck Parrots make their home. Threatened species such as Grey-crowned Babblers and Bush Stone-curlew are also found here. Occasionally rare vagrants turn up too, such as Red-chested Button-quail, Inland Dotterel and Grey Falcon.

Over 170 species of birds have been recorded in the Park. Out on the grassland section unique, beautiful and rare animals are to be found. This is the home of one of the rarest birds in the world, the Plains-wanderer. Here too is found the strikingly marked Hooded Scaly-foot, the small Curl Snake and other lizards such as the Eastern Stone Gecko. A delicate little marsupial, the Fat-tailed Dunnart also makes his home here.

Unusual invertebrates such as the Plainsland Frog Hopper and Gumleaf Grasshopper may be found here too, as well as Wolf Spiders, Centipedes and Scorpions. There is evidence of past Aboriginal occupation which includes midden sites, rock wells, burial sites and scarred trees.

The name Terrick Terrick is of Aboriginal origin, although its meaning is not clear. There is a network of roads that take you through the wooded section of the Park. Maps and further information on the Park can be obtained from the local ranger in charge, Mark Tscharke. He is based at Kerang, and can be contacted on (03) 5450 3951. Interested members of the public are invited to become members of the Friends Group and support this special Park.

The Friends of Terricks plan to run a special weekend each Spring where there will be talks and activities. Various outings are also planned for throughout the year.

Projects are being set up to survey the Park's fauna and flora, and volunteers will be needed for these activities. An occasional Newsletter is to be published.

Membership is $10 per annum. If you wish to become a member, forward a cheque for $10 (payable to Friends of Terrick Terrick National Park Incorporated) to the Secretary, Friends of Terrick Terrick National Park Inc, 11 Hillview Avenue MOAMA NSW 2731 along with details of your email address, telephone number, home address and name. Please type your details OR print clearly.

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Outlying grassland reserves

Apart from grasslands owned by Trust for Nature, most of the following grassland paddocks have been incorporated into Terrick Terrick National Park, even though they are separated from it by privately-owned land. Apart from management vehicles, vehicles are not permitted on these grasslands. Shooting, fires and pets are prohibited.

map of the park (pdf)Click here to download a basic map of the grassland paddocks that are now part of Terrick Terrick National Park (pdf file)


Canegrass Swamp

A small indigenous wetland off Baxter Road, west of Echuca

Glassons Grassland

Owned by the Trust for Nature, this indigenous grassland is located south-east of Terricks. Locals help manage the property and use sheep as a management tool to keep weeds at bay and to help maintain optimal conditions for Plains-wanderer. Direct enquiries to Trust for Nature. Not part of the national park.

 

Kotta Grassland

Kotta grassland is a 226 hectare grassland section of Terrick Terrick National Park alongside Whitfield Road, Kotta (West of Echuca). It adjoins Glassons Grassland (which is owned by Trust for Nature and managed for the Trust by local naturalists) and privately-owned convenant-protected indigenous grassland. It has been reserved to help protect the endangered Plains Wanderer, Fat-tailed Dunnart and endangered indigenous grasses. This is a separate block of the national park.

Little Kotta Grassland, however, is not part of the national park.

 

Patho West Grassland

Now part of the national park, Patho West native grassland lies to the west of Echuca. Patho West is the north-western paddock at the corner of Balderstone Road and Gunbower-Terricks Road. Because most of the indigenous grassland which covered the northern plains have been lost, this is an important reserve. It is treeless. After the VEAC investigation which recommended that some other nearby indigenous grassland paddocks be incorporated into Terrick Terrick National Park, the Victorian government purchased this land from a consortium of companies which own a 'dry' piggery which still occupies an excised part of the paddock. By contrast, a 'wet' piggery across the road was able to plough high quality indigenous grassland, something which, in view of the limited remaining area of indigenous grassland, should never have been allowed. The nearby Meadows wildlife reserve, part of which is a lignum swamp, offers better birding opportunities. VicRoads Map 30 H2.

Patho West NCR
Patho West Grassland
Photo taken during the Terrick Terrick Open Weekend, October 2010, by K Stockwell

 

Pine Grove Grassland

Pine Grove grassland is a small area (38ha) of endangered northern plains grassland alongside the Mitiamo-Echuca Road which has been gazetted as part of Terrick Terrick National Park. Gilgais and natural drainage lines are still present.

 

Roslynmead Grasslands

The former Roslynmead NCR and the nearby Roslynmead East NCR indigenous grasslands at Roslynmead (on the Patho Plain) are now outlying blocks of Terrick Terrick National Park. At times, sheep are used as a management tool.

Roslymead Grassland
Spring wildflowers, Roslynmead Grasslands
Photo: K Stockwell

Roslynmead is two paddocks separated by private land. The larger paddock is located on the eastern side of Davis Road whilst the smaller paddock to the south-east is located alongside Kelly Road (Vic Roads Map 30 J3). The larger block is a kilometre or so north of The Meadows, both of which can be accessed from Davis Road.

Roslynmead East also comprises two paddocks, one of which is located on the north-western side of the intersection of Torrumbarry Road and Mount Terrick Road. The other section is the paddock on the north- eastern side of the intersection of Reserve Road and Mt. Terrick Road (i.e. a short distance to the east). (VicRoads Map 301 A3)

 

Terrick Terrick East Grassland

This 212 hectare grassland section of Terrick Terrick National Park is located at the corner of Tomara and Clee Road ~ both of which are dry weather roads only (and dry weather only means dry weather only!) ~ east of the largest section of Terrick Terrick N.P., and not only provides suitable habitat for the endangered Plains-wanderer but also contains populations of two nationally threatened plants: Chariot Wheels (Maireana chealii) and Slender Darling Pea (Swainsona murrayana). Some birds uncommon in the area are sometimes observed here. In November 2007 Inland Dotterels, Banded Lapwing and Australian Pratincoles were observed on this grassland.

Terrick terrick East grassland
Terrick Terrick East grassland
Photo: K Stockwell

Pratincole
Australian Pratincole at Terricks East
Photo: D Ong

Tomara Gilgais

336 hectares of endangered northern plains grassland on the south side of Goldby Road. This reserve is south of Terrick Terrick East NCR but separated from it by a privately-owned paddock. Plains wanderer and Brolga have been observed on the grassland which features some significant flora, including Umbrella Wattle (Acacia oswaldii), Spiny Lignum and Yakka Grass. Part of this reserve area is sometimes covered by shallow floodwater following prolonged heavy rain. VicRoads Map 30 H3.

 

'The Meadows'

"The Meadows” is now a satellite area of Terrick Terrick National Park. It is located alongside Davis Road. In wet weather, it is most unwise to try to drive along Davis Road. Davis Road is a dry weather road only.

To gain access, it may be necessary to wade a narrow roadside drain and scramble over the gate or fence. From the gate, follow alongside a table drain to the wetland. Location: right-hand side of Davis Road opposite its intersection with Lyon Road (VicRoads Map 30 H3). Note: Roslynmead block is further north along Davis Road. Beware: in July 2011, neither Davis Road (at Tomara Road intersection) nor 'The Meadows' (apart from a 'conservation reserve' notice near the gate) were signposted. Davis Road is, however, signposted at its intersection with the Murray Valley Highway.

This grassland is partly covered by lignum swamp. The lignum wetland is home to White-winged Fairy-wrens, a species which is not common in the region. When the lignum wetland contains water, the reserve affords outstanding birding opportunities. Red-kneed Dotterels were common during July 2011. A Black Falcon was sometimes observed here during 2011. Spotless Crake, Painted Snipe, Buff-banded Rail and other uncommon species were sighted here at in the Autumn of 2011.

The Meadows
The Meadows, July 2011
(K Stockwell)

 

 

 

Wanurp Grassland

This is a 120 hectare indigenous grassland reserve bounded, in part, by Pinegrove Road, Bendigo-Tennyson Road and Echuca-Mitiamo Road. Known habitat for Bush Stone Curlew. VicRoads Map 30 H5.

Curlew
Bush Stone Curlew
Photo: K Stockwell

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Potential threats facing Terrick Terrick National Park

Potential threats include:

  • climate change, resulting in increased temperatures, prolonged drought and increased incidence of storms
  • mining, road metal extraction and timber extraction (if again permitted)
  • lack of policing and enforcement of park rules, resulting in tree removal, fires, rubbish deposition, vandalism, etc.
  • fire
  • weed encroachment (e.g. Patersons Curse, Capeweed, Box Thorn, Gazenia, Round Cactus)
  • feral animals (e.g. rabbits, hares) and excessive number of kangaroos
  • grasslands becoming unsuitable for Plains-wanderer, e.g. resulting from removal of sheep from grasslands over winter; retention of sheep on grasslands over summer ~ the endangered Plains-wanderer does not like thick and high grass.

Terrick Terrick National Park

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Northern Victoria and Southern Riverina Conservation and Environment Site

 Section 1: Conservation news  Section 5: Bush photographs
 Section 2: Bushwalking  Section 6: Bushland reserves
 Section 3: Birding   Section 7: Indigenous animals
 Section 4: Indigenous plants  Section 8: Conservation Links
 

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Last updated July 2011. Webmeister: K Stockwell, Secretary, Friends of Terrick Terrick National Park
Email enquiries/corrections to stocky at echuca dot net dot au