Park a changing landscape
Awet May has helped boost the natural beauty of Grampians National Park ahead of a potential influx of tourists during the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
Parks Victoria Grampians chief ranger Rhonda Mcneil said above average rainfall in the park during the past month had its many waterfalls and waterways flowing, and plant and animal life thriving.
The Bureau of Meteorology website showed Mount William in the Grampians received 196.2 millimetres of rain during May, well above the monthly average of 129.9.
It also exceeded the May average for number of days with more than one millimetre of rain – 15.5 – with 19.
Ms Mcneil said while recent wet weather was not enough to completely rejuvenate the landscape after a prolonged dry period, it had produced noticeable effects.
“The recent rainfall across the Grampians National Park has been wonderful to see, with shades of green beginning to return to the landscape after a long, dry period,” she said.
“Summer and last winter were both very dry, however, so it will take time for water to return to the system.
“Though early days, these welcome rains will give a boost to the park’s waterfalls and waterways, and assist plants to grow, which will increase food for our native wildlife.”
While peak tourist season in the park coincides with summer, Ms Mcneil said visiting in the colder months had its own benefits.
She said the prospect of seeing snow, as The Weekly Advertiser reader Rochelle Sullivan did at Mount William last week, was a drawcard for many people.
“The cooler seasons are fantastic times to visit the area, with the mountain range taking on a new perspective, more sites available at campgrounds and perfect conditions for sitting around a campfire,” she said.
“The additional chance of seeing snow is a popular activity attracting people to the park in these cooler months.”
Ms Mcneil said while the onset of cold, wet weather had helped refresh the park’s natural beauty, it presented its own set of challenges for visitors.
“There are some basic preparations and tips that people should follow when out in parks and reserves during winter,” she said.
“During wet weather, roads can be challenging to drive, so take extra care.”
She said people should also tell family and-or friends their plans and bring protective clothing, appropriate footwear, plenty of water, extra food, wilderness first aid kit, map, compass and GPS if out bushwalking.
Ms Mcneil said people should also avoid walking alone and remember reception could be limited in areas of the park.
She said people should refrain from burning rubbish on campfires while camping.
Seasonal road closures in the park will take effect after the Queen’s Birthday weekend, and current park conditions can be checked by visiting website www.parksvic.gov.au or calling 13 1963.
WINTER WONDERLAND: The Weekly Advertiser reader Rochelle Sullivan made the cold trek up Mt William on Wednesday last week to check out the snow. Ms Sullivan said at 11am it was zero degrees.