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Tunstalls Nature Conservation Reserve

Home > Bendigo > Adventure | Escape the City | Nature | Walks
by Tabatha (subscribe)
Rediscovering the wonders around us through the eyes of my young son.
Published October 11th 2020
Return to nature, lose yourself in the bush for a day
Tunstalls Nature Conservation Reserve
Entrance to the Tunstalls Nature Conservation Reserve
With the onset of COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria, our usual activities have been curtailed rather significantly in the last 6 months and I have had to be creative while also abiding by all the new rules in any of our activities outside of the home. We are very lucky in that we live in rural Victoria and live not far from a few nature reserves. I feel sorry for those who are restricted by the 5km ruling currently in place in metro Melbourne, but I digress.

Tunstalls Nature Conservation Reserve is located 6.4km north from the township of Bealiba, Victoria. The 1640 hectares of Box-Ironbark forest was originally the location of a settlement after gold was discovered in the area in 1855, a number of mines were sunk and a potential township of Tunstalls was surveyed in 1868, but never eventuated as the gold ran out along with the scarcity of water making the settlers lives very challenging.

Mine shaft
Old mine shaft, danger!
There are still remnants of the gold rush era within Tunstalls Nature Conservation Reserve with small depressions in the ground indicating a filled in mine shaft, on our bush wandering we did discover an unsigned posted an open mineshaft. So please be aware of where you walk through the bush as there may be other old shafts throughout the area that may have opened back up again. While driving around we passed a gentleman trying to strike it rich using a handheld gold detector.

When we visited in early spring, we were lucky enough to find many of the smaller shrubberies in bloom, with small golden wattles being the predominant bloom. There is an abundance of driving tracks easily accessible by a small car, but they are dirt tracks with the occasional pothole. The tracks are suited to a slow meander when driving through so you can catch a glimpse of the mob of 30 plus kangaroos that call Tunstalls Nature Conservation Reserve their home. We were also lucky enough to catch a very shy echidna making his way along the roadside before it dug itself into the earth once it spotted us. As you walk through the bush you will be serenaded by the local birds which consist of White-winged Choughs, Magpies, Galahs and Corellas high up in the treetops.

Golden Wattle
Golden Wattle in bloom

Little Gecko
Hard to see, but a great discovery-a little gecko

It's best to stick to the tracks with your car, but if you do get out to admire an interesting feature that you discover try to pull your car half off the track so that if other vehicles come along they can pass safely.

As always when visiting our wonderful Aussie bushland, wear sturdy footwear, be alert, but not alarmed and on the lookout for snakes, take plenty of water with you and enjoy your time out in nature. There are no toilets available, but Parks Victoria advises that if you do need to go, be sure to dig a hole at least 15cm deep and cover when done. If you cannot bear to use a bush toilet, there are public toilets located at the Orme Sowden Playground in Bealiba.

Bring a picnic lunch with you as there are no local shops within the very small township of Bealiba and please abide by the current COVID-19 restrictions for the area.

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Why? To get out into nature and enjoy the wide open spaces
When: Anytime
Where: Tunstalls Nature Conservation Reserve
Cost: Free
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