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The Mustering Flat High Beam Society

Mustering Flat is an alpine plain in the Baw Baw National Park, an easy walk in from the St Gwinear car park north of Erica.  It’s one of our favourite places to get away for a bushwalk.  There’s a good campsite in the snow gums on the side of the plain, and we took a group in there last weekend for an overnight hike, and formed the Mustering Flat High Beam Society in the process.

Between us, dad and I have been into Mustering Flat well over a dozen times.  It’s an ideal overnight walk, as it’s only about 5km or 6km from the Mt St Gwinear car park, and therefore easy striking distance from Melbourne.  Alternatively, it’s a good walk up Mt Erica to the south and along the Alpine Walking Track, before turning off to Mt St Gwinear.  Here’s where the track goes:

Mustering Flat walk

Our group consisted of usual hiking partners Dad & Dave, together with Bob, Rob & Fiona, and Rosemary.  The last three hadn’t been on an overnight hike before, so we had to initiate them and show them that bushwalking can be lots of fun and doesn’t carry with it too many privations.

Mustering Flat is reached by leaving marked walking tracks, and heading up a gully that has a foot pad.  This pad is distinct, but goes through some boggy ground.  This time, the track was much more solid underfoot, as the alpine bogs are very dry.

Rob, Fiona & Rosemary were presented with some hands-free head lamps to mark their entry into overnight bushwalking.  Thus, the High Beam Society was formed, and all the members (except our leader, who had no batteries) set their headlights alight to cook and eat a sumptuous three-course dinner.  With a few bottles of red wine, The High Beam Society had come to order, and we were soon telling yarns how nearby Mt St Gwinear and Mt St Phillack got their names, and told Rosemary how bad the drop-bears are this season.

I’ve since done some Internet research, and based on the only St Gwinear I could find with any information on the topic, it seems that St Gwinear was an Irish prince who was taught by St Patrick, converted to Christianity, didn’t want to become king, went to fight Teudar, and was martyred.  In the process, he performed miracles including creating springs of water wherever he set down his staff.  If only there was more water at St Gwinear Flat and Mustering Flat this trip.

On the other side of the plain is a series of cascades, which drain a creek from Mustering Flat.  We headed over for a look, and realised just how dry it is at present.  What is normally a fast-flowing creek only had about a fifth of its flow, many of the rocks that the water cascades over being exposed and dry.

I’ve tried my hand at becoming an amateur documentary maker, so here’s a video of our trip, and some still photos as well.

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