Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Barry Way, NSW

From Jindabyne we drove to Willis on the Victorian border on the Barry Way. If we had continued we would have reached Buchan in Gippsland. The road is on the eastern side of the Great Dividing Range and follows the Snowy River on its way from Mt Kosciuszko to Marlo.

After the river was dammed at Jindabyne in 1967 for the Snow Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme the flow of the Snowy River was reduced to 1%. 1 per cent!! It wasn't until 2002 that agreement was reached to increase the flow to 22% for environmental reasons. We saw it in late summer and I wouldn't expect to see a great flow but it would have been nice to see another 75%.

It was a surprise to me that the vegetation was so dry. Somehow I had been expecting ferns and tall eucalypts but what we saw was stunted and sparse vegetation that included Long-leaved Box Eucalyptus goniocalyx (the leaves are very, very long), White Box, sheoaks, White Cypress pines and Grasstrees Xanthorrhoea australis. A completely surprising vegetation community.

Grasstrees Xanthorrhoea australis
A very hot wild fire in 2003 burnt through this area.
Long-leaved Box
White Cypress
At the Victorian border we turned around. In earlier days the cattlemen camped here with their cattle on the way back from the high country to Gippsland. It is still a campsite but I wouldn't stay there - it is a weed infested area and smells strongly of horse. All down the Barry Way we saw horse droppings on the road and along the river's edge and we surmised that there are a lot of wild horses in the area.

Willis, on the NSW-Victoria border.

No comments: