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The Valley Lake is about a few hundred metre east of the Blue Lake in the Crater Lakes area within the Kanawinka Geopark at Mount Gambier, South Australia. Here speed boats are drawing circles on the mirror like, turquoise green lake surface.

 

The colour of the lake water does not manifest the pronounced seasonal colour changes as the famous Blue Lake, probably it does not share the the same underground water system.

The Red Rock Volcanic Complex features a cluster of over 40 eruption points concentrated in a 4x3 km area just south of Alvie in Victoria, Australia, and several smaller eruption points just north of the town. The massive eruptions, which created the well-preserved formations of maars, tuff rings and scoria cones at Red Rock, is believed to have taken place some 6,000-12,000 years ago. The presence of iron gives Red Rock its distinctive colour. To give a sense of scale, the centre of the dark circular feature in the middle of the image is some 550m from me. The dark part is about 60m in diameter and it is some 80m below the viewing point from which I took the five frames that make up this panorama.

 

The eruption history of Red Rock comprises two main phases. The first involved explosive interactions between magma (molten rock) and groundwater that formed wide craters called maars, such as the two seen mid-right in the shot above. During eruptions, fine-grained volcanic ash was blasted from multiple vents (openings) within the maar to form its rim (called the tuff ring). In the second phase, there was an initial short period of fire-fountaining, when the magma was ejected from the vent as a fluid lava fountain. Then gases within the magma expanded, fragmenting the magma and producing violent eruptions of scoria (volcanic rocks with vesicles) onto the surface, creating hills called scoria cones which occur throughout the Red Rock Reserve and overlay the maars from earlier eruptions. Before white settlement, the scoria cones were covered in predominantly Casuarina open woodland.

 

There are nine complete craters up to 75m deep, some of which were filled with water, forming lakes such as Lake Purdiguluc, Lake Werowrap, Lake Gnalingurk and Lake Coragulac. Lake Purdiguluc has been formed by at least five coalescing eruption points. The Red Rock lakes have been dry since 1999, which may be a cyclic event or due to over-extraction of groundwater. The critically endangered Corangamite Water Skink can be found around the lakes.

 

The volcanoes at Red Rock form a contrasting landscape to the otherwise flat countryside formed by earlier lava flows, which gave the western district its rich fertile soils of immense agricultural value (see www.flickr.com/photos/67307569@N00/5217959803, taken from the same place, looking north instead of south).

 

Similar explosive vulcanism occurred in many other areas of western Victoria and eastern South Australia, with the last eruption occurring 4,500 years ago at Mt. Gambier. Other maars produced during this time include Lake Purrumbete south-east of Camperdown, the lake at Tower Hill near Warrnambool and the Blue Lakes at Mt Gambier. Scoria cones include Mt Shadwell at Mortlake, Mt Leura at Camperdown and Mt Elephant at Derrinallum.

 

The Red Rock Volcanic Complex is a small part of the Kanawinka Global Geopark extends from the south-western part of Victoria to south-eastern part of South Australia and was established as Australia's first National Geopark and the first Australian UNESCO Global Geopark on 22 June 2008. Kanawinka means the Land of Tomorrow in the language of the indigenous Buandik people.

 

The sweeping plains and spectacular mountains in the Kanawinka Global Geopark are largely the result of volcanic activity. Between 4.5 and 2 million years ago, lava from nearly 400 individual volcanic eruption points flowed over an area known as the Newer Volcanics Province which covers 23,000 square km, extending to the north of Ballarat and reappearing in a small section of south-eastern South Australia. The flowing lava spread evenly across existing plains, followed valleys, flowed under water and in some cases forced upwards into rough, stony hills called tumuli or steeper scoria cones. Many of the eruptions were witnessed by indigenous people who have inhabited this region for up to 45,000 years. The volcanic stones were used both by the aboriginal people and later by European settlers in the 1870-80s for construction purposes.

 

- Notes taken from altonabeauty.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/red-rock-volcanic-res...

 

For those who've got this far, there is evidence of the fact that this is a panorama at the right-hand end of the top wire of the fence in the bottom of the image...

the natural bridge, an uncollapsed section of lava tunnel

 

budj bim - mount eccles national park, western victoria, australia

inside harmans 1 - a lava tunnel and one of the largest publicly-accessible examples of its kind in australia

 

mount napier state park, western victoria, australia

'petrified forest' walking trail, with turbines of the cape bridgewater section of pacific hydro's portland wind energy project at rear

 

this is a section of the great south-west walk

 

discovery bay coastal park, south-western victoria, australia

Eugene von Geurard painting of Tower Hill

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Mount Elephant is a 240 m high conical breached scoria cone from a dormant volcano, located 1 km from the town of Derrinallum in southwestern Victoria, Australia. It is a prominent local landmark.

The volcano is thought to have last erupted between 5,000 and 20,000 years ago. During early European settlement, the mountain was known as Swagmans Lighthouse. The mountain was privately owned until 2000, when it was purchased by Trust for Nature and the local community. The aim is to revegetate the area and promote local tourism.

Mt. Elephant forms the eastern gateway to the Kanawinka Geopark from the Hamilton Highway at Derrinallum.

37.961°S 143.198°E

lake surprise - mount eccles' volcanic lake

 

budj bim - mount eccles national park, western victoria, australia

the freshwater springs walking trail, a section of the great south-west walk

 

at rear turbines of the cape bridgewater section of pacific hydro's portland wind energy project can be seen

 

discovery bay coastal park, south-western victoria, australia

This is from my first trip to Mt Elephant in 2001. It's all nice and green before the drought set in.

Mt Eccles Crater - Lake Suprise.

 

Mt Eccles National Park is part of the Kanawinka Global Geopark. Australia's first UNESCO-assisted Geopark.

Byaduk.

Victoria.

 

Link : www.kanawinkageopark.com/web_images/mountnapier.pdf

 

Budj-Bim is the Gunditjmara name for Mount Eccles, and means High Head. The rocks around the mountain were called Tungat or teeth.

'petrified forest' walking trail, with turbines of the cape bridgewater section of pacific hydro's portland wind energy project at rear

 

this is a section of the great south-west walk

 

discovery bay coastal park, south-western victoria, australia

vegetation on the volcanic rim of lake surprise

 

budj bim - mount eccles national park, western victoria, australia

one of the locals - an echidna, or spiny anteater (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

 

budj bim - mount eccles national park, western victoria, australia

This is from my first trip to Mt Elephant in 2001. It's all nice and green before the drought set in.

strange rocks inhabit the crater floor of Mt Elephant

Exit / Entrance to the cave formed by the Natural Bridge.

 

Mt Eccles National Park.

Near Macarthur.

Victoria.

 

Part of the Kanawinka Geopark. Australia's first UNESCO-assisted Geopark.

Byaduk.

Victoria.

 

Link : www.kanawinkageopark.com/web_images/mountnapier.pdf

A large scoria quarry on the outside of Mt Eccles' crater. It is a mountain of scoria, formed when lava was thrown into the air 20,000 years ago.

"The geological features are of national significance, and are in an excellent state of preservation." - except for this ugly quarry.

 

Mt Eccles National Park.

Near Macarthur.

Victoria.

 

Part of the Kanawinka Geopark. Australia's first UNESCO-assisted Geopark.

Byaduk.

Victoria.

 

Link : www.kanawinkageopark.com/web_images/mountnapier.pdf

overlooking volcanic gas vents from the freshwater springs walking trail, a section of the great south-west walk

 

at rear turbines of the cape bridgewater section of pacific hydro's portland wind energy project can be seen

 

discovery bay coastal park, south-western victoria, australia

Gate to the property containing many Tumuli Lava Blisters.

 

Part of the Kanawinka Geopark. Australia's first UNESCO-assisted Geopark.

Byaduk.

Victoria.

 

Link : www.kanawinkageopark.com/web_images/mountnapier.pdf

rubble and boulder pile inside the harman no. 1 cave, a relatively recent lava tube that formed after an eruption that took place only 8000 years ago

 

byaduk caves, mount napier state park, victoria, australia

Mt Napier (1,440 feet (440 m)) and its surronding State Park.

It is the youngest and highest volcanic point in western Victoria, and last erupted less than 10,000 years ago.

 

Part of the Kanawinka Geopark. Australia's first UNESCO-assisted Geopark.

Hamilton.

Victoria.

 

A web shot inside the crater. newcastleonhunter.com/mediapix/2009/mt-napier-victoria-se...

inside harmans 1 - a lava tunnel and one of the largest publicly-accessible examples of its kind in australia

 

mount napier state park, western victoria, australia

Leg of Mutton Lake Crater

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Gambier_(volcano)

 

Mount Gambier is a maar complex in South Australia associated with the Newer Volcanics Province. It contains four lake-filled maars called Blue Lake, Valley Lake, Leg of Mutton Lake, and Brownes Lake.[1] It is one of Australia's youngest volcanoes which formed about 4,900 years ago.

 

"Ash from the Mt Gambier area has been dated at about 4,700 years old and about 1,400 years old, indicating that the vents were certainly active at these times, though possibly for a considerable period before and after."[2]

 

Mount Gambier is thought to have formed by a mantle plume centre called the East Australia hotspot which may currently lie offshore.[1]

 

This area is part of the UNESCO-endorsed Kanawinka Geopark.

 

Of the original four lakes found within the calderas, only two remain. The Leg of Mutton Lake (named for the outline of its shoreline) became permanently dry in the 1960s. Brownes Lake suffered a similar fate in the late 1980s. Both these lakes were quite shallow; their demise is attributed to the lowering of the water table as a result of many years of land drainage to secure farmland.

 

The rural city of Mount Gambier partially surrounds the maar complex.

2004 46x38cms Oil on linen

  

View from the top of Mt Elephant looking towards Camperdown with Mt Leura (also an extinct volcano) on the left horizon and Ewan Hills on the right horizon. In the foreground are the stony rises.

 

There is a scoria quarry on the side of Mt Fraser and grazing cows on the sides and top. It's about 300m high.

Looking through to the other end of the Natural Bridge.

 

Mt Eccles National Park.

Near Macarthur.

Victoria.

 

Part of the Kanawinka Geopark. Australia's first UNESCO-assisted Geopark.

Byaduk.

Victoria.

 

Link : www.kanawinkageopark.com/web_images/mountnapier.pdf

ferns thrive in the cool, moist conditions at the opening of the harman no. 1 cave, a relatively recent lava tube that formed after an eruption that took place only 8000 years ago

 

byaduk caves, mount napier state park, victoria, australia

The collapsed roof of a lave tube, flowing from Mt Napier.

Harman One is the only cave accessable to the public.

 

Part of the Kanawinka Geopark. Australia's first UNESCO-assisted Geopark.

Byaduk.

Victoria.

 

Link : www.kanawinkageopark.com/web_images/mountnapier.pdf

On the Lava Canyon walk, to the Natural Bridge formation.

 

Mt Eccles National Park.

Near Macarthur.

Victoria.

 

Part of the Kanawinka Geopark. Australia's first UNESCO-assisted Geopark.

Byaduk.

Victoria.

 

Link : www.kanawinkageopark.com/web_images/mountnapier.pdf

Decaying eucalypt tree.

On the side of a crater near Colac.

Victoria.

 

Lakes and Craters Precinct: Red Rock, near Colac.

www.kanawinkageopark.com/web_images/redrock.pdf

Kanawinka is a geological fault that stretches from Naracoorte SA to Portland, Victoria. It is an Aboriginal name that means "Land of Tomorrow",

SE South Australia.

the freshwater springs walking trail, a section of the great south-west walk

 

at rear turbines of the cape bridgewater section of pacific hydro's portland wind energy project can be seen

 

discovery bay coastal park, south-western victoria, australia

Stairs decending into the cave, formed by the Natural Bridge.

 

Mt Eccles National Park.

Near Macarthur.

Victoria.

 

Part of the Kanawinka Geopark. Australia's first UNESCO-assisted Geopark.

Byaduk.

Victoria.

 

Link : www.kanawinkageopark.com/web_images/mountnapier.pdf

freshwater springs walking trail, a section of the great south-west walk

 

discovery bay coastal park, south-western victoria, australia

Milkmaid found in SW Victorian grasslands in Spring.

Mount Elephant is a 240-metre-high (790 ft) conical breached scoria cone formed by a dormant volcano, located 1 km from the town of Derrinallum in southwestern Victoria, Australia. It is a prominent landmark that forms the eastern gateway to the Kanawinka Geopark from the Hamilton Highway at Derrinallum.

 

I only took this quick snap from a moving car as we did not have time to stop.

 

Knowing the region characterised by flat plain, this little mountain seems like a little pimple on the flat surface of this vast farm land region.

Tower Hill faves

The massive volcanic activity which created the formations at Red Rock is believed to taken place between 6000 and 12,000 years ago.

  

approaching the freshwater springs viewing platform, freshwater springs walking trail, a section of the great south-west walk

 

discovery bay coastal park, south-western victoria, australia

Cape Nelson and Nelson Bay.

South Western Victoria.

 

Coast and Caves Precinct of the Kanawinka Global Geopark.

the freshwater springs walking trail, a section of the great south-west walk

 

at rear turbines of the cape bridgewater section of pacific hydro's portland wind energy project can be seen

 

discovery bay coastal park, south-western victoria, australia

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