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Mount Juliet Cairn, Yarra Ranges, Victoria. by Ern Mainka

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Mount Juliet Cairn, Yarra Ranges, Victoria. by 

Mount Juliet Cairn near Fernshaw, Yarra Ranges NP, Victoria.
Rollieflex SL66, Fuji Velvia film, 1995.
© Ern Mainka

‘Listed on the Register of the National Estate. The Mount Juliet Cairn is associated with the first Victorian Geodetic Survey conducted between 1858 and 1872 which was an important phase in the settlement of Victoria. The Cairn is a rare surviving example demonstrating the skills of the first Victorian survey teams.’

‘The magnificent natural setting, the sense of isolation it provides and the remarkable cairn on Mount Juliet is highly valued by bushwalkers for the experience the area bestows.’

‘The cairn is 18 feet (5.5 metres high) and 15 feet (4.6 metres) in diameter at the base. Mt Juliet is approximately 1,600 metres high, one of the highest mountains in this area, although Mountain Ash regrowth at the summit currently restricts the view of the surrounding hills. According to George Start, the cleared area around the cairn was visible from the fire tower on Mt St Leonard during the 1950s, but the regrowth of Mountain Ash following the 1939 fires has now reached a height that obscures the summit and views from the summit.’

More info at Dept. Environment website

The walking track to the summit is still accessible. It is maintained by Melbourne Water however it is a very arduous, steep track and was not clearly defined toward the top when we climbed it in 1995.

Historical photo of the cairn.


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  • eXposure
    eXposureabout 6 years ago

    such an incredible capture …

  • Ern Mainka
    Ern Mainkaabout 6 years ago

    Thanks. David (pictured) and myself lugged some pretty heavy camera gear with a variety of lenses (just in case) and a Manfrotto tripod up there for this the best shot I got. The old wobbly leg syndrome soon set in on the descent back down. Very steep tough walk this one. Too old and unfit to ever do it again me thinks.

  • Ron Fitzgerald
    Ron Fitzgeraldabout 6 years ago

    Great image well captured, did you do a close up shot of the cairn, it would show some interesting patterns

  • I should have done that and more in hindsight. I have shots on the other side that has less moss that could be cropped which show the pattern of the stone blocks better. The moss on the side shown above is tending to fill in the patterns/details but it looks more yummy.

    Long distance views are blocked by the trees but I also have views from the top of the cairn of the surrounding forest that are interesting too.

    – Ern Mainka

  • Travis Easton
    Travis Eastonabout 6 years ago

    Now that is a fascinating little bit of history, me thinks I must visit this spot, thanks once again Ern for sharing your wonderful travels to some of the less trode corners of this state.

  • GlennAlderson
    GlennAldersonabout 6 years ago

    Never seen this before, thanks for showing. Looks like an amazing sight.

  • SylviaHardy
    SylviaHardyabout 6 years ago

    This is fantastic Ern! I love your work and the history that comes with it!

  • Marilyn Baldey
    Marilyn Baldeyalmost 6 years ago

    Thanks for showing us this interesting place, there are not that many examples of stone work in Australia, so I am pleased to see this.

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