Button Grass Walk (Bunyip State Park)
Camp Rd, Tonimbuk VIC 3815, Australia
This walk is part of the Heart Foundations 'Green Walks in the Park' Program. Follow the link above for more information.
The nearest toilets are at Mortimer Camp Ground, 5km away on the Gembrook-Tonimbuk Road.
There are two seats along the trail.
From Gembrook, drive east along the Gembrook-Tonimbuk Road. After 11 km turn right onto Camp Road. After 200m you will reach a small car park at the gated Guide Track.
The track is suitable for walkers only.
From the car park, walk 200m south along Guide Track until you reach the start of the Button-grass Walk. There is a very comprehensive information board here.
At the centre of this loop walk is a wet heathland area. The trail meanders through the surrounding woodland and at times dips into the wet heathland. The walker gets to explore the diversity of fauna in these two distinct areas along the walk.
Heathland is one of the oldest recognised ecosystems in the world. The term Heathen was originally coined to represent those people who lived in heathland away from the major townships.
The first part of the trail takes you under a canopy of eucalypts - Silver-leaf Stringybark and Narrow-leaf Peppermint. The Peppermint trees have a finer bark and smaller leaves. If you find a fresh leaf, crush it and smell the peppermint.
If you are walking in Spring you will encounter many bright yellow 'rods' along the way, the Spike Wattle in bloom. You might also spot Sweet Wattle with its pale yellow to white and ball-shaped flowers.
Among the many bird species that call this area their home, keep an eye out for Honeyeater birds. They can be found feasting on the blossoms of eucalypts and banksias and prising insects from the bark of trees.
Although the walk is quite level overall, you might notice the path gently ascending at first before dropping slightly into the wet heathland area.
Wet heathland is poorly drained because of a layer in the soil that keeps the ground above it wet. Plants here must be able to cope with periods of standing water, these include Rapier Sedges, Button-grass, heaths and Tea-trees. The walk includes boardwalks to keep your feet dry and to protect the vegetation.
Near the end of the trail you will encounter the plant that gives the walk its name. Button-grass is a type of sedge, characterised by its long stems and rounded flowering heads.
The track finally returns to Guide Track. Turn left here and return to the car park at Camp Road.
Heart Foundation Walking is funded nationally by the Medibank Community Fund and the Australian Government. It is also funded by the QLD Government to get more Queenslanders active and the ACT Government through ACT Health. The Green Walks in the Park program is funded by Parks Victoria and delivered by the Heart Foundation with support from Victoria Walks.