Views across studded plains to the Murray Country and Tablelands to the High Country are just stunning. The flora is beautiful, the climb exhilarating. Summit walk – easy. Other areas – hard.
This is Longwood’s version of Hanging Rock. Is it better? You better come and decide for yourself
The 62h Big Hill Nature Conservation Reserve is easily accessed from Faithful Rd (Old Hume Hwy), 1 km beyond the Longwood-Ruffy Rd turnoff. Walk across the downed fence, follow the track to the left and then up the spine of the hill to the outcropping Wool Pack Rocks. Initially, it is a fairly easy north-south walk on to the summit – approximately 140m in altitude. If you want to walk over the back and around the sides of Big Hill it is quite a different story, be prepared for lots rock hopping and very steep slopes. The track disappears and the degree of difficulty increases to hard the further you go around.
Even at what sounds like a relatively low 372m elevation, the views across the plains country, rolling hills and mountains leave little to be desired.
The Reserve is a high value granitic hill woodland that exists exclusively for nature conservation. More than 56% of Granitic Hills Woodlands in the Goulburn Broken Catchment have disappeared since European invasion. Historically, parts of Big Hill were cleared of trees and grazed, but areas of intact woodland and escarpment shrubland remain.
Many of the plants and animals that rely on this habitat are now threatened, and some are extinct. This is one of the last remaining public land examples of quality habitat on the rocky, north western slopes of the ranges. Big Hill also links to important large patches of private remnant bushland along Winding Creek, up to Gap Rd and Panorama Drive above Longwood East.
There are examples of indigenous vegetation with considerable floristic or habitat value in a relatively natural state. It is a perfect location for recreational pursuits such as nature study, walking and photography associated with appreciation of the environment.
Granite country, with outcropping rocks and sandy to sandy-clay soils, typically has low water holding capacity. The low woodland overstorey is usually dominated by Blakely‘s Red Gum, with Red Stringybark, Red Box and Long-leaf Box. The shrub layer consists of Hickory Wattle and Drooping Sheaok, Common Fringe-myrtle, Lightwood, Box-leaf Wattle and Varnish Wattle. Clumps of correa reflexa and native fuchsia grow amongst the rocky shrub and herbland. Ground layer species include Nodding Blue Lily, Austral Carrot, Raspwort, Cotton Fire-weed, Green Rock Fern, Isotomes and Austral Stonecrop.
Unfortunately, foxes and feral cats predate on threatened species and focal species such as Brush-tailed Phascogale, Sugar Gliders and Diamond Firetails.
Ample parking in an Old Hume Hwy truck siding
Take only photos and leave only footsteps.
Don’t stray onto private property, some of the boundary fences are in poor repair.
No potable water
No firewood collection
No firearms or hunting
No vehicles or motor bikes
Take rubbish with you
For a retrospective look at Big Hill Flora Reserve, follow these links to earlier visits: