The Otway Ranges

Recently two of the AnArt4Life subscribers spent a relaxing week in the glorious and very, very old Otway Ranges about 236kms south west from Melbourne, Victoria.

A and R from Oakleigh sent in some beautiful photographs to encourage us to reflect on this amazing part of the world.

Soft tree ferns: Otway Ranges Photo: A of Oakleigh

Let us dive down into this very green and luscious world and see what we can find and learn about.

Casuarina species of sheoak, Otway Ranges, Victoria Photo: A of Oakleigh

A and R from Oakleigh explain: We stayed at Apollo Bay, which is a short drive up the Aire Valley road to Lavers Hill and then onto Weeaproinah and to Otway fly Treetop Adventures. The walk is 600 metres long, and rising to 25-30 metre-high elevated walkway above the rainforest. The major trees of the area are Mountain Ash, Blackwood and Myrtle Beech with moss and epiphytic ferns clinging to the rough bark of the Myrtle Beech.

Below is a magnificant Myrtle Beech with epiphypic ferns growing in harmony as they do no harm to the tree as they produce their own energy through photosynthesis.

The Myrtle Beech can be traced back to the time when Australia was joined to Antarctica as part of Gondwana Land - and the temperate rainforest within the Otway ranges has remained intact for more than 40 million years. 2

Epiphypic ferns on a Myrtle Beech Photo: A of Oakleigh

Trees in these forests can live a long time.Some of their close Tasmanian relatives such as the Huon pine are thought to be more than 2000 years old.2

Below are some more epiphypic ferns on a Myrtle Beech.

There was a time long ago when the whole of the state of Victoria was covered in Myrtle Beech trees. What a magnificent sight that must have been.

More Epiphypic ferns Photo: A of Oakleigh

We all know that forests are the homes for millions of different plant and insect life. *A from Oakleigh* has captured one of the amazing fungi.

Fungi: Otway Ranges Photo: A in Oakleigh

More incredible fungi found in the Otway Ranges.

Amazing Fact

Fossilised bones of dinosaurs have been found in the cliff faces of the Otway Ranges at such places as Dinosaur Cove in Cretaceous period sediments.3 If you are trying to get your head around the age of this land the Cretaceous period extended from approximately 145 million years ago to 65 million years ago!

And whilst that is an amazing fact, equally amazing is that there is a tiny creature found in the Otway Ranges that does not exist anywhere else in the world. Tune in tomorrow to learn all about it.

1/All photos taken by A of Oakleigh and shown here with her permission.