The Toorongo Falls Reserve, near Noojee, is a picturesque area of 16 hectares beside the Toorongo and Little Toorongo Rivers in tall mountain forest. The main feature of the Reserve is a circuit walking track to the Toorongo Falls with a branch to the Amphitheatre Falls. The Reserve is managed by the DSE from its Noojee work centre.
The Toorongo Falls are a spectacular feature, particiularly following heavy rain. A walking track leads to a viewing point on the way to the base of the falls. The track continues across to the Toorongo River, back to the car park. A branch track may be followed upstream to Amphitheatre Falls.
The walks beside the streams are most pleasant, with rock formations and many species of ferns. The main ciruit is around 1800m in length and takes about an hour to walk. The open, grassy areas along the river near the entrance to the Reserve are popular for picnicing, barbeques and camping - ideal for families and large groups.
The Ada Tree
The Ada Tree, a giant Mountain Ash, is considered to be one of Victoria's largest trees. It towers over the surrounding rainforest in the headwaters of the Little Ada River north-east of Powelltown. The tree is accessible from Warburton, Powelltown or Noojee.
Around 270 years old, the Ada Tree stands about 76m in height with a circumference of 15m measured at 1.5m above ground level. Despite its age, the tree appears particularly healthy. It is though that Mountain Ash can live for up to 500 years but reduce in height due mainly to strong winds. As they age, Mountain Ash commonly form hollows in which many forest-dwelling mammals and birds nest.
From the carpark on the Ada River Road, the tree can be reached by walking 1.6km along the delightful Island Creek walking track. The path meanders through cool temperate rainforest passing under grove of ancient Myrtle Beech, Sassafras and Soft Treefern. Another route to the tree is via the Federal Road, a walk about 2km along a track of easy grade. Strong-smelling Balm Mintbush lines much of the track. This plant produces beautiful flowers in spring.
Just a few minutes drive, or a pleasant walk, takes you to the restores bridge on the old railway which ran from Noojee to Warragul.
This bridge, known as No. 7, is the only remaining of sevent trestle bridges on the section of railway line between Nayook and Noojee. Of the other six bridges, three survived the 1939 fire, but were destroyed later by another fire. The bridge of the main Noojee - Warragul Road (formally Longmore's Road) was dismantled.
The logs for pile were brought in by rail and a small amount of local timber was dragged out of the bush by teams of bullocks and horses. The bridge was then built by railway employees. The Noojee to Nayook section of the narrow gauge line to Warragul opened in 1919. There was a terminus at Noojee, to which large amounts of timber were transported from mills scattered through the forest by means of a network of timber tramlines, heading to the west and to the north.
The bridge was originally designed to carry the weight of N class steam locomotives, with the smaller engine classes J and K also using the line. This bridge was subsequently taken out of service in 1954 when the line was closed.
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