Sallie Harvey's Top Five Lost Places


STORY BY RICHARD CORNISH. PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANNY WOOTTON


Local identity, Sallie Harvey offers us her 5 top outdoor things to do over Summer in Daylesford and Hepburn region.

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“I love summer in Central Victoria,” says Sallie Harvey. Cook, hunter, singer, caterer and mum she is a local identity singing some evenings at The Belvedere Social in Daylesford and creating Moroccan feasts for Middle Eastern food loving locals. A keen shot she hunts feral deer in the forests and has explored more than her fair share of the local countryside going on walks and swims with her children. In this issue of LOST she shares some of her favourite places around Daylesford and beyond.

The Pine Forest
“There are hundreds of hectares of radiata pine plantations just outside of Daylesford. While they are very popular in autumn with foragers coming in to pick the saffron milk caps the pine forests have their own beauty in summer. The light is really beautiful. It streams through the even rows of trees creating shafts of light early in the morning and later in the day. At the height of the sun the sunlight is soft and filtered and the air is cool. The forest floor is covered in a bed of pine needles that absorb the sound making the place seem surreal and quiet. There are also a surprising number of native birds in the forest and when the breeze picks up the wind makes this spooky noise through the needles. When we walk through we can see what the deer have been eating and there are always kangaroos and wallabies grazing between the rows. Good spots are off Telegraph Road and Basalt road.

Le Franchi’s Hut
You’ll need to befriend a local in order to find Le Franchi’s hut. It’s a wattle and daub cabin with a stone chimney in the middle of a grove of deciduous trees, robinias to be exact. It’s in the Wombat State Forest at the end of a puzzling array of winding tracks. At this time of the year the surrounds are covered in a carpet of blue bells. It is one of my favourite places to bring the family for a walk or picnic.

It’s exact location is a fiercely held secret in order to preserve the ageing cabin and fields of bulbs. However for those lucky enough to be taken there, they quickly appreciate the fragile beauty and what a privilege it is to visit.

Cairn Curran Reservoir
We locals sometimes refer to Cairn Curran Reservoir as “Little Eildon”. This is our own private holiday destination where we can go camping, fishing, swimming and canoeing. It’s at Baringhup between Newstead and Maldon and is the result of flooding a beautiful stretch of the Loddon valley where Cairn Curran station once stood. In drought, the old homestead emerges from the water like a ghostly mansion surrounded by dead, twisted gum trees. It is very beautiful in its own way.

The Tip
Just the other day I went to the Daylesford Tip and came back with a multi-coloured chandelier. No, I am not a scavenger! There is a Tip Shop where you can get really good stuff at amazing prices. I mean there are people with way too much money and stuff in this world and they throw away perfectly good furniture, bikes, garden equipment. It’s just like an outdoor op shop with a slightly, but not much, stronger odour. Ajax Road, Daylesford.

The Trees of the Moorabool Reservoir
When the Moorabool Reservoir was created in 1915 it flooded the upper reaches of the Moorabool River between Ballan and Daylesford. Lots of stone aqueducts were built and lot of the old growth forest was replaced with northern hemisphere species. I love driving down the Daylesford-Ballan Road towards Ballan and turning right up Spargo Creek Road.

The countryside so different with great stands of Californian Redwoods and Spruce while there are still pre-European white gums towering over the farmland. There is a little picnic area on the banks of the reservoir.

To book one of Sallie Harvey’s Souq Moroccan Feasts in your own home call 0409 339 308.

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