18 Mile Peg – Big Spotted Gum

Sunday 3 July 2016

Photos by Joan

Joan led 14 walkers, including 4 new visitors, on a very enjoyable 4km hike to visit ‘Old Blotchy’, the giant Spotted Gum in the Murramarang National Park. The 18 Mile Peg turnoff signpost at the Princes Highway is gone and we suspect the National Park Service feels the best way to save Old Blotchy is to not advertise its location. James Woodford, a local nature writer, wrote in 2005 that Old Blotchy is 2.92m at DBH (that’s Diameter at Breast Height for the non-foresters) and has a canopy 50m above the forest floor. With a growth rate of 5mm per year it is estimated the tree is over 500  years old.

As a mark of respect we formed a ‘tree-hug’ circle around its base that took 12 of us to complete. We then hiked some local tracks and had to stop when we reached an old dilapidated timber bridge over a creek on the abandoned logging road. Joan issued a challenge for someone to open the track over the bridge which is now very overgrown and complete a circuit back to Old Blotchy. This will make a good 10km hike for a future walk leader with a great attraction draw hikers.

Thanks to Joan for a very enjoyable hike.

Rob L