|This park contains a variety of forest eucalypts, providing habitat for a range of birds and animals. Wildflowers are at the vibrant best in spring. An extensive track network, suitable for cycling or walking, provides easy access throughout the park.
Situated on the outskirts of the township of Stawell, the 1823 ha Deep Lead Nature
Conservation Reserve has been described as “...one of the most important sites for
nature conservation in Victoria. It supports at least 21 threatened species, including three
plant species not found anywhere else in the world.”
A total of 350 species of native plants has been recorded here. The reserve contains
a variety of forest eucalypts, all important homes and habitat to birds and animals. They include Red Ironbark (the southern part of the reserve is known locally as “the Ironbarks”), Yellow Gum, Yellow Box, Longleaf Box, Red Stringybark, River Red Gum
and Grey Box. Wattles, particularly Golden Wattle, dominate the heathy shrubs, often in
the company of small orchids.
Thousands of miners and their families flocked to the Stawell area when gold was
discovered here in 1853. The impact of change was devastating to the traditional
landscape and its people: changing the face of this place and its people forever. They
brought new diseases, a new diet and new laws. Prospectors and miners scoured the area, mining at first with shallow and then deeper shafts. The forests were harvested for
sawmilling, mining timbers and firewood.
The Deep Lead reserve is the western outpost of Victoria’s Box-Ironbark forests and
woodlands. Once covering three million hectares, today, only 17% of the original area
of Box-Ironbark vegetation remains. These parks, along with more than 200
conservation reserves protect and enhance what remains of the Box-Ironbark forests,
wildlife and woodlands. Note: prospecting and fossicking are NOT permitted in the reserve, because of potential damage to the many significant low-growing plant species,
particularly the rare orchids.
The alluvial mining landscape of the Four Posts Diggings, the sites of the Three Jacks,
Darlington and Germania Mines, and the Bonnie Dundee mine dam are reminders of
the reserve’s mining history.
Walking and cycling - Walk or ride your bike around the well signposted roads and tracks.
How to get there - Stawell is 230 km from Melbourne, via the Western Highway. Access the reserve from the Donald-Stawell Road in the east, the Stawell-Deep Lead Road in the west, or from the hamlet of Deep Lead in the north-west.
- McCann Dam nature walk (2km loop) - Basic picnic facilities are provided just off the Stawell-Deep Lead Road.
- Three Jacks walk (1km) Off Sanctuary Rd.