|Travelling Australia - Journal 2012
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|May 2012 - Hermans Hill|
Hermans Hill is the local name of a low hill in State Forest on the edge of Wyperfeld National Park and a few kilometres west of Lake Hindmarsh. The name has not been officially recognised or gazetted but it has wide use around the Nhill-Jeparit-Rainbow area. The name is understood to have arisen because a Mr Herman Strauss lived in a house south of the present day walking track on the hill.
The idea of a lookout in this apparently flat landscape is not as silly as it first sounds. The lookout is at an elevation of 166 metres on top of a vegetated sand-hill; higher than the surroundings. Nearby Lake Hindmarsh is at 87 metres elevation at the shoreline and the car park for Herman's Hill, where the walking track begins, is at 141 metres.
Local residents who used the hill for recreational walking, wished to share the Hill and a walking track and lookout was established in 1993. A Federal Government Grant was used to improve the trail and signage in 2005.
|From the Hermans Hill lookout. Lake Hindmarsh beyond cropping paddocks|
|From the Hermans Hill lookout. Contrast in land use. The boundary between cleared paddocks devoted to crops and the uncleared national park/state forest is obvious|
The Herman's Hill Nature Walk, in its present form, has a dual purpose. One is to provide access to the lookout with vistas across the national park and the cleared land nearby; the other purpose is to provide visitors with access to the uncleared environment.
The track is sandy through paperbarks. Posts have been installed every 100 metres with the distance to go to the top marked on each post; I have not seen this before in a nature trail and found it a very nice idea which was much appreciated. Information on plants, birds and other living things is provided in notices under well designed lift-up aluminium covers. The first notice accurately informs visitors that a variety of spiders and other small creatures find the dark, confined space under the lids attractive; anybody with a fear of spiders should stand well back while somebody else lifts the lid and sends the residents scurrying for cover.
The track rises a total of 25 metres in elevation from the carpark but there are a few ups and downs on the way. Walking on the sand is pleasant and the hills are short and not steep. At the top there is a low timber platform permitting visitors to see over most of the surrounding vegetation.
|The sandy track up Hermans Hill winding through the paperbarks. The post on the right is one of the distance markers installed every 100 metres showing walkers how far they have to go to the top.|
|Aluminium information board; these are distributed along the track to inform visitors about the environment they are passing through.
The Lookout is at 35° 59' 19"S, 141° 44' 20"E, elevation 166 metres.
The carpark, immediately beside the road, is at 35° 59' 51"S, 141° 44' 20"E, elevation 141 metres.
To get to Herman's Hill from Nhill drive along the Nhill-Rainbow Road (bitumen) to the long north-south section along the western side of Lake Hindmarsh. Turn onto the gravel road along the former dog fence at 35° 59' 52"S, 141° 50' 17"E and drive 9 kilometres to the car park.
Bring your own water, there are no toilets.