Mount Baw Baw

From Academic Kids

Mount Baw Baw is about 120 kilometres east of Melbourne and 50 kilometres north of the Latrobe Valley. It consists of a long plateau trending north-east, with low peaks named Mount Whitelaw, Mount St. Phillack. Mount Tyers, Mount Kernot and Mount St. Gwinear. The plateau itself is isolated from most of Victoria's high country by the Thomson and Aberfeldy Rivers and tributaries of the La Trobe River.

The Baw Baw massif consists of a late Devonian granodiorite pluton. There is relatively little relief on the plateau itself, the highest point (Mount St. Phillack) reaching 1567 metres. The lower slopes of the plateau are covered in montane eucalypt forest and tall forest, and creek valleys have cool temperate rainforest of myrtle beech, Nothofagus cunninghamii. Above 1200 metres snow gum woodland occur, grading into subalpine grasslands and shrublands above 1300 metres. Much of this subalpine zone is included in the 133 km² Baw Baw National Park. The Baw Baw Village ski resort is technically outside the National Park.

The climate of the plateau itself is subalpine, with average annual precipitation of 1900 mm per annum. Snow covers the plateau from June to September.

It is thought that Baron Ferdinand von Mueller made the first ascent of Baw Baw in 1860, on one of his major collecting expeditions. It was on this trip that he collected the Baw Baw Berry, Wittsteinia vaccinacea.

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