Describing the Great Forest

The early writers referred to forest as big scrub.

The mountains known as the Baw Baws were far to the north of the settled area of Gippsland. In the south the Strzeleckis rose two thousand feet above rolling hills and in the west were swampy plains. Rain fell for most of the year and was greatest in the spring. This rain soaked some of the richest soils in Victoria and allowed the growth of dense vegetation. In the dense forest there were three layers of growth. In the top layer mountain ash, blue gum, messmate and other eucalypts rose as high as 250 feet (80 m), with some giants reaching 300 feet (100m). One hundred feet or more below them a layer of large blackwoods, hazels, musks, and wattles stretched towards the light. The ground was covered with dense undergrowth: tall tree ferns and ferny scrub grew along the creeks and in the gullies where it was wet. Creepers, wire grass and sword grass covered fallen timber and moist decaying forest litter.

Reference: Charles Daley, “The Story of Gippsland”, Page 94


  • Before
  • Settlement Begins
  • Early Travel
  • Ckearing The Land
  • Building a Home
  • Fencing the Land
  • Living Conditions
  • Early Communities