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Camped in a volcano

I slept in a volcano last night — a first. Admittedly is was dormant, and had been for millions of years.

This nearby copse of deciduous trees, above, belied the dormancy with its skeletal white trunks and carpet of white, bleached leaves discarded last Autumn.

Mt Franklin is just north of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, popular Victorian holiday spots for the many goldminers that worked the digging in surrounding areas more than a century ago.

With the gold long gone, the two townships now mine the tourists instead.

Technically, according to Parks Victoria, Mt Franklin is a ‘prominent, conical scoria cone with deep crater open via a narrow breach in the rim on the southeastern side’.

On arrival, after an easy drive up, I had my pick of campsites as the only vehicle there.

With that sorted I soon settled in, with my only company three cheeky and obviously spoilt Guinea fowl begging for tidbits. I buried thoughts of the lovely Guinea fowl curry recipe I enjoyed on trips through Southern Africa.

They were fickle though. Just on sunset a popup camper-trailer arrived to set up camp on the other side of the volcano’s bowl and they soon scarpered over there.

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