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Mount Hopeless

Mount Hopeless, Flinders Range, SA

Mouheneena—the traditional land of the Mouheneena Indigenous people encompassed the area from New Norfolk to Hobart and down to Margate (North West Bay). Their land included Mount Wellington and inland approximately 20-30km from the Derwent River. Signs of the Mouheneena people still abound on the shores of the river and on D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Shell middens represent the locations where the people camped, made small fires and cooked a rich variety of shellfish. Occasionally, you might see isolated stone tools (artifacts) in bushland surrounding Hobart. The stone artifacts were fashioned by the men for use as cutting tools or scrapers. Stone tools were traded from one end of Tasmania to the other. Complex and very strict trade negotiations occurred between different language groups and successful trade negotiations resulted in celebrations (corroboree) by the groups. While there are scant historical records of what happened to the Mouheneena people, the invasion of their lands by the English would have contributed to their demise.

Mouheneener—(see: Mouheneena).

mound springs—natural artesian springs found in arid, outback Queensland and South Australia. Water stored in deep aquifers seeps to the surface through fault lines in the overlying rock. Mounds form from the sediments and salts within the spring water as it evaporates. Most such springs support a thick growth of sedges that help stabilise the sediment and provide shelter for animals. Mound springs are often small hills, and in South Australia, they form an arc of about 400km along the south-western edge of the Great Artesian Basin. Many of these springs have disappeared in the last 100 years as a result of water extraction from the Great Artesian Basin.

Mount Arapiles—a 356m sandstone monolith, regarded internationally as the top rock-climbing site in Australia. There are 2000 rock-climbing routes marked out across its stretch of sandstone cliffs. Mount Arapiles is a spectacular feature, rising sharply from the Wimmera Plains to form part of the Mount Arapiles-Tooan State Park.

Mount Arapiles-Tooan State Park—Mount Arapiles is the central feature of the park, rising sharply from the Wimmera Plains. Most of the Arapiles Plateau is covered by low, open forest of long-leaved box in association with some bull-oak and white cypress-pine. Below the plateau, yellow gum woodland is found. About 500 species of native plants occur in the park, including several which are rare or endangered, such as rock wattle and skeleton fork-fern. About 14% of the state's flora species are represented in the Mount Arapiles section alone. The 5060ha park also provides habitat for a variety of mammals and invertebrates. A total of 109 bird species has been recorded. Notable species include the peregrine falcon, rainbow bee eater, Gilbert whistler and southern scrub robin. The Mount Arapiles-Tooan State Park is located 30km west of Horsham.

Mount Arckaringa—the largest of a group of colourful rock outcrops in the arid north of South Australia. The attraction of the area around Mount Arckaringa is the unique nature of the hills, which are flat-topped, cone-shaped features that are just as colourful as the hills around the breakaways. The underlying soil is a soft off-white colour streaked with varying hues of vibrant earth colours—from deep red to dark brown, burnished orange and ochre and vibrant yellows. The area is extremely fragile, the rocks so soft they crumble underfoot. A couple of kilometres beyond Mount Arckaringa, the road climbs a short distance up onto a plateau. Right at the top of this first jump up is a short track to the right, which leads up to a lookout only 50m or so from the road. It is from this lookout that you see why the flat, empty plain stretching to the southern horizon is called the Painted Desert. Mount Arckaringa, the Arckaringa Hills and the Painted Desert are located to the north of Coober Pedy, roughly halfway between Cadney Park on the Stuart Highway and Oodnadatta on the Oodnadatta Track.

Mount Augustus—a solitary peak rising 717 metres above a stony, red sandplain. The rock is about eight kilometres long and covers an area of 479 hectares. At about twice the size of Uluru, it is the world's largest monolith. Mount Augustus is known to the local Wadjari people as Burringurrah. Located in the Mount Augustus National Park, 450km inland from Camarvon and about 850km from Perth in the Gascoyne region.

Mount Augustus National Park—or Burringurrah as it is known by the local Wadjari people, is about 850km from Perth. At about twice the size of Uluru it is the biggest 'rock' in the world, rising 717m above a stony, red sandplain of arid shrubland dominated by wattles, cassias and eremophilas. The rock itself, which culminates in a small peak on a plateau, is about 8km long and covers an area of 4795ha. The rocks of Mount Augustus are from the upper Proterozoic age; they were deposited on an ancient sea floor as sand and boulders some 1,000 million years ago. These deposits consolidated to form sandstone and conglomerate strata, which eventually, with movement in the Earth's crust, folded and uplifted. The granite rock that lies beneath Mount Augustus is 1650 million years old. Drainage lines from the rock seep beneath the surrounding sands to feed groves of white-barked river gums. Elsewhere mulga, myall, gidgee and other wattles are dispersed across the red sandplain. Here honeyeaters, babblers and galahs forage for food. Nearby, emus seek fruits and bustards snatch insects and small reptiles from the ground. Bungarras (goannas) and red kangaroos are common on the plain, while euros and birds of prey are found closer to the rock. Historically, the Wadjari people would roam over a wide area of the Gascoyne. In times of drought, however, they would return to areas where water was available, such as the natural springs along the base of Mount Augustus. Aboriginal occupation is evident by the engravings on rock walls at Mundee, Ooramboo and Beedoboondu visitor sites, and by numerous stone tools discovered in these areas. There are at least three Dreaming stories for Mount Augustus. Although each differs slightly in detail, the basic thread of the story remains the same. Probably the best-known is one about a boy called Burringurrah, who was undergoing his initiation into manhood. 'The rigours of initiation so distressed Burringurrah that he ran away. In doing so, he transgressed the Aboriginal tribal law and under the law he had to be punished. Tribesmen pursued the boy, finally catching up with him and spearing him in the upper right leg. Burringurrah fell to the ground; the spear head broke from its shaft and protruded from his leg. The boy tried to crawl away, but the women beat him with their mulgurrahs (fighting sticks). Burringurrah collapsed and died, lying on his belly with his left leg bent up beside his body.' As you look at Mount Augustus you can see the shape of a body, with the stump of the spear in the leg. The geological fracture lines at the western end of the mount indicate the wounds inflicted by the mulgurrah. The spear stump is the small peak called Edney's Lookout, at the eastern end of the mount. Located in Western Australia.

Mount Barren—(see: East Mount Barren).

Mount Barrington—from 1556m, the western slopes of which overlook grazing in the Hunter River Valley. Mount Barrington lies within the Barrington Tops, a 25km-long plateau extending between a series of extinct volcanic peaks in the Mount Royal Ranges, which is itself an easterly offshoot of the Great Escarpment. Barrington Tops is contained and protected by the Barrington Tops National Park.

Mount Bartle Frere—a mountain in Bellenden-Ker Range, north-eastern Queensland. It is the highest point in the state and rises to 1,622m in an area reserved as a national park. The peak was named in 1873 by George A.F.E. Dalrymple, a Scottish explorer, in honour of Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere, a British colonial administrator and then president of the Royal Geographical Society by George Elphinstone Dalrymple in 1873. The Aboriginal name for the mountain is Chooreechillum. It is located 51km south of Cairns in the Wooroonooran National Park south-west of the town of Babinda on the eastern edge of the Atherton Tablelands. The foothill to summit is entirely covered by rain forest, ranging from typical tropical rain forest in the lowlands to low cloud forest at the cooler summit, where temperatures are up to 10°C lower than on the coast. The first European to scale the mountain was Christie Palmerston in 1886. He blazed a tree at the summit "'P' October 26, '86." Its immediate neighbour, Mount Bellenden Ker, is the second highest mountain in Queensland at 1593m. Although no rain gauge exists on the mountain, data at nearby Mount Bellenden Ker suggest an annual average rainfall of around 8,000mm, and an estimated potential maximum as high as 17,000mm, both of which would make the mountain one of the wettest places in the world. Even in what constitutes the "dry" in most of tropical Australia, rainfall on the summit is very heavy. Calculations based on available lowland data (from Innisfail, Cairns and Port Douglas) would suggest daily rainfalls could have been potentially as high as 2,000mm during a cyclone in 1911, which, if accurate, would be the highest daily rainfall in the world. The high altitude and rainfall of the mountain create conditions for a number of vegetation types growing on the poor granitic soils. The lower slopes support lowland tropical rain forest (complex mesophyll vine forest) with a great diversity of large-leaved trees, climbers, epiphytes, palms and ferns. With increasing elevation the rain forest changes to a less diverse, smaller-leaved notophyll type. At elevations above 1000m simple microphyll vine fern forest is found with species such as the purple kauri pine Agathis atropurpurea, Elaeocarpus ferruginiflora and pimple bark Balanops australiana. With further increases in altitude increasing exposure and cloud contact create conditions ideal for the formation of cloud forest (simple microphyll vine fern thicket) many of the species are rare or endemic and most trees are shrouded in mosses and other bryophytes. The stunted tree Eucryphia wilkei found in the cloud forest above 1500m elevation on Mount Bartle Frere exists nowhere else on earth but has relatives in the cool temperate rain forests of Tasmania and Chile. Other notable species include the mountain aspen Acronychia chooreechillum, Trochocarpa bellendenkerensis, Polyscias bellendenkerensis, the vine Parsonsia bartlensis and Australia's only native rhododendron, Rhododendron lochiae, which grows on top of the large granite boulders or as an epiphyte in the cloud forest canopy. Eidothea zoexylocarya was initially discovered on the slopes of Mount Bartle Frere, which holds its main populations. In some areas near the summit the granitic soil is so leached of nutrients by the very high rainfall that rain forest plants are replaced by heath plants such as Acrothamnus spathaceus, Acrotriche baileyana, ferns, (Gleichenia species), carnivorous sundews (Drosera species) and the orchid, Dipodium ensifolium. The Bartle Frere skink has only been found on the slopes of Mount Bartle Frere above 1400m. The mountain lies in the Wooroonooran Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because it supports populations of a range of bird species endemic to Queensland's Wet Tropics.

Mount Baw Baw—settled in the 1880s and 1890s largely as a result of the gold discoveries, the area is typical of Australian alpine regions, being characterised by low-lying grasses, snow gums and heathlands. Located 153km via Yarra Junction. Mount Baw Baw Alpine Village and the 13,300ha Baw Baw National Park are the closest ski resorts to Melbourne. The area is reputedly named after a local Aboriginal word possibly meaning 'echo'.

Mount Bellenden Ker (Wooroonooran) National Park—Queensland's two highest peaks, Mount Bellenden Ker and Mount Bartle Frere, are the main features of Wooroonooran National Park, a World Heritage Area where ancient plants exist, unchanged for millions of years. This undisturbed region of tropical north Queensland consists of rugged rainforest and mountains that form a rampart above the rambling sugarcane fields that flank the wilderness on the eastern side.

Mount Buffalo National Park—encompasses the entire sub-alpine plateau and most of the forested foothills down to the surrounding valleys. Explorers Hume and Hovell named the mountain in 1824 from its supposed resemblance to a buffalo. Gold miners and botanists later began to find routes up to the plateau. With the beginning of tourism in the 1880s, an area of 1152ha around the Mount Buffalo Gorge was reserved as a national park in 1898. The park has been enlarged several times since and is now one of Victoria's oldest national parks.

Mount Cameron West—(see: Preminghana).

Mount Chappell and Badger Islands Indigenous Protected Areas—located in the Furneaux Island Group off the north coast of Tasmania. These islands were handed back to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre as part of the land settlement in 1996. The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre declared Chappell (325ha) and Badger (971ha) Islands as IPAs in September 2000. These islands have significant cultural heritage value as well as a unique faunal assemblage. The Islands are Aboriginal- owned land, however they have a legacy of previous exploitation of their natural resources, such as seals and mutton birds, and use of the lands for grazing. Whilst the islands once provided essential income for Aboriginal families through sustainable harvesting of mutton birds, the islands are now badly degraded from their original state. The presence of mutton birds has been reduced dramatically as a result of weed incursion, predation by cats, competition with Cape Barren geese and sheep for food and habitat, and burning by graziers to promote grass for their sheep. Important Aboriginal sites on the island such as the Beeton Rockshelter are now inaccessible due to the presence of boxthorn, and removal of this weed is a priority activity on Chappell Island. The projects at Mount Chappell and Badger Islands focus on weed and feral animal control, revegetation and the development of jetty/landing facilities and shelters on the islands.

Mount Coot-tha—from as far back as the 1860s this forested area of the Taylor Range has been a popular picnic and scenic spot for Brisbanites and visitors. It was once known as One Tree Hill because when the summit was cleared, a single bluegum tree was left conspicuously on the skyline. The reserve was gazetted 1880. The present name comes from the Aboriginal word kuta—a particular kind of dark honey once plentiful in the area. The tiny native bees used to leave small particles of dirt around the base of the tree, and this was what the Aboriginals looked for. The lower slopes of Mount Coot-tha are the setting for Brisbane’s second Botanic Gardens. Careful landscaping and the use of enclosures create varying climates – dry pine and eucalypt groves, a cool sub-tropical rainforest, complete with waterfalls and streams, and the elegant Japanese Gardens. Inside the tropical plant dome the floor is almost completely occupied by a pond – stocked with fish – and is overshadowed by towering, tropical greenery dripping with moisture. The other dome in the gardens does duty as a planetarium . After visiting the Botanic Gardens most people head up the road to the summit for panoramas of the city and, on a good day, the Moreton Bay islands. Walking tracks from here make for moderate hikes of an hour or two through dry gum woodland, and include several Aboriginal trails – the best of which branches off the Slaughter Falls track and points out plants and their uses as food, artefacts and hunting poisons.

Mount Dromedary—the presence of gold in the Mount Dromedary area was first noted in 1852 by the Rev. W B. Clark, who found alluvial gold along Dignams Creek. Subsequently, alluvial gold was located in many of the streams that drain the northern and southern slopes of Mount Dromedary. Total production from the field, both alluvial and reef, is not known, but is clearly well in excess of the recorded total of 603.05kg. The area forms part of the metallogenic study of the Bega sheet. Mount Dromedary itself is a prominent topographic feature with a maximum elevation of 797m above sea level. Age determinations range from 89-94 million years, giving a mid-Cretaceous age. It is clear from available descriptions of the Mount Dromedary field that the primary gold mineralisation, although rich, is of limited tonnage potential. Located in Queensland.

Mount Eccles—a mountain of scoria formed 20,000 years ago, during the last phase of volcanic activity in south-eastern Australia. It displays evidence of up to ten separate lava flows that spread radially from the Mount Eccles crater. The younger flows were distributed along canals that branch from the northern end of the Lake Surprise crater. The Tyrendarra flow, the youngest flow from Mount Eccles, extends for over 50km to the west and south. Of particular importance is the complexity of crater form, the length of the lava canals, the nature and features of the lava caves, and the lineation of spatter cones. The deepest of these cones ("The Shaft") is a rare phenomenon in Australia, with a vertical vent open to a depth of 30m. This and other geological features are of national significance. Mount Eccles is located within the Mount Eccles National Park, 45km south of Hamilton in Victoria.

Mount Eccles National Park—a rugged rural area in the Strzelecki Ranges, containing one of the youngest volcanic structures in Australia. Beginning about 30,000 years ago, volcanic eruptions poured out thousands of tonnes of molten lava, forming Mount Eccles and the surrounding landscape. As lava flowed into the sea it changed the drainage pattern, creating some large wetlands. There is evidence here of up to ten separate lava flows that spread radially from the Mount Eccles crater. The younger flows were distributed along canals that branch from the northern end of the Lake Surprise crater. The site has possibly the best display of fluid basaltic eruptive-flow features in Australia. The park also contains the largest remaining intact area of stony rises herb-rich woodland, dominated by a canopy almost entirely of manna gum. The park consequently supports an estimated koala population of over ten thousand. With the existing browsing pressure, there is a high risk of a large-scale death of manna gums and a resulting population crash amongst the koala population within the next 3-5 years. The Mount Eccles Park stands at the western edge of the volcanic plains that stretch from Melbourne to Port Fairy, extending northwards to Hamilton and Ararat in Victoria.

Mount Esk—in the early years of settlement the town was referred to as Sandy Creek, then Glenrock and more generally as Mount Esk. The Mount Esk receiving office opened in 1873 and became a Post Office in 1875. The Mount Esk post office became the Esk post office in 1881, the first official use of the name Esk, which was becoming popularly accepted. The Lowood to Esk section of the Brisbane Valley branch railway was opened in 1886 and the railway station was known as Esk from the beginning. The survey office changed the official name of the town to Esk in 1913.

Mount Field National Park—located in Tasmania's Derwent Valley, this is one of the country's two oldest national parks. Mount Field and Freycinet national parks were gazetted on the same day in 1916, making them the first two such parks in Tasmania. Dramatic mountain scenery and alpine plant communities are a feature of the higher parts of the park. The park itself is one of the prime habitats of the Tasmanian Devil. Some of the eucalypt trees in the park are over 400 years old, 90 metres high and 20 metres around the base. Mount Mawson, west of Lake Dobson, is one of the state's premier ski fields, snow-covered for approximately four months annually. Within the park are Horseshoe and Lady Barron Falls, accessible by a short walk. Mt Field National Park covers an area of 16,265ha.

Mount Frankland National Park—while exploring north and west of Albany in 1829, Dr J Wilson climbed Mount Lindesay. From this vantage point, he noted that the surrounding hills would be grand points in a trigonometrical survey. Hence he named Mount Frankland after the then Surveyor-General of Tasmania. The Aboriginal name for Mount Frankland is Caldyanup. The 30,830ha national park has a rich array of forest birds, from eagles to colourful fairy-wrens and robins. There are three species of large, noisy black-cockatoo in in the park, including the red-tailed black-cockatoo, Baudin's black-cockatoo and Carnaby's black-cockatoo. Twenty-eight species of parrot, red-capped parrot and western rosella are found throughout, with the nectar-eating purple-crowned lorikeet being the smallest parrot in the area. It is a rapid flier, and shrilly screeching flocks are a feature of the park when the eucalypts are in bloom. The migratory square-tailed kite arrives during spring and summer. Several species of cuckoo are found in the park's forests, and all lay their eggs in the nests of foster parents. The loud,rollicking "laughing" call of the kookaburra is a feature of this national park. The largest kingfisher in the world, the kookaburra was introduced into Western Australia in the 1900s and is now common in forests and woodlands. Several species of honeyeater live in Mount Frankland National Park. The western spinebill is the most common and widespread. Located 50km from Walpole, Tasmania.

Mount Gambier National Park—a volcanic complex of maar volcanoes, formed about 4900 years ago, making it the youngest group of volcanoes on the continent. Maars form by numerous shallow, explosive eruptions; the explosions are caused by rising magma that encounters groundwater. The resident Blue Lake is situated in an extinct volcanic crater, containing crystal clear water that is continually and naturally filtered through the underground limestone aquifers. The lake contains 36,000 million litres and has an average depth of 7m. Being the sole source of water for the city 3,600ml is pumped annually from the lake into holding tanks which gravity-feed water to the city of Mount Gambier and surrounds. For this reason no swimming or diving is permitted, although tours to its surface are available. Situated between Adelaide and Melbourne in South Australia.

Mount Gibraltar—a popular lookout within the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.

Mount Glorious—One of the mountains covered in sub-tropical rainforest in Brisbane Forest Park, just 25km west of the city.

Mount Gower—Lord Howe Island is part of a series of volcanic pinnacles which lie on a submarine ridge which runs from the north island of New Zealand. Both of the island's mountains—Mount Lidgbird (777m) and Mount Gower (875m)—are volcanic in origin.

Mount Grenfell Historic Site—located 40km west of Cobar on the Barrier Highway and then 32km north on an unsealed road. The rocky ridge contains three art sites with more than 1300 paintings of human and animal figures, abstract linear designs and hand stencils. These ceremonial displays, applied with fingertip and brush, are some of the most spectacular Aboriginal rock art in New South Wales. Red is the predominant pigment colour used to paint the images that can still be seen; because of its durability it has survived the white and yellow pigments which are more susceptible to weathering. Older layers are visible beneath the more recent pigments, but there's no way to tell exactly how old the art is. The adjacent semi-permanent waterhole explains the significance of the site for the Wongaibon people. There is also the 5km Ngiyampaa Walkabout Trail to the top of a nearby ridge, from which the vast Cobar Peneplain can be viewed.

Mount Gulaga—formerly known as Mount Dromedary; known as Gulaga by the Aborigines who originally named the feature.

Mount Holland—the vermin-proof fence separates the Jilbadgie, Diamond Rock and Mount Holland wilderness areas. This area is underlain by Archaean granites and gneiss. Alluvial sands overlie the bedrock. Hills of metamorphosed Archaean basalts occur in the east. Vegetation consists of eucalypt woodland on metamorphics, mallee eucalypt woodland on granitic soils, acacia and allocasuarina shrubland on sandplains, with some areas of sand heath. Woodlands of Callitris spp. also occur on granitic soils. The areas have a high floral diversity as they are located on the eastern edge of the botanically interesting Goldfields region. Fauna within the region is dominated by representatives of south-western assemblages, with a number of Goldfields endemics and a few species associated with arid environments. Birds and reptiles are thought to be particularly diverse. Some cutting of sandalwood has been carried out in the area. The major threat to the area is mining interest in the metamorphosed igneous rocks, and nickel prospecting has been carried out.

Mount Hopeless—in 1840, Edward John Eyre led an expedition from Adelaide to try to reach the centre of Australia. The point at which the project was abandoned was dubbed Mount Hopeless. Located in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia.

Mount Hotham—the heart of the Bogong National Park, Mount Hotham reaches a height of 186m. The summit provides splendid views of Mount Feathertop, the surrounding countryside, and the rivers Ovens, Kiewa, Bundara, Cobungra, Victoria, Little Dargo, Wongungurra and Buckland. European settlement of the area began in 1854, when several women set up cabins and shanties to house miners in transit between the Dargo, Omeo and Ovens goldfields. Now home to a popular snow-skiing resort, which at 1840m there is the most elevated in one in Australia. Located 373km north-east of Melbourne.

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