Lake Tali Karng
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|Lake Tali Karng|
|Location||Alpine region, Victoria|
|Primary outflows||underground to Wellington River|
|Surface area||14 ha (35 acres)|
|Max. depth||51 m (167 ft)|
Lake Tali Karng is a natural lake in the Alpine region of Victoria, in eastern Australia. At 14 hectares (35 acres) in area and 51 metres (167 ft) in depth, the lake is the only deep lake in Victoria. The lake was formed by a landslide 1,500 years ago and is the only lake in the Alpine region.
Unlike alpine lakes in the Snowy Mountains, Lake Tali Karng is the only permanent, deep, highland lake in Australia that is not of glacial or volcanic origin. The lake was formed by falling from the Sentinel, which is 700 metres (2,300 ft) above the valley. The landslide dammed the Wellington River with the area of the landslide now known as the Valley of Destruction. The lake has no stream outlet, and has never been known to overflow, the overflow seeping away through the Valley of Destruction. Two creeks feed the lake, Snowden Creek and Nigothoruk Creek. Nigothoruk Creek has three waterfalls, collectively called the Snowden Falls. There is no vegetation in the lake itself as the water is slightly acidic. Its maximum depth is 51 metres (167 ft), and due to the minimal sunlight falling upon it, together with the snow-melt which feeds it, it remains cold throughout the year.
Tali Karng lies in the traditional lands of the Gunai Kurnai tribe, who hold it as a sacred place. In keeping with their law, aboriginal people are forbidden to visit the lake. The Gunai Kurnai are, however, tolerant of non-indigenous people visiting Tali Karng provided they treat the area with respect. This includes requesting visitors not to camp at the lake. Visitors are asked to camp either above the lake at the southern end of the Wellington Plains or below the lake in the Valley of Destruction along the Wellington River.
The most popular camping area has traditionally been the western end of the lake, where there are large grassy areas. Camping is also possible at the eastern end, although this area is hard to access. Water from the lake must be boiled, although water coming from the side creeks is drinkable. Fires are not permitted near the lake so all campers must be equipped with a fuel stove.
Camping at the lake is now discouraged and alternative camping with basic facilities is available at Nyimba campsite, near the site of the former Riggall Hut at the southern end of the Wellington Plains. Campfires are allowed here and water is generally available from a nearby creek. There is also informal camping along the Wellington River below the lake. Permits are not required.
The area can be quite crowded at Easter, Melbourne Cup Weekend and other holidays, but compared to other areas in the Alps, accessible by motor vehicles, it is peaceful.
Tali Karng is difficult to access, with the quickest route a hard five-hour walk, from MacFarlanes Saddle via the Wellington Plains track. This involves an 800 metres (2,600 ft) descent, either via the Gillios Track or the Riggalls Spur track. Riggalls Spur has the only view of the lake from Echo Point, but is a little overgrown. An alternative access to the lake is the 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) walk up the Wellington River. This involves 15 river crossings, and can be quite dangerous, particularly under high river conditions. The final passage through the Valley of destruction can be particularly challenging, given the small boulders which must be traversed. This is a difficult area for camping with limited space for all but small tents.
A further access route approaches via Mount Margaret, which begins a short distance from Licola.
The bushfires of December 2006 burnt much of the surrounding forest, although regrowth is well underway in many of the burnt parts as of January 2008. Trees along the Wellington Plains track have not re-grown much due to the exposed nature of the area, so there is little shade for that section of walk. All approaches are now open.
Although the lake itself is likely to be the focus of a bushwalk, the surrounding high plains are also of interest. Mount Spion Kopje, about 3.7 kilometres (2.3 mi) to the north east, is one of the higher nearby mountains, and has a great view from its dolerite capped summit over much of Gippsland. The Wellington Plains offer expansive views, as does Mount Wellington.
- "Lake Tali Karng". Vicnames. Government of Victoria. 2 May 1966. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- Timms, B. V (1974). Aspects of the Limnology of Lake Tali Karng, Victoria. CSIRO Publishing.
- "Map of Lake Tali Karng, VIC". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
- "Lake Tali Karng". DVictorian Resources Online: East Gippsland. Government of Victoria. 1 September 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
- "Tali Karng". Parks Victoria. Government of Victoria. 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
- visit Nov 2013