2024 Symposium Field Trip Program

Field Trips are such a wonderful way to have a hands-on learning experience. The 2024 Forestry Australia Symposium Organising Committee are working hard to confirm the field trip itineraries for a series of interesting and engaging day trip options.

More detailed information and an itinerary for each Field Trip will be available soon.

Field Trip #1 – Creswick, History & People
This tour will include a visit to the Lost Trades Centre,  University of Melbourne’s Creswick facility (formerly the Victorian School of Forestry). It will look at the effects of gold mining on forests in the vicinity, including historic water management and impacts on the structure and diversity of the forests. This tour will give some of the back story of the development of forestry in Victory and directions of future forest research.

Field Trip #2 – Forest gardening and caring for country
This field trip will be hosted by DJAARA, The Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation to introduce participants to Galkgalk Dhelkunya (“to care for/to heal, many trees”) Forest Gardening Strategy. “The term ‘Forest Gardening’ communicates how Dja Dja Wurrung People interact with the environment – it’s a contemporary approach to caring for Country that is deeply rooted in traditional knowledge and practice. It is the response to threats such as land clearing, climate change, biodiversity loss and species extinction. The field trip will include a presentation on the philosophy and practice of the Galk-galk Dhelkunya (Forest Gardening, which aims to heal forest Country through application of traditional knowledge in partnership with other agencies and organisations.

Field Trip #3 – Plantations
Hosted by the HVP Plantations, AKD Softwoods and ArborCarbon, this field trip will visit plantations in the Mt Lonarch area to the northwest of Beaufort. Some of these plantations were burnt in February 2024 by the 22,000 hectare Bayindeen / Beaufort fire. Plantation health and fire protection will be the focus of the trip. In particular, the value of integrated long-term plantation health monitoring and the operation of CFA Forest Industry Brigades in fire management. Pests and diseases associated with fire affected plantations and their potential impacts on adjoining plantations and replanted forests will be examined.
PPE required: All participants are required to bring their own hi-vis, hard hat and closed toe shoes.

Field Trip #4 – Woowookarung Regional Park
This half-day trip will commence with a visit to the Prime Ministers’ Walk in the Botanic Gardens, where we get a nineteenth century view of parks and gardens. We will then visit the 5-storey mass timber building of Ballarat GovHub for a discussion on the role of timber in architecture, before visiting the Woowookarung Regional Park established in 2016 adjacent to the Canadian pine plantation. This park features a dementia-friendly forest and sensory trail. Tony Fitzgerald and Kerry Wailes will lead participants on an experience of forest therapy. Prepare to move slowly! The morning will finish with a tea ceremony.
Please note: This is a half day field trip (returning by lunch) and is limited to 20 people.

Field Trip #5 – Wombat State Forest – Storm and Fire Recovery
This tour will visit the Wombat Fire Effects Study Areas (FESA), an experiment established in 1984 by Dr Kevin Tolhurst AM, which had replicates based on short rotation and long rotation fire frequency, in both spring and autumn. We will also visit some of the other silvicultural experimental sites in the Wombat Forest, and look at the lessons from these in relation to prescribed fire management, and recovery from the severe storm damage that occurred in October 2021. The tour will be led by staff from Melbourne University and retired research scientist John Kellas, and visit Barkstead and Bullarto before returning via Daylesford.

Field Trip #6 – Farm Forestry
Hosted by members of the Ballarat Region Treegrowers (BRT), this tour will visit two sites demonstrating forest management projects on private tenure that integrate landscape rehabilitation with long-term, sustainable farm-forestry. Established by the BRT, the biorich plantations initiative bridges the gap between environmental plantings for biodiversity conservation values, and production farm forestry for landholder use and profit. The second site is a 400ha reforestation effort facilitated by the Grow West program that aims to rehabilitate degraded land through revegetation and farm forestry projects. This site visit will be led by program partner Moorabool Landcare Network.


Field Trip attendance is included in all full registrations. Additional attendees and partners are able to attend at a cost (subject to availability).

Please note:

  • Field Trips all run at the same time, so delegates can only register for ONE option. All Field Trips are subject to maximum numbers, which are allocated on a first in, best dressed basis.
  • Field Trips depart from and return to Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre
  • Field Trips  will take place on Thursday 31 October. These trips are scheduled to depart at approx 7.30am and return by approximately 5.30pm. We will do our best to ensure return by 5.30pm, however we cannot guarantee that you will be back in time to meet flights. Confirmed timings will be released soon.
  • Participation in Field Trips are included in full registration; additional tickets are available to purchase.
  • Field Trips are subject to change without notice.

If you have any questions about field trips, please email naomi@eventsphere.com.au