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'Spooky entrance to a horizontal tunnel leading to a shaft inside the hill behind the house' posted by Daryl Peterson


'Sad scene: once-loved family farmhouse being consumed by the bush in the Dandenong Ranges' posted by Daryl Peterson


'The battered 1950s house on old potato farm. Notice tree growing through woodwork.' posted by Daryl Peterson


Someone's lost world in the Dandenongs, Victoria

an experience of country and coast

The Dandenong Ranges are wonderful to visit in Spring and Summer. Especially during the week when the visitor traffic is lowest. There are soaring eucalypt trees and towering manferns with their sweeping fronds, and many fantastic bark-covered walking tracks criss-crossing the hills. Most tracks are marked on maps -- but there are also a few mysteriously not marked at all. Some are well-travelled, a couple are well hidden beneath years of undergrowth, discovered only by chance.
 
On a recent walk I stumbled upon a long forgotten farmhouse that has been almost totally consumed by the bush. It was probably built in the 1950s. There is a collapsed chook shed and punctured water tanks on the hill up above with PVC piping down to a creek. Behind the water tanks is the hidden entrance to a very mysterious and creepy-looking tunnel that goes about 25 metres straight into the hill to a drop-shaft leading to the surface about 10 metres up. Very odd for what was apparently a potato farm! Whomever dug the tunnel knew what they were doing and went to an awful lot of trouble. But why? Below the house lies a tangle of ferns and creepers and in amongst them is an old stove and the gas-powered fridge and other rusting and decaying vintage appliances probably hurled there by mischievous visitors over the years.
 
The setting is quite spooky beneath the dark canopy of trees. There's an eerie stillness and a kind of sadness, too. It's like a film set from one of those dead-teenager slasher movies. You would never see the house from any distance. In fact it isn't until you're almost at the front door do you notice it standing there, its broken hacked windows watching you from behind shrubs and fallen branches. Kids have vandalised the property substantially but it still stands, a testament to a happier time when perhaps a family lived there and when sunlight and optimism filled the place. But household possessions strewn around suggest occupancy suddenly came to end and the property abruptly turned over to the whim and will of nature in the Dandenong forest. The house is now only a spooky relic of someone's once private rural world in the bush, now rarely visited by wandering kangaroos and anyone who happens to stumble onto it.

 
Thanks to
Daryl Peterson
from Lilydale, VIC
on 13/12/2009 send a message to Daryl Peterson

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