Grid Reference CU 852239 - GDA
Department DSE
Work Depot Warburton?
Region Port Phillip East
Grading ?
Elevation (ASL) 1050m
Height 18m
Construction Original - Tree; Shining Gum (E. nitens)
Second - Steel
Cabin size ?
Public access Yes
In use since Tree tower 1958? - 19??
Steel tower: 1965 - 1980?
CFA Region 13 - Central

This tower no longer exists. The photo shows the remains of the hut in 2000.
Proof of existence is found in a paperclipping dated January 26th 1972 (Yarra Valley News). Paperclipping supplied by Ellena Biggs from Millgrove. (see thumbnail)

Please click on thumbnails for enlargements
paperclipping from 1972
supplied by Ellena Biggs
Old chimney on site in 2000.
supplied by Andre Belterman
Mt. Victoria in 19??
supplied by Tony Scicluna

We received conformation about a tree tower on this site in March 2011; thank you very much Rob.
"I can confirm a tree tower was once there. I remember visiting the steel fire tower when I was very young in the 1970s. Some years ago I found the tree tower prior to the area being bulldozed around the comms towers after black saturday (Feb 2009). What's left of the log is now very rotten but there are still some steel pegs sticking out of the remains of it. Part of the smashed platform is shown in the pictures attached. The footings of the steel tower were still visible and in good condition prior to the bulldozing but have now been damaged as a result. The ones visible in the picture are the down hill two".

Tree tower site
supplied by Rob
Steel tower site
supplied by Rob
Platform remains
supplied by Rob
Top of the old tree tower in 2000.
Steel cabin supports are visible.
supplied by Andre Belterman

After the steel tower was de-commissioned, it was dismanteled and moved to the Yarram Depot in 1981.

1 photo of the original tree tower and one of the walking party next to the hut.
Photos (1966) were supplied by the Melbourne Bushwalking Inc

In January 2021, we received the following information from Stephen Gillespie:
Hi, my Father, John (Jack) D Gillespie, was District Forest Officer Upper Yarra District FCV in period late 1950s early 1960s.
I found the following references to early towers at Mt Beenak and Mt Victoria in a talk he gave at the opening of a new Office at Powelltown in April 1998.
"Here at Powelltown I had two forest foremen who had worked in the bush all their lives. About 1958 one climbed and topped a shining gum tree and helped to build the tree tower cabin on Mt Victoria. Earlier he had taken about 25 ft off the top of the 90ft tree on Mt Beenak where we had to replace the cabin of the existing tree tower due to storm damage, and we thought the upper part of the tree was suspect"

We received this photo in Feb 2021 from Ray McDonald. It was taken in 1961-62 by his brother Max McDonald
whilst Ray was climbing the tree to start work. Ray also served 1 year on Briarty Hill.

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