Karen and I found ourselves at Mt Eccles National Park last weekend. I wanted to include a walk in our forthcoming Daywalks Around Victoria guide that would best represent the amazing volcano country of Victoria’s Western Plains. This really is a special place and it is largely unknown by most Victorians. In a nutshell, around 20,000 years ago the rolling hills south of Hamilton in Victoria’s southwest were ablaze with exploding volcanoes and lava flows. The last eruptions occurred only 7500 years ago so the Aboriginal inhabitants must have been witness to more than a few incredible light-shows. Mt Eccles National Park provides a geological glimpse into that fiery era as well as some insight into the native peoples who lived, hunted and fished in the area. The circuit trail we chose to include in the book traverses Lake Surprise, climbs Mt Eccles and passes through rare manna gum woodland via a system of collapsed lava tunnels. The walking turned out to be a revelation and was much more varied than I was anticipating. There were even a few caves to explore (bring along a headtorch). The number of koalas in the park is extraordinary and we counted at least half a dozen along the way. Apparently there is an overpopulation problem and Parks Victoria have treated a number of females with contraceptive implants. There is a very relaxed camping ground within the park and the little town of Macarthur is only a couple of kilometres away (Hamilton is 45km to the north).