Flooding Rains

‘I love a sunburnt country,

A land of sweeping plains,

Of ragged mountain ranges,

Of droughts and flooding rains.’

Dorothea Mackellar

(1885 – 1968)

Right now, Castlemaine is receiving the flooding rains.


This is a vine draped shelter in the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens in autumn 2015.

This is the same shelter this morning, Wednesday, the 14th of September 2016.dscn5241

Steady rain over the past two days has resulted in Barkers Creek overflowing into Lake Johanna, the ornamental lake in the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, which in turn has merged with Barkers Creek.




Because of drought, Barkers Creek was the occasional water hole until winter rains began to fall this year. Today it is unrecognisable as the happily gurgling creek of recent weeks. The sound of the rushing flood filled the air.



Curious spectators enjoyed the novelty of paddling in the expanded Lake Johanna.





Familiar, often walked paths are now waterways.




It was along this path that I drew a picture earlier this year.



In October, my tai chi class will return on Monday mornings to this group of trees for our weekly sessions.


16 Responses

  1. Dorothea’s poem is so apt. Drought and flooding rains, fire…we are a country of extremes. I’m glad you’ve had good rains, Margaret, and I hope everyone is safe.

    • We were fortunate in this area, Jane, as there was no loss of life. I guess that means locals observed safety precautions resisting the temptation to cross flooded rivers and creeks or they just got lucky.

  2. Gosh Margaret, I remember a deep trench on the side of the parklands when we meandered through that beautiful parkland a year or so ago. I do hope there will be little damage when the water recedes. It does make for amazing photos.

    • Jenny, That deep trench was Barkers Creek in drought mode. This winter is the first time it has flowed for about 3 years.
      It will be interesting to see what impact the flooding had on the gardens. I suspect the finer gravel on the paths will have been washed away.

  3. Is the flooding something which happens every year, Margaret, or is it something new?

    • Hi, Whilst the flooding is not new, it is a comparatively rare event happening after unusually wet weather. This is the first time I have seen Barkers Creek in flood.

      • That’s interesting, Margaret. Thank you.

  4. Well, the water, when it recedes, will have provided some input into more green growth. At least, I hope the rains are filling up your local dams too. And that you are safe…

    • Yes Janina, farm dams are brimming and the reservoirs are overflowing – so we are going to begin summer in good shape unlike last year.

      • Excellent. I hear more is on the way!

  5. Yes indeed Margaret, it’s wet all around! But the land needed a good soaking after too many recent dryish winters. Now, it doesn’t seem to know when to stop…….
    A thumbs up to our wonderful emergency service volunteers too!

    • Yes Enevea, The emergency service volunteers get a lot of respect around here. They turn up at every incident whether it is caused by nature or humans.
      Today Lake Johanna has returned to her normal size.

  6. Wow, that certainly is a lot of rain. You photographed it well.

    • Thank you, Susan. There were many people visiting the gardens to take photographs. The heavy rain and flooding have been the talk of the town.

  7. Flood waters can be beautiful and I love the sound of rushing water. I hope everyone stays safe!

    • Hi Lori, Yes, the botanic gardens have been transformed by the flood waters. So far, the main impact locally has been disruption to travel with roads cut by the water. Some people on rural properties have been marooned by the floods.

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