The Warby and Futters Ranges

The granitic hills and woodlands of the Warby Ranges extend from Killawarra in the North to Glenrowan in the South, just north of our Landcare group area. The continuation of this range, which is known as the Futters Range, runs from Glenrowan through to Greta South, bordering the western side of our Landcare Group catchment. Interestingly, Futters Range was the name given to the whole range by Major Mitchell in 1836 but the northern section was later renamed after Ben Warby, who took up the Taminick Run in 1844.

In 1979, the Warby Range was declared a State Park in recognition of its scenic value and the diversity of plant and animal species. The park was expanded to include the Killawarra and Boweya Forests in October 2002 and the Lower Ovens River in 2010. Today, the Warby Ranges is part of the Warby-Ovens National Park. The Warby and Futters Ranges form an important link between the Australian Alps and the riverine plains of the Ovens and Murray Rivers.

The ranges create Wangaratta’s and the lower King and Ovens valley’s special climate. The almost north – south range protects the area from strong winds, making this area one of the least windy in Australia according to the Victorian Wind Atlas. The lack of air movement also creates the frosty conditions which often gives this area the lowest temperature in the state (Andy Kimber, 2009).

The views from the ranges are unbeatable – on a clear day you can see from near Chiltern more than 180 degrees around to Mt Buller and in winter and spring the whole glorious snow clad Alps can be admired (Andy Kimber, 2009).

Today the view from the northern most point of the Futters Range near Glenrowan shows road reserves, vegetation corridors along the creeks and rivers which cross our lowland plains and scattered paddock trees. These vegetation corridors and scattered paddock trees form the pathways for fauna movement across our semi-cleared landscape.

The view from near Glenrowan towards Mt Buffalo in 2017

The trees remaining in our landscape are survivors from the natural grassy woodlands that would have been present prior to European settlement. Some of these trees are hundreds of years old and have significant hollows, which are important biodiversity assets for our fauna, can be culturally significant and are notable features in our visual landscape.

Austrian born artist Eugene van Guerard completed this sketch from close to Glenrowan looking over the Greta Valley to Buffalo completed in 1862