Six of my favourite hikes from three occasions walking in the state of Victoria, Australia. From easy to hard, so something for everybody.
Until Christmas 2017 I hadn’t walked anywhere in Victoria, perhaps thinking it wouldn’t be so different from NSW. I was pleasantly surprised on that first trip, so much so that we stopped by Victoria on two subsequent trips to Tasmania. The walks we’ve done have been of a high quality, and included experiences that can’t be had in NSW.
These include climbing almost 2000m high mountains from the bottom in a day, such as Mt Bogong (1986m) and Mt Feathertop (1920m). Nearby Mt Buffalo (1723m) and the further flung Grampians Range are unique and rugged landscapes that have numerous walking tracks. And the small but prominent Cathedral Range in Central Victoria offers another unique walking experience.
A fun circuit walk in the small but prominent Cathedral Range, with extensive views from Sugarloaf Peak (920m), and along the rocky Razorback ridge track.
The Cathedral Range is a small but prominent mountain range in Victoria, about two hours north-east of Melbourne. It comprises a 7 kilometre ridge of upturned rock, and climbing then walking along this ridge makes for a fun day walk. A circuit at the southern end takes in the highest peak in the range – Sugarloaf Peak at 920m of elevation – and climbing this can be made a bit more adventurous by taking the Wells Cave Track option. There are extensive views from the top, and for much of the way as you walk north along the range, descending back down to the start at about half way. Continue reading “Cathedral Range Southern Circuit, Victoria”
A 1500m ascent to the summit of Mt Bogong (1986m) provides excellent alpine views and a pretty decent workout!
Mt Bogong is Victoria’s highest mountain at 1986m of elevation, and is apparently Australia’s highest freestanding mountain. There’s no road to the top, so if you want to summit the mountain and see the excellent views you have to climb it from the bottom, a satisfying 1500m ascent along a well marked track up either the Staircase Spur or Eskdale Spur. Continue reading “Mt Bogong Ascent, Victorian Alps”
There are short walks to MacKenzie Falls and the Balconies that are easily accessed off a major road through the Grampians (C222). Both areas are popular with tourists so don’t expect serenity. They are justifiably popular, and not just because they are easy to get to.
This short walk provides good views back to nearby Mt Stapylton, and the pleasingly shaped Flat Rock on it slower slopes. It also sits on the edge of the Wimmera Plains, and feels rather like being on a cliff edge, with an ocean of farmland stretching to the horizon.
This walk starts nearby from the same spot as the Mt Stapylton walk, and you can easily do them both in one day. Only it was about 35 degrees on the day we did them, and I probably shouldn’t have dragged Sophia up at the hottest part of the day, as she’s susceptible to extremes of temperature – there’s very little shade. The views are worth the one hour return walk, as it sits on the very northern edge of the Grampians, with miles of entirely flat farmland to the north, and the very rocky Mt Stapylton to the south. The track is obvious; details on the Parks Victoria website. Continue reading “Mt Zero Track, Grampians NP Victoria”
Mt Stapylton in the Grampians has an otherworldly feel to it, with huge cliffs and weathered rocks sticking out from the otherwise featureless Wimmera Plains. It makes for a very Australian scene.
Our first time in the Grampians, and Mount Stapylton was a good introduction to this rugged national park in Central West Victoria. The scenery had a more remote feeling than the reality, and in this section of the park it looked quite arid, with plenty of weathered rock and impressive cliffs. The surrounding Wimmera Plains are flat as a pancake farmland that stretch as far as the eye can see. It’s a fairly short track but well worth it. You can also do the Mt Zero walk on the same day. Continue reading “Mt Stapylton Track, Grampians NP Victoria”
Mt Buffalo National Park in Victoria is a really excellent place, and the biggest walk in the park is called, appropriately, The Big Walk. You ascend about 1000m to spectacular views of the Gorge (a gorge), and of the distant Victorian Alps.
When we climbed Victoria’s second highest mountain, Mt Feathertop, I saw a big hunk of a mountain in the distance and thought “we should really go there this holiday”. Well, we did, and it was grouse (as the Victorians say). The mountain is called Mt Buffalo, after its shape, and the pictures below are of the longest walk in the park, the so called Big Walk, but we also did three short walks higher up on the plateau after we finished – The Horn (which looks like a horn), The Hump, (which looks like a hump), and the Chalwell Galleries. All offered excellent views (especially the first two). This walk starts at the bottom of the mountain and rises about 1000m to 1350m of elevation. At the end of the walk are spectacular views of the Gorge (which is a gorge), particularly the very sheer and massive North Wall (which is the wall on the north side of the Gorge). Clearly very little mental effort was expended when naming the parts of this national park. Continue reading “The Big Walk, Mt Buffalo NP Victoria”