Exploring Victoria

This is an overview of some spots around Victoria that I’ve visited, hiked and explored recently. I hope it provides some inspiration to get outdoors and enjoy the parks and trails available!

Click the images for more info and photos

silo art trailcat rangesgramp pinmac fallsmacedonwilhelminaaus gardenstarra

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Tarra Bulga National Park

Where is it? Gippsland, take the M1 out to Traralgon and head south to Balook. Traralgon-Balook Road is a prime country driving! – just over 2 hours from Melbourne

Distance: 6 km

Time: Approx. 1.5 hours

Most recent visit: 4 January 2018

Difficulty: Easy

Cool features: The ferny view from Corrigan Suspension Bridge is cool. While the bridge is very popular, the Forest Track is super quiet, so is a very peaceful walk.

Map and track info: https://www.trailhiking.com.au/tarra-bulga-scenic-circuit/ (includes an extension to the Cherry Track)

Notes: There are a couple of nearby waterfalls you can cruise to – Cyathea Falls are pretty and at the end of a short walk featuring some incredible Myrtle Beech trees, while Tarra Falls are by the side of the road and have very poor visibility.

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Australian Gardens, Cranbourne

Where is it? Take the Monash from Melbourne to the South Gippy – about 45 minutes

Time: 1.5 – 2 hours

Most recent visit: 31 December 2017

Difficulty: Easy

Cool features: The feature desert landscape as you enter, the abundance of birds, and the array of colours.

Map and track info: https://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-cranbourne/attractions/australian-garden

Notes: Where are all the bandicoots at? In the scrub areas to the left as you enter, there are plenty to be found, but be patient and polite! They probably won’t invite you in for a cuppa if you’re stomping on by. On one visit we saw heaps of the little guys (bandi-cute!), but on the last visit we only spotted one. Keep your slippery senses about you, too – there’s plenty of snakes in the neighborhood!

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Macedon Ranges Walking Trail

Where is it? About half way to Bendigo, straight up the Calder – just over an hour from Melbourne

Distance: 18.8 km

Time: 6 hours

Most recent visit: 29 December 2017

Difficulty: Moderate, but the beginning is really steep!

Cool features: The wildlife and changes in forest and landscape as you progress through the walk.

Map and track info: https://www.trailhiking.com.au/macedon-ranges-walking-trail/

Notes: Use the map to navigate the track and don’t be deterred by the beginning of the hike – once you turn onto the track from Douglas Rd, there’s an elevation gain of nearly 400m in about 1 km, so it’s pretty dastardly if you’re not prepared. After that, the walk levels out and becomes a pleasant day’s work.

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^ Hanging Rock looks very small from up here (Camel’s Hump) ^

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Grampians – Fish Falls and MacKenzie Falls

Where is it? West Victoria, about 3 hours drive from Melbourne

Distance: 9.7 km (circuit)

Time: Approx. 3 – 3.5 hours

Most recent visit: 28 November 2017

Difficulty: Mostly easy with very steep climb at MacKenzie Falls

Cool features: MacKenzie Falls are way better seen in person – they are huge! Fish Falls aren’t as grandiose, but they are way quieter (there’s no carpark like there is at Mac), so arguably nicer to hang out at. Walking through the gorge is beautiful and the changes to the surrounding rock faces on approach to MacKenzie Falls are really impressive.

Map and track info: https://www.trailhiking.com.au/mackenzie-falls-circuit/

Notes: We completed this as a return trip – Zumstein’s Picnice Area to MacKenzie Falls via Fish Falls – instead of a circuit, which took about 2.5 hrs including a break for lunch.

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Grampians – The Pinnacle

Where is it? West Victoria, about 3 hours drive from Melbourne

Distance: 10 km (circuit)

Time: Approx. 4 hours

Most recent visit: 27 November 2017

Difficulty: Moderate (there are steps assisting most of the steepest sections)

Cool features: Silent Street, the Grand Canyon and the view from the top (obviously)

Map and track info: https://www.trailhiking.com.au/pinnacle-track-circuit/

Notes: The THA page I’ve linked above gives an interesting direction… Let’s just say to go clockwise on the trail seemed a whole lot harder. We did the circuit in the opposite direction, heading toward Venus Baths first and continuing from there. What an incredible trek it is! And take the canyon route… You’ll thank me later.

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Silo Art Trail

Where is it? Grampians – West Victoria heading north toward Mallee (Victoria’s Wheat Belt)

Distance: 174km (Halls Gap – Rupanyup – Sheep Hills – Brim – Rosebery)

Time: 2 hour 15 min, one way

Most recent visit: 26 November 2017

Cool features: The Silos! (obviously) The countryside out here is pretty magic – it just seems to stretch on forever and then you get these marvels of art seemingly out of nowhere. This is a trail of surprises and believe me, the silos are way cooler up close in person.

There is also a random mannequin gardener in the middle of a roundabout in Minyin. He’s wearing a high-vis, so I can only imagine you’d be thoroughly confused going through after dark… Google thinks he’s real (street view has blurred his face).

Map and track info: http://www.visitvictoria.com/Regions/Grampians/Things-to-do/Art-theatre-and-culture/Silo-Art-Trail

Notes:If completing a return journey, keep track of how long you’ve been out because you’ll need that again to get back. With enough time, we could have continued through to Lascelles and Patchewollock to see some more silos, but we had to head back to Halls Gap.

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