Although fairly long, the Blackwood Circuit is easy to navigate and is a great showcase of the Lerderderg River’s gold mining past. There are all manner of mines, mullock heaps and water races as well as a couple of mineral springs, attractive picnic areas and even a small lake. The village of Blackwood and its wonderful goldrush era buildings mark the halfway point of the walk (and a great place to stop at the pub for lunch). This also makes for a relatively easy overnight hike. For this you would commence at the town of Blackwood and camp overnight at O’Briens Crossing where there is a river, flat camping areas and toilet facilities.
Overnight hike for kids
This makes an excellent overnight hike for kids as it is not too long, the terrain is relatively flat and the river at O’Briens Crossing will keep them entertained.
About the region
The Lerderderg State Park (incorporating the former Pyrete State Forest) is a 14,250 hectare park located between Bacchus Marsh and Blackwood, an hour’s drive from Melbourne, Australia. There are several maintained tracks for walking through the park and camping is allowed.
The park is named for the Lerderderg River which has cut the 300 metre deep Lerderderg Gorge through sandstone and slate, almost bisecting the park.
From Melbourne follow the Western Freeway for 67Km and take the Greendale exit. Continue on for 6.5Km to Greendale. Turn right along the Greendale-Trentham Road and follow it for 7.5Km towards Blackwood to O’Briens Road (on the right). Continue down O’Briens Road to O’Briens Crossing. Park at the crossing.
- Get an early start as this is a good day hike so need to allow time to stop and enjoy the scenery.
Max elevation: 671 m
Min elevation: 449 m
Total climbing: 916 m
Total descent: -923 m