• Length: 12.5km

  • Duration: 3hrs

  • Grade: 3

  • Style: One Way

  • Start: O'Brien's Crossing

  • End: Blackwood

  • Location: Lerderderg State Park

  • Closest Town: Blackwood

  • Distance from CBD: 90km

  • State: VIC

  • Latitude: -37.48773085

  • Longitude: 144.3261308

Keep the Trail Access info current...

4WD Access
Public Transport
Gravel Road
Speed Bumps
Accessible Toilet
Public Toilets
Untreated Water
Picnic Shelter

Select items to indicate conditions for access to the trail.

2WD Access

4WD Access

Public Transport

Bitumen Road

Gravel Road

Steep Road

Winding Road

Speed Bumps

Vehicle Ford

Entry Fee

Large Car Park

Small Car Park

Accessible Parking

Accessible Toilet

Public Toilets

Drinking Water

Untreated Water

Picnic Shelter

Picnic Table

BBQ Facilities

Campfire Pit

Camping Area

Keep the Trail Features current...

Heritage Walk

Lerderderg State Park...

Select items to indicate features found along the trail.

Concrete Path

Timber Boardwalk

Gravel Path

Sandy Trail

Rough Trail

Undefined Trail

Prams & Strollers

Manual Wheelchair

Motorised Wheelchair

Bicycle Trail

Mountain Bike Trail

Historic Rail Trail

Dog Friendly

Urban Walk

Coast & Beach

Historic Lighthouse

Waterfalls & Lakes

Rainforest Walk

Goldfields & Mining

Heritage Walk

Aboriginal Art

Alpine Region

Alpine Huts

Exposed Ledges

Rock Scrambling

Steep Terrain

Bush Bashing

River Crossings

Scenic Viewpoints

Well Marked

Drinking Water

Untreated Water

Fishing Spots

Swimming Spots

Overnight Campsites

Trail Running

Horse Riding


Byers Back Track is a 12.5km, grade 3 one way hike, located in Lerderderg State Park, Victoria. The hike should take approximately 3hrs to complete.

Hike Summary

Byers Back Track runs for approximately 12.5 kms between Blackwood and O'Brien's Crossing in the Lerderderg State Park. The hike can be undertaken as a one way trip with a car shuttle or a return hike, retracing your path. Alternatively you can return via Tunnel Point Track. This circuit is referred to as the Blackwood Hike Circuit.

The route largely follows old water races which were cut into the mountainside to transfer water from dams or the river to downstream alluvial gold workings where panning for gold would be undertaken. As water originally flowed in them, the old water courses are basically level and follow the contours of the hillside meaning that the hike is relatively flat at times. Despite being relatively flat, the hike does present technical challenges along the way such as rocks, fallen trees, washouts, stairs, steep drop offs and loose surfaces. From a hill climbing perspective, the hike is relatively flat and, hence, quite easy but it does provide a few challenges particularly when wet.

The vegetation is largely gum trees for most of the way but as the track gets more elevated in the steeper sections of the gorge, the forest varies and provides excellent views out over the Lerderderg River.

A number of mines and gold diggings are passed on the way along the trail.

About the region

Rising in the Great Dividing Range, the Lerderderg River has cut a 300 metre deep gorge through sandstone and slate, almost bisecting the park. The park has a wide variety of vegetation and wildlife and some interesting relics of gold mining. Lerderderg State Park encompasses scenic and geological gorge formations surrounding the Lerderderg River as well as the volcanic cone of Mount Blackwood. The adjacent and separate block called the Pyrete Range forms part of the park. The Lerderderg is known for its remote setting and the 300m deep Lerderderg River gorge is a dominant feature. Private land abuts the park to the south and the Wombat State forest abuts to the north and west.

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. Parks Victoria maintains six designated walks: three short walks of 3.5 km or less; Blackwood-O'Briens Crossing and return (22 km); O'Briens Crossing-Cowan Track loop (14 km); and the overnight walk O'Briens Crossing to Mackenzies Flat (20 km).

In addition, one leg of the Great Dividing Trail, the Lerderderg Track, passes through the park, entering from Blackwood in the park's northwest, and exiting south towards Bacchus Marsh. Bicycles are prohibited from one section of this track, due to a conservation area.

Getting there

O'Briens Crossing is located in the centre of the northern section of the park, along O'Briens Road. The crossing is located approximately 4km from the Greendale-Blackwood Road, with the turnoff approximately a 5km drive north of Greendale. The track into the crossing is quite good with sufficient access for 2WD's and caravans.

GPX File

Total distance: 12592 m
Max elevation: 576 m
Min elevation: 449 m
Total climbing: 536 m
Total descent: -474 m
Download GPX File

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