The Cathedral Range is a spectacular area that should be on any Melbourne hikers to do list. This Cathedral Jawbones hike takes in the Northern and central part of the Range and has some truly spectacular views. Starting at Neds Gully Campground car park, cross the road then take the marked trail over the bridge. Shortly you will see a junction to Neds Gully Track the right. Initially the track is gentle but shortly becomes steep. Eventually you will come to Neds Saddle. You can head up to Neds Peak as a short optional side trip. Allow roughly 20-30 minutes to get there, admire the view and head back.Take Cathedral Track to the left. This shortly becomes very steep but is short, and soon you will come to the saddle along the ridge.
Upon arriving at the saddle you could take another optional side trip to Cathedral Peak. If so then go right and head up. Allow roughly 20-30 minutes to get there, admire the view and head back to the saddle. Follow the Ridge Track south. The first 1-1.5km is very rough and more scrambling over rocks. There are frequent markers, but you will need to keep a keen look out for them. Do take time to admire the views.
At nearly 2km from the saddle you will come to the junction with North Jawbone Track. Take this to the left. This gently descends and you will soon on your left come to the trail up to the peak. Head up. Once you reach the top have a little explore around as there are a few viewpoints. Once you have admired the view head back down.
When you reach the junction again head left, then at the next junction make sure you head right to go to The Farmyard. At the Farmyard there is the trail up to South Jawbone Peak. Head up this and admire the spectacular views from here. Once finished head back down to the Farmyard and return to the junction you passed when coming from North Jawbone. Head right then down to the valley. The trail is steep but easy to follow.
After around a km you will come to the Jawbone Carpark. The entrance to the Saint Bernards Track is to your left, and is not signposted. Plus often people park in front of it, so it can be easy to miss. Take this, and after roughly 1km you will arrive at Cooks Mill. Veer slightly left at the campsite near the toilet to find Little River Track. Initially this is in the trees, but soon pops out and follows the dirt road for roughly ¾ km. The Track soon returns back into the bush and makes a cool and pleasant walk back to Neds Gully Carpark.
Cathedral Range State Park is ~ 2 hrs 15 min (153km) from Melbourne CBD. From the Eastern Freeway, take Ringwood Bypass to Maroondah Highway. Pass through Healesville, Narbethong and Buxton. Approximately 9.5km past Buxton, turn right onto Cathedral Lane. Follow this for ~ 2.7 km; turn right onto Little River Rd (dirt road). Meet at the carpark on your left.
- Either Jawbone peak makes a good lunch spot, which one you choose is more likely dictated by how hungry you are.
- Hiking poles will be very useful for this.
- Remember your camera.
Max elevation: 813 m
Min elevation: 314 m
Total climbing: 697 m
Total descent: -697 m