• Length: 18.2km

  • Duration: 7hrs

  • Grade: 4-5

  • Style: Circuit

  • Start: Cooks Mill Camp Ground

  • End: Cooks Mill Camp Ground

  • Location: Cathedral Range State Park

  • Closest Town: Taggerty

  • Distance from CBD: 125km

  • State: VIC

  • Latitude: -37.379472

  • Longitude: 145.760872

Keep the Trail Access info current...

Speed Bumps
Accessible Toilet
2WD Access
Small Car Park
Camping Area
Campfire Pit
Picnic Table
Public Toilets

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...

Rough Trail
Rock Scrambling
Exposed Ledges
Steep Terrain
Scenic Viewpoints
Well Marked
Overnight Campsites

Cathedral Range 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


Cathedral Range - Ridgeline Circuit is a 18.2km, grade 4-5 circuit hike, located in Cathedral Range, Victoria. The hike should take approximately 7hrs to complete.

Hike Summary

The Cathedral Range is a spectacular seven kilometre ridge of sharply upturned sedimentary rock. A variety of walking tracks ranging in difficulty from easy to challenging offer the opportunity to explore the park's main features and climb the peaks to enjoy views of the forests and farmland in the valley below.

This hike explores the entire length of the range taking in Wells Cave (option), Sugarloaf Peak, The Farmyard, Cathedral, Little Cathedral and Neds Gully.

Commencing at Cooks Mill make your way in a southerly direction along the well formed Tweed Spur Road. After about a kilometre of easy walking you will reach the recently opened (2012) Messmate Track to your right.

The Messmate Track winds it way across several wooded gullies connecting the Sugarloaf Saddle visitor area with Cooks Mill Heritage Site and camping area. It is quite a pleasant section of the hike and along its 3km length you will experience a gradual ascent until you reach Sugarloaf Saddle.

From the car park you have two options in order to gain Sugarloaf Peak. It is important to note that this section of the hike is Grade 5, meaning it is for experienced hikers only. You can continue along the main track through attractive open forest to the start of a rocky ridge called the Canyon. The trail climbs the very crest of this ridge to Sugarloaf Peak. The alternative is to take the lesser traveled Wells Cave track. Both routes are recommended for experienced hikers only as they are steep in places, requires a lot of rock scrambling and unassisted climbing and traverses some exposed ledges en-route. While this track can be challenging in places you will be rewarded with a real sense of adventure and in my opinion is well worth the effort provided you have a head for heights.

The route via Wells Cave is an ascent route only. NO NOT attempt to descend via Wells Cave.

On reaching Sugarloaf Peak you will be rewarded with amazing 360 degree views of the valley and ranges below.

From Sugarloaf Peak, the trail continues north across the buttresses, gradually ascending along the rocky and narrow 'Razorback'. There is a lot of rock hoping, scrambling and abrupt drops along the way. The going is fairly straight forward and the trail easy to follow (just stick to the ridge). Make sure you take the time to stop and appreciate the views as they truly are spectacular. After approximately 2.5km the trail becomes easier and the rocky ridge is replaced by open woodland. Soon after this a junction is reached as you arrive at the open grassy flat called The Farmyard. This is a great spot to stop for lunch or for an overnight camp. It is quite sheltered and protected.

From the Farmyard there is 15 minute side trail which takes you to South Jawbone Peak and another opportunity to take in the rewarding views.

Follow the trail a short distance east until you reach Jawbone Creek track on your left. This track will take you past the North Jawbone Peak trail and follows the ridge line all the way to The Cathedral Summit. Continue to follow the ridge line onto Cathedral North then Little Cathedral which marks the end of the range.

From the summit of Cathedral Range retrace your steps until you reach a sign post identifying the Little Cathedral Track. Follow this track down into Neds Gully and towards the Neds Gully camping area. Before reaching the camping area you will find Little River track on your right. From this point is is approximately one hours walk through forest back to Cooks Mill and the start of your hike.

About the region

The jagged ridges of the Cathedral Range offer spectacular views and some of the best hiking in the state. Take a gentle walk along the Friends Nature Trail or prepare to tackle the rugged and challenging Razorback Trail or circuit routes. Either way you won't forget the awesome views. The Cathedral Range is a spectacular seven kilometre ridge of sharply upturned sedimentary rock.

A variety of walking tracks ranging in difficulty from easy to challenging offer the opportunity to explore the park’s main features and climb the peaks to enjoy views of the forests and farmland in the valley below. Rock climbing, fishing and camping are other popular activities that can be enjoyed in this park. Advance bookings and payment for camping are required year round.


Only attempt the gain Sugarloaf Peak or descent via the actual rocky ridge if you have a head for heights and don't mind exposed ledges and rock scrambling. Poles may be useful in sections. Many of the trails are steep and rocky and can become slippery following rain or misty weather. Orange trail markers have been provided in places. Generally rugged terrain will result in slower progress times. Allow 1.5-2km per hour in places.

GPX File

Total distance: 18219 m
Max elevation: 903 m
Min elevation: 326 m
Total climbing: 1011 m
Total descent: -1010 m
Download GPX File

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39 thoughts on “Cathedral Range – Ridgeline Circuit (18.2km)

  1. If this is done as an overnight walk, staying at the Farmyard, I am interested to hear if there is reliable water at the camp, or do you need to carry water for the whole hike?

    1. It certainly can Liz. The farmyard is the perfect spot to camp. It is right in the middle of the southern and northern range and has a large kind of flat grass area. You can even stroll to the nearby jawbone for sunset views.

  2. Just got back from doing this as a two day overnight hike. Was fantastic and very beautiful but worth mentioning that some of the ascent to the ridge line is very steep and quite difficult with heavy overnight packs.

  3. Did this hike last weekend. Saw a signage put in by ParksVic at the start of the South Trail marking both Canyon track and Wells Cave tracks as Grade 5 tracks

  4. Hello, is anyone able to tell me if when/if water is available after you leave Sugarloaf Saddle? Going to do the walk with my 2 kids so need to make sure we have access to water. Thanks!

    1. Hi Alison, after leaving the saddle, you will not find any reliable source of water along the ridge-line (other than puddles if it has been raining). You will need to carry all water with you. This is a huge day walk and not one I’d generally recommend for kids due to the length and difficulty (I don’t know your kids age or abilities though).

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