This Clearwater Gully hike explores the quiet Clearwater Creek, a rarely visited gully deep in the heart of the park. There are no formed trails for much of the hike but navigation along the creek bed should be fairly straight forward. The going will be slow if the creek and Lerderderg Rivers are flowing.
Clearwater Creek is a seldom visited tributary of the Lerderderg River set deep inside the Lerderderg State Park. The remote location and rugged terrain disguise the fact that the area was once actively explored for gold, with only the remnants of the mining activity still visible.
The walk is a balance of management access tracks and off-track river gorges and creek gullies. A drop of 350 m from the start to the banks of the Lerderderg River is matched by an equal climb back up the path of the Clearwater Creek and onto the return management track.
The walk is only suitable for fit and experienced walkers. Exposed rock surfaces and grassy flats provide a diversity of walking conditions; however, the former can be dangerous in wet conditions.
From Melbourne follow the Calder Freeway 53Km and turn off at Girborne. Continue along the Bacchus Marsh-Gisborne Road for 11Km then turn right onto Carrolls Lane. Veer left at Firth Road and drive a further 2.8Km before turning left onto O’Briens Road. Follow O’Briens Road for 4.5Km and park at the start of the Lerderderg Track. You can also approach Carrolls Lane via the Western Highway and Bacchus Marsh.
Suggested items to pack: Day Pack with picnic lunch and at least 2 litres of water. Maybe also a good idea to bring a change of clothes, socks and towel.
Most of this hike is off trail and along river beds. A walking pole will come in handy along the river and creek.
Max elevation: 646 m
Min elevation: 329 m
Total climbing: 601 m
Total descent: -603 m