Plenty Gorge River Hike (21km)

Plenty Gorge Park



5 hrs

Grade 3






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Explore Safe

While planning your hike, it’s important to check official government sources for updated information, temporary closures and trail access requirements. Before hitting the trail, check local weather and bushfire advice for planned burns and bushfire warnings and let someone know before you go. Plan ahead and hike safely.

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Hike Planning Checklist

My free planning, food and packing checklists provide an introduction to things your could consider (as well as the Ten Essentials) on your day, overnight and multi-day adventures. Customise your kit according to your personal needs, always considering safety first. 


1 Review on “Plenty Gorge River Hike (21km)”

Overall rating
  • I made an attempt today to drag my ageing carcass around the Plenty Gorge River Hike (21km) posted by Leah Smith. I’m planning to do more day and overnight hikes in 2023+ so decided to do a few ‘warm up’ ones in and around Melbourne. The plan was to take the train out to Mernda Train Station, hop onto Leah’s posted route from the start of the ‘Carome Track’ and then do a loop skirting the eastern side of the Plenty River all the way down to the Nioka Stuchbury Track at the southern tip of the route and then back up the western side of the Plenty River. Unfortunately, nothing went to plan. The recent heavy rains meant that the height of the grass throughout the Plenty Gorge Park at the moment is anywhere between 50cm – 150cm high. I crossed the very first bridge over the Plenty River (immediately to the south of Bridge Inn Rd) to pick up the trail on the eastern side of the Plenty River but there was no discernible path through the grass. Ditto on the western side of Plenty River. It was a sunny, hot day and I was on my own so was very reluctant to be barging through high grass due to snakes and injury. The Carome Track is a wide gravel track that seems to skirt the western perimeter of Plenty Gorge Park so I decided to follow that. I was able to eventually make it down to just before the Wilton Vale Ruins through a series of tracks where the grass wasn’t so tall but stopped there as the grass simply covered the entire track. I then retraced my steps back to Mernda Train Station.

    – Plenty Gorge River Hike is accessible by train. Mernda is the closest station to the River but it can also be accessed by Hawkstowe and Middle Gorge. Mernda Station is about an hour from Flinders Street Station.
    – Access by Train will also allow you to either do the entire loop or smaller sections as you choose.
    – although I never made it down to the Plenty River, from what I could see through the tall grass, it was quite picturesque.
    – kangaroos everywhere.
    – heaps of very old, large eucalyptus trees
    – In the sections with no or little grass, there looked to be good tracks for walking and bike riding. There was also a teen-age boy having heaps of fun riding an all-terrain electric scooter on the ‘Carome Track’.

    – difficult to do anything reasonably safely with the grass so high. Perhaps I was too cautious but even the other walkers / riders I passed were worried about snakes. The chance of extensive grass fires will be real for Jan / Feb 2023 … possibly March as well.
    – signage around the Plenty Gorge Park is either non-existent or simply not helpful. Parks Victoria need to lift their game regarding this. How hard can it be to put up a few informative signs?

    The route that Leah posted looks like a very good day hike and I will definitely return in a cooler month when there is much less tall grass around.

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Acknowledgement of Country

plenty gorge river hike

Trail Hiking Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we hike and pay respects to their Elders, past and present, and we acknowledge the First Nations people of other communities who may be here today.