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Lerderderg State Park...
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Goldfields & Mining
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. This is a fantastic but very strenuous walk. The circuit provides access to some more remote sections of the gorge and also bypasses Lerderderg Weir.
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.
Follow the Western Freeway and turn left off at C704 the Bacchus Marsh -Gisborne exit (this is a clearly sign posted Freeway exit). Drive 1.8kms towards Gisborne then turn left along Lerderderg Gorge Road and follow it 5.4kms to Mackenzies Flat picnic area.
- The walk is mostly flat and easy, but it does involve fixed artificial stepping stones across the river at two different points, so it is not suitable for prams, wheelchairs or people with limited mobility.
- The river is prone to flooding so avoid after heavy rains.
- No Pets allowed
- Beyond Grahams Dam, there are a number of more challenging walking tracks. Do not attempt these unless you have the necessary navigation experience.
- Facilities at the trail-head include car parking, toilets, BBQ, picnic tables and a shelter with information signs.
Max elevation: 187 m
Min elevation: 144 m
Total climbing: 129 m
Total descent: -127 m