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Goldfields & Mining
McMillians Walking Track is a 220km hiking trail commencing near Omeo, through the Gippsland High Country, to Woods Point in Victoria. The hike should take approximately 14 days to complete.
The smaller brother of the Southern Alps Walking Track, the McMillans Track is a challenging hike along the southern edge of the Australian Alps. There is not much information available, and the trail itself might be difficult to find in places. So, you will need to be confident, self-reliant and have good navigation skills. The origin of the trail dates back to 1864, when Angus McMillan succeeded in connecting the coast to the goldfields. The original track has been restored by the Ben Cruachan Walking Club, the best place to find information.
In 1864, Angus McMillan led an expedition to cut a track through the high country of Victoria to link the goldfields together. It took about one year to cut an eight foot wide track that was suitable for pack horses. This was used for many years but as the goldfields declined and modern roads replaced the need for a pack horse trail, the track fell into obscurity and vanished under the scrub.
In 1983, the Ben Cruachan Walking Club began a project to discover and remark the original MacMillans Walking Track from Woods Point to Omeo. This small club based at Maffra (a town in Gippsland in eastern Victoria) was led by John Smith and took on a difficult task as the track had all but vanished. On such a project, probably the hardest job of all is getting official approval. By 1987 they had this and the track was remarked. In 1988 it was officially re-opened.
In places, the original track had been ‘improved’ to a road. Initially, the track follows these roads and it is intended that these sections will gradually be replaced by walking track to make it more interesting for bushwalkers. Where possible, the track follows McMillan’s original route.