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Baw Baw National Park...
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Mount Baw Baw to Mushroom Rocks is a great weekend hike close to Melbourne. If you love the Alpine regions Victoria has to offer, Baw Baw National park is one of the closest alpine parks to Melbourne at around 2.5 hrs drive. This hike offers visitors beautiful alpine flora and fauna as well great plateaus and the physical challenges of a 1500m summit.
This hike starts on the Village Trail. You can take a couple of paths along the up the mountain and towards Phillack Saddle. From there you head South-east along a section of the Australian Alpine Walking Track to Mushroom Rock.
Staying overnight at Mushroom rock (about 800m above sea level) will be warmer than camping on the plateaus and allows you to sleep among some gorgeous boulders and rock formations.
Day 2 will see you turn around and return along the same path, perhaps varying your route slightly with the alternative Village Trail which will have you coming through Baw Baw Village itself.
About the region
The Baw Baw National Park is a national park located on the boundaries between the Central Highlands and Gippsland regions of Victoria, Australia. The 13,530-hectare national park is situated approximately 120 kilometres east of Melbourne and 50 kilometres north of the Latrobe Valley.
Google Maps or any GPS will easy take you to the main Baw Baw car parks.
Heading east from Melbourne though, most people will follow the Princess Fwy eventually turning off on to Main Neerim Rd and continuing towards Noojee. From there you simply follow the Mount Baw Baw Tourist Rd all the way to the Baw Baw car park.
During winter seasons, you will need to pay a park entry fee.
Maps can be found on the Parks Victoria Website. I suggest taking the eastern part of the Village Trail as your first leg. The start of the trail is opposite the GAFIA Lodge and begins with a quaint little bridge crossing the Tanjil River (really a alpine creek)
This hike can be done in any season, but please make sure you prepare accordingly. I last did this in October and there was still a nice dusting of snow at higher levels.
Baw Baw has some of the longest and windiest stretches of roads I've driven on. Be wary if you have passengers who get car sick.
Details provided by Philip Jiricek
Max elevation: 1567 m
Min elevation: 1242 m
Total climbing: 1201 m
Total descent: -1201 m
Photos by Matthew Kovacs