This Mount Buninyong – Union Jack Reserve circuit commences at Union Jack Reserve where a maze of bush tracks wander through the old gold mining area on the north-east corner of Buninyong. The trail follows a series of gravel lanes to the foot of Mt Buninyong before ascending the Wallaby and Zig Zag Tracks to the 745m summit of Mt Buninyong. From the summit this hike then follows Mt Buninyong Road before descending the Wallaby Track back to the foot of the mountain. Following a series on track and lanes you will then return to the trail head via the Buninyong Community Reserve.
Mt Buninyong is an extinct scoria cone volcano located 15km south east of Ballarat near the township of Buninyong. Unlike most other elevated points of eruption in Western Victoria, it supports some native vegetation.
The summit of the mountain is 745 metres and can be reached by either road or walking track. Superb views of the surrounding landscape can be seen from here.
Mt Buninyong is surrounded by a scenic reserve with an overstorey of eucalypts, a tussock ground cover and a very limited understorey. The remnant understorey has been interpreted in the light of both Mt Buninyong’s European history and remnants from associated sites. Timber harvesting and an extended practice of grass fires with follow up grazing greatly reduced the shrub layer.
There are three walks on Mt Buninyong, the Crater Walk with a viewing platform (accessible to people with a disability), the Summit walk (a zigzag track) and the Southern Walk. The Summit and Southern Walks are graded as category three walks.
- The Crater Walk – an easy walk, approx 1 km, 20 minutes
- The Zigzag Summit Walk – steep slope requiring good footwear and reasonable fitness, approx 3 kms, 1 hour
- The South Walk to the summit via Crater Walk – steep slope requiring good footwear and reasonable fitness, approx 3.5 kms, 1 hour
From the Old Library, walk (or drive) north along Warrenheip St. After five blocks, turn right into Elizabeth Street and proceed 750m to the Union Jack Reserve entrance.
If you feel you have a bit more energy to expend on reaching the summit try to climb the fire tower as many times as you legs will allow you.
Max elevation: 753 m
Min elevation: 459 m
Total climbing: 355 m
Total descent: -355 m