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Mount Buninyong – Zigzag Summit is a 2.1km, grade 3 circuit hike, located in Mount Buninyong Scenic Reserve, Victoria. The hike should take approximately 2hrs to complete.
The trail follows Blackberry Lane to the foot of Mt Buninyong before continuing around the southern side of the crater before ascending Mt Buninyong via the Zigzag Track. Return via the same route, turning north on reaching the crater and return to the Blackberry Lane Picnic Area.
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 Buninyong town centre head east along the Midland Highway turning left onto Mount Buninyong Road. Continue along Mt Buninyong Road turning right into Blackberry Lane, just after the juntion of Hogarths Road. Park in the Blackberry Lane Picnic Area.
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: 752 m
Min elevation: 654 m
Total climbing: 107 m
Total descent: -107 m