• Length: 15.5km

  • Duration: 5hrs

  • Grade: 4

  • Style: Circuit

  • Start: Pyrete Range car park

  • End: Pyrete Range car park

  • Location: Lerderderg State Park

  • Closest Town: Bacchus Marsh

  • Distance from CBD: 60km

  • State: VIC

  • Latitude: -37.580918

  • Longitude: 144.507757

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2WD Access

4WD Access

Public Transport

Bitumen Road

Gravel Road

Steep Road

Winding Road

Speed Bumps

Vehicle Ford

Entry Fee

Large Car Park

Small Car Park

Accessible Parking

Accessible Toilet

Public Toilets

Drinking Water

Untreated Water

Picnic Shelter

Picnic Table

BBQ Facilities

Campfire Pit

Camping Area

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Lerderderg State Park...

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Concrete Path

Timber Boardwalk

Gravel Path

Sandy Trail

Rough Trail

Undefined Trail

Prams & Strollers

Manual Wheelchair

Motorised Wheelchair

Bicycle Trail

Mountain Bike Trail

Historic Rail Trail

Dog Friendly

Urban Walk

Coast & Beach

Historic Lighthouse

Waterfalls & Lakes

Rainforest Walk

Goldfields & Mining

Heritage Walk

Aboriginal Art

Alpine Region

Alpine Huts

Exposed Ledges

Rock Scrambling

Steep Terrain

Bush Bashing

River Crossings

Scenic Viewpoints

Well Marked

Drinking Water

Untreated Water

Fishing Spots

Swimming Spots

Overnight Campsites

Trail Running

Horse Riding


Pyrites Creek Gorge is a 15.5km, grade 4 circuit hike, located in Lerderderg State Park, Victoria. The hike should take approximately 5hrs to complete.

Hike Summary

The Pyrites Creek Gorge hike negotiates a scenic section of the the Pyrites Creek Gorge and includes the historic Drapers Lode Antimony Mine. The Pyrete Range is a recent addition to the Lerderderg State Park. Pyrites Creek winds its way through the range before flowing into the nearby Merrimu Reservoir.

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.


I would rate this a moderate hike during dry months when there is no water in Pyrites Creek as 5km of this trail require you to negotiate a trail along the creek or walk up the creek bed. During wet months I would rate this as a difficult hike.

Poles are useful in the creek bed, particularly after rain when the rocks will be very slippery.

The presence of Cinnamon Fungus poses a serious threat to flora and fauna of the park. This microscopic pathogen attacks plant root systems causing die-back. Patches of dead or dying vegetation can indicate the presence of the fungus and grass trees are particularly susceptible. The disease is spread through the movement of contaminated soil and gravel and there is no known cure.

Help to minimise the spread of this disease through the park by remaining on formed tracks at all times. All soil should be removed from footwear prior to entering and leaving the Park using a 70% methylated spirits/water solution and a sturdy brush.

GPX File

Total distance: 15561 m
Max elevation: 358 m
Min elevation: 223 m
Total climbing: 381 m
Total descent: -377 m
Download GPX File

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103 thoughts on “Pyrites Creek Gorge (15.5km)

  1. It is a great hike and i have done it twice. Last weekend i did the hike and there is pretty much no water, couple of waterholes to slightly detour around and a lot of growth in the creek bed. I feel that the orange arrows are fewer than last year and the GPX map was very useful to detect the turn into the gully out of the creek bed. I also seem to think that the terrain has changed and we did eventually get to the fence line but there is now a very steep fire break from Wobbly Gully (not sure) which lead to the fence from a different direction. Further along the fence line there was a cairn and a path and i think this is where we should have come out to the fence based on the GPX. Easy enough to wing it in this last part and go slightly off the “line”. Just wanted to mention the fire break as it seems like to really obvious path to take. Snakes were out too!

    1. Hey Leonie. It is a great hike. Thanks heaps for the trail update.

    1. Bernard here: That is the area we walked with Andrew. It is a bit confusing because the Pyrete Range is an extension of the Lerderderg State Park.

    1. ????? Grade 4!!!! Ok I’m in.. what Grade is Kilkunda? I will have to look that up. Well always looking for a good challenge.

    1. I don’t dick around. Don’t think I didn’t see you get in your car last night in active wear and the dog lead….no invite for me

    2. Ummm wrong neighbor! I got back from the farm last night so deffo didn’t walk the dog. Dale took tjem down to the Gorge.
      Someone owes someone an apology…..
      Anyhow. I’m free this weekend but let me guess….

    3. Mmm concert saturday night, working Sunday. Better ask my husband if he’s going gliding again seeing as that’s why I’m home on Saturdays. Not for my own well being or anything…

    4. Michelle Playfor Kleeham it’s the last of the 2018 season. Pretty fkn important actually! I so know where you live and saw you geeting in the car in active wear holding a dog leash at approximately 6.45pm last night

    5. Michelle Playfor Kleeham that was a low blow… I also know where you live and will be around sooner than u think

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