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Strath Creek and Tunnel Falls is a 14km, grade 4 circuit hike, located in Mount Disappointment State Forest, Victoria. The hike should take approximately 6hrs to complete.
This Strath Creek and Tunnel Falls circuit explores a series of waterfalls, cascade and gullies in the Mount Disappointment State Forest. The remote and challenging hike commences at the Strath Creek Falls car park. Follow the signs from the car park along a well-formed track to the first lookout over Strath Falls.
The falls, formed by the Strath Creek, emerge at the top of a vast gorge, with a vertical drop of about 50 metres, then pass over a series of cascades, large boulders, and rocks. There are rugged cliffs and huge rock formations.
Continue to the lookout next to the falls and leave the trail upstream of the vertical drop. After crossing the creek continue east and commence your ascent of a steep open ridge, keeping between two shallow gullies. After approximately 500m you will intersect with McMahons Road. Turn left at this point and follow the road for approximately 600m until you reach the junction of Diggers Gully Road on your right. Follow Diggers Gully Road for 2.5km. At this point you should be close to or standing on a ridge between two gullies. One to your east and the other to the north. If you reach the junction of Diggers Link No 2 Road you have walked to far.
Leave the road at this point and head off trail in a north-easterly direction. Follow the top of the ridge as explores a series of knolls before turning slightly towards the east then plunges deeply into Diggers Gully below. Locate a steep spur to your north then descend along its length towards Diggers Gully Falls and the creek below.
Turn to the north-west and follow Diggers Gully for approximately 3km. At this point the gully widens and you should be able to easily locate Tunnel Creek to your left. A visit to Tunnel Falls is well worth the effort, with lots of rock scrambling, and should take you about an hour return. After viewing the falls retrace your steps back to Digger Gully.
On reaching Diggers Gully turn immediately left and ascent the steep but broad spur. As you near the top of the spur you will locate McMahons Track. Turn right at this point and walk approximately 200m to the junction of Gully Road. Turn left and walk for around 300m to a gate. At the gate, turn left and follow the top of the ridge line, off trail as it descends into the gully of Strath Creek.
Follow the creek upstream through the narrow gorge to explore Little Strath Falls and the lower sections of Strath Creek Falls. After approximately 1km you should be able to locate gullies on both the left and right of the gorge. If you look to your right at this point you will see the large black cliffs of Rebecca Falls.
Immediately after passing the gully to your right, leave the creek bed and commence the steep ascent along the wide grassy ridge to Strath Creek Falls Road. Turn left and walk a short distance back to the start point at the Strath Creek Falls Car park.
Take the Citylink Tollway towards Melbourne Airport, exit onto the Western Ring Rd to the Hume Freeway. Proceed out the Hume Freeway to Broadford. Turn right onto the Broadford/Flowerdale Road. Proceed along this road until Murchison Spur Road is reached on the right and then take this road. The road is gravel and can be difficult for a 2WD. After about 9Km turn left into Falls Road. There is a car park and picnic tables here but the final descent to the car park needs to be taken carefully.
This hike should be undertaken by experienced hikers only as a large portion of the route is off trail and follows unmarked ridges and rocky creek beds. It is best to avoid this hike following heavy rain and waterfalls and creeks may be in flood. Ensure you carry adequate water and hiking poles.
DELWP do not recommend this walk as it is is both remote and dangerous. Search and Rescue Police have requested that this trail be closed due to the numerous rescue operations to extract (at tax payers expense) inexperienced hikers who have either been injured or lost on the hike. As with all hikes, you need to ensure that you have the necessary gear, navigation skills and the experience to navigate the trail and return safety under your own steam. If you are uncertain about any hike then do not undertake it and never overestimate your abilities.
Max elevation: 565 m
Min elevation: 310 m
Total climbing: 739 m
Total descent: -738 m