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Brisbane Ranges National Park...
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The Brisbane Ranges never ceases to surprise me. It is not a challenging range in terms of elevation changes and terrain but it certainly offers some amazing scenery, inspiring views and varied terrain to stimulate the senses.
The Ted Errey Nature Circuit is a really interesting walk which uncovers various vegetation types and tracks ranging from well maintained management tracks through to small creek crossings, boardwalks and steep rocky sections. This particular section of the range was subjected to bush fires in 2006 so the regeneration is well underway and as always, it's very interesting to see the effects, particularly from the higher vantage points.
The trail starts and finishes at the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area and is identified by blue triangles once you pass through the Gorge so keep an eye out for them as they cross the Burcell trail and various 4WD tracks in places as you progress. I found the trail quite easy to follow. Just make sure you keep a keen lookout for side tracks and check your map at all junctions.
There are a few short side trails to outlooks along the way which are certainly worth the short detour as you will be rewarded with spectacular views over the ranges and local farmlands. Be sure to stop and look around every now and then, particularly as you pass through the Anakie Gorge section as the landscape is both rugged and beautiful.
Spring is a particularly attractive time to visit as you will see wildflowers, plentiful birdlife and the occasional echidna (as we did on this trip)
About the region
Little more than an hour's drive from Melbourne takes you to the state's richest wildflower habitat. Set in a low range of mountains dissected by rocky gullies, the unusual geology of Brisbane Ranges National Park has preserved plants that have long since vanished from the region, together with a correspondingly diverse bird population and the greatest density of koalas in Victoria.
The park is 80 km west of Melbourne via the Princes Highway. Turn onto the Ballan Road from Geelong or take the Western Freeway to Bacchus Marsh and follow the Geelong Road, turning off to Boar Gully. (ParkWeb Park Note: Brisbane Ranges National Park - Visitor Guide)
The turn-off from Switch Road onto Ballan Road isn't signed so check the Melways or Park Note map and look out for the other roads nearby. Follow Switch Road to the Stony Creek Picnic Area which is well signed.
A varied hike which would be great at any time of year. Hiking poles may be beneficial in places, particular on the final descent back into the gorge where the trail can be steep and rocky in places.
Max elevation: 376 m
Min elevation: 198 m
Total climbing: 415 m
Total descent: -414 m