The Victoria Arch hike explores an isolated pocket of the Victoria Range Remote and Natural Area in the Grampians Victoria. As the name suggests, this hike visits an unusual rock formation that creates an arch which can be explored and climbed.
The hike commences on the Hutt Creek Track just south of the Hutt Creek crossing on Harrop Track and follows a rough rock climbers track most the the way to the Mordor Rock climbing wall on the south end of the maze. Keep an eye our for tape and rock cairns which mark the route.
From the road, follow the trail east for a few kilometres before climbing up over the range across open rock slabs and through rock gullies. Once leaving the road the rest of the hike is completely off-trail and quite challenging with dense undergrowth. Once on top of the range head down to the western edge of the maze, a large rock formation, and follow its western side along a gully. Exit the end of the maze and follow its high south wall around until its end then head north up a rocky gap about a bit wider than your body.
Enter through the gap then turn right and continue along the rock until you are directly under the arch. If you are brave enough, climb up the smooth sloping slab under the arch and exit the other side to look across towards Mount Thackeray. The climb is for very experienced climbers only.
When looking thru the arch, to the right is a narrow steep chimney that can be climbed to gain the summit. There are a few obstacles along the way but once past them the chimney can be climbed.
Additional Walk – Manja Shelter (2.5km return)
After completing this hike it is well worth heading south approximately 400m along Hutt Creek Track to the Manja Shelter Walk. Manja(pronounced Manya) meaning ‘hands’, has some of the best examples of hand stencils in Victoria. A total of 90 stencils have been recorded in these two shelters. It is believed that hand stencils were used to record a visit to a site, and to renew the ties a person had to a particular place. At this site there are also animal tracks and many human stick figures. Manja is located in an impressive sandstone outcrop. Have a walk around and try to imagine what it would have been like to live here before Europeans arrived.
From Melbourne, Follow National Highway M8 and A8 to Wonwondah-Dadswells Bridge Rd in Laharum. Take Northern Grampians Rd/C222 and Brimpaen-Laharum Rd to Henty Hwy/A200 in Brimpaen Turn left onto Henty Hwy/A200 then follow Billywing Rd to Harrops Track
- The area is a lot more open now after the recent fire a year or so back.
- Good views across to Mount Thackeray and The Fortress.
- This is a remote area so be careful when climbing and do not go beyond your abilities
- The trail is not well defined so ensurure you have good navigation skills
Max elevation: 701 m
Min elevation: 236 m
Total climbing: 858 m
Total descent: -856 m
Note: The GPX file does not necessarily follow any trail markers although there are some along the route. The route is not obvious in many places.