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Lerderderg State Park...
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Prams & Strollers
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This hike is a variation of one of Lerderderg's most interesting and varied circuit walks. This variation follows the Lerderderg River downstream from the bottom of the Kenworthy Track to the start of the Razorback Spur. The name of this hike is inspired by the 3km section along the rocky Lerderderg River. It is advisable not to follow the river section if the river level is high or following heavy rain.
The Whiskey Creek Circuit trail passes various gold diggings, follows a scenic section of the historic water race and crosses one of Lerderderg's deepest tributaries, Whisky Creek. Sweeping views of the gorge and a strong sense of history add greatly to this walks appeal.
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.
From Melbourne, follow the Western Freeway 9km past Bacchus Marsh and take the Myrniong exit. Continue along the Myrniog-Greendale Road for 1km, then turn right on the Mount Blackwood Road. Follow this narrow surfaced road north for 10km to pull into a turnoff on the right at Square Bottle Track (just 250m past Shuter Track). Park near the gate overlooking a small dam.
- This is a difficult hike with river and creek crossings (although possibly dry in summer and autumn), a number of steep sections and undefined trails. Poles will be useful.
- Suggested items to pack: Day Pack with Picnic Lunch and at least 2-3 litres of water.
- Do now enter the gorge following heavy rain.
- Hiking poles recommended and I also highly recommend water shoes if you have them as it will make the crossings easier.
Max elevation: 641 m
Min elevation: 379 m
Total climbing: 679 m
Total descent: -679 m