Werribee Gorge 1st Jan 2013

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Werribee Gorge 1st Jan 2013

Postby ryantmalone » Tue 01 Jan, 2013 5:32 pm

After a night watching movies, swearing at the idiots that live behind me for setting off fireworks over our roof and scaring our poor dogs half to death (plus five calls to the police who failed to even show up once!), I decided that there was no better way to kick off the new year than going for a hike somewhere, and that somewhere happened to be Werribee Gorge - somewhere I'd never been, but always read about.

#1. Werribee Gorge is hot and dry.

Was some 26 degrees today, but something about that place, it is like a hot box. Never felt anything like it. And its dry as anything. Even though there's a river, I drank twice as much water here as I do anywhere else.

Anywho... ended up setting out to do the circuit from Meikles Point, but instead of going over the boring last few kilometres above Pattersons Gorge, I took the short cut down from the eastern lookout. Pretty sure it was somewhere around the lines of 7 or 8 kilometres in total.

#2. The walking along the river is NOT entirely straight forward.

Anyone who lives in this part of Melbourne knows that when the main rivers and creeks out this way flood (Maribyrnong, Lerderderg, Jacksons, Weribee, etc), they do it with class. Turns out that floods at the Weribee River have caused a few landslides here and there, and completely wiped the track out in some sections. As a middle aged guy that I met on track, who had been in the gorge more than his fair share of times, told me, "So long as the river is on your left (or right!), you'll be right!".

Not just that, but there was one section in particular, between Sluice Gate and Lionhead Beach, where the track seemed to disappear altogether. Kind of just ended at a wall, however upon getting closer, a suspended cable, that you had to use to sidle the wall a good hundred meters or so, the first part being a little awkward, the rest being quite fun. Slow going, but fun.

The last 4 kilometres or so from Blackwood Pool was interesting, the climb up was nice with some great views, but then was all downhill from there, and was glad to be back at the car.

All in all, a nice day. You can see the photos here - http://s1295.beta.photobucket.com/user/ ... Jan%202013

I also did a quick report on my blog as well for those interested - http://gonebushmad.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/a-stinking-hot-day-in-werribee-gorge.html

#3. My new Macpac Ascent is one fine pack. I loaded her up with a fair bit of weight, maybe around the 12 - 15kg mark, and it was great. Its a bit fiddly to get the adjustments perfect, and as the shoulder straps ride quite close to the neck, its a little tricky to get a fit that doesn't pinch your neck, but once you get it right, its a spot on great pack. Overall, a very comfortable pack, gives you great range of movement in areas when you need it (scrambling, etc), holds very nice and close to your back, and places the weight right where it needs to be, NOT on your shoulders.
Last edited by ryantmalone on Thu 17 Jan, 2013 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Werribee Gorge 1st Jan 2013

Postby Snowzone » Tue 01 Jan, 2013 6:34 pm

Hi Ryan,

I did the Gorge Circuit myself today with a friend of mine. I wonder if we passed each other? We also started from Miekles Point and walked anti- clockwise. Finished up back at Miekles for lunch about 12ish.
The water levels were up a bit to previous times. They must still be releasing water down the river. We thought about a swim at Needles beach but it wasn't quite warm enough for us.
Yes the cable section is a bit of fun.
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Re: Werribee Gorge 1st Jan 2013

Postby ryantmalone » Tue 01 Jan, 2013 10:30 pm

Hmm, people who I would have passed...

I passed two women no older then their mid 30's at the start of the track around 10:30 or so, a couple just before Lionhead Beach, a group of 4 at Needles Beach, and anyone after that would have been after 12.

I'm not hard to miss. Would have been the big guy with the Macpac and the black cap.
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Re: Werribee Gorge 1st Jan 2013

Postby Snowzone » Wed 02 Jan, 2013 9:54 am

Ryan which direction were you going. If you did the river first then yes we were the two women you passed although definately older than you suggest. We were heavily involved in conversation so did not take a lot of notice of who else was on the track but we did say hello to a guy on his own with a camera in front. Did not notice what the pack was.
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Re: Werribee Gorge 1st Jan 2013

Postby ryantmalone » Wed 02 Jan, 2013 12:36 pm

Haha I always shoot for the lower age for safety's sake. :)

Yes, I was the guy with the camera, did the river first. Was a great day!
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Re: Werribee Gorge 1st Jan 2013

Postby Snowzone » Wed 02 Jan, 2013 3:13 pm

ryantmalone wrote:Haha I always shoot for the lower age for safety's sake. :)

Yes, I was the guy with the camera, did the river first. Was a great day!

A wise man, but thankyou I'm flattered. :) And nice to make your aquaintence. its nice to actually see other forum members.
It is a nice place to walk. I go there a few times each year. I particularly like the western viewpoint and along the gorge itself.
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Re: Werribee Gorge 1st Jan 2013

Postby ryantmalone » Wed 02 Jan, 2013 5:28 pm

Snowzone wrote:
ryantmalone wrote:Haha I always shoot for the lower age for safety's sake. :)

Yes, I was the guy with the camera, did the river first. Was a great day!

A wise man, but thankyou I'm flattered. :) And nice to make your aquaintence. its nice to actually see other forum members.
It is a nice place to walk. I go there a few times each year. I particularly like the western viewpoint and along the gorge itself.


Its actually the second time in two walks that I've run across forum members! Last was at Feathertop a week and a bit ago, and I'm off to Buffalo (Mt McLeod) this weekend (permitting that there's no bad news on Friday with these fire conditions), so who knows!

I actually really enjoyed the climb up to the Western Viewpoint. Was quite nice. That, and the sidle using the cable on the river was fun too.
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Re: Werribee Gorge 1st Jan 2013

Postby Hallu » Mon 11 Mar, 2013 10:27 am

I did the circuit this week end, and yeah at 35° it was tough in some places, but not too bad with a swim at Needles Beach. I'm not sure about losing the track though ? We started at Quarry Picnic area, anti-clockwise (so the river part was at the 2nd half of the walk) and navigation was really easy with the orange arrows and then following the river. Maybe doing it clockwise would be harder, I think you don't have any arrows. The walks in the North part of Lerderderg, with all the track damage, are definitely harder to follow.

Also something to be warned off : in the Chapman book, Day Walks in Victoria, it's rated as "easy" but on the website, Chapman says it's a mistake and should be medium. Indeed with the cabled rock scrambling and the 2 ascents, it's definitely medium.

Anyway, it's a very nice walk, probably the best walk less than an hour drive from Melbourne. Cathedral Ranges and Lerderderg lack better tracks and open views.
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Re: Werribee Gorge 1st Jan 2013

Postby ryantmalone » Mon 11 Mar, 2013 10:35 pm

Hallu wrote:I'm not sure about losing the track though ? We started at Quarry Picnic area, anti-clockwise (so the river part was at the 2nd half of the walk) and navigation was really easy with the orange arrows and then following the river. Maybe doing it clockwise would be harder, I think you don't have any arrows. The walks in the North part of Lerderderg, with all the track damage, are definitely harder to follow.


Was mainly one section where there appears to have been a rock fall. Was easy enough if you just keep moving forward, but no markers to indicate where the track is.

No biggie, some less experienced may freak out a little at this.
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