St Gwinear - St Phillack - Baw Baw (Almost) - Kids Day Walk

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St Gwinear - St Phillack - Baw Baw (Almost) - Kids Day Walk

Postby akl168 » Thu 12 Mar, 2015 7:15 pm

I cannot put my finger on it, but I've wanted to do this walk for some time now. As we had various errands to run on either end of the recent Labor Day, we convinced another family to join us and headed out on the Sunday. The drive out to the Mount St Gwinear parking area is easy and is not windy at all, which is great for some kids who tend to get car sick. There is about 14 km of unsealed road towards the end. The unsealed road is well maintained and 2WDs will have no issues. We started walking at around 0930, up this wide trail which I suppose is a cross country ski trail in the winter. It was neat being able to walk 2 or 3 abreast instead of single file, allowing for a social walk and talk. We had a great time planning our future trips. There aren't many trail signs but the trail is well defined, it's hard to get lost.

BB St Gwinear Summit.jpg
Just 100 m short of a mile

Although this trail is entirely below the treeline, I never felt like I was in a green tunnel. Every once in a while there would be a clearing, and at the higher elevations there were plenty of snow gums that helped reduce the green tunnel effect. Pretty soon we were on Mount St Gwinear. I would not have known this fact if there wasn't the sign and giant cairn! We then headed down towards the intersection with the AAWT where we ran into a trail run event. The Baw Baw Trail Run Festival was on and we stood at the intersection watching the runners who were running down to the intersection, and turning back around. The kids played around the wonderful rock formation at the intersection for a few minutes before we headed northwest on the AAWT towards St Phillack. We were getting hungry and had planned on lunch there. We got to the summit just before 1200, perfect timing. We busted out the stove for a hot cuppa and our lunch. After our refuel we headed on towards Baw Baw. I spied a few great camp sites just north of St Phillack and at the Phillack Saddle. I'm planning to be back for a quick overnight in the future. A little after the Tanjil Creek we reached the big information board with the map. I had the Walhalla Vicmap quad but the scale is too big to be useful here, I believe we were about 1.5 km from Mount Baw Baw at this point.

BB St Phillack Summit.jpg
Lunch stop

The younger kids were now slowing down so the adults took a quick poll and reluctantly we headed back. We had done about 7.5 km when we turned around. With lots of distractions, water, "snakes", and M&Ms, we managed to get the entire crew moving together. Fortunately the last 2 km was all downhill. By the time we got to the cars, it was around 1530. This is still an itch that I haven't resolved, so another time perhaps. I'll have to get the smaller quad as the 1:50000 Vicmap map wasn't really helpful for this walk. The kids enjoyed the fact that they could walk more than 2 abreast on most of the trail. It helped them chat away the entire time, what about, I have no idea. They were tickled with the giant cairns were enjoyed tagging the summits. Although the summits had no views they had lots of rocks where they could sit and rest. There was an easy cache too near the summit of St Gwinear which they enjoyed hunting for. Albeit a little long, I reckon this is a great trail for kids. And the drive isn't too far for it to be a day walk. We were also super lucky with the weather which was wonderful the entire day.

BB Tanjil Creek.jpg
Tanjil Creek Bridge

PS - Thanks to the trail angel who found my younger son's sunnies and placed it prominently on a rock on the trail where it was easily spotted. He was very happy and relieved when we found it when walking back to the car. All photos taken by my wife on her phone.
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Re: St Gwinear - St Phillack - Baw Baw (Almost) - Kids Day W

Postby neilmny » Thu 12 Mar, 2015 7:48 pm

Very enjoyable report, thanks for posting.
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Re: St Gwinear - St Phillack - Baw Baw (Almost) - Kids Day W

Postby walkon » Thu 12 Mar, 2015 8:21 pm

Last few times I've been there it's been covered in snow so it's cute to see the changes in seasons. I'll be through there in the not too distant future at the end of the Aawt all going well. Thanks for the pics and good luck with getting there again soon
Cheers Walkon

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