Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

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Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby Staceykate » Fri 04 Sep, 2020 4:56 pm

So my husband is being forced to take a day a week of leave from November through to end of December... leaving us nothing for next year :( At least he's taking Fridays off!

I'm after some suggestions for beginners hikes near Melbourne? We are fit and in our early 30s and have light overnight gear (yet to be used...) so 1 or 2 night recommendations (preferably with toilets at campsites!) are welcome. I think we could comfortably walk around 13k a day with packs (I workout 6 days a week and he is skinny and naturally athletic... although will need to build up some muscle for a pack :lol: )

We've already booked Wilson's prom and are hoping by November to be well and truly out of lockdown.... but having a list of places to go (even if it's day hikes) would definately help the lockdown depression.

Happy to go maybe up to around 3 hours from Melb metro... we live in Altona.

Thanks in advance!!
Stacey
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby Baeng72 » Fri 04 Sep, 2020 5:09 pm

Staceykate wrote:So my husband is being forced to take a day a week of leave from November through to end of December... leaving us nothing for next year :( At least he's taking Fridays off!

I'm after some suggestions for beginners hikes near Melbourne? We are fit and in our early 30s and have light overnight gear (yet to be used...) so 1 or 2 night recommendations (preferably with toilets at campsites!) are welcome. I think we could comfortably walk around 13k a day with packs (I workout 6 days a week and he is skinny and naturally athletic... although will need to build up some muscle for a pack :lol: )

We've already booked Wilson's prom and are hoping by November to be well and truly out of lockdown.... but having a list of places to go (even if it's day hikes) would definately help the lockdown depression.

Happy to go maybe up to around 3 hours from Melb metro... we live in Altona.

Thanks in advance!!
Stacey

Some possibilities:

If you want to head out east, there's the 'Walk into History' https://www.visitwarburton.com.au/place ... story-walk near Warburton. Nice walks and camping.
Mt Dandenong has days walks with some tracks that'll get you puffing.

To the North, you could do Mason's Falls circuit in Kinglake NP (no camping). You can car camp at 'The Gums' which is a bit north of Kinglake.
A bit further out in the Murrindindi Scenic Reserve there's nice car camping and day walks to Wilhemina falls.

Out west, The Grampians are on the edge of your 3 hours limit, but great for day hikes and camping.
I believe the Lerderderg State park (not far from Bacchus Marsh) has some good hikes and camping.
The Otways (Lorne down to Peterborough/Port Cambell ) has lots of walks, waterfalls, etc.
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby Eremophila » Fri 04 Sep, 2020 6:57 pm

The Great Ocean Walk: https://www.thegreatoceanwalk.com

Easy walking, suitable distances, campsites have toilets, water tanks and a shelter for preparing meals etc. you need to book & pay online at Parks Victoria.

You could do sections with a car at each end, or use one of the shuttle services. Purchase the official map and that’s all you’ll need.

Plenty of tiger snakes at that time of year.
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby nezumi » Fri 04 Sep, 2020 10:20 pm

Beeripmo is the quintessential first timer Melbourne hike - it's one I plan on taking my 4yo on once we are able.

https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/__data/asset ... o_Walk.pdf
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby bigkev » Sat 05 Sep, 2020 10:11 am

nezumi wrote:Beeripmo is the quintessential first timer Melbourne hike - it's one I plan on taking my 4yo on once we are able.

https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/__data/asset ... o_Walk.pdf


Hi Stacey,

I'd have to agree with nezumi, the Beeripmo is a nice easy overnight walk that should full fill all your requirements. The track is well constructed and signposted, the scenery is pretty good... and there is a toilet :wink: I've walked it a few times...the last time just over 12 months ago. Here's a link to a couple of posts I put online if you want to get an idea of what things look like on the ground. The weather was a little ordinary on this visit but it'll give you an idea of what it all about.

Day 1 https://goinferalonedayatatime.blogspot ... p-via.html
Day 2 https://goinferalonedayatatime.blogspot ... ia-mt.html

On the opposite side of Melbourne there is the 'Walk into History' out at Warburton. This is another walk that pretty well fits your requirements, good track, well signposted, good camps (I think there is a long drop although I'm not positive on that) The Walk into History is a little harder than the Beeripmo but it's nothing too serious. The big disadvantage as I see it is that it's a one way walk, so you'll need to organise transport back to your vehicle (or bring two vehicles). Here's the links to that one:-

Day 1 https://goinferalonedayatatime.blogspot ... -walk.html
Day 2 https://goinferalonedayatatime.blogspot ... -into.html

As has been already mentioned Lerderderg is pretty good as well, it's closer to you however it is fairly steep and rough in spots with bush camps and no facilities. Pencil Lerderderg down as somewhere to walk after gaining a bit more experience on the easier tracks I think.

Cheers Kevin
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby ChrisJHC » Sat 05 Sep, 2020 10:46 am

A second vote for Beeripmo.
You can leave Melbourne early Saturday, start walking late morning, be in camp late afternoon.
Toilets and water at the campsite.

Sunday - easy hike back to your car (mostly downhill) then back home by mid-afternoon.

A couple of other thoughts:

If you haven’t used your gear overnight, consider camping near your car the first time. Drive to an appropriate place, go on a longish loop (including stopping for lunch) with all your gear ending up back at your car then set up camp. Gives you an escape route if something goes wrong. The next day, put all your gear back in your packs and do another loop.
This can be done at pretty much any state park which allows bush camping.

Consider a couple of long day hikes with all your gear. I’m a big fan of the Macedon Loop. That will give your legs and lungs a workout and give you a chance to sort out your gear.
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby Baeng72 » Sat 05 Sep, 2020 10:59 am

bigkev wrote:
nezumi wrote:On the opposite side of Melbourne there is the 'Walk into History' out at Warburton. This is another walk that pretty well fits your requirements, good track, well signposted, good camps (I think there is a long drop although I'm not positive on that)

I thought I'd replied to this post, but internet seems to have swallowed the reply...
Drop toilets at Big Pat's, water from eponymous creek readily available.
Drop toilets at Starling's, no water, but walk back towards Big Pat's a few hundred meters and there's a board walk with water flowing there/nearby.
Ada 2 Mill site has tent platforms, no drop toilets, water from Ada River.
Haven't been to Federal mill site nor Ada Tree.
No facilities at High Lead carpark.
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby commando » Sat 05 Sep, 2020 6:11 pm

Just love Cathedral Ranges...
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby Baeng72 » Sat 05 Sep, 2020 7:07 pm

commando wrote:Just love Cathedral Ranges...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that a bit full-on for beginner hiking?
Especially Well's cave?

https://www.trailhiking.com.au/cathedra ... n-circuit/
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby Joynz » Sat 05 Sep, 2020 7:50 pm

Another vote for Beeripmo.
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby Eremophila » Sat 05 Sep, 2020 9:20 pm

Joynz wrote:Another vote for Beeripmo.


Yep. I had forgotten about Beeripmo. A nice easy drive out the Western Fwy.
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby Staceykate » Sun 06 Sep, 2020 9:51 am

bigkev wrote:
nezumi wrote:Beeripmo is the quintessential first timer Melbourne hike - it's one I plan on taking my 4yo on once we are able.

https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/__data/asset ... o_Walk.pdf


Hi Stacey,

I'd have to agree with nezumi, the Beeripmo is a nice easy overnight walk that should full fill all your requirements. The track is well constructed and signposted, the scenery is pretty good... and there is a toilet :wink: I've walked it a few times...the last time just over 12 months ago. Here's a link to a couple of posts I put online if you want to get an idea of what things look like on the ground. The weather was a little ordinary on this visit but it'll give you an idea of what it all about.


Cheers Kevin


Thanks Kevin! the links to your site were awesome!!! This Beeripmo walk is one I hadn't heard of so will definately be checking out that one! REALLY appreciated!! Thanks to everyone suggesting it :D :D
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby Staceykate » Sun 06 Sep, 2020 9:52 am

Eremophila wrote:The Great Ocean Walk: https://www.thegreatoceanwalk.com


Plenty of tiger snakes at that time of year.


I have a more than usual fear of snakes and already saw one when we did just a couple of hours along this walk... though not a tiger, pretty sure it was a brown.

What time of year is less likely to have snakes?
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby ChrisJHC » Sun 06 Sep, 2020 3:24 pm

Staceykate wrote:
What time of year is less likely to have snakes?


Winter.
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 07 Sep, 2020 7:16 am

ChrisJHC wrote:
Staceykate wrote:
What time of year is less likely to have snakes?


Winter.

And the bushwalk.com award for concision goes to...
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby nezumi » Mon 07 Sep, 2020 1:13 pm

ChrisJHC wrote:If you haven’t used your gear overnight, consider camping near your car the first time. Drive to an appropriate place, go on a longish loop (including stopping for lunch) with all your gear ending up back at your car then set up camp. Gives you an escape route if something goes wrong. The next day, put all your gear back in your packs and do another loop.
This can be done at pretty much any state park which allows bush camping.


I'm actually considering something like this in Bunyip State Park with the 4yo, especially if I can trick him into not seeing the car when we camp. That way we can bug out if there's a problem, but otherwise on day 2 we can go for another long walk.
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby ChrisJHC » Mon 07 Sep, 2020 8:05 pm

nezumi wrote:
I'm actually considering something like this in Bunyip State Park with the 4yo.


With a 4yo it can be a good idea to have their first night in a tent at home (if you can). That way they can “make a game” of going to sleep in the tent but still go inside if they freak out.

When you set up the tent, put yourself next to the door so that, if they wake up in the middle of the night and try to go outside, they have to go over you (and hopefully wake you up in the process). Probably never needed but it’s one less thing to worry about.

Also, when you do go bush, make sure you take their favourite soft toy or blanket so they don’t wake up in the middle of the night screaming for their mum. Don’t ask me how I learnt that one. :)
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby nezumi » Sat 12 Sep, 2020 12:36 am

ChrisJHC wrote:
nezumi wrote:
I'm actually considering something like this in Bunyip State Park with the 4yo.


With a 4yo it can be a good idea to have their first night in a tent at home (if you can). That way they can “make a game” of going to sleep in the tent but still go inside if they freak out.

When you set up the tent, put yourself next to the door so that, if they wake up in the middle of the night and try to go outside, they have to go over you (and hopefully wake you up in the process). Probably never needed but it’s one less thing to worry about.

Also, when you do go bush, make sure you take their favourite soft toy or blanket so they don’t wake up in the middle of the night screaming for their mum. Don’t ask me how I learnt that one. :)


We've already had one overnighter - I bundled him into the bike trailer towards the end of last year and we did the Lilydale - Warburton rail trail, staying the night at the Warbuton caravan park.

He did pretty well all told, although he did fall asleep cuddling my arm. The difference with the hike would be that he wouldn't be getting chauffeured around!
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sun 13 Sep, 2020 10:14 am

There are walking and camping options in the Yarra Ranges N.P.
Kepplel's hut comes to mind.
The route could be Snowy Hill car Park/ Panorama track/ Keppel's hut track / Keppel's hut/ Upper Taggerty track/ Keppel's hut track. Or go clockwise.
I introduced a friend to overnight hikes and camping by taking her from 8 Mile Flat to Ritchie's hut on the Howqua river in the Alpine N.P.
It is about 3 hours one way on foot to the hut via the high track that overlooks the river.There is water in the stream and a pit loo plus a nice hut there.
It is further than 3 hours by car from Melb. Perhaps closer to 4 hours.
The walking and camping from Mt. Erica car park via Mushroom Rocks to Talbot hut ruins is an uphill walk but a good introduction to hiking and camping in the Baw Baw N.P.
Once Mt. Stirling opens for summer activity then the Telephone Box Junction to Bluff Spur Hut walk is a good easy overnight walk/camping trip for newbies and lovers of the outdoors .

Just to test your camping gear out you can camp at the foreshore reserve at Point Leo. You can rent a wet suit and a foam soft board from the surf shop there and try your hand at surfing too. That is my spot for surfing :-) .

I walked the Prom. a lot when I first started bushwalking. I am now ticking off bits of the Vic. Alps I have not yet walked or XC skied.
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby neilmny » Sun 13 Sep, 2020 11:00 am

I second this one - "I introduced a friend to overnight hikes and camping by taking her from 8 Mile Flat to Ritchie's hut on the Howqua river in the Alpine N.P."
It's a beauty. Take the high track there's 12 river crossings on the low track.
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby Staceykate » Mon 14 Sep, 2020 2:02 pm

That one looks good, just not sure if the track will be too undefined for us beginners. Hopefully can work up to it though! :D
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 14 Sep, 2020 4:32 pm

It is simple to find Ritchie's Hut.
When we get out of Plague prison follow these steps.
Drive to Mansfield
Drive to Merrijig
Continue towards Mt. Buller. Take the right hand turn along the dirt Howqua track to Sheepyard Flat.
Continue along Brock's road past Tunnel Bend. It can be a bit rough but a 2 WD can make it to the parking space opposite the 4 WD access track to 8 Mile Flat. The site is sign posted.
You can put on your packs and walk down this steepish short track to the excellent campsite at 8 Mile flat.
Then go up the hill up bit away from the river and you will find the high track. Go past the sign pointing out the track up 8 Mile spur. Stay on the sign posted track track . The High track is signposted at 8 Mile flat camp site so you cannot miss it. The low track has many river crossings and should be avoided in Spring when the river is flowing higher than usual. The Low track is signposted too so you cannot get them mixed up.
Walk along the high track. The path is obvious and does give you some views of the Bluff , Little Buller spur and the Howqua river.
After approximately 3 hours of walking you will reach Ritchie's hut. It is obvious. It is not possible to miss it. There are good tent sites in the flat area near the hut. There is a pit loo and water in the stream next to the hut and in the Howqua river itself.
If you spend two nights camping there then you can walk further upstream from the hut as an easy day excursion to where the path meets the 16 Mile jeep track, that requires zero navigation skills.
Even on an easy walk like this you can learn to read maps with a compass such as the latest edition of the Buller / Howitt area map which is published by Spatial Vision. Paddy Pallin should have a copy in their city shop or online.
There are videos on YOU TUBE on how to use a compass with a map for newbies.
I could use some Ritchie's hut therapy myself. I can just picture it now.
:-)
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 14 Sep, 2020 4:35 pm

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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby bigkev » Mon 14 Sep, 2020 6:32 pm

Hi Stacy,

Here's a link that'll give you an idea on what things are like on the ground to the walk that Pcv and Neil are talking about:-

https://goinferalonedayatatime.blogspot ... -park.html

It's an easy walk that shouldn't present any problems - although the drive from the western suburbs might be a little over 3 hours?

Cheers
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby neilmny » Mon 14 Sep, 2020 7:51 pm

That's another spot on account Kev. Glad you mentioned the Copperheads.
There is quite a population of them up there (in the Howqua valley) but they are not an aggressive
snake and quite beautifully coloured. We did the low track in and the high track out
and saw 2 on the high track and 1 down beside the river at 8 mile Flat. It's a beautiful walk.
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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 14 Sep, 2020 10:59 pm

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Re: Beginners hikes somewhat close to Melbourne

Postby Robi » Thu 17 Sep, 2020 6:33 pm

The Ritchies hit walk is lovely, but I definitely agree with taking the high track. Next time I take the low track, I will consider crocs or sandals as you can’t avoid getting your boots and potentially the rest of you wet if you slip. Just in case you needed to know there is a smallish water crossing from the high track over to the hut where if you go to the side a little is a good spot to collect water. Best to filter or treat though. There is a fireplace, a table and benches in the hut so it is great to socialise and cook inside if it is cold or wet.
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