Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

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Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby FNM » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 10:39 am

Hi guys,

In two weeks, my brother is driving back home to Melbourne after a stint in Northern NSW and a couple of us are thinking it would be a good opportunity to meet him when he is close to home for a weekend away. One option is to do an overnight or 2-night hike. I'm not very familiar with the area. He'll be taking the coastal road most of the way home and from there it splits at Sale, I believe, and he can take either the A1/M1 (Traralgon, Yarragon, Moe, Warragul) or the A440 (Yarram, (Port Welshpool), Leongatha, Korumburra), which sticks closer to the coast.

He'll be pretty done with driving by the time it comes to meeting us so we're trying to stay close-ish to the highways (within roughly an hour of either the M1/A1 or A440) and because we only have the weekend, we'd prefer to stick within 2-3 hours of Melbourne (closer the better I guess). We have a 3-day weekend to play with, so could drive somewhere after work on the Thursday, start hiking the Friday and return on the Sunday.

The alternative is we take a house at Venus Bay or somewhere and just chill for the weekend - any recommendations for somewhere to spend the weekend chilling also welcome.

The Prom is probably an option. I've done the 2 night Sealers Cove/Refuge Cove a couple of times, though not for many years. Would prefer somewhere else.

I'd be stoked to hear of any suggestions!

Cheers
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 10:48 am

If the Proms out, turn off at Moe and head to Walhalla, hike up to Talbot hut and then back down the next day? Or drive to Mt St Gwinear and explore the Baw Baws?
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby FNM » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 11:01 am

Great - thanks! I'm looking into them now. To be honest, the other guys haven't hiked the Prom at all so it would selfish of me to rule it out - it's definitely an option. Also wanting to learn and assess other options in the area for future trips.
Last edited by FNM on Mon 01 Mar, 2021 11:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 11:02 am

The Baw Baws or The Prom.
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby FNM » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 11:09 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:The Baw Baws or The Prom.


Sweet - I'm going to do some digging to see what multi-day options there are in Baw Baw. If you have any specific recommendations, would love to hear them. Cheers
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby peregrinator » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 12:03 pm

Tarra Bulga NP is between the M1 and the A440. It's within 3 hours from Melbourne. Has a few interesting walks.
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby FNM » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 12:35 pm

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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby FNM » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 12:35 pm

peregrinator wrote:Tarra Bulga NP is between the M1 and the A440. It's within 3 hours from Melbourne. Has a few interesting walks.


Thanks - going to have a squiz now.
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby nezumi » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 1:36 pm

Since you're going to be having two vehicles anyway, it might be a good opportunity to do a point to point hike with a car shuffle - both drive to the end of the hike, gear and people into on vehicle, drive to the start and set off. Reverse the process when you get to the end.

This opens up a good number more options than just an overnight loop or an out-and-back.
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby FNM » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 2:23 pm

nezumi wrote:Since you're going to be having two vehicles anyway, it might be a good opportunity to do a point to point hike with a car shuffle - both drive to the end of the hike, gear and people into on vehicle, drive to the start and set off. Reverse the process when you get to the end.

This opens up a good number more options than just an overnight loop or an out-and-back.


I was thinking that could be an option. From what I've read so far, Walhalla to Mt St Gwinear could work in that way. The third link above was Day 1: Walhalla to Osheas, Day 2: Osheas to Talbot Ruins, Day 3: Talbot Ruins to Mt St Gwinear ... Not sure of distances/time and whether 2 nights might be overkill, but will keep sussing it out. Think it's an hour drive from Walhalla to Mt St Gwinear.
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby FNM » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 2:55 pm

Looks like the Prom is booked out for the weekend in question (March 12-15).. Well the Saturday night is booked out anyway, which doesn't leave room either side.
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 6:57 pm

Day 1: Walhalla to O`Sheas, Day 2: O`Sheas to Talbot hut Ruins, Day 3: Talbot hut Ruins to Mt. St. Gwinear car park .


With a car shuttle and a vehicle at each end ,this walk would be very good. No need to book, no need to worry about finding a camp site, no problem finding water at O ' Shea's Mill a.k.a East Tyers campground and at Talbot Hut ruins.

Do this one !!!
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby FNM » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 8:54 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Day 1: Walhalla to O`Sheas, Day 2: O`Sheas to Talbot hut Ruins, Day 3: Talbot hut Ruins to Mt. St. Gwinear car park .


With a car shuttle and a vehicle at each end ,this walk would be very good. No need to book, no need to worry about finding a camp site, no problem finding water at O ' Shea's Mill a.k.a East Tyers campground and at Talbot Hut ruins.

Do this one !!!


Sweet! I'll take it to the others and hopefully they'll be keen :)
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Tue 02 Mar, 2021 7:50 pm

Agree with Baw Baw. Try drop a vehicle at Mt Erica car park (or OSheas, second vehicle to Stronachs camp, Thompson Valley road at northern Baw Baw Nat park. Walk the length of the Baw Baw plateau (mostly), option are take in site trip to Mt Whitelaw (unmarked), Mt Baw Baw (8km rtn) and/or St Gwinear (2km rtn). Whitelaw hut site, Mt St Phillack, Mt Erica, Mushroom rocks and OSheas mill site. A beginner's overnight, or three days, point to point, snow gums are unburnt and endemic to the plateau. I have used this as a low risk entry wander for those seeking a start to what generally leads to a hobby, part-time calling or for some, a pathological fixation.
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 02 Mar, 2021 11:39 pm

The Northern section of the Baw Baws is overgrown, i.e. head height scrub. BTAC are planning to clear this section in April from Stronarch's camp to St.Phillack saddle.
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Wed 03 Mar, 2021 6:10 am

Having walked the aforementioned route twice over the past few months, our definitions of overgrown are vastly different.
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby Hikrazy » Sat 06 Mar, 2021 7:10 pm

Some of the overnight hikes I have enjoyed are:
1. Otways/Lorne.
2. Big pats Creek/ada tree.
3. Cathedral ranges
4. Beeripmo/Mt buanga.
5. Lerdiderg/choose your adventure
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby FNM » Wed 10 Mar, 2021 7:56 pm

Heremeahappy1 wrote:Agree with Baw Baw. Try drop a vehicle at Mt Erica car park (or OSheas, second vehicle to Stronachs camp, Thompson Valley road at northern Baw Baw Nat park. Walk the length of the Baw Baw plateau (mostly), option are take in site trip to Mt Whitelaw (unmarked), Mt Baw Baw (8km rtn) and/or St Gwinear (2km rtn). Whitelaw hut site, Mt St Phillack, Mt Erica, Mushroom rocks and OSheas mill site. A beginner's overnight, or three days, point to point, snow gums are unburnt and endemic to the plateau. I have used this as a low risk entry wander for those seeking a start to what generally leads to a hobby, part-time calling or for some, a pathological fixation.


Haha - thanks for this. As it turned out, several other people joined the party and I was out-voted, so we're taking a house in Venus Bay this time, instead!! Hoping we can knock this over in a few weeks, although there will be many options at that point as well! Will be done at some stage in the not too distant future regardless!
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby FNM » Tue 23 Mar, 2021 6:53 pm

This hike is back on again!! :D We're at the footy Thursday night and I have taken the Friday off, so plan on leaving early Friday and returning Saturday.

Can I ask the best route for a single night? A route that would involve a decent amount of time climbing, reaching a peak or two and then a nice place to camp and enjoy the sunset.

If the two nights makes for a much more rewarding trip, I can probably swing it, but we'll start with the one night.

Alternatively, I am not limited to this region - anywhere within say ~2.5hrs of Melbourne is an option. We had been settling on the Cathedral Range Circuit, but with a little more digging, it seems like it's not the most popular overnighter... any thoughts on this?

Cheers
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 23 Mar, 2021 9:33 pm

If you are time poor then drive to the Mt. Erica car park and walk up to Mushroom rocks and onto Mt. Erica. Camping will be near the Talbot Hut ruins. The water point is reliable and flows under the board walk near the camp site. Talbot peak Trig point is a short distance further along. There are no real views because of the Snow Gum forest being so unburnt and complete.

Keppel's hut is feasible as an easy overnight trek. You can get a 2 WD at least as far as Mt. Margaret Gap on the Mt. Margaret road. It is popular with 4 WD users , Mtn. Bikers, Bushwalkers and in snow, BC XC skiers.
You could walk in from Marysville along the Lady Talbot drive if it is open at that end. There are many fallen trees on that road after the Upper Taggerty Road intersection.

You could walk in from Lake Mtn. village car park too.
Keppel's hut has a tiny creek , a dunny and a camp site with a picnic table and fire pit outside.

Mt. Stirling and camping at the Bluff Spur hut is also an easy overnight trip from Melb. with views from the summit if the weather co operates.

The Prom . will be busy during the April school holidays.
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby FNM » Wed 24 Mar, 2021 9:23 am

Thanks!

So if I park at Mt Erica car park, is Mt Erica the only peak I’d likely reach? How does Mt St Gwinear fit into a hike from the car park?

I’m guessing we’d have 5-6hrs hiking at slightly above average pace on the Friday. We could also commit maybe 2hrs on Saturday (to reach another peak) before making the return trek back to the car.

Given the rain, is it likely to be suitable for a 2WD to get to the car park? I may also have access to an X-trail.

Cheers
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 24 Mar, 2021 6:26 pm

Mt. St. Gwinear is about 3-4 hours further along from Talbot Peak and the Talbot hut ruins. The AAWT drops down out of the Snow Gum habitat line before climbing back up to the Rock Shelter where the Pole line goes out to Mt. St. G. or over Mt. St . Phillack to Phillack Saddle and on to Baw Baw Village.
Some walkers start at Mt. S.G car park and walk to Talbot Hut ruins and camp there. That is longer and slower than starting at Mt. Erica car Park and just walking up to the camp sites at the Talbot Hut ruins area. A third option is to Park at Baw Baw Village and hike out to Whitelaw Hut ruins and camp there. Water is not far away. Most high country huts were built near some kind of water source. The Baw Baws are like a big sub alpine sponge and creeks up there seem to keep flowing most of the year.
I will be heading up to help BTAC clear the AAWT from Stronarch's camp to Mt. Whitlaw/ Whitelaw Hut ruins on the weekend after Easter. I will do a trip report and include many photos. There are many poles down on that foot route at present and the chainsaws will get a big work out.
The Mt. Erica Car park road can become interesting in wet or snowy weather. A Nissan X trail would be better. The same can be said about the Mt. S. G. road . If you can use a chainsaw properly you might have to use it.The rain will have loosened some tree roots which tends to make trees fall down . Cutting poles on these roads to get in and out is not unheard of. At least take a sharp axe.
The Baw Baw Village road
via the South Face road will be fine in 2 WD.
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby FNM » Wed 24 Mar, 2021 6:47 pm

Great! Thanks

I guess my main query now is duration. What would be the approximate time from Erica car park to Talbot Huts via Mushroom rocks and Mt Erica? That'll allow me to decide whether Mt St Gwinear is an option or whether it's too far (being an extra 3-4 hrs).

Does the third option (Baw Baw Village to Whitelaw Hut) allow for any peaks? Also, how long would you estimate this hike would take?

Appreciate the advice.

We will take the X-trail.
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby GBW » Wed 24 Mar, 2021 10:41 pm

2-3 hours to Mt Erica (Talbot Hut ruins) and about the same to St Gwinear. If you still have time you could push on to Phillacks Saddle which is also a nice area to camp just near the Baw Baw turnoff about an hour past St Gwinear, it has some views across to Baw Baw. There are no "peaks" as such so don't expect any great views but it's beautiful forest. If you haven't been there then the walk from Mt Erica carpark up through the Mushroom Rocks to Talbot Hut and beyond would be my pick. Once you reach Mt Erica it's fairly easy walking.
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby FNM » Fri 26 Mar, 2021 9:18 am

Thanks GBW - helpful info.

We’re currently sitting here weighing up the weather forecast of potential thunderstorm and showers tomorrow morning ... deciding whether to take off or leave it for next Friday.
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 26 Mar, 2021 5:12 pm

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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby FNM » Wed 31 Mar, 2021 10:02 pm

Due to the weather, we ended up postponing and will undertake the hike this Friday, returning Saturday.

In addition, I now have an extra 2 or 3 people coming, so that makes 4 or 5 of us in 4 or 5 separate tents. Is there any chance, with it being Easter, that we will struggle to find somewhere to pitch our tents? Or are there plenty of options?

Further, are there toilets of any kind at the Huts or at any other camp areas?

My understanding is that water will not be an issue and we should find plenty around the huts? My understanding also is that the water is unlikely to need treating?

I suspect we will have about 6-7 hours hiking time on the Friday and perhaps 4 hours on the Saturday...

If someone wants to plan the best way to utilise the time, I'd much appreciate it! :D I ask because it seems Mt Erica car park to Mt Erica is only around 3 hours.

Could we set up at Talbot Huts and then make a return dash to Mt St Gwinear? If we didn't have our packs (leave them at Talbot Huts), would we be able to make the Mt St Gwinear and back to Talbot Huts in ~3hrs? (Making the total hiking time on the Friday around 6 hours)

Are there other options that you could recommend in the area that would better utilise the 6 hours on the Friday, but keep it at around 4hrs on the Saturday ?

I realise I ask a lot of questions! Thanks so much for your patience and any replies!
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sun 04 Apr, 2021 5:16 pm

There are no dunnies on the Baw Baw plateau once you leave the car parks or the ski village. BYO trowel. Dig your own dunny. Finding water won't be hard. The hut ruins are just that . There are no huts up there
on the actual plateau .

Camp Fires are banned on the plateau . Take warm clothes for sitting at camp. There are campsites a plenty from Talbot hut ruins to Talbot Peak trig point itself. Be prepared to cart water to Talbot peak to escape from the masses. Talbot Hut to MSG and back is whole day of walking.
Mt. Erica is fine as an overnight trek. The climb up is sufficiently strenuous to permit some welcome down time at the Talbot Hut ruins camp site
area. Stop and explore Mushroom Rocks , Scout hut and NBW hut en route.
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby FNM » Tue 06 Apr, 2021 6:08 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:There are no dunnies on the Baw Baw plateau once you leave the car parks or the ski village. BYO trowel. Dig your own dunny. Finding water won't be hard. The hut ruins are just that . There are no huts up there
on the actual plateau .

Camp Fires are banned on the plateau . Take warm clothes for sitting at camp. There are campsites a plenty from Talbot hut ruins to Talbot Peak trig point itself. Be prepared to cart water to Talbot peak to escape from the masses. Talbot Hut to MSG and back is whole day of walking.
Mt. Erica is fine as an overnight trek. The climb up is sufficiently strenuous to permit some welcome down time at the Talbot Hut ruins camp site
area. Stop and explore Mushroom Rocks , Scout hut and NBW hut en route.


Thanks PCV. We made it there on Friday and did the one night up at the Talbot Hut ruins. Was a great little hike and one that I'm sure I'll return to when short on time. It took us about 1.5hrs to get up, with a stop at Mushroom Rocks and less than an hour to get down. Would there likely be snow there in winter? I'm thinking it could make a nice intro to a winter overnighter for me, being so close to the carpark. Didn't see Scout Hut nor NBW en route!! :?

Didn't know camp fires were banned - we had one. It was all but setup ready to go so either people are unaware or ignore the restrictions. Temperature was pretty mild really. Lots of spiders! Drank water straight from the stream just before the fork to the ruins. My brother and I had a bug yesterday (runs, fever) but the other two had nothing, so we think it was probably something else the two of us ate (maybe the Nandos on the way home). Had two other groups up there - a couple and a second group of two families. Couldn't believe how quiet it was. We camped in the area that is straight ahead when you reach the fork to go right to the Talbot Hut ruins or left towards Mt St Gwinear - there is a little track through the bushes. Amazing little camp area - though I do wonder if it was more heavily populated with spiders than around the hut, due to the density of the trees.

All in all, rapt with the hike and will definitely return. Thanks for all the advice received! Helped in the planning.

ps. Just realised we didn't reach Talbot Peak :roll: It's a few hundred metres past the fork! I had in my head that Mt Erica was 1517m so when we got to the sign and it said 1509m, I was wondering what was going on. Talbot Peak is the 1517m!

Highly recommend for anyone looking for a hike close-by to Melbourne that lets you camp in the mountains/wilderness - Mt Erica carpark to Talbot Hut ruins. Easy track to follow, quick hike.
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Re: Overnight Hike within 3hrs of Melb and 1hr of M1 or A440

Postby indented » Wed 28 Apr, 2021 8:11 am

Looking at tackling St Gwinear and Phillack soon to get some familiarity with the area pre-snow. Has anyone been up recently that could advise water availability in the area?

Aiming at doing an overnighter from Gwinear car park to Phillack saddle and back.
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