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Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Mon 27 Sep, 2010 6:48 pm

Lurked these forums a bit lately looking for good walks - just wanted to drop in and share one that we did on the weekend.

We seemed to be in the majority of Victorians that had never heard of Lerderderg State Park! We decided to give it a bash on the weekend and we were really pleasantly surprised by a great hike - challenging and nice views at certain spots.

We started at Mackenzies Flat, walked to Graham's Dam (easy) then crossed the river twice (wet feet) then up Spur Track (hard) then down the weir access road (easy) to the weir.

The weir was really worth looking at. The fish ladder was interesting, lets the fishies get back up the river.

Crossed the river again and followed the river 500m (no clear track) to a beautiful campsite. I know it's forum rules not to post about areas with no tracks but I think this was a commonly visited area due to multiple fireplaces - I think the track was just washed out in the recent high waters in winter.

Day 2 hiked back to the weir then up Long Point Track (hard), along Blackwood Ranges Track (easy) and down Link Track No. 1 (hard) back to Graham's Dam then home.

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The tracks were mostly quite steep. Some areas required actual hand and feet climbing - the climb at the weir end of the Long Point Track was the steepest, almost rock climbing. Beautiful view over the weir at the top though!

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The campsite near the weir was just spectacular. Unimaginably flat. Took my new Vango Tempest 200 for a spin, here's some shots of the tent and the site.

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Hike was a good 4 to 4½ hours to the camping site and then maybe another 4 to 4½ back out. It was a relief to be going down Link Track No. 1 rather then up it! Great weekend to finish at Graham's Dam too - jumped straight in to cool off - boots and all.

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Mon 27 Sep, 2010 7:52 pm

Firstly, welcome to the forum, as you've probably found it's a great source of information!
I to have never heard of the walk, looks like a good overnighter; will have to chuck it on the things to do list.
Hope to hear more from you!

dyl

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Tue 28 Sep, 2010 10:52 pm

Pinky

Welcome & great minds think alike obviously

My wife & I have previously walked the Great Dividing Trail from Ballarat (started at Skipton & did the rail trail first) to Bendigo.

We then started from Daylesford on the leg down to Bacchus Marsh but only did 1 day & got side tracked for a couple of years.

Decided to do some more at the weekend and finished as far as Blackwood on Saturday, then out the East into the Lerderderg Park section on Sunday from Whiskey track back in to Blackwood

Our tracks were no where near as hard as yours, quite easy actually.

About 10km each side of Blackwood the track is actually on an old water race, so pretty good grades

Image

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Wed 29 Sep, 2010 11:36 pm

Excellent jcr_au - we want to follow up by doing the north section walking in from Golden Point. That's really great info and good to know that it won't be as harrowing!

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Thu 30 Sep, 2010 11:07 am

Pinky

Certainly the walk to O'Briens is pretty straight forward, but I haven't been beyond there towards the marsh yet.The GDT goes up and appears to be along ridges from there, not along the river.

I thing I did notice is the Parks Vic markers and GDT map seem to be way out in their distances. I started at the Whiskey Track/O'Brien's Rd intersection & walked for 3 1/2 hours,either downhill or along theold race (called Bayes Track now) to the Caravan Park, so I know I walked at over 4km/hr, but the signs and notes suggest its 9.5km from the Caravan Park to there - which just can't be right. Near Golden Point there was an old sign that suggested I'd walked closer to 12km.

I've struck this once before with the GDT maps. We walked from East of Creswick to just East of Wombat station one day, which the GDT track notes indicated was 17km. From the time it took us I thought it was closer to 30km. I then had to ride the mountain bike back to get our car, but rather than ride the track I used the map to choose a shorter route on gravel roads, problem was not all the roads existed & I ended up riding 40km approx. I went back another time & road the track with a GPS just to check who was wrong and the track was in fact 29km.

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Thu 30 Sep, 2010 11:23 am

Hi Pinky,
Is that a Vango tempest tent in the photo? If so, how do you find it?

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Thu 30 Sep, 2010 6:24 pm

gisborne612 wrote:Hi Pinky,
Is that a Vango tempest tent in the photo? If so, how do you find it?

Yep, its a Tempest 200 - I wrote a pretty comprehensive review of it here: http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=58901#p58901

@jcr_au: Interesting you say that because we noticed that one of the boards on Blackwood Range Track was severely wrong! There are two tracks that split off - Link Track No. 1 and Link Track No. 2 - and they didn't even show Link Track No. 1 at all, and showed Link Track No. 2 in the wrong location, by about a good kilometre on the map's scale, before a major intersection instead of after it.

The map downloaded from the Parks Vic website (which I cut-out above to plot the route) is pretty decent - but you shouldn't go in there without a topographical map, that's for sure.

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Thu 30 Sep, 2010 10:01 pm

Pinky wrote:
The map downloaded from the Parks Vic website (which I cut-out above to plot the route) is pretty decent - but you shouldn't go in there without a topographical map, that's for sure.


Glad to hear the DSE map isn't too bad.

I was using a map published by the Great Dividing Trail assn, which shows the track on a satellite photo composite image, which is a good concept, but the also give keystone distances which are often out, which is the problem.

They also have trail markers at regular intervals, but even then a map is necessary as markers/posts can go missing, but also they have a habit of placing the odd one in completely inappropriate places like behind major trees or the inside of corners, where they can't be seen from at least one direction

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Fri 01 Oct, 2010 4:15 pm

I have walked almost all the Great Dividing Trail, apart from some sections of the Daylesford to Bacchus Marsh leg. This report and photos makes me want to do the rest :)

I have found both the maps and the sign posts for the GDT trail to be unreliable - erratically positioned posts, inconsistent signage, hard-to-read maps. In fairness to the Association, they have done a fairly good effort: pin-pointing one particular route in areas criss-crossed with tracks is hard to do.

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Fri 06 May, 2011 10:55 pm

Does anyone know where i can get a full map of Lerderderg State Park? A bigger version of the one used on this thread?
I've tried google but i havent had any luck.

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Sun 08 May, 2011 9:16 am

inkbird wrote:full map of Lerderderg State Park?


The Lerderderg and Werribee Gorges map has the full parks shown on them. If you want a larger map of the area try the Wombat State Forest touring guide which shows the area around the Lerderderg.

Hope this helps

TR

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Sun 08 May, 2011 10:24 am

Robbo wrote:
inkbird wrote:full map of Lerderderg State Park?


The Lerderderg and Werribee Gorges map has the full parks shown on them. If you want a larger map of the area try the Wombat State Forest touring guide which shows the area around the Lerderderg.

Hope this helps

TR

The Lerderderg and Werribee Gorge map is published by Meridian. Its a good reliable map of the area. They also publish the reasonably new Brisbane Ranges Map which they have also done a good job on.

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Thu 12 Apr, 2012 10:51 am

Thanks for posting this walk. I found this circuit a great short day walk. A handy map if you have an iPhone is to download a free app called 'Avenza' and access Parks Victoria's free map of the Lerderderg State Park. At various spots I had Telstra reception so I could check my GPS location. Grahams Dam was a welcome swim at the end of the hike!

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Thu 07 Jun, 2012 11:17 am

Thanks Pinky. I've been considering having a look at the Lerderderg over the last month or so but there's really little detail about it (at least where I've been looking). This is everything I wanted to know!

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Tue 21 Aug, 2012 4:25 pm

Hi all - first time post here.

Thanks Pinky - great thread with some nice pics of your walk. Love the pic of your set up. I've just recently bought a hiking tent but yet to road test it on an overnighter.

Lerderederg is, in my opinion, Melbournes best kept secret. Only an hour (at worst) out of Melbourne CBD and once you're in there you could be anywhere.

I've also done the walk described by pinky, known as "the scenic rim", and found it very challenging. Having said that I'm a relative novice and went out on Boxing Day 2010 (I think) on a stinking hot day (about 35deg) with not enough water, only the Parks Vic map pictured here, and not a hell of a lot of experience.

The first climb up Spur Track nearly killed me! It's a 1.6km climb which rises about 500m. At the time I thought it would never end. Not a hell of a lot of shade either as the trees here are pretty spindly and sparse.

Like Pinky the reward at the end of the walk (Grahams Dam) on a hot summers day is spectacular. You don't quite appreciate how good it is as you pass it on your way out - but you certainly do on the way back!! All up the walk took me close to 10 hours (including the swim at the end) and I reckon I lost about 5 kilo's!!

For those interested in exploring Lerderderg Gorge and Melbourne's West further I highly recommend a book called "Melbourne's Western Gorges" by Glenn Tempest. I just bought it and those looking for detailed walks in the area will be happy with this book. (hope I'm not out of line recommending this).

Happy hiking.
Skender.

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Wed 22 Aug, 2012 8:56 am

I've also done the walk described by pinky, known as "the scenic rim", and found it very challenging. Having said that I'm a relative novice and went out on Boxing Day 2010 (I think) on a stinking hot day (about 35deg) with not enough water, only the Parks Vic map pictured here, and not a hell of a lot of experience.


I was only just saying to a friend on the weekend how grueling that walk would be in Summer. You're mad! How much water did you carry? There's got to be about 6km exposed where you can't access the river for love nor money (for those wondering the access track down to the weir is completely exposed).

You should get the weir in winter. I did it early spring, and water wasn't even passing through it. I went back last month and the area I sat to have much lunch was about 3 meters under water. It was amazing.

Also, the parks vic map sucks. I too think the Western Gorges book is excellent and would encourage people to spend the few extra dollars to pick up a topographic map of the park from Merdian as well, then use them in conjunction.

Lerderederg is, in my opinion, Melbournes best kept secret. Only an hour (at worst) out of Melbourne CBD and once you're in there you could be anywhere.


Seconded. This is a great place to begin the bushwalking craft. People still get lost here, but in a worse case scenario you can follow the river out. Bring walking poles imo, as river crossings are pretty common on some walks.

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Wed 22 Aug, 2012 3:35 pm

Pongo wrote:I was only just saying to a friend on the weekend how grueling that walk would be in Summer. You're mad! How much water did you carry? There's got to be about 6km exposed where you can't access the river for love nor money (for those wondering the access track down to the weir is completely exposed).


Not mad Pongo - just a little ill-formed/inexperienced. I remember thinking the day before whether I should reconsider but for some reason (probably driven by some macho testosterone driven desire) decided to push on. A mate was supposed to come out with me that day but pulled out and I think I was just pissed off that he didn't come and wanted to prove a point.

I took about 1.5 litres of water on the walk with me and had about another 2 liters in the car which I had put in the freezer the night before... oh how I wished I had that with me walking along the access track! I had finished most of the (now warm) water by the time I got to the top of the very steep climb after the the weir. This is where I had my lunch and managed to take in the spectacular views back down the gorge at the river.

Also, the parks vic map sucks. I too think the Western Gorges book is excellent and would encourage people to spend the few extra dollars to pick up a topographic map of the park from Merdian as well, then use them in conjunction.


Amen... I ended up missing the first turn off to spur track and continued upstream until the track became stone riverbed and cliffs. At that point I realised I had missed a turn off and panicked a bit, after turning back I rolled my right ankle twice negotiating the rocks and panicked a little more - eventually I found my way to the Spur Track and what seemed like a VERY obvious turn off, not sure how I missed it the first time!!!The ankle ended up ok. Just a bit sore and swollen but no structural damage.

I now have a Meridian map.

It's worth noting that the descent back into the gorge is no easier than the ascent up Spur Track ... in fact it's quite physically AND mentally challenging just staying on your feet as it is quite steep and rapid. I quite often (being so fatigued) found myself sliding down on my *&%$#!! It all makes for a very rapid and dramatic finish to the walk and when Grahams Dam first came into sight I was literally over-joyed. Once I got there I filled my water bottle, guzzled about a litre of water, stripped off and was straight in the water.... what a relief.

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Wed 16 Jan, 2013 4:57 pm

I'm planning on camping near the Weir on Saturday night. Has anyone been here recently? If so, any comment on the quality of the campsite mentioned in the original post?

The original post was before some significant floods came through the area, would be good to know if the site is still in good shape or not.

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Fri 18 Jan, 2013 8:02 am

ryantmalone wrote:I'm planning on camping near the Weir on Saturday night. Has anyone been here recently? If so, any comment on the quality of the campsite mentioned in the original post?

The original post was before some significant floods came through the area, would be good to know if the site is still in good shape or not.

Hey Ryan
Not sure about the quality of the campsite up at the weir, but as for any downstream effects of any floods at McKenzies Flat....well....they were non-existent as at Friday 11th when I was there for an overnighter....
IMG_2276.JPG

... :D

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Fri 18 Jan, 2013 8:56 am

Oh wow... Is that the crossing near Mckenzies? That was flowing strong only a few weeks ago... Wondering if water is going to be an issue

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Sun 20 Jan, 2013 5:55 pm

Camp was perfect by the way. Picture perfect. Not as big as I thought, but really cozy, flat and nice. A little flood damage up to near the camp, but nothing major

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Tue 05 Mar, 2013 10:57 am

I agree with everybody that Lerderderg is a little gem close to Melbourne. I walked into miners camp and had a very pleasant evening. These are good intro walks for people.

It is a shame that there has not been any recent track maintenance on the East Track.

P

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Tue 05 Mar, 2013 11:02 am

Penguin wrote:I agree with everybody that Lerderderg is a little gem close to Melbourne. I walked into miners camp and had a very pleasant evening. These are good intro walks for people.

It is a shame that there has not been any recent track maintenance on the East Track.

P


I was actually going to ask about this in a week or so, planning to walk the length of the river over Easter.

Its still that bad is it?

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Tue 05 Mar, 2013 12:06 pm

I did it a month ago and it's not that bad if you compare it to the Cathedral Ranges. There is flood damage so you'll have to walk over fallen trees and stuff, at one point you have to find your way on a cliff wall because there's no track anymore (or swim), and the track isn't always clear but easy to find back since you just follow the river for the most part. Good map needed of course. I didn't do the west/south part of Lerderderg, but apparently it's way better. I saw this on the track though :
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Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Tue 05 Mar, 2013 2:37 pm

Hallu wrote:I saw this on the track though :


I saw one exactly the same, could even be the same one. With a mate though - more to come :(

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Tue 05 Mar, 2013 2:40 pm

Penguin wrote:
Hallu wrote:I saw this on the track though :


I saw one exactly the same, could even be the same one. With a mate though - more to come :(


hmmm.... when I was camped at the Wier camp a few weeks back, after dark, heard a few animals, sounded quite big, running through the camp. Wasn't sure what they were. Maybe this answers my questions. ;)

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Tue 05 Mar, 2013 3:56 pm

Yeah he was with the missus too but my battery died. Saw a wallaby, some roos and an echidna too. The next day I was at the Brisbane Ranges, and absolutely nothing. I'm not a big fan of Lerderderg to be honest, but at least there's some wildlife.

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Thu 07 Mar, 2013 12:13 am

Hi guys,

First post and i'd just like to say that this website is a gold mine of information and advice, thanks.

Im thinking of doing this hike with a couple of friends this long weekend. Can anybody comment on the amount of water in the river currently and whether or not it is safe to drink? The current plan is to follow the same route as Pinky (see map in 1st post) did.

Thanks,

Matt

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Thu 07 Mar, 2013 7:28 pm

mattmac24 wrote:Hi guys,

First post and i'd just like to say that this website is a gold mine of information and advice, thanks.

Im thinking of doing this hike with a couple of friends this long weekend. Can anybody comment on the amount of water in the river currently and whether or not it is safe to drink? The current plan is to follow the same route as Pinky (see map in 1st post) did.

Thanks,

Matt


Hi Matt, I did this hike myself a few weeks back, and it was very dry when I did it. My post on the hike is at viewtopic.php?f=46&t=12205

There's usually pools available here and there, however I'd recommend carrying a filter to be quite frank, or doing what I did and carried in water and boiled water at camp that I obtained from pools.

Enjoy! The scenic rim is a really great hike!

Re: Lerderderg State Park overnight walk

Thu 07 Mar, 2013 8:25 pm

Penguin wrote:
Hallu wrote:I saw this on the track though :


I saw one exactly the same, could even be the same one. With a mate though - more to come :(

Oh Yes there is already a thriving population and has been for a few years now. I walked along the river through to Long Point about a month ago and counted in excess of 30 in total in 3 different groups. One group was very surprised when I dropped in off a little used spur at one point.
Even more concerning though are the wild pigs that also reside down that way.

As for the water there is always a few deep pools along the river but I would be filtering and boiling. Some of the pools look better than others.
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