Wilhelmina Falls Circuit (9.9km / 450m climb)

Wilhelmina Falls is a circuit in Murrindindi, VIC which takes you through a forest setting, to a large 75m waterfall running down a large granite tilted slab. It has some harder bits, a fair few stairs, and although not incredibly steep, parts with chains to hang onto. There are toilets along the way near the beginning (and a detour can be made up to other camps as necessary such as Cassinia Camp.

Park at Water Gauge Camp, and follow the Murrundindi River walk north west, eventually turning right onto the Wilhelmina falls track. Follow the track along, passing the viewing point, and eventually follow the Boroondara Track following it all the way back to the starting point.

It’s a fantastic walk, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in waterfalls

Mount Juliet Walking Track – Healsville

Mt Juliet Summit

Mt Juliet Summit is a 9km trail which follows Mount Juliet Walking Track in the Yarra Ranges. It’s not technical, however, it’s steepish, unforgiving and good for training (don’t wear tight jeans, its a lot of up). One blog describes it as “thousand steps x 4”. It has numerous false summits, there isn’t much of a view on top and its regarded by most to be one of the hardest trails in Victoria. But, its the BEST for alpine training (imho, far better than Glasgow Track or other trips). Bring a walking stick. At some points, its easily to slide down on your butt.

It will take long, and you should evaluate the effect of any injuries you may have on your abilities. This is a good opportunity to test your stamina if you want to do harder adventures in the future. There are no bathrooms..

The trail itself is fairly easy. Start at the entrance from the road (there is room for at least 4 or 5 cars there, but its not a proper car park). Follow the trail down “Road 3”, until you reach the sign pointing to Mount Juliet walking track. The initial 2km is ok.. Then prepare for death 🙂

Cathedral Ranges Northern Circuit

Cathedral ranges is a 7KM ridge of mountains in Taggery/Buxton, Victoria approximately 2 hours / 120km north-east drive from Melbourne. The elevation gain of this walk is 835m and there is difficult scrambling. This is the Northern (and easier, but equally spectacular) counterpart to the infamous South Circuit. The trek is approximately 15km long and takes 5 to 6 hours to complete, and you summit Ned’s Peak, Little Cathedral Peak and South Jawbone Peak along the way. There are bathroom’s along the way (at the campgrounds), and various points have various forms of signage, however, some navigation skills may be required (there is a semi-well/well defined path along the way though).

If you wish to start at Neds Gully, as of March 2020, you will be required to check if the campground has reopened. Refer to alternatives below for this GPX file.

We start the trek at Cooks Mill Camping Ground. Turn right onto little river /Cerberous Road, and soon bear right onto Saint Bernards walking Track. Follow it until you reach Jawbone car park. Don’t rejoin the road however, continue onto Jawbone creek track instead. Continue left on the next junction until you reach the next camping ground, and continue forward. You’ll reach the farmyard. Turn left down South Jawbone track to summit South Jawbone peak.

Turn around, continue right at the Farmyard, and then turn left down farmyard track. Eventually, you’ll reach a junction. Continue straight and take the Little Cathedral Track towards little cathedral peak. Summit, and return to the junction, instead turning left this time.

Turn right at the next junction, summit Neds peak.

Turn around, and instead turn right this time down Neds Gully track. Follow the track until reaching the junction leading to Neds Gully Campground (which may be closed). Head right (south) onto Little River track. It runs alongside the road and river all the way south until reaching cooks mill campground and completing the trail

The Visitor Guide is available from: https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/-/media/project/pv/main/parks/documents/visitor-guides-and-publications/cathedral-range-state-park/cathedral-range-state-park-visitor-guide.pdf

Alternative Tracks

Traditionally, most people begin in Neds Gully, however, at this time, there are park closures at that camp ground which prevents it. Once the campground and bridge reopens however, you can use the following GPX to begin from there: https://adventure-buddies.net/wp-content/uploads/gpx/cathedral%20Ranges%20North%20Circuit-2.gpx

Ironbark Gorge Track (to Falcons Lookout)


Ironbark Gorge Track is a moderate track located near Werribee gorge. It’s fairly well established, and fairly well signposted. Easy scrambling is required, and it’s fairly steep at times but its unlikely you’ll get lost.

The view from the top is incredible, and for those interested in Rock climbing, it’s possible to rock climb at Falcon’s lookout (there is a trail leading below, and there are belay posts at the top.. Be SAFE guys).

There are no toilets on the way, and keep in mind this track no longer connects to Werribee Gorge Circuit (due to private property).

Follow the signage from the car park passing through Ironbark gorge (a small valley), and follow the trail until reaching Falcon’s lookout, where there is an awesome view and various belay posts.

For those interested in rock climbing, you can use The Crag for more information on various routes or grab a copy of Rockclimbs around Victoria



Halls Gap Pinnacle Circuit – Grampians

Grampians is a large national park located in victoria with large Sandstone outcrops. It’s extremely popular and camping often requires booking in advance.

The pinnacle walk is one of most popular walks at Grampians, and most people start at Halls Gap Caravan Park. Halls Gap information is across the road and includes maps (we recommend grabbing one, and they can help point you on the way)

t can great a bit slippery, but the trail is well signposted and there are always tourists. No real scrambling is required (only basic). You’ll also have phone reception in a lot of cases in various spots on the route. You can use the bathrooms at the Information centre if required (or at the caravan Park, if you’re staying there).

Start at the Information centre. After leaving the doors of the Centre, head right down the road and cross the road. Surely after, turn left into the carpark and head down until reaching School road. Cross it and head down Halls Gap to Pinnacle track.

Bear right on Wonderland Loop Track follow the track towards Pinnacle.

You’ll reach a junction, turn left and bear left to get to the Venus Baths. The Venus baths are a steep wall with a creek, which you can rest at.

Return the same way, but turn left instead on the trail to continue the trail down Wonderland Loop Walk.

Continue forward (ignore Brokka Track on the right) and straight to splitters falls. After viewing, turn around, and follow the junction right to proceed to grand Canyon (you’ll know when you are in it), and then follow the trail to Pinnacle. When you get to Bridal veil Falls, go right and follow the forest loop until you reach Pinnacle (there is a viewing platform, you won’t miss it). Follow the signage towards Halls gap which will take you down a nice scenic walk until you reach the original path/junction, where you turn right, and walk through the carpark, returning to the information centre.

More info is available on: Visit Melbourne

Mount Dandenong Triple Track Ascent (2020 Edition)

This is a updated version of Trail Hiking’s infamous Triple Track Ascent Walk which is no longer possible (Birthday Track is now officially closed and clearly marked as an unofficial track which is illegal to use). It has ample parking on the side of the road and is a great hike for groups as the track is composed of 3 loops, all of which return to the starting point on their return (where people can finish prematurely).

The track is well defined, but it is easiest to use GPS to ensure you are following the right track (it is illegal to use Birthday track, as it is an unofficial one).

Some parts of this track are steep, and we don’t recommend during the track during rain. There are bathrooms at Skyhigh (at the top), which we’ve added to the first loop. We recommend trekking poles and hiking shoes.

Begin the walk on Glasgow rd, and walk uphill until you reach the junction. Turn left to turn onto Singleton Terrace, until turning right to turn onto Link track and then turning left onto firelink track. Finally, turn uphill onto the observatory track. After reaching Kyeema track, turn left and then turn right onto Trig track until reaching Skyhigh (where there are bathrooms).

Return back to Kyeema track (turning left onto it) and follow the mountain around until walking down Glasgow Track (which is basic scrambling) until reaching the initial junction.

When reaching the starting junction, turn left onto Carmelia track and turn left onto Rankin track (make sure you don’t use Birthday track, which you can identify by all the logs in the path) and right onto Dacite Track. Follow Zig Zag track up to to Kyeema where you turn left and stop at Bourke lookout if you want (you’ll know it when you see it). Turn left down Observatory Track. Turn left onto Fireline, right onto Link Track and left onto Singleton Track returning back to the beginning junction.

Finally, turn left onto Glasgow Track and ascend the mountain until reaching Kyeema again. Turn right, then turn right onto zig zag track to proceed down the mountain, right onto Dacite track, left onto rankin, right onto Camelia and return to the beginning junction completing the walk.

Cathedral Ranges (Southern Circuit)

Cathedral ranges is a 7KM ridge of mountains in Taggery/Buxton, Victoria approximately 2 hours / 120km north-east drive from Melbourne and hosts one of Melbourne’s most spectacular treks: Sugarloaf peak and the Jawbone ridge via Wells cave. The elevation gain is approximately 900m and Parks Victoria considers it to be very hard with rock climbing. The trek is approximately 11km long and takes 5 to 6 hours to complete.

Despite the official Parks Victoria designation, I would personally class this as hard, with difficult scrambling (not really rock climbing). DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AFTER RAIN, AS IT CAN BE SLIPPERY. Also, whilst most people do perform this trip without additional safety equipment, it is recommended (at the very least, you will likely need rope if you have a large bag to complete the final push up to summit). I almost certainly agree that with Parks VIC that it is a one way trek (if you go the opposite direction, it will be difficult to find your footing whilst you descend sugarloaf peak. DO NOT attempt this trek backwards without appropriate safety gear and training on its use.

Whilst it’s certainly more difficult than any non-alpine alpine trek I’ve attempted, I have played guide for at least 3 people who were scared of heights who completed it, and overcame their fears. I’ve also seen many kids (including 11 year olds), successfully complete the climb (because you can help them by giving them a boost, some of the more difficult sections are possibly easier for them.

Preparation

Firstly, ensure you bring proper shoes. Runners will probably work (trekking shoes will work better), but do NOT wear sandals or thongs, as you’ll likely injure yourself, and it will make the initial climb fairly difficult (by the time you realise your shoes are inappropriate, it may be difficult to turn back).

It is also strongly recommended against bringing a big backpack as wells cave is narrow in places. With a fully loaded backpack, you may have to empty it out piece by piece to get through, or go overhead (which is a terrible idea). I successfully got through using my 35l backpack, however, it did require that I hold it in front and carry it ahead of me.

Otherwise bring the usual water supplies (enough for a few hours), food, first aid sunglasses and other standard items. .

I would STRONGLY recommend trying to do the track on a dry day. You don’t require rope and a harness (but they are recommended).

Basic Directions

I’d recommend taking a photo of the map at the beginning of the trip, as it will make things a bit easier or / and downloading the Visitor Guide from the Parks Vic website.

The easiest place to start is from Sugarloaf Saddle Day Visitor Centre (which is easily located on Google Maps) From there, pack your gear, and head down the Canyon track/Wells Cave track. Shortly after starting, the trek splits. For the best trek of your life, follow the Wells cave route. If however you want something easier, go down canyon trek instead which merges back with the Wells Cave trail later

Wells Cave Track

Wells Cave Track begins as ferny track formed with leaves dusting the trails and large sandstone boulders forming the foundation of the track. The Trail is well formed, easily identifiable and starts fairly easy. Before long however, you reach the beginning of the actual walk, a steep climb where you must steady yourself with your hands but with strong foot placement

Shortly a few minutes you pass the first real obstacle, a short steep sandstone climb with only minimal handholds, and a requirement to help pull yourself up using small grippy rocks. Its not particularly hard (I’d consider it level 1 or 2 Rock Climbing), and nobody uses rope for support. It may be daunting to those who have never rock climbed before, but its nothing extreme.

The trail continues winding its way around narrow paths, with exposed rock on the sides until you reach the opening for Wells Cave

Wells Cave

Wells Cave is a triangular shaped cave with a wide open which gradually narrows near the ending and has boulders you must step up on the way. The narrow ending is the primary reason to pack light, to ensure that you can fit through the ending. Most people need to remove their backpack and carry it in front of them to fit.

For those who can’t fit, it is possible to climb over a large boulder near the end which is wider, however, it increases the risk of injury and rock climbing will be required to get back down to the ground. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it unless you’ve done outdoor lead climbing and have proven your abilities.

A short distance after leaving the cave, there is a some more basic climbing (with good footholds, and handholds on both sides, but scary looking), before reaching one last major challenge, a few slabs forming a small cave. You can either climb up the slab to the side, or the easier route is to pull yourself onto the exposed site using a tree where the grip is far better, but worse for those who hate heights. A bit more climbing (which you are now used to), and you’ve reached the top.

Razorback Track

After taking in the 360 degree view from the top, you follow a loose trail along a jutted ridge with occasional arrows pointing the path. There is no longer any rock climbing and the path follows along narrow paths where you hug the walls, large rocky boulders you step down. The only real obstacle at this point is a large step where you steady yourself by grabbing the side of an exposed ridge.

After crossing over the ridge and reaching the ground, you follow along the sandstone wall and long worn paths, a fairly relaxed and easy path surrounded in bushes before reaching the farmyard (a camping site). Follow the signs to Jawbone creek track, where the trail changes into dirt steps supported by wooden planks before reaching the Jawbone Carpark.

Some people may often choose to take 2 cars and park one at this car park before the journey. Those who consider it cheating however, can follow the road back to the Sugarloaf Visitor Centre completing the journey (it can get fairly dusty on the way back) .