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.

Tidal River to Little Oberon Bay

Tidal River to Little Oberon Bay is a nice Coastal walk starting from Tidal River Campground in Wilsons prom, passes Norman point, Norman beach and ends at Little Oberon bay before returning to the camping ground. It’s a fairly easy walk, and you can be on the beach as you wish, or avoid it.

Start at the Camping ground. It may be worthwhile grabbing a map from the visitor centre there.

Follow the signposts to Norman Bay South / Oberon Bay. Follow the track until you reach Norman beach. After visiting the beach, continue the track making a right hand turn to Norman Point, and then continuing the track to the beach at Little Oberon Bay.

After reaching Little Oberon Bay, return back to the Campground.

Hastings Foreshore Reserve

Hastings Foreshore reserve is an easy going track located in Hastings on the coast. Keep in mind, the coast alongside here is mainly mongroves and rocks. You won’t be swimming. The track is dog friendly (and even has leash-off areas).

The sports centre has many facilities (including exercise equipment) and for those so inclined, after the walk, you can borrow ping pong balls and ping pong bats to play on the outside ping pong table for free and leave the kids at the skate park or playground whilst you go on the walk

The walk begins at the sports centre and follows along the coast, following the track around the outer most paths, eventually curving to the other side of the park and following the outside near the road, back to the sports centre.

It’s a very easy walk, can be extended and is very well defined. Since it’s so flat, you won’t get disoriented or lost.

Mount Kosciuszko Summit Walk

Mount Kosciuszko is Australia’s highest Mountain. It’s located in the Snowy Mountains and has seasonal snow. The Bass list of Seven Summits considers Mt Kosciuszko to be one of the Seven summits (however, Messner’s 7 summits replaces it with Puncak Jaya instead).

Whilst traditionally you used to be able to drive to the summit, due to environmental concerns, this is no longer possible. Snow gear (such as Cross country ski’s) may be required throughout some of the year, and during such times, GPS and maps are recommended (as trails are not marked). In non-snow conditions, this is considered a Moderate/easy hike, where the main obstacle to reaching summit is the length, however, it becomes a lot harder in snow. Ensure you are capable of hiking 20km before doing this trek. It is NOT technical .

Start in the morning to ensure return before dark (and keep in mind, parking can be difficult). There are various facilities throughout the summit walk.

Begin the walk at the carpark (it can fill up, so expect to walk to get to the beginning). There is a sign indicating the beginning of the walk. The trail is well defined and clearly marked. The trail follows alongside various valleys and eventually passes snowy River and Seaman’s Hut. Continue following the trail up to the summit which is clearly marked with a brick marker to mark summit. Return the same way that you arrived.

Kings Falls and TC McKellar Circuit

Arthurs Seat has a number of walks and is part of the coveted 2 bays walking track. Kings fall is a waterfall which generally has water throughout the entire year and TC McKellar is a good spot to observe Australian flora. Arthurs seat is well signposted and is popular among tourists.

Start at the parking near Seawinds Gardens. Head downhills down the Two bays walking trail until reaching the Kings Falls Circuit and enjoy the waterfall. Follow it around and return back to Seawinds Gardens. Follow the signs to McKellar Circuit, and follow it around until returning to Seawinds completing the walk.

More Info is Available from: https://www.visitmorningtonpeninsula.org/pdf/05_0289.pdf and https://www.visitmorningtonpeninsula.org/pdf/05_0458.pdf

Devilbend Reservoir Circuit

Devilbend Natural Features Reserve is a 1,005 ha (2,480 acres) park on the Mornington Peninsula 55 km (34 mi) south-east of Melbourne, Australia, between Hastings and Mount Martha in the traditional country of the Bunurong people. It contains two decommissioned water-supply reservoirs, Devilbend and Bittern, which were the original reason the land now in the park was not developed and was protected from general public access

Devilbend Reservoir is an easy walk which begins in the carpark. There are bathroom’s available if required and the walk is signposted.

Head down reservoir circuit trail and head towards the Daangean Point. After reaching the shore, continue down Reservoir Circuit trail following around Devilbend Reservoir.

Eventually, you will pass Bittern Reservoir on the left (a much smaller lake). When the shore ends, turn right over the small bridge, and follow the path down the waterways, keeping the manmade river on your left.

Move from the track, and turn left onto the Hodgins road. After crossing over the same river, turn right and keep it on your right hand side.

If the trek is closed due to construction, turn left, keep the trees on your right, and turn left upon reaching the river again at the end (as per the GPS track). Alternatively, you may be able to follow the river around the entire way.

Before reaching Derril Rd, turn right to turn over the bridge, and continue following the trail between the reservoir and river, until finally reaching the main road. Turn left, follow the road until turning left back into the carpark.

Frankston Nature Conversation Reserve (Reservoir Circuit)

Frankston Nature Conservation reserve is an easy walk around Frankston Reservoir. The path is light gravel, grass and paved areas which is easy to follow.

More Info and maps are available at: https://www.frankston.vic.gov.au/Things_To_Do/Parks_and_Reserves/Frankston_South/Frankston_Nature_Conservation_Reserve

Park at the Conservation Reserve parking. And head towards the lake. Follow the Reservoir Circuit track around the lake using the signs and well defined trail until returning back to the carpark.

Blowhard Summit (via Merlo Lookout)

Blowhard is located near Lake eildon. The summit walk is a steep walk up a trail from Merlo lookup. The trail is well defined, requires no scrambling and is has fairly good views from the top.

Also, in case you were wondering, someone stole the blowhard summit sign..

Start at the Merlo lookout carpark and follow the sign across the road to blowhard. Follow the trail up until you reach the junction at the summit (which is fairly flat at the top, and return the same way down.

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) .

Moorooduc Quarry Circuit – Mt Eliza

The Moorooduc Quarry was established in 1887 and in 1888 a railway line was built from the quarry to Moorooduc Station so that stone and ballast could be transported from the quarry for the construction of the railway line between Baxter and Mornington. The quarry was closed in 1961 due to flooding and over time became a popular swimming hole for locals, later being transformed into the Moorooduc Quarry Flora and Fauna Reserve.

Moorooduc Quarry is a circuit, containing more than 200 stairs After completing the circuit, you can go to the quarry after and be treated to spectacular views of the lake. The trail is easy to follow..

The trek begins at the carpark on the road, and follows until the junction at the quarry. Follow the trail around the lake following the stairs until reaching the top. Follow the trail back down to the junction and proceed down the middle to the quarry (the view there is surreal). After you’re done, return back to the carpark

Alternative Starting spots

There is additional parking at: 450A Moorooduc Hwy, Mount Eliza VIC 3930 (however, I believe its meant to be for Mornington Railway and lake users, so it may be rude to use it).