Last Visited: 14/03/2010
Length (km): approx. 14 km (according to MapMyHike.com)
Time (hrs/min): 5 hours
Return / Circuit / One-Way / Partial Circuit: Circuit
Park: Lake Eildon Park
Closest Town: Alexandra
Maximum Elevation: approx. 552 m (according to MapMyHike.com)
Total Ascent: approx. 292 m (according to MapMyHike.com)
Further Details / Source(s): I came across this walk over at WalkWeb and found a map in the ParkWeb Park Note: Lake Eildon National Park – Visitor Guide.
Car Access: From Alexandra (approx. 130 km north-east of Melbourne), head towards Eildon along the Goulburn Valley Highway for about 2 km. Turn left onto U.T. Road and follow it for 11 km. Turn left (at the roundabout) onto Entrance Road and follow this all the way past Merlo’s Lookout to the Wallaby Bay Carpark at the end.
Lake Eildon is better known for water-based activities like fishing and water-skiing but the bushland surrounding the lake is definitely worth exploring. The most easily accessible part of Lake Eildon (for Melbournites) is the area close to Alexandra, which used to be Fraser National Park. There are three camping grounds here (Lakeside, Candlbark and Devil Cove) where sites can be booked on the ParkStay website (currently $17.50 per night – each site is equipped with flushing toilets and showers). There is also a shop which rents fireplaces and sells bait and general supplies but this didn’t seem to be open at any time during the weekend of our visit.
The Blowhard Circuit walk begins from Wallaby Bay Carpark. Head back along the road to Merlo’s Lookout and after checking out the views, head for Merlo’s Lookout Track, which climbs steeply up the ridge opposite. After a tough climb, the track reaches a junction with Blowhard Spur Track just near Blowhard Summit. Head to the left here and make sure you stop to check out the views.
Continue along Blowhard Spur Track carefully as there is a steep, rocky descent which can be quite tricky. Turn right when you reach the junction with Devass Gully Track and follow this to a T-intersection. Take a right onto Aird Inlet Track, which turns into Wallaby Bay Track and will lead you back to the Wallaby Bay Carpark. At times this track becomes unclear but there are orange markers on trees which will ensure that the track is still easy to follow. It’s worth taking the slight detour out to Cook Point for more views but if you’re short on time, you could always skip it.
This area didn’t seem to be as abundant in wildlife as the Estate Spur area where I had hiked the previous day (or at least the animals were hiding from us) but this may have been partially due to the time of day. It’s definitely one to do for the views and for the challenge of the climb near the beginning.
Note: I’ve included all the required information for doing this hike here but for more of a description (and probably the best of my photos), you might also like to check out my story in the December/January 2011 issue of Great Walks Magazine.
Have you walked the Blowhard Circuit yourself? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.