Lerderderg Gorge is wild. I’d go as far as saying there’s no other park within a day trip of Melbourne where you’ll experience this level of wilderness.
As far as off-track hiking goes, though, navigation here is relatively easy since you’ll be following the river and then Watties Creek (aka Clearwater Creek).
With all that riverbank (and creek bank) walking, you’ll want to avoid visiting after heavy rains. There are river and creek crossings along the way, too, where we found (after the first couple of attempts) that it was easier to just get your feet wet. By the end of our hike, we’d given up trying to find paths along the banks of Watties Creek and were just trudging up the creek bed through water that was at times thigh-deep.
This hike is worth doing for the remote wilderness feel, the thrill of hiking with no tracks, the wildlife (watch out for snakes), and the stunning, rugged Lerderderg Gorge.
Need to Know
Time: 7 hrs
Grade: Moderate – Difficult / Grade 4 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
Style Partial Circuit
Region: Western Victoria
Park: Lerderderg State Park
Closest Town: Gisborne (20 km)
Path Taken: Lerderderg Track – Lerderderg River – Watties Creek (aka Clearwater Creek) – Lerderderg No. 2 Track (heading north-west from Watties Creek) – Lerderderg Track.
Car Access: From Gisborne, head west on Robertson Road / C704, which turns into Bacchus Marsh Road. After about 10 km, turn right (north) into Carrolls Lane. Veer left onto Firth Road, and then again onto Obriens Road. Follow this to its intersection with Lerderderg Track.
Map: Here’s a rough map I’ve created, but you’ll need to grab the Lerderderg State Park 1:35,000 topographic map from Meridian Maps. If you’re happy to use your phone as your map you can download the free Avenza Maps app (on Android, iPhone, or Windows) and purchase the same map for AUD$14.99 (NOTE: This map doesn’t show Lerderderg No. 2 Track so you’ll have to keep an eye out for it yourself.
Have you visited Lerderderg State Park? Got it on your bucket list? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.
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