Mount Lofty is undoubtedly the best bushwalk around Wonga Park, or in Warrandyte State Park as a whole, and features some of the best views that Melbourne’s inner north-east has to offer.
The 5.5-kilometer circuit trail is the perfect way to take in the Mount Lofty summit and surrounding area, without getting the heart pumping too much or taking up too much time. There are several spots along the banks of the Yarra River (just off the track) that would be perfect for a picnic. This made a great spot to visit with the kids on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
The vegetation on Mount Lofty’s west side (where the first half of the walk takes you) is incredibly well preserved, especially considering that the area was only added to the park in 1997. The eastern section makes for a good comparison as it’s mostly cleared land but this allows for some spectacular views as you climb and especially from the summit.
The walk begins at the point where the Yarra River meets Brushy Creek, which is said to be the birth-place of a Wurundjeri elder called William Barak. Start by crossing the footbridge (over the creek) at the north end of the carpark. Warrandyte State Park officially begins on the other side of the bridge and a well-defined gravel walking track will lead you along the Yarra from here.
The trail is mostly very easy to follow but after your ascent, make sure you stick right at the two junctions to descend back down to the river. Once back at river level, turn left to retrace your steps back to the carpark.
Keep an eye out near the summit for large groups of kangaroos grazing on the hillside.
The most common feedback I get from readers of The Bushwalking Blog is that they “just want more hikes to do”. I get it – hiking is my passion too. I do more hikes than I’d ever have the time to write about, so that’s why I’ve decided Bare Bones Bushwalking is now a thing. Not every hike has a story I can attach to it and some I just don’t get around to writing up, so in an effort to share ALL of (or at least more of) the hikes with you I’m doing this. A more simplified blog post that gives you everything you need to go and do the hike yourself. Make your own stories.
Need to Know
Last Visited: 2017
Length (km): approx. 5.5 km (according to MapMyHike.com)
Time (hrs/min): 1 hour 30 mins
Grade: Easy / Grade 2 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
Style Partial Circuit
Park: Warrandyte State Park / Mount Lofty Bushland Reserve
Closest Town: Wonga Park (4 km)
Maximum Elevation: approx. 122 m (according to MapMyHike.com)
Total Ascent: approx. 62 m (according to MapMyHike.com)
Car Access: The walk begins from the end of Reserve Road, Wonga Park. Reserve Road is reached via Homestead Road and Jumping Creek Road (east of Warrandyte).
Map: The tracks are covered (but unnamed – look for Mt Lofty) in Parks Victoria’s Warrandyte State Park guide. Here’s a highlighted excerpt for your reference.
Have you visited Mount Lofty? Got it on your bucket list? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.
Exploring the Great Ocean Road?
You won’t see the best sights from your car. Get the definitive guidebook, featuring the 25 best walks in the area with detailed instructions and maps.