The Trail Hiking thread

Today I drove out to the Southern Grampians to do a short walk. Hiking and overnight hikes is a hobby of mine and love to get out most weekends.

Was just thinking it would cool to start a thread for people to suggest hikes, and also any stories from previous hikes for those people in Metro Melbourne who can’t get out atm.

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I drove down to Dunkeld this morning and did a fairly strenuous walk up to the top of Mt. Abrupt. It was 3 hour hike, which I took really slow and made the most of having the track to myself (without any tourists around).

I set off On the walk at 12pm… and got back to my car and 3:45pm.

Amazing views. And not a spot of wind.

Photo from the Summit.

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Lucky bugger. I’ve barely left Footscray in the past four months. It really sucks.

I like a good overnight hike.

Haven’t been for a while bit chilly. Love draggin out the one man tent, little camp stove, a bit of whisky and just go bush for a night.

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I’ve been abit slack with the overnight hikes lately.
I was hoping to get across to Wilson’s Prom couple of weeks ago, when I took annual leave. But ended up in isolation waiting for my test results to come back.

This time last year, i did a few nights on the Great Ocean Walk. Winter is super quiet and facilities are great in the Otways.

It was fun. Just did it by myself, but there is always a few people around to chat with. I took a cask of Red wine with me… and cooked some pasta on the trangia on the beach.

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Great pic. I lived and worked in the Gramps for 4 years. Still love the place

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If you’re in the outer West of Melbourne, these are the few I can recommend which won’t involve crazy drive times to get to…

You Yangs is always good, but if you don’t like snakes, there are certain months you may wish to avoid it.
Some great views.

Werribee Gorge (the main circuit) is a really enjoyable and sometimes challenging (would recommend trekking poles) 2-3hr hike.
Interesting section whereby to traverse you need the aid of the cables attached to the rockface.
As evidenced here by my crapola phone footage…

Brisbane Ranges National Park is one I’ve done also.
The Ted Errey Nature Circuit was a good walk.
A few hours at least.

Once this COVID sh*tshow subsides, I’d like to do some more challenging 5hr+ hikes.

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Haven’t been to the Gramps for a long tine. When I was younger, skinnier and fitter used to climb a bit at some places that were pretty speccy just to walk around.

Back of Mt Stapylton looking across Tiger Wall (many many levels above our mid grade ability but a great view), up the Giants’ Staircase up Mt Rosea and along the Difficult range up from Troopers Creek.

For the latter, if you climbed any of the climbs like Queen Bee, and headed north to a descent gully, there’d be this little plateau/amphitheatre with beautiful little struggling gum trees perched up high with a clear rock pool in the sandstone on the little creek - like some Namatjira painting. There and among the rounded sandstone outcrops emerging from the scrubby gums on Rosea you could believe you had time travelled and it was pre white settlement.

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Never really rated Walking Poles until I trained for and then done Kokoda.
Wouldn’t trek without them now if i was carrying load.

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All this talk of going “outside” makes me very angry.

I try to go the Grampians a couple of times a year. Haven’t been since the start of 2019 due to COVID and work though. I had a trip booked for April, but lockdown #1 killed that idea.

The Stapylton loop has always been my favourite, though it’d been a long time since I’ve been able to do the outbound leg of the loop. The fire recovery and all the messing around with the Peaks Trail has left it closed since something like 2014. I’ve been able to do an out and back along the Taipan wall, but not the full loop. I always do the full Pinnacle loop when I’m up there, past Venus Baths and through Wonderland on the way up, the direct path down the face of the mountain on the way down. Rosea is great too. And Briggs Bluff, some great scrambling on that one, especially the bit just past beehive falls. All about 10-12km hikes, which is what i normally look for. Mt Abrupt, Hollow Mountain, Mt Sturgeon are all nice too, but a bit shorter.

Bit annoyed about what they’re doing with the Peaks Trail though. The Mt Difficult day hike no longer exists (unless you go via Briggs Bluff and then hike back to the car park along the Troopers Creek road, which means the distance ends up in the 25km range…), all the day trails are being subsumed into the Peaks trail and it’s clear they’re very much a secondary priority. I honestly don’t know how they expect to make it work - I’ve been hiking in the Grampians regularly for 20 years, and due to fire recovery, flood damage etc, basically at no time has all the day hike trails been open. Given that if one part of the Peaks Trail is closed, the whole thing falls apart, i don’t know how they intend the Peaks Trail to be viable.

Closer to my part of the world, the Cathedral Ranges loop is pretty great. The southern one especially, if you take the cave track. Bit of fingers and toes rockclimbing, and the cave is a very tight squeeze if you’re a bit bigger. But it’s 14km and it’s only an hour and a half drive from me. I should try the Northern loop one time, just to see what it’s like…

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I was the same. I couldn’t stand it.

I did a couple of nights hike on the Beeripmo Track at Mt. Buangor. I took my walking poles with me, and it was sooo much easier with a heavy pack and Much nicer on the toes.

I don’t always use them, but I always have them in my pack now.

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Yes I think the Cathedrals is a great ‘secret’. When you drive past in the Maroondah, it looks interesting enough, but gives you little sense of the knife-edge ridge that’s there. Some of the climbing at North Jawbones is pretty awesome too, but even if you just walk up the side you can dangle your legs basically over a 150 m ish cliff - and even though it’s not vertical it’s pretty steep! The geology is interesting if you are into that. Basically - I’m not a geologist but I gather that: the Cathedral range is made of sandstone that existed before the Cerberean Caldera - this volcano-of- sorts produced the acidic igneous rocks of the blue range (lake mtn area), and the collapse of the Caldera saw the pre-existing sedimentary sandstone plates that now form the cathedrals tilt inwards (‘up’ falling down east towards the blue range) so that they went from horizontal to not quite vertical, like a bit of road paving falling partially into a sink-hole, and leaving an edge sticking up.

Great place to see lyre birds too.

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Last year when I drove up to BawBaw (would’ve been about end of August/ 1st Sep) I almost ran over about 2 dozen lyrebirds on the road.

They were everywhere.

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l haven’t been to the Grampians since l was 5 years old.
l recommend the Annapurna Sanctuary. l hiked there for 11 days to the base camp. Or you can hike around the entire outside of the sanctuary in 6 weeks. Originally l had wanted to fly up to Jomson and then walk back down the valley, but the cloud was cover was too low, so the flights were cancelled. In the end l am glad l did the hike that l did.

On the last day l climbed Poon Hill before dawn and got a great shot of the full moon seting over Dhaulagiri, the seventh higest mountain in the world, just as the sun was rising, and shining on the peak, which is very majestic. Later back in Bangkok, where l was living/working at the time the local photo lab blew up the picture, but cut the full moon out. l went back and told them to enlarge it again and this time NOT cut out the full moon. It was a great shot. Sadly l no longer have access to that picture or the negatives.

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beeripmo outside of elmhurst is a great area to hike in.there are other good trails in the pyrenees and mt. cole as well

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Mt Cole/Mt Buangor is my local. It’s about a 30 min drive. I hike there regularly. There is a lot of similarities between Buangor and the Grampians… same landscape.
If you want the atmosphere of the Grampians, without the Tourists. Mt. Buangor State park is the go.

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I’m a big hiking fan, don’t do the overnights though, got bad arthritis and the cold nights are a real bugger. Took it up m Queensland around Ravensborn NP, but now in Melbourne with Covid hitting am sticking to the Dandenongs. I can get from where I live (FTG) up to Ferny Creek just using fire exit trails, so no set tracks. Love it.

From a few days ago

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The Chandler track is my go-to, then take your pick of fire trails to get back.

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Close mate of mine had a family farm at Buangor - old house is now under the new duall lane road; you drive through the remnants of their former garden. Most of the farm has been sold off but he still has some. Beautiful country. I went up to Mt Cole Creek to go fishing but never been walking in those hills.