Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lerderderg Gorge, Sunday 15th June

Today seven Walkabouters and five guests walked through the Lerderderg Gorge.

Well, a bit of it at least!

The Lerderderg River itself is 63 kilometers in length so there was no way that any of us would be able to walk that many kilometers in one day!

 The Lerderderg River rises in the Wombat State Forest north-west of Blackwood and flows through the Lerderderg Gorge on it's way to the Werribee Valley above Bacchus Marsh.  

 The Lerderderg Gorge is situated in the Lerderderderg State Park
50 kms west of Melbourne.
(Is that too many der's? I can't tell anymore!)

Anyway, we met bright and early at O'Brien's Crossing. Amazingly we were all there on time, even those that live 45 kms on the other side of Melbourne.

We crossed the L. River using the nicely raised concrete ford instead of wading through the water and headed off along The East Walk track. 

Looking upstream at O'Brien's Crossing

 The East Walk Track took us down stream following the L. River.

 It was a tricky day for photography as the Winter sun doesn't rises high enough to dispel the shadows created by the high walls of the Gorge.

Winter's morning sunlight

Many of the photos appear both over and under exposed at the same time.

(Note to self, must learn how the camera works one day soon.)

This photo is not to bad though.

Winter light in L. Gorge.

Anyway, enough of that, on with the walk description.

As it has been raining this Winter, the L. River was quite high 
and the rocky track was very wet and slippery.

So it was with great care the we made our way along the East Walk track.

 There was lots of debris to walk around

and fallen trees to clamber over.

Occasionally, there was a nice flat bit of track to walk along but not often.

The L. River/Gorge was extensively mined for gold during the Victorian Gold Rush.

There were lots of reminders from this era, as many excavations, walls, paths and mines are still clearly visible.

Much of the East Walk track consists of the original the path prospectors made to reach the banks of the L. River in their search for gold.

Nice flat bit.

The path was generally very rocky underfoot. 

This photo shows some of the smaller rocks

This photo shows some of the larger rocks.

All the while the L. River continued flowing along it's merry way downstream.

The gentle slopes of the bank soon gave way to rocky cliff faces as we walked further into the Gorge. Some rock faces rise 60 meters vertically from the River bed whilst many slopes rise 350-400 meters above the River bed.

 We passed a few bush walkers making their way back to O'Brien's Crossing,
(Giles, is that you?)

We're not lost, just working out where we are!

 and after a brief chat to exchange information on the conditions ahead, 
we were off again.

 The L. Gorge provides some very spectacular and rugged landscapes.

We kept walking

until we could go no further!

At this point the path disappeared into the water

and the alternate very, very steep path proved too daunting for the group.

The very, very steep path!

So it was decided that the group would take a third alternate option. This option involved walking up a very steep slope, with no track to follow. But first, LUNCH!

The very steep slope.
After lunch, we left the L. River / Gorge behind us and proceeded up
the very steep slope.

The photo above is is an attempt to show the steepness of
the slope we walked up. 

The photo below shows everyone slowly but surely climbing up
the very steep slope.

Nearly there!

Using topographical maps, compasses, GPS devices and our
bush walking experience, it wasn't too long before we were
at the top and on Cowan's Track.

Now which way??

We made a left turn onto Cowan's Track and followed it back to O'Brien's Road.

Another left turn onto Short Cut track and soon we were back at O'Brien's Crossing.

Or were we?!

The Greendale Pub just down the road is a great place for coffee 
and golden syrup dumplings!

A genuine thank-you to our leaders, Janette and Heather for organising this wonderfully adventurous walk through one of Victoria's premier, heritage bush walking destinations!

See you on our next walking adventure!

Post script:

Here are the walking stats for this walk.

In brief, we walked 10.7 kilometres, ascended over 500 meters in total (that included climbing over logs) and descended 500 meters which was very welcome at the end of the walk. The very steep slope took us from about 420 meters next to the river bank to just over 600 meters at the point where Cowans track joins O'Briens Road. 
A climb of over 170 meters within 2 kilometers.

Walkabouters Club of Victoria Inc.


  1. I believe you walked past my partner and I as you were beginning your walk down the gorge. How did you all do? Did you find the turn off for the track and complete the entire circuit?


    1. Hello again Giles.

      It's great meeting fellow bush walkers on and off the track. We did very well managing the slippery rock scramble along the bank of the River. Just prior to a very steep uphill climb, we decided on a slightly less steep alternative. We made our own trail up a slope to a ridge line which we followed until we came out onto Cowan's Track. This way we made a 10 km circuit walk ending back at O'Brien's Crossing. We certainly had a great adventure. Anyway, more to come in the extended post. Hope you both enjoyed your adventure!

      Here's to crossing paths again.

  2. Hello, I finally just got back to read the extended post, what a great read, and some really nice photos too. Yes that is me in the photo :-) and my partner Yuki. Great to meet you all, hopefully see you again soon sometime!

    1. Hi Giles, thanks for your nice comments about the post. It was great to meet you and Yuki on the track. We'll keep an eye out for you both on our trails!

      Happy walking


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...