Hiking Lerderderg State Park is just under an hour out of the CBD (Melbourne), making for a perfect day hike. Lerderderg State Park is in the South East region of Victoria Australia between Bacchus Marsh and Blackwood.
The Park area consists of 142.5km of dense grassland, forest, water crossings, mountains, loose rock, and steep rock climbs. As well as a steep gorge created from the Lerderderg river which runs straight through the National Park.
Meaning there are multiple trails to go on starting at various spots, with the most prominent starting points being at O’Briens Crossing Campsite and Mackenzie’s flat picnic area.
Table of Contents
- Hiking trails Lerderderg state park
- Overview of the hiking track
- Views across the mountains
- Camping spots & waterholes along the way
- The Route Map of my Spur track hike
- Level of hiking and fitness
- Where is Lerderderg state park located?
- Would I recommend hiking in Lerderderg State Park
- Top Tips for hiking in Lerderderg State Park
- Other hikes around the world
- Contribute a Guest Post on hiking.
Hiking trails Lerderderg state park
Hiking trails in Lerderderg state park range from easy to hard and is also home to one of the busiest hiking trails in the area. A 3km circuit to Grahams Dam from Mackenzie’s flat picnic area.
This leads to a popular swimming location especially when the Lerderderg river is high. Some of the harder trails are recommended to be completed overnight and by experienced hikers due to the tough varying terrain.
Hiking trail new variation Spur Track
The hiking trail I undertook was a new variation of the spur track, starting from Mackenzie’s flat picnic area towards Graham’s damn down the river to the spur track sign. Behind the sign is Goats valley, this is the new track created by me which links up to Spur track higher in the mountains.
Overview of the hiking track
The valley is steep and slippery in most parts with various obstacles to get around such as fallen trees, rock edges, and bushes. Once through the valley where it’s closest with spur track head up the hill to link back up to spur track.
You will know where it is as you’ll have to climb upwards out of the valley and the hills on the left side are climbable. The valley continues around the mountain so if you do miss the climb you can continue it all the way, but you will miss out on the panoramic view of the mountain.
Views across the mountains
Once at the end of the spur track there will be a service road leading down towards the Weir (left). Follow the road back down to the Lerderderg Gorge and hike roughly around 2km to the weir. Make sure to stop at various spots, as you will have great views of overlapping mountains along the way of the road looking into the gorge.
From the Weir, climb down the stairs and follow the river all the way back down towards Mackenzie’s flat picnic area. Stay along the river as there is no clear path and the riverbanks will slow you down more than staying along the river, the path is easier to get through instead of bushwhacking through thorns and fallen trees.
Camping spots & waterholes along the way
There are waterholes along the way, some can be climbed around whilst others will require you to go through the bush to bypass them unless you don’t mind getting yourself and your gear wet. The river is tough on your feet and ankles with smooth rocky terrain and loose rocks, making it tough to get a solid foothold in some areas.
Along the way are some camping spots you can rest up at and waterholes to soak up the surroundings along the way back to Mackenzie’s flat picnic area where you can lay down on the crisp green flats and take a breather after a tough valley climb, bushwhacking, mountain climbing, river crossing trek through Lerderderg national park.
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The distance of the Spur track hike
This hiking trail distance around trip was 15.8kms with an elevation gain of 531m, which took a few hours to complete. This was incorporating the Spur track via goat’s valley river circuit was a new circuit on the route.
- Distance: 15.8 kms
- Suggested hiking time: 5-6 hrs
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The Route Map of my Spur track hike
Level of hiking and fitness
- Difficult, rough terrain, unstable areas, steep climbs, rock climbing, river crossings, bushwhacking
- Experienced hikers should take this track, with a good sense of navigation as some areas are unmarked as well as having experience in tough terrain with potential
Where is Lerderderg state park located?
Lerderderg state park is located in the South East region of Victoria between Bacchus Marsh and Blackwood Australia. The Park covers an area of 142.5km2 of land with the Lerderderg river running straight through the National Park.
The main access roads are Lerderderg Gorge Road north of Bacchus Marsh and O’Briens Road running across the north of the park, south of Blackwood and wombat Forest.
How to get to Lerderderg State Park
The best way to get to Lerderderg state park is by car, which is roughly an hour’s drive from Melbourne CBD. There are multiple entrance locations. However, Mackenzie’s flat picnic area is the main entrance and is close to Bacchus Marsh just out of Darley.
Hire a car for the day
Alternatively, if you don’t own a car hire one for the day to drive to Lerderderg state park, especially if there is a group of you or if you have a family. There are numerous companies in and around Melbourne where you can hire a car. You can use a Sav Nav if you are worried about getting lost. Most car hire places do Sav Nav hire too.
Postcode for Lerderderg State Park
The postcode of the start of the hike, if you are driving, is 3340
Would I recommend hiking in Lerderderg State Park
I would recommend hiking in Lerderderg state park, however, this particular hiking trail is best for the more experienced hiker. This was a hard hike with some tough terrain and obstacles and good navigational skills were required.
I will do this hiking trail again, as there were some other potential trails that led off it that I would like to check out, especially for the great views. Here are a lot of great suggestions for other sustainable Travel in Victoria Australia.
Top Tips for hiking in Lerderderg State Park
- Wear appropriate gear for all types of conditions (wet and hot). Layers are best (waterproof jacket, spare socks, hiking boots, and gaiters)
- Quick dry Hiking pants convertible shorts are a must
- O’Briens Crossing Picnic Area allows dogs on lead however fires are not permitted here.
- Make sure that you have plenty of water and snacks for the day
- A 3L bladder bag (Also known as Hydration bladder) will do the trick, any larger will slow you on the inclines and climbs
- Depending on the Australian weather carry some sunscreen and a hat
- Take a small first aid kit with you in case of emergency
- Print out a map or have a GPS, as there is not much reception
- Going on your own? Let someone know where you are hiking and roughly when will you be back.
Other hikes around the world
Discover more hiking routes around the world or want some inspiration for ideas? Check out these great hiking articles.
- Hiking Routes of Niigata & Nagano – Japan
- 12 Everest Base Camping trekking tips for beginners – Nepal
- Hiking Wolfsklamm Gorge – Austria
⇒ Remember that you need to get some good Hiking Boots before your next adventure.
Thank you for reading this Guest Post article ‘Hiking Routes Lerderderg State Park Victoria’ by Caleb Catania. I hope you have a great time hiking this combined hiking trail at Lerderderg State Park Victoria.
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Have you been to Lerderderg State Park before or any other National parks near Melbourne? I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.
Disclaimer: This is a Guest Post and all views are based on Caleb Catania’s own experience.