Campground: Boar Gully Campground, Brisbane Ranges National Park, VIC
Description: Covering 7718 hectares, the slopes of the Brisbane Ranges National Park are visible from the western suburbs and high rise buildings of Melbourne, a mere 80km away. The ranges were formed about a million years ago when a line of weakness, or fault, developed in the earth’s crust, uplifting the land lying to the west. Victoria’s richest displays of spring wildflowers are seen here, with the diversity of species representing almost a quarter of Victorias native fauna species, of special note is the Brisbane Ranges grevillea, which is found nowhere else in the world.
The camping area at Boar Gully is a small but pleasant camp ground in a bushland setting that is equipped with basic facilities including toilet, picnic tables and fire places. Collecting firewood is not allowed, and campers should bring a fuel stove. The tree trunks that have been placed along the ground to mark the edge of the car park are an obstacle at Boar Gully for caravans.
Good Points: Amazing array of wildlife and you are almost certain to catch a glimpse of koala in this area.
Facilities: Toilets, picnic tables, fireplaces, walking tracks, car parking, caravan access.
Cost: $14.50 per site per night. Bookings must be made in advance with Parks Victoria accessed via the following link:
Things to know:
Take care and keep away from cliff edges at the gorge—they can be deceptive and are often closer than you think.
Bring your own drinking water and wood.
A major bushfire in 2006 burnt over 40 percent of the Park. Some of the Koalas and other native wildlife escaped, others were rescued and many died. While the park is still spectacular to visit, it should be noted that the native vegetation is still regenerating.
Activities and Walks:
There are a variety of walks for all skill and fitness levels within the park. For the more adventurous, the Burchell Trail is a great way to see both the Steiglitz Historic Park and Brisbane Ranges National Park. Starting from the Steiglitz Courthouse or the Boar Gully Camping Area, the walk follows orange track markers and uses existing walks, management tracks and public roads. Overnight camps are located at the Old Mill and Little River Bush
The 3 kilometre Anakie Gorge Walk leads through the gorge between the picnic areas at Anakie Gorge and Stony Creek. Nelsons Track climbs to the ridge top to Nelsons Lookout with views over the gorge and Lower Stony Creek Reservoir. This is a high standard walking track which uses small foot bridges to traverse several creek crossings. Panoramic views over much of the Stony Creek catchment can be had from the Outlook. An easy 2.5 kilometre return track, the Kurung Walk, climbs steadily from Stony Creek Picnic Area north to join Switch Road from where there are good views over the You Yangs and Anakie Gorge
Picnic grounds at Stony Creek and Anakie Gorge have wood barbecues (BYO wood), toilets, tables and seats. Anakie Gorge has one gas barbecue.
Other picnic areas have only basic facilities.
A map of the Brisbane Ranges and the walking tracks in the area can be found here:
‘Friends of the Brisbane Ranges’ have compiled an extensive list of the fauna species found in the park. The list can be found here: http://home.vicnet.net.au/~fobr/
While in the area, you may also want to take a drive to the nearby Steiglitz Historic Park. Steiglitz, now virtually a ghost town, has some interesting historic relics of the gold rush era in the area.
The Brisbane Ranges are 80km west of Melbourne. Via the Princes Highway turn off at Werribee and follow the Ballan Road from Geelong. Or take the Western Freeway to Bacchus Marsh and follow the Geelong Road, turning off to Anakie Gorge halfway between Balliang and Anakie.
Pictures and Video:
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