Boar Gully Campground, Brisbane Ranges National Park, VIC

 

Park: Brisbane Ranges National Park, Anakie, VIC

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.

Drawbacks: .

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:

http://parkstay.vic.gov.au/accom_rates/brisbane-ranges/

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
Camping sites.

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:

http://www.goldenplains.vic.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Brisbane_Ranges_National_Park_Visitor_Guide.pdf

‘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.

Directions:

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.



Further Info:

http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/brisbane-ranges-national-park

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O’Briens Crossing Campground, Lerderderg State Park, VIC

 

 

Park: Lerderberg State Park, Blackwood, VIC

Campground: O’Briens Crossing Campground, Lerderderg State Park, VIC

Description: The Lerderderg River, running through the park and from which the park gets its name, has created a 300 metre deep gorge through the sandstone and slate of the park, almost dividing it into two sections. Steep and rocky, this dramatic landform is popular with bushwalkers. In the gorges narrowest stretch the river twists and turns, flowing vigorously over a rocky bed – although water levels are known to drop in dry periods of the year. The Park itself covers 13,400 hectares, stretching some 20km between Bacchus Marsh and Blackwood. The park has a wide variety of vegetation and wildlife and some interesting relics of goldmining that can be seen upstream from O’Briens Crossing.

Lerderderg offers a true bush camp experience. Activities include remote area bushwalking, fishing, rock climbing, picnics, birdwatching, 4WD tracks and swimming.

The campground itself is simple and relatively basic with toilets and fireplaces. The campground offers around twenty individual campsites with ample shade and sunny spots. Given the campground is located on the banks of the river, it is recommended that the campground is visited during the warmer months. The campground is subject to flooding in heavier rainfall periods given the location of the individual sites in relation to the water level. The ground can also get very hard towards the latter half of summer.

Good Points: Free, dogs allowed (on-leash), huge array of activities to do in the this extensive park.

Drawbacks: Can be prone to flooding – we advise checking for closures with Parks Vic prior to visiting the park.

Facilities: Toilets, picnic tables, fireplaces, walking tracks, car parking, dogs allowed (on-leash).

Cost: Free!  :-)

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. Sandstone is brittle and may crumble unexpectedly. After heavy rain, the river can raise sharply unexpectedly – camp safely.

Bring your own drinking water and wood.

Activities and Walks:

There are a huge range of activities withing this park.

For bushwalkers and hikers, there are several tracks for a range of walks from short, easy strolls to strenuous overnight hikes for the experienced. Defined tracks leave O’Briens Crossing in the north-west and along the river at McKenzies Flat Picnic area in the south. It is possible to walk down the river its entire course, however it is recommended this is undertaken only by experienced walkers.

Short Walks

Mackenzies Flat – Grahams Dam return (3km, 1 hour return) – Follow the river upstream from Mackenzies Flat Picnic Area to Grahams Dam, which is an attractive pool ideal for swimming.

Blackwood Mineral Springs – Shaws Lake – Sweets Lookout and return (3.5km, 1.5 – 2 hours) – An easy walk which starts near the caravan camping area and passes some historical features typical of the Blackwood area.

O’Briens Crossing – Byers Back Track – The Tunnel and return (3km, 1.5 hours) – The track follows an old water race around the steep Lerderderg valley and gives fine views of the river. At the second cross track, turn right and descend steeply to a point opposite The Tunnel.

Medium walks

Blackwood – Golden Point Road – Byers Back Track – O’Briens Crossing return (22km, 7 hours) – Most of the walk is along the track following the old water race. The remains of some gold mines are passed along the way.

O’Briens Crossing – East Walk – Cowan Track – O’Briens Road – Short Cut track – O’Briens Crossing (14km, 5 – 5.5 hours) – The East Walk follows the Lerderderg River downstream and is rough in places and subject to flood damage. Cowan Track is steep and climbs more than 200 metres from the river to O’Briens Road. Return along O’Briens Road and Short Cut Track to O’Briens Crossing.
Overnight Walk

O’Briens Crossing – Lerderderg River – Mackenzies Flat (20km, 2 or 3 days) – This is a challenging walk in the Lerderderg Gorge and is for experienced bushwalkers only. It is best to do the walk when the river is fairly low, as many crossings are necessary and at times the riverbed itself is the track. Here you can experience remote, unspoilt bushland.

A map of the Lerderderg Park and the walking tracks in the area can be found here:

http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/518240/Map-Lerderderg-State-Park.pdf

4WD Tracks

Lerderderg State Park offer enthusiasts numerous 4WD tracks and forestry roads, some of which are difficult with steep gradients and rocky sections. There are numerous picnic spots throughout the forest to enjoy during a break. There are several four wheel drive tracks, mostly
in the north and east of the park which connect O’Briens Road and the Lerderderg Gorge Road. O’Briens Road, from the Greendale-Blackwood Road crosses the river at O’Briens Crossing and continues to Bullengarook, on the Gisborne-Bacchus marsh road. Views from the route, particularly along the middle section of Lerderderg Gorge are magnificant.

Fishing

The river is popular with local anglers. Common catches are Blackfish and Brown Trout.

Directions:

O’Briens Crossing Camp Ground is located 5.59kms SouthEast of Blackwood, 12.4kms South of Trentham, 19.73kms SouthWest of Macedon and 21.03kms North of Bacchus Marsh, in the state of Victoria. Access via O’Briens Road from the Greendale-Trentham Road.



Further Info:

http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/lerderderg-state-park

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