Anakie Gorge, Victoria

Last weekend I finally got to Anakie Gorge. It’s in the Brisbane Ranges National Park, around an hour’s drive west of Melbourne.

I tried about a year ago but the trails were closed because of flood damage. Things are fine there now and there’s little sign of what caused rangers to close this section of the park to walkers. I sometimes wonder whether rangers are too quick to close walking tracks because of so-called damage. But I suppose in today’s litigious society they have to err on the side of caution.

Anyway, I was there now with a couple of friends, on an icy Melbourne morning (apparently the coldest in 15 years) and looking forward to exploring a section of the park I hadn’t seen before.

Start of Anakie Gorge walk

Start of Anakie Gorge walk

We started our circuit walk at the Anakie Gorge picnic area, a nice grassy spot under the trees. The track was fairly flat and headed up into the gorge, following a mostly dry watercourse.

About 20 minutes into the walk we turned left at a junction and climbed up a steep rocky ridge to be above the gorge. From the top there were nice views across the tops of the wooded ranges and out to farmland plains. We continued along the top of the range, passing a couple of boot washing stations. The stations aim to prevent the spread cinnamon fungus, which attacks the fine roots of vegetation and kills the plant.

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Step one of cleaning boots – scrape boots on brush

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Step 2 – Wash soles

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Step 3 – Carry on walking

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Looking across the Brisbane Ranges

The trail turned back down into the gorge, passing under a dead tree that seemed to be a favourite of a flock of cockatoos that loudly screeched as we passed underneath. Back down in the gorge we had lunch at the Stony Creek picnic area, an open grassy spot with picnic tables that was a great spot for a little break.

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The cockatoo tree

From there it was a gentle, flat walk along the floor of the gorge back to where we started. Anakie was a lovely spot for a winter walk. And with other tracks and dirt roads to explore in the area, I’ll be back.

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