I sometimes wonder who the parks people are thinking of when they give estimated times to complete a walk. Very slow, unfit people I think.
I recently went out to Werribee Gorge, about an hour drive out of Melbourne on the way to Ballarat, to do the 10km circuit walk of the gorge. I was expecting to be out for at least half the day as the track notes suggested it would take about four hours. It took me two-and-a-half – and I wasn’t walking quickly or failing to stop and take in the views and scenery.
While it ended up being a short walk, it was still a nice time out. And it meant I was home in plenty of time to do some housework.
I parked at Meikles Point picnic area by the Werribee River that cuts through the gorge. The track passed the toilets and then went up a ridge through some nice forest to the top of the gorge. The walk up the ridge was a great way to warm up on a cool day. Passing under some eucalypts I spotted a koala high in a tree, swaying in the breeze. It was too far away to get a decent photo unfortunately.
The track wound around above the gorge, passing spots that gave views back down to Melbourne and the Dandenong Ranges and down into the gorge. It then went steeply down into the gorge along a rocky track and joined the river below.
It’s a nice river, narrowing and flowing swiftly in places before widening out into flat, calm, reed flanked pools that the track notes say are home to platypus. The track comes to a nice beach, Needles Beach, that would make a great spot for a swim on a hot day.
The track continued to follow the river’s edge with a bit of rock hopping here and there, including a bit of adventure where you had to hold onto some wire rope that had been attached to a rock wall you had to get around.
It then joined an old aqueduct which ended back at the picnic area where I’d parked the car. All up a nice, easy, short walk.