Werribee Gorge

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.

The view back to Melbourne and the Dandenong Ranges

The view back to Melbourne and the Dandenong Ranges

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.

Looking down into the gorge

Looking down into the gorge

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.

Needles Beach

Needles Beach

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.

Adventure!

Adventure!

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.

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4 thoughts on “Werribee Gorge

  1. Dayna

    Ooh yes, the wire bit is fun. We saw a koala in a tree near the lower carpark – some other visitors tipped us off. We started looking too high for it – turned out it was taking a nap only about 2.5m up!
    I take your point about estimated walking times on official notes/signs, but I don’t think we completed this as fast as you did. Can’t remember for sure off hand. I’d rate this for my friends (who, on the whole, aren’t avid hikers but would certainly be capable of completing the walk) as ‘moderate’.
    If you want to see a sign that is unrealistic in completely the opposite way (ie estimated time is way too short) – time your walk up to the cricket ground at Walhalla!
    : )

    Reply
    1. imahiker Post author

      Hi Dayna, I’ve only been to Walhalla once, and that was ages ago. Very keen to get back one day.
      On walking times, the ones I find most challenging are the ones in John Chapman’s books. It feels like he’s writing for superpeople sometimes!

      Reply
      1. Dayna

        I don’t think we’ve tried any of the more difficult walks in John’s books, but on the whole find them very reliable and much more user friendly than other guide books out there.
        : )

      2. Dayna

        Hang on – I may have been thinking of Glenn Tempest. Without the books in front of me, it’s hard to remember for sure… :/

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