It took my legs a week to recover from the climb up and down Mt Juliet. Ugh, age is catching up with me.
Just outside Healesville, an hour and a bit east of Melbourne in the Yarra Ranges, Mt Juliet is 1120m high. The walk to the top is only 4.5km. It’s steep. Very steep.
The day I did it was a rainy, cold winter’s day.
The track was slick and slippery and it felt at times that with every few grunting steps up I’d slide back down a few. Very frustrating.
I spent most of the walk up huffing and puffing with my head down, covered by my rain jacket hood. Whenever I paused to look around there wasn’t much to see other than cloud and towering mountain ash trees.
The summit is covered by mountain ash so there are no views. There’s a large geographical survey cairn at the top but I didn’t spend too much time up there as the wind was blowing and it was freezing.
The steepness and slipperiness made the walk back down just as difficult as getting up. I slid down on my feet in a few places and ended up on my backside a few times.
Even with walking poles, going up and coming down were challenging.
I was very glad to get back to the car at the end, get changed into dry clothes and watch the rain as I ate my lunch.
Mt Juliet is definitely not a fun day out. It’s a walk more suited for anyone who might be training or seeking a challenge. I’m not sure I’m too keen on coming back to walk it again.
Getting to Healesville you pass through the Yarra Valley and its wineries. So going back to Melbourne it would be sacrilege to not stop at a cellar door.
This time I tried Maddens Rise. A great little cosy cellar door with nice views, nice people and nice wine. They also have a large grassy area outside that kids, if you have them, can run around on while the parents taste. I picked up a bottle of the Cinq Amis (a blend of cab sav, merlot, malbec, cab franc and petit verdot) and shiraz.
I also stopped to look at Levantine Hill. Spectacular cellar door with a posh restaurant (Ezard). But they charge to taste their wine – minimum $18. You get that back if you buy a bottle of wine, but their cheapest is $38. So, cheapskate that I am, I passed.