Tag Archives: Healesville

Up and down Mt Juliet

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.

Post walk

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.

 

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Fernshaw to Dom Dom Saddle return walk

For a great day walk with ups and downs to stretch the legs, about an hour out of Melbourne, the walk from Fernshaw to Dom Dom Saddle and back in the Yarra Ranges is well worth a look.

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Starting at the Fernshaw picnic ground beside the Watts River just outside Healesville on the way to Marysville, the track is well trodden and easy to follow. Although in some places large trees have come down across it after what must have been a massive blow so there’s a bit of scrambling required to get over them and through tangles of smashed limbs and branches.

The first part of the walk is pretty flat and winds through tree ferns and tall, straight mountain ash. You can hear the river somewhere amongst the trees. You then climb up and down a couple of steep, forested ridges to reach Dom Dom Saddle, another nice picnic area on the way to Marysville.

At about 20km long, the walk is a decent one for some huffing and puffing exercise and time out among the trees.

And we made it back to the car in time to stop off at Tarra Warra winery for some wine tasting on the way home. That’s one of the best bits about walking in the Yarra Ranges, the cellar doors to visit in the Yarra Valley on the way home.

A walk in the rain – Mt St Leonard, Healesville

 

A cloudy day for a walk

A cloudy day for a walk

Not every day can be a perfect day for a walk.

But sometimes those crappy weather days can be pretty nice.

A friend and I recently walked up Mt St Leonard, near Healesville, about an hour’s drive out of Melbourne.

It’s just over a thousand metres high and great for a climbing workout that’ll have you huffing and puffing.

The day we decided to climb it was cold and wet.

The forecast was for the rain and cloud to clear during the day and we thought by the time we got to the top the clouds would have cleared and we’d be rewarded with fantastic views.

Unfortunately, the weather gods weren’t with us, and the rain was heavy and the cloud dense just as we arrived at the summit.

We sheltered under the observation tower at the top briefly before deciding there was no chance of the weather changing any time soon and we headed back down … carefully on the now very wet and slippery trail.

While we didn’t get much in the way of views during the walk, the low, misty grey cloud through the trees created a quiet, serene atmosphere.

It also made us focus on what was close – the smells of the forest, the tweet and twitter of birds, the colours of the trees and the wallabies and lyre birds that scurried into the bush at our approach.

So for me, while wet, cold, grey walking days can be uncomfortable, they can also be as enjoyable as the warm, blue sky days.

The walk up and back took us about five hours. The trail is a wide, easy to follow track with well marked signs when it diverted to a walking track.

And steep. Very steep, especially towards the top. Be prepared for sore legs afterwards.