Saturday, July 23, 2005

Olinda Valley and Falls


Walk overview

Length: 16.3km (two walks combined)
Time: 5 hours
Grade: Medium to hard
Ascent: 500m
Maximum height: 510m
Region: Dandenong Ranges, Victoria
Map: Melway maps 52, 66, 120, 122

"The Dandenong Ranges National Park was enlarged in 1997 when the forests around Olinda and Lyrebird Creeks were added to the park. These forests have a varied history and were lucky to survive. They were commercially logged from 1855 until 1968 when logging stopped and forest use was changed to mixed recreation."

"The native forests that remain feature Messmate and Peppermint gums. The quiet tracks provide good bird watching conditions and lyrebirds, cockatoos, parrots, tree-creepers and honey-eaters are some of hte birds that are commonly seen."

"The walk begins at Woolrich Lookout which has good views north towards Silvan Dam. It passes through the arboretum and then descends through native forest following quiet tracks and roads and returns along fire management trails."

"On the eastern side of Mt Dandenong hidden in tall forest are a series of small cascades. These are known as Olinda Falls and tracks lead to viewing platforms at both the upper and lower falls."

Source: Day Walks Melbourne

My comments

We combined two walks - Olinda Valley and Olinda Falls - to give us a reasonable walk for the day. It took us just under 6 hours to complete the 16 or so kilometres - largely due to stopping to take photos.

Fortunately, the forecast rain didn't appear and the tracks were in pretty good order. The Dandenong Ranges scenery was beautiful, as always. Again we were treated to lush ferny undergrowth and some spectacular treeferns. The Olinda Falls were pretty, and a couple of the tracks ran alongside creeks, so we were occasionally accompanied by the beautiful sound of running water.

We saw a few walkers on the shorter Olinda Falls route, but no one on the longer Olinda Valley track. I can't believe these tracks aren't more widely used - I guess winter isn't peak season for bushwalking.

My rating

A good walk that I'd definitely repeat again.

Photos from this walk

For more, see: Olinda Valley and falls photo slideshow