Sunday, September 17, 2006

Werribee Gorge

Photo: Rock layers in Werribee Gorge

Walk overview

Length: 10.0km
Time: 4 hours
Grade: Medium
Ascent: 405m
Maximum height: 360m
Region: Goldfields, Victoria
Map: Meridien Productions 1:20,000 Lerderderg and Werribee Gorges

"The dominant geological feature to the west of Melbourne is the Rowsley Fault. East of this fault lies the plains surrounding Port Phillip Bay while to the west is the uplifted plateau that extends to Ballarat. The Werribee River has cut deeply into this plateau creating a rugged steep-sided gorge."

Source: Day Walks Victoria

My comments

We did just the Gorge circuit walk this time, having done a much longer walk in August last year that took in Falcon's Lookout and involved a couple of river crossings.

It was a beautiful day and there were several groups out walking - though many, many more cars parked in the carparks at various picnic spots.

We started from the Quarry picnic area and walked counter-clockwise around the circuit. It was great to start the walk with the fabulous views offered by the various lookouts at the top of the gorge. I was worried there would be a lot of downhill, since we seemed to be up so high, but before we knew it we were level with the river and scrambling over rocks or shuffling along rocky ledges.

Needles Beach had been claimed by a couple of hopeful fisherman, though I'm not sure they'd have gone home with much. After some more rock scrambling and a few attempts at taking photos that made it look more difficult than it was, we reached Lions Head Beach.

After walking along the old aqueduct we reached Meikle's Point picnic ground where we stopped for lunch. From there it was only about a half hour walk back to the car - but a fair bit of it was uphill and I thought the rest of the group were going to mutiny at one point when they thought there was another uphill section coming.

My rating

Excellent. The walk seemed much easier this time - not having to cross the river (with my wobbly knees) might have made all the difference.

Photos from this walk

For more, see: Werribee Gorge photo slideshow