Category Archives: Bushwalking

Kallista (Sherbrooke) Loop walk

Quicknotes and Map of our holiday Monday walk (June 9th 2014). It’s the spontaneous ones that often work out the best. And this was a prime example.

Here’s a map, using OziExplorer with the Open Street Maps (aka “Internet Maps”).   Red outbound, left then clockwise. Blue back to the car, with the dotted line an alternate route back. Click for full size

Screenshot - 11_06_2014 , 6_29_59 PM


1) Start/Finish. The tiny village of Kallista  (coffee!, cake!).  Walk down the hill on the track, past the school to…

2) Grants Picnic Ground.  See the bird feeding, visit the tourist shop and cafe (coffee! et al). Then cross the road, thru the gate and pick up Clematis Track.

Follow this, down and up.  It comes out at the Sherbrooke Lodge Road – turn left (grassy on LHS, walk on that). Continue ‘left’ (west, then north).   You’ll soon come to the entrance to:

3) O’Donohue Picnic Ground.  Lunch/snack here. Toilets.  Then out the ‘back gate’ onto O’Donohue Track. Soon you’ll come to a T-Intersection. Turn right.

After a very short distance you’ll come to another T-Intersection (Sherbrooke Track). Turn left.

Follow Sherbrooke Track through the bush until Wattle Track leads off to your right (over a moss-covered bridge).Take Wattle and cross the bridge

Follow Wattle (approx North) until you come to the main Sherbrooke Road.  Stay on your side of the road and walk a short distance right (east) until you come to the Alfred Nicholas Gardens car park. Cross the road here into…

4) The Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens.  Definitely explore these lovely gardens, built right into a quite steep hill. Descend to a magic quiet spot with an ornamental lake and old boat shed (a must see!)

Climb back out to the entrance gates you entered by. Head left (south east) along Sherbrooke Rd.  You cannot actually follow this all the way to Kallista (too steep/dangerous with no footpath near end) So turn into Braeside Avenue and keep left. You’ll soon see a track entrance which ‘tracks’ beside Sherbrooke rd and soon rejoins it, just near Kallista.  A few mins later you are back where you started.


Alternate return (blue dash). If you want to re-do the ‘up-down’ (muddy?!) tracks, you can go through the “Sherbrook Picnic Ground” car park, pick up Sherbrook Track and turn left onto O’Dononhue Track (you’ve been at this point earlier!), back to O’Donohue Picnic Ground and retrace your steps (red line) back to Kallista

Approximate Times

  • Car to Alfred Nicholas Gardens: about 1 hr .   4km  (main red route above). Plus we stopped for lunch at the O’Donahue Picnic Ground. Not counted in 1 hour
  • About 30-40 mins to explore Gardens
  • Gardens to Car. Only ~ 30 mins, via Sherbrooke Road (main blue route on map)


Click to enlarge.


Only a few minutes from the start/car.  Clematis Track




The ornamental lake, down the hill,  at Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens



The old boatshed on the lake

My Bushwalks

I’ve done a fair few bushwalks, mainly around Victoria and specifically within a few hours of Melbourne.

Overall my favourite areas are:

This here is an earlier list of walks, will update this one day

More details of some of the walks is available in a particular section of my blog. And so to the list…

2008 Walks

  • Mt Macedon (village to summit)
  • Catherdral Ranges (Jawbones)
  • Hepburn Springs
  • Marysville, Falls and De La Rue Lookout
  • Hollow Mountain (Grampians)
  • Sherbrooke Forest (and Alfred Nicholas Gardens)
  • Lake Eildon (Auriferiour Spur and Goschnick’s Lookout)
  • Wilsons Promintory (Little Oberon Bay, Oberon Bay)
  • Warburton (Little Peninsular Tunnel area)

Dandenongs Track Comparison


A quick post which took ages to prepare (the graph bit; just couldn’t get Excel to do it. In the end got it to do most of it, the printed that and did rest by hand!)

Some estimates of a few of the more steep walking tracks in the Dandenongs:

Name Length (m) Height Gain(m) Gradient (h/l) * 100
Bills Track 260 112 43%
Rankin Tk 585 114 19%
1000 Steps 1900 316 17%
Glasgow Tk 1140 367 32%

It seems that 1000 Steps is the ‘most gentle’ at least in terms of average Gradient. But it’s the longest.  I’d suggest that Glasgow is the most difficult (long and steep) and Bills the second most (shortish but very steep).  I did Rankin and Bills yesterday. Both will make you puff.

Here’s the graphs. Hopefully it makes sense. I did it with the same scale for both axes (approx.), so the slopes are realistic. Click on to get larger version:


Here they are on the one Google Earth screen. Closest = 1000 Steps (red), then Bills (green), Rankin (orange) and Glasgow (blue).  Height doubled for effect. Click on to enlarge:


Disclaimer: these are from GPS plots put into Google Earth. I’d estimated where the climbs started and ended.  1000 Steps doesn’t seem quite right to me, but will double check. 

Whilst Height Gain is unambiguous, I’m not so sure about Length.  Too much to go into here#, but I think the discrepancy is (hopefully) small and so my Length and Gradient values are about right.

# Can’t resist wondering? Well: Look at the 1000 Steps blue-triangle above. I think the GPS is saying the total length of the “1000 Steps” blue line should be the 1900m. I’ve plotted the ‘wrong’ value (1900m) In fact you’d need to do some high school trig to work out the ‘correct’ value to graph, being the actual length of the ‘opposite’ side of that blue line, viz. the X (horizontal) axis component of the triangle. Your ‘adjacent’ (316 m) would help with the maths. As I said, the different should hopefully be small.

Kallista (Sherbrooke) walk

Walk done Saturday Jan 12th 2013. Had planned to do Thousand Steps but it was packed out, due to an event.  About 9km in total (excluding exploring Alfred Nicholas Gardens)

Quick notes. Will try and upload a few photos later. Numbers are points on map

  1. Car at Kallista (or you could park at Grants Picnic Ground if it’s not too crowded)
    • (Basically walked in a clockwise direction)
    • Walk down to Grants  then over main road and (west) on Clematis Tk to Sherbrooke Lodge Rd
    • Left (west) along it to…
  2.  O’Donohue Picnic Ground (lunch)
    • Out back (west) gate. Few mins to Link track (not shown, it’s small). Right (North) onto it
    • Left (west) onto Sherbrooke Tk.  Cross bridge and onto Wattle Tk
    • Follow Wattle Tk until it hits made road. Turn right (east) and few mins will see…
  3. Alfred Nicholas Gardens entrance
    • Explore Gardens. They are fantastic. Allow about an hour. Return to front gate
    • At gate, facing car park (on other side of road) turn left (SE) and walk along Sherbrooke Rd to where Sherbrook Lodge Rd veers off. There’s a car park there. Out the back there’s a gate/track. Take it and it hooks up with Link Track in a short while. There’s signs there back to O’Donohue Picnic Ground and from there retrace your steps back to the car
    • Fullscreen capture 13012013 43050 PM

Click on map for full size. Same with images.


(above = Forest at Link Track)


Dense bush!

Why do you ask, 3 Tracks Climbing ?

<updated: all of Glasgow Track now shown, more accurate track lengths and updated both images>

Another great walk around the Doongalla area in the Dandenongs on Sunday. Took some very nice people, including some on their first climb up Bills Track. It was warm and sunny. I think it’s fair to say we were all, umm, refreshed at the top of this Track.

It goes straight up (a part of) Mt Dandenong. No zig zags to ease the gradient.

I was telling the walkers about Glasgow Tk just up the road. Today in looking at the map, I remembered Rankin Tk between Billls and Glasgow. All 3 are No Zig Zag tracks  And what about the relative lengths?  Bit of fun with Oziexplorer and Google Earth shows me:

Track Approx Length (m)
Bills (the bit we did) 220
Rankin 410
Glasgow 870

Here’s a map (thanks to OSM), should be able to click on to engorge:


And here’s the fun one. Google Earth showing them. With the height of the mountains exaggerated. From right to left: Bills, Rankin and Glasgow. Click for biggus pickus.


I actually want to do Glasgow end to end soon. Car at Glasgow road, straight up, then maybe a rest Smile and down the more gentle Zig Zag and Ch 10 tracks and back to car.

The Cathedral – Cathedral Ranges

About 2 hours NE of Melbourne are the rugged Cathedral Ranges. They are between Marysville and Alexandra.  And boy do they offer some great, challenging walks.

I remember being told, as a kid, that some people actually walked up to the very top. I was gob smacked, but believed it when told that they “had to start early in the morning”.  Now that I’ve done it 3 times, I acknowledge it certainly isn’t easy. But not so sure about the early morning start.

It’d suggest it’s a 90 minute minimum ascent. Note ascent, coz it’s almost up hill all the way. It’s my Work-Reward type of walk;  puff, puff, puff (work) then wow! as the stunning views of your rewards kick in. 


More photos available including sweet captions. As usual, best viewed as slide show.

Truth be told this was my 2nd time on this route and I found it slightly more difficult. I’d think part of that was a slight complacency, which you just can’t afford to be on rocky, steep, uneven tracks. Twice I did the old semi-slip-slide. And twice I thought I had pulled a muscle; once in the arm and once in the back. A sit down and rest quickly got rid of the throbbing pain, but not before the heart was ticking that little bit faster.

It may have been the recent rain loosened the surface just that bit more too. 

Falcons Lookout walk at Werribee Gorge State Park

Great walk, starting only about an hour from my place! Spectacular views over the steep Werribee Gorge. The river, of the same name, has cut a massive slice through the country over the millennia.   A relatively easy walk takes you from the car park, along a creek valley and some spurs to the Lookout.

More Pictures: At my PicasaWeb album of this walk.

Listed in: The Parks Victoria free PDF Werribee Gorge State Park – Visitor Guide plus a number of bushwalking books, including Walk 24 in Daywalks Around Melbourne as covered here.

Location: About 15 minutes from Bacchus Marsh (see map below).

Advice:  Books say to wear hiking boots (not runners) and take a walking pole. I agree as the walk, whilst under an hour each way, has parts that are a bit steep and with loose stones. I think it would be slippery after rain too.

Map:  created from my GPS logs and converted to Google Maps format. Note the link to view it in a larger map at the end. From that larger map, you can then view the route in glorious 3D in Google Earth; highly recommended.
View Falcons Lookout walk in a larger map

Mt Dandenong: Kyeema to Doongalla

This is a great walk. It’s part of a much longer one, but I think this is by far the best part. In summary, you start up the top of Mt Dandenong, walk along a summit track, see wonderful views of Melbourne and the suburbs, then descend down to the (site of) Doongalla Homestead. This is now a picnic ground with BBQs and toilets, all in the middle of the bush.   Take water and food.

It’s all on the standard Melways, map 66.  Go and get it now. Seriously!

Start. Park the car near the Kyeema Memorial. This little road at 66-E1 isn’t named, but some versions show it with the text "substation".

Head Left on Kyeema Track (south-west).

Great views at Burkes Lookout (66-D2). There’s a large metallic frame here, which we call the Metal Bed. No idea what it is.

Keep going on Kyeema Track and you’ll see the large Channel 10 TV tower. Just before the tower itself, there’s an obvious track off to your Right.  This is un-named; i.e. there is no sign. Take this track.  It skirts around the base of the tower’s fence then starts to zig-zag down the mountain.  On the maps this is shown as “Channel 10 Track” (66-D3)

Pretty soon it ‘stops’ at a T-Intersection.  Just to confuse you,  the sign clearly says you have just descended “Zig Zag Track”. Ah well, must be an older name.  Off to the Left, at the T-intersection , is “Channel 10 Track” (signed).  Take this.  Dalcite Track is off to the Right (ignore this)

The bush now changes quite quickly in a few minutes. It goes from dry forest to almost rain forest!  Hello ferns. Pretty soon you hit a multi-track intersection. (66-E4). Just keep going down hill, that is, turn Right.  Sadly the signs have been broken here. 

Descend this track, still called Channel 10 track, and it’s not long before you see water tanks, then a car park (right) and toilets (left) and you are at Doongalla. The Track becomes a road, does a turn and there’s the lovely Doongalla Homestead Site, with it’s BBQs and tables (66-D5).  From the stone steps, near the umbrella-shaped tree, you can see the Ch 10 tower way up there, through the trees.

Some of my photos of this whole area etc are at

Explore here, then down the hill to the 2nd Picnic area, Stables Site (66-C5)

To get back to the car you have at least 3 fun options:

  1. Return same way: Simply turn around and go back the way you came
  2. Easy extra bit: Stables area  –> Stables Track –> right into Bills Track –> right into Camelia Track –> Doongalla (then as per 1.)
  3. Bit of a climb, but worth it:  start the same as 2. but at end of Bills Track, turn left along Camelia Track –> right into Rankin Track (66-C2). Rankin Tk is a bit of a climb. But not too bad. It stops at Dalcite Track, turn right into Dalcite Tk and soon you are back at the T-intersection, with the sign pointing to Zig-Zag Track. Up Zig-Zag tk and retrace your original descent. 

Car to Doongalla should be under an hour, with photo-stops.  Bit longer to return as it’s up hill.

Grampians: Hollow Mountain has me in stitches

Am fine and home now. But yesterday (Thursday November 5th) was a day of adventure.  A quick summary:

Forecast for Thurs and Fri was for lovely weather, so decided a quick trip to the Northern Grampians was the go. 280km each way, so should try and stay 2 nights at least.

Plan was to try Briggs Bluff again, a year after my ill-fated first attempt.  So decided on

  • Two nights at Mt Zero Log Cabins (MZLC)
  • Thurs: warm-up walk. Re-do Hollow Mountain, in preparation for…
  • Friday: big walk: Briggs Bluff

But I didn’t get a chance to even start Briggs Bluff this time. (last time I got, err, umm, lost during the attempt).  So anyway:

  • About halfway up Hollow Mountain I caught my leg on a tree or sharp rock. Didn’t hurt that much…
  • … But a few mins later there’s red-stuff running down my leg.
  • Cut was below the knee on the back of the leg
  • I carry a small first-aid kit in the pack, so bandaged it up
  • It wasn’t hurting, so I continued and got to the top
  • Some photos now up at my Flickr page. Warning: some red-stuff shown, but not too bad.
  • Got back down again and even did a bit of tourist things etc
  • Back to MZLC about 4:30pm

Angela (the owner/manager there) was then kindly preparing some band-aids, new bandages and antiseptics, whilst I went off and washed my leg off.

When we both saw the cut we said “mmm, that’s gunna need stitches”.  Was ~3cm long and when I moved my leg it looked like a fishes mouth opening and closing!

How lucky is this: Angela said there was a major hospital at Horsham, only about 25 mins away. So I went off there and they put in 4 stitches plus gave me a tetanus shot, some antibiotics and strong pain-killers etc.  Back to MZLC about 9pm and very hungry!

No pain, slept okay. Didn’t touch pain-killers.  However doctor had said no more walks for at least a week, so decided to abandon the trip and come home today; barely 24 hours after leaving.

Stitches out in a week.   And I still haven’t got to Briggs Bluff.

Update:  a very warm Saturday 7th November.  I finally got to have a shower today.  And see my first ever stitches (sutures, they called them)  Please send congratulatory cards and telegrams  to me c/- ….