Werribee Gorge – 1 hours drive from Melbourne’s CBD

With respect to Elders past and present we acknowledge that we walk on Wathaurong Country  IMG_3578

Pack a hearty lunch and prepare for rock scrambling and cliff rim hugging. Only a 1 hour drive from Melbourne (8km west of Bacchus Marsh) this place is a playground for experienced bushwalkers. The Circuit Walk is one of our favourite – Allow about 4.5 hrs for this 10km adventure. Start the walk at the Quarry or Meikles Point Picnic Area and expect spectacular views along the rocky rims and serene sounds deep in the belly of the gorge.

To find more on Werribee gorge press here

The Dandenong Ranges

grace touring

We acknowledge that we walk on Boonwurrung CountryIMG_3225I Hour Drive from Melbourne’s CBD Find the Dandenong Ranges. One of our favourite in walks is deep in the Ranges and starts from Eagle Nest Picnic Ground.

National Rhododendron Gardens is also great place to take the kids for a picnic. Paved paths also make it a excellent place if you have a to pram to push around or require wheel chair access. Located near Mount Dandenong and  just east of the Olinda township.

rhododendron gardensAfter your adventure in the gardens, head back into Olinda, (maybe grab a coffee or some Devonshire tea if that’s your thing) then keep going along the Mount Dandenong Tourist road to find

William Ricketts Sanctuary  – Situated among the mountain ash, this is a place that is both beautiful and tranquil. In this natural setting, beautiful sculptures can be found half hidden among the ferns. William…

View original post 33 more words

Lanjanuc – Mount Alexander Regional Park

With respect to Elders past and present we acknowledge that we walk on Jaara Jaara Country

IMG_3669Only a 1.5 hours drive from Melbourne – Walking Lanjanuc (Mount Alexander) has been a highlight of our winter. In Dja Dja Wurrung Language the mountain is Lanjanuc named by the Jaara Jaara people. Lanjanuc has many recreational walking tracks, ranging in degree of difficulty from easy to challenging. It took us 3 hours to walk the track from Leanganook Picnic Ground to Harcourt-Sutton Grange Road, and the walk was not as steep as we expected but the path is rocky. There are spectacular views along the trail, but the highlight for us by far was ‘Dogs Rocks’. IMG_3776Early Europeans named the area in homage to the dingoes that used it as their lair. IMG_3673Lanjanuc is sacred ceremonial ground, which is food for thought and feeling when walking the trail. We certainly felt a sense of spirit in the ancient granite rocks. Some history of the Jaara Jaara people can be found here. An interview with a Jaara Elder can be found here.IMG_3775Ballantine antipoda (southern shepherd’s purse), is a unique tiny plant that grows in patches of moss and decorates the rocks of Lanjanuc. It is only found in this part of Victoria.IMG_3774Walking in winter is invigorating and certainly helps to beat off any seasonal blues, but it is chilly! If you head out this way we recommend wearing layers; pack your gloves, wooly hats, and a thermos of soup! IMG_3660We made a one way walk of it by having our friends park their car at Harcourt-Sutton Grange Road; we then car pooled back to Leanganook Picnic Ground along Joseph Young Drive. The map below is available from the  Castlemaine Visitor Centre – 44 Mostyn St. We always recommend a visit to the local information centre before any walk – It’s a great way to check on the conditions of tracks and call on local knowledge for other adventures. For more information from Parks Vic press here.IMG_3779For intrepid adventurers wanting a longer trail, it is possible to bike ride or walk the Goldfields Track (formally known as The Great Diving Trail) from Ballarat to Bendigo. Mount Alexander is part of the Leanganook leg of the trail. The Leanganook track stretches 60kms from Castlemaine to Bendigo. Find more information on the Goldfields Track here.IMG_3651After the Leanganook track passes over Joseph Young Drive, be sure to check out the views at Langs Lookout. On the way down, watch out for big Leaping creatures on the path.IMG_3761 (2)For those interested in a shorter walk or picnic outing with the kids, try the loop walk from Leanganook Picnic Ground which includes veiws from the South Lookout. We suggest diverging from the loop to include Dogs Rocks on the walking menu, or driving down the road after the loop and parking to picnic at the rocks. IMG_3655To get to Lanjanuc from Melbourne, take the Calder Freeway towards Caslemaine. For a yummy breakkie and a decent coffee by an open fire, try Toggs Place Cafe on Lyttleton Street, Castlemaine. Happy Adventuring!