Sunday 4 April 2021

Old River Circuit - Lerderderg State Park

When planning for Easter we decided a hike sounded like a good idea and decided to go Good Friday.  Our sweet spot is grade three hikes between 15 to 20 kilometres.  But sometimes we like to challenge ourselves so we decided to do a grade four hike in Lerderderg State Park.  I chose the Old River Circuit as it sounded interesting and isolated as we wanted to really go bush.  

The hike was challenging, with very steep inclines into and out of the gorge, a lot of rock scrambling, and two river crossings. 

Also part of it was off trail which we had to navigate. But it was worth it as it was spectacularly beautiful. The weather, whilst a bit warmer than our ideal for a long hike, was not unpleasant as we were mostly shaded by the trees. 

Once in the gorge it was so peaceful.  The water levels were low and we were easily able to rock hop across the river even though we had brought water shoes so were prepared to get our feet wet.

We turned off from the main river up the old river bed which was mostly dry.

The climb out of the gorge was even steeper than coming in, and this is why the circuit is best done anti-clockwise.  At times you were almost crawling using your hands to help pull yourself up.  Obviously, no photos were taken during this part of the hike.  But I did take a photo of the marker before we started the last ascent - which reads that we have 3 kilometres with an estimated 2.5 hours to complete the hike.  It didn't take us quite that long, but this gives you an indication of how gruelling the hike was.

We were almost back at the car when we were rewarded with the sight of a Wallaby amongst the trees.

The map.  As you can see the first several kilometres were easy.  Then we crossed a ridge with some spectacular views before the first sharp descent into the gorge.  We then followed the old river bed before going off trail to climb out of the gorge and cross to another trail.  We descended back down again to cross the river to climb out one last time and back to the car.

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