Walking in western Victoria

By Jenna Hanson 20 December 2012
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With volcanoes, ancient uplifts and a limestone coast, western Victoria’s geological past has created a fantastic walking region.

WESTERN VICTORIA IS RICH in bushwalking opportunities.

Aside from the volcanic features of the area such as Mt Eccles and Mt Napier, the region from Ballarat to the SA border is also home to the Shipwreck Coast, including Discovery Bay, the famous Twelve Apostles along the Great Ocean Road, and the Grampians National Park – a large sandstone projection that holds the western outliers of the Great Dividing Range. 

In the south-west of the region is the Great South West Walk, a 250km loop from Portland through hardwood forests, dunes and Aboriginal heritage sites. It also crosses the Mt Richmond, Discovery Bay and Lower Glenelg national parks. There are 14 campsites along the way, and some short loops and day trips.

Grampians NP has more than 200km of existing tracks, and Parks Victoria is currently planning a tough 145km north-south walking path through the park. For a shorter stroll, try the 2km return to MacKenzie Falls or, for the more adventurous, the 9km return trip up Mt Difficult. 

A less explored area is Lower Glenelg NP – one of the least polluted parks in the state. In addition to the Great South West Walk, Lower Glenelg NP has numerous short walks and a guided 40-minute tour through Princess Margaret Rose Cave.

Read the full story on the Western Victoria region in issue 112 (Jan/Feb) of the Australian Geographic journal.