Kilmore’s Monument Hill Reserve – a Sensational Escape to the Countryside

If you often feel the need to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, Kilmore’s Monument Hill Reserve long loop is the perfect meditational adventure.

Having recently relocated to the humble town situated approximately 60 kilometres north of Melbourne, I was eager to get out and explore the landscape of my new home.

I’d naturally heard that the Monument Hill Reserve was the place to go for a newcomer, what with its abundance of breathtaking vistas, historic sites, and mobs of fluffy kangaroos. After exploring the place myself, I’d definitely concur that it’s a must see for both absolute beginner and experienced trekkers alike!

Although I’d put off the ~7 km walk (the Monument Hill long loop itself is ~4 km, but I managed to extend this with my wanderings) for several weeks due to the constraints of the move and my studies, I finally managed to set off early one spring morning.

The Out Set

I begun my trek from the designated start point just off from Anderson Road with a welcome from a group of the regulars:

My curious onlookers – a common site along the trails of Kilmore and the surrounding region.

Kangaroos were a very rare sight indeed amongst the more urban existence I once knew, so certainly provided the perfect stimulus to jog me out of my early morning daze.

After spending a significant time gawking at this group having their breakfast, I continued on with renewed vigor up and along the opening trail.

The opening approach to the long loop trail.

The weather certainly waxed and waned along the way, with the above azure skies routinely facing interspersed opposition from intruding clouds. I wasn’t fussed though, the crisp air and the bounty of scenery to admire kept me in high spirits.

Not too far from the designated start point was a nice summary of rare and threatened flora and fauna to look out for along your way. Unfortunately, I wasn’t terribly successful in spotting any of the species shown below. However the search itself was part of the fun, so I’d certainly recommend keeping an eye out!

Another point of interest, particularly for those interested in admiring the local flora and fauna.

It’s about 1.7 km from there on out to reach the trail’s titular monument, so I continued along, cherishing the soothing sounds of the local birds chattering amongst themselves.

The Uniqueness of Australia’s Bush

Having recently returned from a month-long backpacking stint in Japan, involving lots of wandering around the nation’s pristine countryside, I remember being struck with awe regarding the huge difference in both aesthetics and cadence of the natural environment between the two countries.

Theirs is one of the beautiful orange hues of deciduous trees, expanses of verdant rice fields, and very little instance of horizon-spanning open land. Ours is one of vast flatness (at least in relative terms, as I quickly discovered!), marsupial oddities, and rugged wilderness.

The mottled autumnal mountains of Arashiyama, Japan provide a keen contrast to the vast expanses of inland Victoria.

Although I’d admit that the Japanese countryside could certainly be construed as more merciful and less harsh than the Aussie bush, I reckon amongst all the beige and muted tones of eucalyptus lies a truly special environment. One home only to those of us in Australia, something that surely must be treasured!

I reckon such an environment can only truly be appreciated on trails like this one, on a crisp spring morning, with little evidence of human endeavour for miles on end.

A Historic Attraction

After considering these differences for a little while as I walked along, I quickly found myself at the main attraction.

The historic Hume and Hovell Monument, standing tall amongst the surrounding eucalyptus.

The Hume and Hovell monument, pictured above, is a lookout tower from the old Kilmore Gaol, repurposed in the 1920s by local residents to commemorate the 1824 expedition of Hamilton Hume and William Hovel. Hume and Hovel’s expedition passed through Kilmore, and was one of the first British expeditions of discovery that penetrated the Victorian inland. Thereby playing a pivotal role in establishing the state itself.

The view from the top is certainly impressive, but I’d best warn that the ladder up is quite treacherous, so climb with caution, especially on wet/frosty mornings!

In hindsight, I reckon this would be the perfect spot for a quick snack or even a morning coffee!

Panoramic view from the top, unfortunately with a bit of cloud cover!

The Final Leg

After spending some time enjoying the view from the top and learning about the monument’s history from a nearby plaque, I set back off for the remainder of my hike.

I continued along, reaching a maximum elevation of about 500m, which provided even more stunning vistas of the surroundings.

The rolling hills surrounding Kilmore, shining vibrantly after a season of plentiful rains.

The trail then descends again, looping back north-west to pass by the Kilmore golf course, which proved to be another popular grazing spot for the local roos!

The Kilmore golf course, shrouded in a bit of mist, a popular gathering spot for the local wildlife nonetheless.

The golf course itself is beautifully maintained, but I assume not much mowing is required considering how popular it appeared to be with the local wildlife!

Having walked the extent of the long loop, but still having a little bit of time to spare, I then thought to have a quick stroll up around the golf course, as well as along the reservation’s short loop. The short loop would be perfect for those who don’t wish to complete the full 4+ km loop, simply involving a trail cutting straight across to the monument from the start point.

I was glad I did spend the extra time in the area, as I came across this beautiful little creek.

A quaint creek I stumbled across on my final wanderings.

Resting here amongst the tranquil sound of trickling water was the perfect way to wrap up the morning. It was here that I again reflected on the beauty of my surroundings with renewed appreciation.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the trek itself would’ve been around an hour, but with all my gawking and reflecting, took me soundly above this mark.

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