Loader Walk in South Gippsland

One weekend in South Gippsland, I was eager to find somewhere new and dog-friendly to take a stroll. We’ve taken our golden retriever to the George Bass Coastal Walk in Kilcunda, and dog-friendly beaches like Inverloch and Sandy Point.

I came across the Loader Walk in my research, but there wasn’t a great deal of information online – this just meant we just had to try it out for our selves.

If you are travelling from Melbourne towards Wilsons Promontory, the walk is located just after the town of Fish Creek and before Foster.

Once you leave the freeway after Fish Creek, the road becomes steep, narrow and unpaved. We made it up in a hatchback, but the route is not recommended for caravans or motorhomes.

Upon arrival, there is a clear map and signage before you begin the walk. From the map, I learnt that the Loader Walk is part of a larger trail called the Hoddle Mountain Trail, which takes 5-6 hours if you complete the entire circuit. I’ve come into the habit of always taking a photo of the map before we start, just in case I need it later down the track.

For those who don’t have time for a walk, there is a great lookout just 200 metres into the walk called Mount Nicoll Lookout. It gives you sweeping views across the green fields, all the way to the coast and Wilsons Prom.

After the lookout, the track traverses the iconic rolling green hills of South Gippsland. I’ve always admired the landscapes on the winding drives throughout the region, so it was incredible to be able to walk amongst it and stop and admire the view.

After this picturesque section, there is a steep downhill which leads into constant, short inclines and declines amidst shadier bush sections.

It added some diversity to the walk, but our dog has weak hips and knees, so I don’t think he enjoyed this section due to it being a little slippery on gravel, downhill parts.

The walk comes back out to more farmland and coastal views. These sections have no shade, so make sure to be sunsmart and bring plenty of water.

The next landmark was the Telecommunications Tower, which is further south. We could see it in the distance but our dog was getting quite tired from the inclines and the harsh sun.

We decided to give him a rest and to turn back, as we thought the view from the tower might be similar to what we could already see.

The initial map notes that a walk from the carpark to the Telecommunications Tower should take 1-2 hours return.

The walk is a great option for those with and without dogs. The inland and coastal scenery is breathtaking, there are enough inclines to make it interesting and you can turn around at any point to customise the walk to your level of difficulty. Even if you make it a short walk, you’ll see quintessential Gippsland views.

We did the walk in spring, after a wet winter, so the farmland was especially lush. I recommend doing it in spring, as there is more likely to be mild weather. But remember that the sun can get quite strong in South Gippsland, so wear a hat and sunscreen too.

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