A Day Walk along the Gold Heritage Walk in Warrandyte State Park

First, I would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin Nations as the traditional owners of Warrandyte State Park. I want to pay my respects to the past, present and any Indigenous people among us today. I also want to acknowledge that I have profited and benefited from stolen land and that Indigenous people were never ceded sovereignty. Finally, I would like to acknowledge again the Wurundjeri clan of the Kulin Nations the traditional owners of Naarm where I sit and write this blog today and I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the many lands my readers come from.

I had never been to Warrandyte State Forest before September this year although I had been to Warrandyte River many times. I was also not aware of the significant gold history in the area, my partner and I were delighted by how many tunnels and mine shafts we got to investigate throughout the trail. This is the official site of Victoria’s first gold discovery in 1851. Interestingly prospecting for gold is still permitted here as long as you follow the regulations. We parked the car at Whipstick Gully Rd where there are picnic tables and informative signs about the gold mining history.

After passing the gate and the signs underneath the shelter in the west we took the trail going to the east. This took us to the Victory Mine after hiking only 150m. We turned around and went back to the main intersection where there were two trail options. We chose to go straight up the hill onto Whipstick Gully Track. The first 500m has an elevation gain of 100m, it’s a wide dusty dirt road so very manageable. Along the sides of the road I saw many Chocolate Lilies in flower. This time of year they are everywhere, a delicacy first enjoyed by Indigenous people. To uncover the tubor, carefully use a digging stick around the base of the plant without breaking off the stem. Once uncovered you will find a small bulb that is brown with dirt, scrape the dirt off with your nail until it is completely white and enjoy. The taste is similar to potato.

We came across a sign that did say no dogs in this state park so be aware this area is not pet friendly. Here there was road access, called Tunnel St, with parking spots. The trail changed name at this point to Wildcat Gully Track, we continued hiking for another 170m to find Geraghty’s Tunnel. You can enter this tunnel and walk a short way, definitely recommend a torch or phone light as it was pitch black inside. We continued hiking along for 500m until we came across the Anderson Creek crossing and could see a carpark on the other side. The creek crossing was extremely shallow and also had a few rocks to hop across. We were not interested in checking this out so we turned around and hiked for 180m to find a narrow wooden boardwalk travelling west towards the summit. Take care not to miss this trail.

We hiked along here contouring Fourth Hill for 450m and found some old mine shafts. Then turned northeast onto a different trail. It was only 4m before we turned north onto Johnson’s Track. This was the most challenging part of the entire day, 21m elevation gain in the space of 10m. The trail mostly disappeared in this section and its very rocky. You can avoid Johnson’s Track and stay on the one before which joins Betton Track if you want to stick to an easier route. The summit was quite disappointing, very overgrown so we could not see a view at all. This lasted for about 250m until we arrived at an intersection and back onto a dirt road which was the Betton Track.

Betton Track turned into Brackenbury Track and continued reasonably flat. After 190m we took a sharp southeast turn onto Waterman Track. We hiked along here for only 120m before turning onto Bruce Bence Track. In all honesty we walked right passed this turn off and had to backtrack a couple of metres to find it. This 400m trail descended down towards the Whipstick Gully Rd with an elevation loss of 60m. Although this day walk was only short the hilly terrain and maze of tracks kept us on our toes and made us work up a sweat. We thoroughly enjoyed our day trip to Warrandyte State Forest.

Trail NameGold Heritage Walk
Estimated Time1 hr
ParkWarrandyte State Forest
Access2WD (no dogs)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *