Werribee Gorge State Park has a variety of different walk available, from short 3km loops to longer 10km ones, that you can combine and make a whole day out of.
Rowan and I had never been before, and the information available online before we got there varied greatly to what was signposted once we arrived, so we opted for the Circuit Walk – a 10km medium/hard grade walk that is suggested to take 4.5 hours.
We parked our car at the Quarry Picnic Area, and started the circuit to complete it in the clockwise direction. The loop starts with the Circuit Walk and the Short Circuit Walk taking the same route.
Within 500 meters we were walking up some steep rocky tracks. Thad morning when getting ready to set out, I couldn’t decide whether to wear hiking boots or runners and opted for the runners. They were fine, but hiking boots would have been more comfortable on the uneven & steep rocky paths.
After walking through the Meikles Point picnic area & car park, we joined up with the “River Walk” – and easy flat 3km return trip. If you are wanting a nice picnic & a short stroll afterwards, or have young kids, this would be a great intro walk.
We stop along the river a few times to try and spot fish. The clear water is flowing slowly, and looks the perfect location to spot a platypus. They are as elusive as they are a joy to find though so we don’t look for long.
The walk continues its decent in and along the bottom of the Gorge. At this point in the track, we are never far from the sound of water running down and through the rocks. Its the middle of the day and the sun is high and hot. The vegetation is low, and provides no shade.
As the River Walk finished up, we got to a really interesting part of the track. Scrambling and rock hopping we made our way along the river, when we discover a cable bolted into the rock, that you need to hold onto as you walk along a tight ledge, above the river. It was so fun! About halfway through that part, there was a little cave we were able to sit in and have some lunch, and escape from the sun for a few minutes.
The next point of interest that we got to after the scrambling was Needles Beach – a nice open area with a short sandy beach and more reeds growing in the river. This would be a great spot for lunch too if you don’t stop in the cave like we did.
I’ve read on other websites people recommending you carry bathers so you can take a dip here. The water was very clear so I am sure it would be lovely, but its really not deep enough for a swim from what we saw (late January 2018).
Because it was the middle of the day, there was zero shade anywhere, so I am still glad we stopped for a while in the little cave.
After Blackwood Pool, the ascent up the Gorge starts, and the next few kilometers are up, and up, and up. There are great views from the Western and Eastern viewpoints. I particularly liked looking back down on the river below, and seeing where we had been just half an hour earlier. I am really glad we decided to do this circuit clockwise rather than anticlockwise purely for this reason.
The final stage of the loop was to continue along the path, which joins back up with the “Short Circuit Walk” with a little downhill just at the end – who doesn’t love ending with a little race to the car!
The total 10km loop took us 2 hours and 50 minutes – well below the 4.5 hours recommended time. We were by no means walking at a fast pace, and stopped a number of times for photos, and at one point, spend about 10 minutes picking up cigarette butts and other rubbish at one of the lookouts.
If you are going to do this walk, wear good sturdy footwear – either hiking shoes or good runners with lost of grip. Carry at least a litre of water – more if you plan to walk for more than 3 hours, and be prepared for all weather. The rocks would be very slippery when wet, and the river is prone to flooding and is impassable after heavy rain.
If you are planning a trip to Werribee Gorge, you can download the Parks Victoria park notes here.
Next time we go back, we are going to complete the Ironbark Gorge Track and Centenary Creek Track, in addition to doing this loop again.
If you are thinking about going to Werribee Gorge and have any questions, let me know! If you know the area well, and have any suggestions on where I should go next time, please add a comment below.