Distance: 16.6 Km | Duration: 5 Hrs | Grade: Grade 3 | Rating: | Style: Circuit | Map
About the Walk
Commencing on part of the Great Dividing Trail and walking north as far as the Chocolate Mill, the route passes evidence of the gold mining era in Beehive Gully. Crossing into the Hepburn Regional Park, the track continues along 4WD tracks, off-track through scrub alongside the highway and unmade back roads through small agricultural holdings up to a ridgeline where there are spectacular views over the surrounding countryside. The route continues along unmade back roads with a very steep descent to a ford before returning past a quaint miner's cottage to the cars.
The Walk in Detail
Start the walk at the junction of Midland Highway and Sawpit Gully Road (Grid Reference (GR) 483698). Follow the Great Dividing Trail signs initiallly north and then swining west for 1km to where it crosses the Midland Highway opposite the Chocolate Mill. The track turns south outside the left-hand gate of the car park. Follow the Great Dividing Trail signs passing steep gullies formed by severe erosion from sluicing. At the junciton of Mannings Road (GR 476683) there is a good spot for a break with views north to Mt Franklin. Turn left and walk south-east alog the unmade road to the junction with Back Hepburn Road (GR 482676). Cross with care and walk into the Hepburn Regional Park at the park sign. Continue south along a disused track tothe Midland Highway (GR 488671). Cross with care and continue south off-track along the fence line through rough ground to the junction of Richardsons Road. Turn left and walk east for 1km along this unmade road passing small farms with varied agricultural land use. Turn left (north) inot Scotts Lane and walk along the lane through open forest. Wasl steeply up to the junction with Procupine Ridge Road. (GR 510683) and admire the sculptured mail boxes at the corner.
Turn left (north) and walk along the rough ground beside the property fence line, thus avoiding the roadside. Cross at the junctions with Pine Court (GR 511685) and walk along the road on the verge. Continue along the ridgeline to a great viewpoint overlooking the surrounding countryside for a lunch break (GR 514700). After lunch, continue along Porcupine Ridge Road to where it forks. Take the left fork marked Leslies Road (GR 512703) whch is an unsealed rough gravel lane. A very steep rough descent follows for 1.7km down to a ford over Middleton Criik. Gradually ascend to the junction of Sawpit Gully Road (GR 491717). Turn left (south) and follow this road oast small farm holdings and a quaint miner's cottage and orchard back to the cars.
Getting ThereFrom base (Hepburn Primary School) drive east to the junction of Main Road and Route C138 and turn left (north), initially on Mineral Springs Crescent and Forest Avenue then Back Hepburn Road, follow it to a T intersection with the Midland Highway (A300). Turn left (north) and drive for 1.75km to the junction with Sawpit Gully Road on the right. At this junction there are several letterboxes in a long row where there is ample off0road parking for the start of the walk.
Boots are essential due to the rough off-track sections and the possibility of water over the ford after wet weather. Poles are recommended because of the steep downhill section and the clay or gravel unmade roads could be slippery in wet weather. Caution is recommended when crossing Midland Highway.