Distance: 13 Km | Duration: 3.5 Hrs | Grade: Grade 3 | Rating: | Style: Circuit | Map
About the Walk
This is a walk through the Wombat Forest on the Great Divide featurning many gold rush artefacts. The remnants of the 29km long Andersons timber tramway line and the sawdust footprint of the Andersons sawmill can be seen in the firewood cutters' hamlet of Barkstead, which was at the end of the tramway line. The walk also takes in a gold mining dam and the stone wall with remnants of the Barkstead stamping battery hidden in the forest by Cave Creek to the north of Barkstead.
The Walk in Detail
From the start walk north along Slaters Road for about 400m to a bush track on the left, which continues north, steadily downhill through forest to a junction with unsigned Dredge Track. Turn south-east onto Dredge Track and follow this track for 750m until the track ends at a T junction with Pinchgut Road (GR 406502). Turn left (north) and walk downhill and cross a creek taking a turn to the right (north-east) uphill onto signed Mullins Track (GR 406508). Follow this track uphill for 1km to a dam. Continue north-east uphill from the dam on Mullers Dam Track for another 1km until the track ends on Barkstead Road (GR 424511). Turn left (north) for 200m on the road before deviating north-east on a faint bush track leading down to a small breached dam. Immediately to the north-east of the dam is the old Barkstead mine wall which is over 3m high but obscured by exotic trees.
Go uphill on the ridge north of the mine wall for 50m (off-track) then due east down to cross Cave Creek which is likely to be dry. Follow the creek south on the east bank through forest for 500m off-track to pick up an unsigned track leading south-west (GR 427508). Follow south-west for about 500m, crossing two other tracks, until you reach paddocks at Barkstead and continue south-west along an easement to pick up signed Cowans Lane that takes you to Barkstead Road. Turn left (south) onto bitumen then left (east) into signed McCarthy Road. After 150m, cross the verge on the south side for 55m to the Andersons sawmill site head back west along McCarthy Road to the junction with Barkstead Road, Follow the bitumen thorugh Barkstead, south then west uphill for 700m and take a faint track north at GR 419498 to meet up with the gold posts of the Wallaby Track section of the Goldfields Track. Make sure you turn left (south-west) and follow the signposts, and route of Andersons tramway for 1km to Pinchgut Road. Cross the road to a gold signpost and continue sout-west along the Wallaby Track for another 1km to Slaters Road at GR 402395. Follow the signposts west then south for 900m back to the start ofthe walk.
Getting ThereFrom the Base (Hepburn Primary School), turn right on to Maid Road. Follow this road until it turns right (south) and becomes C138. Continue on for about 4km to the roundabout at the intersection with the Midland Highway in Daylesford. turn right and continue on the Midland Highway for 12km until the turnoff to Mollongghip on the left 150m past Blampied. Turn left and follow the road for the 13km and turn left at crossroads into Mollongghip. Go 3km to a T junction, then turn left into McPhans Road. Continue for 2.2km to the junction with Gleesons Road, Slaters Road and The Wallaby TracK at Grid Reference (GR) 396489. This is the start of the walk.
The walk is on tracks or old dirt 4WD logging tracks with some off-track. Boots are not necessary and runners, or sturdy walking shoes, would be suitable.