Sardine and Clearwater Creeks and The Tunnel

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NB. The following information was current at the time of the event

Distance:  14 Km   |  Duration:  5 Hrs   |  Grade:  TBA   |  Rating:    |  Style:  Circuit   |  Map

Best Season:  Autumn, Spring

About the Walk


A picturesque walk in typical Lerderderg Gorge country, taking in a range of historic mining features, including water races, a stone chimneys, a tunnel diverting the river and valley views.  Compass and some off track navigation required.

The Walk in Detail

Start: O'Briens Crossing.

  1. Cross the Lerderderg River on the causeway and walk along O'Briens Rd to Short Cut Tk. Turn right onto Short Cut Tk and continue on it until it rejoins O'Briens Rd. Turn right onto O'Briens Rd and continue south-east to the junction with Trout Tk. Distance 1.85km.
  2. Turn left onto Trout Tk, a 4WD track, and pass through the gate. As it approaches Sardine Ck, the track descends steeply. Cross Sardine Ck, veer left, then climb steeply up the rocky (and if wet, slippery) Trout Tk. Cross Ambler Ln, and continue west on Trout Tk, which descends to Clearwater Ck. Distance 3.25km.
  3. Just before the creek, bear left onto a water race, and walk south-west until Ambler Ln is reached again. Turn right onto Ambler Ln and walk south to the Lerderderg River. Distance 2km.
  4. Ford the Lerderderg River and walk west on Ambler La to the top of a low ridge. Turn right and walk off-track along an open ridgeline on a bearing of 336° until a knoll is reached. Turn east and continue downhill off-track heading towards the river to reach the ruins of an old miner's hut near the river. Walk south for a short distance parallel to the river on a footpad and descend to the river opposite the old diversion tunnel cut through the spur by early miners. Distance 800m.
  5. Ford the Lerderderg River and climb the track beside The Tunnel. Walk south on a footpad on Tunnel Spur and follow the track that drops down the west side of the spur onto the dry bed of the Lerderderg River. Walk along the bed back to the other side of The Tunnel. Ascend Gribble Tk and walk south-west to the junction with Byers Back Tk. Distance 600m.
  6. Turn left onto Byers Back Tk, a former water race, and walk west-south-west via switchbacks, cross Ambler Ln yet again, to the walk end point. Distance 2.5km.

End:  O'Briens Crossing.

Disclaimer: All reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the route description was as accurate as possible at the time of publication.
The accompanying map is general in nature and should not be relied on for navigation purposes.

This park is infected with Cinnamon Fungus.  Please observe the following control measures:

  • Be clean on entry and exit. Vehicles, tyres, machinery, footwear and camping gear should be free of soil, gravel and mud prior to entering or leaving any park, reserve or campsite (particularly in high risk areas). Don't bring soil or gravel in – and don't take any home!
  • Where available, use boot cleaning stations and vehicle wash down bays – they are there for a reason.
  • Remain on formed roads, tracks and pathways at all times. Moving from infected to uninfected areas can spread the pathogen - particularly during wet weather when soils are wet and sticky.
  • Obey all track and road closure signs. Do not enter areas of vegetation that have been quarantined.

For full details on the fungus and required control measures please follow link provided in Further Information below.

Getting There

Take the Western Highway (M8) via Melton and Bacchus Marsh, taking the C318 exit from the highway and then turn right onto C381 (Greendale-Myrniong Rd) crossing over the highway and travelling towards Greendale.  In Greendale (6.4km) turn right to stay on C318.  In 7.2km turn right onto O'Brien's Road and you should reach O'Brien's Crossing in 6km. The walk starts and finishes at O'Brien's Crossing. 

Walk Precautions

Some of the old 4WD tracks are rutted, eroded and slippery. When wet, water pools on them, adding to their slipperiness. The water races may be slippery; trees fallen across them are obstacles. Rivers crossings; expect wet feet. Cinnamon fungus area.

Additional Information

O'Brien's Crossing:  APV002 - Toilets APV008 - Picnic Table Limted car parking

Central Victoria

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