Distance: 17 Km | Duration: 6 Hrs | Grade: TBA | Rating: | Style: Return | Map
About the Walk
Visit examples of nineteenth century gold miners engineering achievements, including the historic river diversion tunnel and hand-built water races.
The Walk in Detail
From O'Briens Crossing climb up the steps to Byers Back Track and follow this as it winds north east through gullies and open forest, crossing Ambler Lane, then to the junction with Gribble Track. Turn right (north east) and steeply descend Gribble Track to the river and The Tunnel. The hand-carved tunnel was cut to divert the river from the bend around Tunnel Point to gain easier access to alluvial gold.
From The Tunnel, cross to the north bank of the river and climb steeply up Tunnel Point Track to North Blackwood Road. Turn right and follow this north east for about 0.5km to Ruth Track. Head north east then south east along Ruth Track to cross Hayden Track, then north east until the track ends. Descend to traverse Wombat Creek then up to Wombat Track. Follow Wombat Track then Wombat Creek south to the junction with Scrubby Gully Creek.
Head north east up the adjacent spur to Chettle Road then immediately south down the unnamed track and spur to the junction of Wombat and Clear Water creeks. From south east of the creek junction climb east up the unnamed well defined track to Ambler Lane. Turn right and follow Ambler Lane south to the Lerderderg River. Cross the river at the ford and climb Ambler Lane to Byers Back Track.
Retrace your outward steps south east along Byers Back Track back to O'Briens Crossing.
Drive towards Blackwood on the Western Highway via Melton and Bacchus Marsh, taking the Greendale-Myrninong Rd turn-off from the highway and then the Greendale-Trentham Rd towards Blackwood. About 3.5km before Blackwood turn (east) into O'Briens Road. Follow O'Briens Road E for approximately 5 1/2km to O'Briens Crossing. The walk starts and finishes from this point. Parking is available on the west bank of the river.
Exercise caution when crossing the Lerderderg River and other creeks, particularly when levels are high. A good topographic map and navigation skills are needed for this walk.