Distance: Km | Duration: Hrs | Grade: TBA | Rating: | Style: TBA
Best Season: Summer, Autumn
About the Walk
The best vertical kilometer (1100m) training walk within 1.5 hrs drive of Melbourne. Excellent long distance, 12km, 6 times vertical gain, substitute for the 1000 steps (Kokoda trail) walk. Excellent training walk for The Alps of Europe or NZ, Himalaya, Kokoda Trail, Pyrenees etc. May be between 11.2 and 14.4 kms depending on route taken. Passes through Mountain Ash, Myrtle Beach and Snowgum forests with Lyrebirds and Sambar deer. Average slope 19% or 1 in 5.
The Walk in Detail
Start at covered picnic area between Martyrs Rd and St Johns Rd outside 25 Dammans Rd, Warburton. Walk 100m westward along Dammans Rd to Martyrs Rd, turn right and walk uphill alongside of golf course to top of Martyrs Rd where it turns sharp right. You will see the Bridleway sign äóìDonna Buang Walking Track 12klms Return 7 hoursäó on the corner. Walk straight ahead 600m, down into a gully and then upslope beside a long fenceline next to a grass paddock. The track bears sharp right at the top of the paddock and then upslope to the Aqueduct Trail. The walking track is clearly signposted and crosses the Aqueduct Trail following the old Telstra ground line for approximately 3 km to the Donna Buang Road C505. There are no tracks coming off this section.Note the large Mountain Ash and watch out for Lyrebirds. Admire views across the Yarra Valley.
At the road two options arise:
- To cross the road and follow the Mt Victoria walking track to the Microwave tower and on to Mt Donna Buang (Approx 3.7 kms). Note transition from Mountain Ash to Myrtle beech and finally Snow gum forest.. Watch for Lyrebirds.
- Walk 900m along the Donna Buang bitumen road taking care to stay on the verge, to 10 Mile car park and toilets and the spring. Just before the carpark on the right-hand upside you will see a sign to Mt Donna Buang 1.2kms, or Mt Victoria. You pass through Mountain Ash, Myrtle Beech and Snow gum forest.
At Mt Donna Buang there is a 30m fire tower which is well worth the climb to see views across to Cathedral Ranges to the north, Mt Buller to north east, Mt Baw Baw to south east, the Yarra and Little Yarra Valleys and the Dandenongs to the south west. There is a car park, toboggan run for winter fun, toilets and a picnic shelter with wood fired BBQ and excellent posters of the forestry and Tramway industry of the early 1900äó»s, the early ski club and ski competitions, the 1939 bushfires.
The return trip can be the reverse of either options 1 or 2 .
The round trip is approximately 5.5 to 6.5 hours of walking by moderately fit adults.
The temperature drop from Warburton to Mt Donna Buang is approximately 100 C. It can snow on the peak at all times of the year but particularly in winter. It is essential to carry waterproof and warm clothing and sturdy boots. The track can be very slippery when wet and so walking poles are advisable. Leeches may be expected when wet particularly if standing still for any period, so carry salt/saline or Aeroguard to remove them. Because the walk is in forest from start to finish caution should be taken on windy days e.g falling branches and in summer when fire risk is very high e.g total fire ban days. Check CFA Fire Ready app.
Do not walk on Code Red Fire days.
Car: From Melbourne central to start at Dammans Rd, Warburton 75.8 kms. Approximately 1hr 20 min via Eastern Freeway, Lilydale, Warburton Highway. Turn left at Mayer bridge just before Warburton and right at Golf Course on Dammans Rd and park at picnic area at base of Martyrs Rd / St Johns Rd near Senior Citizens Hall. Limited parking is available at top of Martyrs Rd. Access can also be obtained from the Aqueduct trail where it comes close to Sussex Rd on west side of Warburton or where Yuonga Rd crosses the Aqueduct Trail. Parking at these locations is limited. Train: From Melbourne catch Lilydale Line train to Lilydale. Approx 45 minutes.
Bus: From Lilydale Station to Warburton approximately 35 minutes. Walk from main shopping street down to river track and head west down river to white suspension bridge. Cross it and turn left on north side of river and walk a few hundred metres to the picnic area at the base of Martyrs Rd/ St Johns Rd. At the top of Martyrs Rd there is a bridleway heading north which is signposted to Mt Donna Buang.
The temperature drop from Warburton to Mt Donna Buang is approximately 100 C. It can snow on the peak at all times of the year but particularly in winter. It is essential to carry waterproof and warm clothing and sturdy boots. Further info in notes.
The Dammans Rd covered picnic area has gas BBQäó»s, tap water, parking and toilets.
The 10 Mile car park has parking, spring water and toilets.
Mt Donna Buang has a car park, a fire tower, a covered picnic area water and toilets.
There are many cafes and restaurants on the highway in Warburton and there are public toilets in the park between the Highway and the River.