Getting There: Car
Nearest Town: Daylesford
Walk Area: Central Victoria
Distance from Melbourne GPO: 128 km
Mobile Phone Coverage: Yes but coverage varies by provider
Walk Details Collated: May 2015
The walk begins at the junction of the Loop Track and Porcupine Ridge Road, at GR521761 Follow Porcupine Ridge Road approximately 100m north to the Great Divide Trail (GDT). Turn left and head W and SW along GDT for a total distance of 2.0 km. It works along the ridge between the catchments of Middleton Creek and Tarilta Creek along a series of knolls and saddles. From a point where a 4wd track and a water race meet the GDT, continue for 200 m, at first along the water race, then along a broad ridge. Leave the track at a GDT marker, GR507752, supplemented by a large sawn block of firewood, before it descends to cross a major but unnamed tributary of Tarilta Creek.
Turn right and walk NW to find the head of a small gully. Work your way down this gully, running NW and WNW, keeping to the left bank. As you come down move onto the spur forming the left bank and follow this to meet the Tarilta Creek itself. (The right bank ends in a mess of eroded gullies and fallen trees.) Cross the creek by a stony crossing point and walk N and downstream along Tarilta Creek, changing from side to side as the terrain dictates, passing four tributaries on the right (E) side, until you come to Limestone Track at a concrete bridge. The detail of the route changes with each walk, but expect approx. 14 crossings of the creek.
After the bridge, the creek enters an eroded gully stage with vertical banks 2 to 3 metres high and blackberry in places. You must switch to the right (E) bank at the bridge, and still heading N walk along a 4wd track through a grassy flat with campsites. As the flat peters out, sidle up to the ridge to your right to the Lancaster Track. Follow Lancaster Track passing the split to Griffith Track. (This left branch leads to a gate and fenced private property.)
Continue on Lancaster Track with a fence on your left, passing an old fence crossing the track. Continue along the track for approx 600 metres to the Lancaster ruins (R1). Take time to inspect and photograph the Lancaster Ruins and the dam just NE of the ruins, then head uphill, generally E, over two knolls to meet Moran Track. Follow the track briefly S then E for approx 600 metres to its junction with Porcupine Ridge Road. Cross Porcupine Ridge Road and head E through light scrub to the Wewak Track, GR521786. Turn right and follow the Wewak track SE then ESE to the junction with Loop Track. Continue along Wewak Track a further 350 metres to a vehicle track GR530783 (not shown on topo map) heading generally N and slightly down hill. At a fork take the right branch and follow this through an old gold working area, and swinging around to the E to meet the GDT just above Sebastopol Creek. A few metres south along the GDT, see the first of the chimneys (C1). There is a second chimney (C2) a further 170 metres S along the GDT.
Continue SSE along the GDT, crossing Wewak Track, to near the top of a hill, where the GDT turns NE. Leave the GDT at this point and walk along a vehicle track (not shown on topo map) SW and S over the top of the hill and along a ridge for approx 400 metres. Leave the track and head E 100 metres to find Mr Hunt's chimney (C3 H) on a narrow saddle. Beware of the unprotected mine shaft near the chimney.
Head E and rising along a ridge and south of a rocky knoll, then follow the spur south to an eroded and heavily worked gully. Just before this there are signs of old diggings and another unprotected shaft.
Negotiate a crossing of the gully, with entry and exit points not necessarily opposite. Stronger walkers may have to assist others. Continue uphill SE, and just before a gully find another chimney (C4). Cross the creek and continue uphill to intersect the GDT. Turn right, SW on the GDT and walk 250 metres to a pair of chimneys (C5, C6) on the left of the trail.
The GDT now follows a creek upstream for 1.2 km to Loop Track and then a further 1 km to Porcupine Ridge Road at a point opposite where you started out. There are little bridges across tributaries and the main creek in places. At one point the trail leaves the creek to short cut across a ridge and it follows a disused vehicle track for part of the way. Turn left (S) and follow Porcupine Ridge Road approx. 100 metres back to the start point.
GPS Coordinates for points of interest.
GDA94 / MGA Zone 55
R1 E250730 N5878884
C1 E252983 N5878696
C2 E253032 N5878567
C3 H E253088 N5877844
C4 E253476 N5877423
C5 E253376 N5877070
C6 E253376 N5877070
From Melbourne head west via the M1, M80 and the Western Freeway/Highway (M8) and take the C141 exit, turning north to Daylesford. From Daylesford drive via Howe and Raglan Streets onto the Midland Highway (A300) for 1 km and turn right onto Daylesford-Malmsbury Road for 900 m then turn left onto Porcupine Ridge Road. Follow this road northwards for 12.8 km to the start of the walk at the intersection with Loop Track (Grid Reference (GR) 521760).
Total uphill: 350 m
Gradient: short hills to 20%
Path: 60% formed tracks with some rough surfaces and 40% off-track