Review of ‘Central Victorian Highlands Walk and Ride Circuits’ Guide Book
The Great Dividing Trail Association (GDTA) has produced another excellent publication following on from the success of its earlier “Goldfields Track –Walk or Ride Guide” (2017 2nd edition).“Central Victorian Highlands Walk and Ride Circuits”(2021) is a guidebook with a difference because it is a comprehensive guide to a series of both bushwalks and mountain bike rides which are all circuits and which are all intended to be completed within about four hours. They are all within a 25km radius of Daylesford.
No car shuttles would be required to complete any of the walks or rides. Many of the circuits have been designed specifically for this guide and do not appear in other guidebooks.
The trails are all in the heart of the Victorian goldfields region with its rich gold rush history and its varied landscapes on display. This is one of the most interesting parts of Victoria to explore and enjoy and walking and bike riding are two of the best ways to do this.
The three authors Bill Casey, Ken Dowling and Ed Butler have combined their extensive local knowledge and experience to produce a compact booklet that contains a detailed guide to twenty different walk circuits and ten ride circuits. Other members of the GDTA have also contributed to the publication. The walks vary from 6 to 13 km and the rides vary from 15 to 26km.
Each walk or ride has the route description, including highlights and circuit elevation, on one side of the page and a corresponding large-scale contour map on the opposite side. The track notes and contour map are therefore side by side. Colour photographs and maps are used throughout. The walks are graded from easy to hard whilst most of the rides are graded easy except for two which are graded intermediate.
At the start of the booklet, there is a page of interesting information about the GDTA itself including its long association with the Goldfields Track (Ballarat to Bendigo) and the Lerderderg Track (Daylesford to Bacchus Marsh) which together are known as the Great Dividing Trail Network. This network covers over 300km of tracks in Central Victoria.
A spiral map shows the location of each walk and ride circuit in relation to Daylesford. A useful explanation of how to use the guide is included followed by detailed information about navigating the walks and rides.
The GDTA is to be congratulated for the work it does and for producing this new guidebook. It is designed to appeal to anyone who enjoys outdoor activities and wishes to explore this special part of Victoria. The fact that all of these walks and rides are intended to be completed as half-day circuits within a 25km radius of Daylesford should make this guidebook popular with many bushwalkers and mountain bike riders.
The booklet is available for purchase from the GDTA at a RRP of $24.99 by visiting www. gdt.org.au. The website also contains updates on current track conditions.
Written by Trevor Rosen, President of the Melbourne Walking Club