Upper Yarra & Australian Alps Walking Tracks

 

Newlands Rd
Newlands Rd

The Upper Yarra Walking Track (82 km) which extends from Warburton to Walhalla is Australia’s oldest walking track (1907). It has been neglected for a long time. There are no Government brochures or websites dedicated to it. There is a track description in the Siseman Book ‘The Australian Alps Walking Track’ (1988) which is quite out of date, eg some of the tracks, water points, campsites mentioned no longer exist. Curiously it appears (here and there) on the current 25K Vicmaps (ie Neerim North 25k_T8022-2-N, Noojee North 25k_T8122-3-N, Walhalla North 25k_T8122-2-N & Walhalla South 25k_T8122-2-S). Information about camping spots/water is missing/outdated.

We have spent three days rectifying this (for our own purposes). I will make all this information available on my hiking website (Ultralight Hiking) when I have it tidied up. From what I have seen it far excels those iconic ‘Great Walks’ in Tasmania and the Prom, and CERTAINLY rivals those in NZ! We need to walk the section from Block 10 Rd to Mushroom Rocks (three days) to see if we can locate the section which goes up a ridge from Frangipani Saddle onNewlands Rd to Mt Whitelaw – which is almost certainly overgrown. It will take a bit of machete work there, I imagine. Later we will walk the section from Warburton to the Ada Tree to establish times and campsites, after which we will be able to walk the whole track in one go so as to make final recommendations. The walk follows a tramline from Big Pat’s Creek to Starlings Gap (labelled ‘Walk into History’), thence to Federal Crossing on the Ada River, thence along the Little Ada River to Federal Mill and the Ada Tree. Thence: New Turkey Spur Rd, Lashos Track, McCarthy Spur, Boundary Rd, (Whitelaws) Forty Mile Break Rd, Toorongo Rd, Block 10 Rd, Newlands Rd, thence across the Baw Baw Plateau to Mushroom Rocks, O’Shea’s Mill Site on the Eastern Tyers, Poverty Point Bridge across the Thompson, then to Walhalla. If you simply followed Siseman’sinstructions after @ 10km (from New Turkey Spur Rd) without water you would come to a DRY water point at the 21km post on Boundary Track and would not know that there is a (muddy) water hole a further 6km ahead, so would almost certainly, sensibly give up! Personally I prefer clear running water with grassy campsites nearby. I envisage we will produce track instructions for a leisurely @ 6 day hike. Stay posted: http://www.finnsheep.com/THE%20UPPER%20YARRA%20WALKING%20TRACK.htm

The Ada Tree off New Turkey Spur Rd North of Noojee.
The Ada Tree off New Turkey Spur Rd North of Noojee.
The new South Face Rd across the Baw Baw Plateau rivals NZ in my opinion.
The new South Face Rd across the Baw Baw Plateau rivals NZ in my opinion.
Still some great timber around: 1939 regrowth! — at M15 Track off Boundary Rd.
Still some great timber around: 1939 regrowth! — at M15 Track off Boundary Rd.

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