Escaping the heat: The Western Tyers is the BEST place I know to spend a couple of hot days: nestled under the South face of Mt Baw Baw, enclosed by Antarctic Beech and majestic Mountain Ash, it is always a lovely spot on such a day. You can brave the icy water (if you dare) or just lounge around in the shade on a folding chair, betimes catching the odd spinyback crayfish or mountain trout – or a platypus if your fancy so takes you: the dogs bark at them but have so far failed to bag one. I have wondered how platypus tails would GO with lobster tails!
To get there you head up the main road to Erica from Moe, take the Tanjil Bren turn-off just after Wild Cow Track, travel 13 km and turn right at the first track after the 13 km post (Palmers Track, not signposted) shortly after Beynons Creek Rd. Palmers Track is fine (but not after rain) for light SULs such as Subarus down to the river at the old Palmers Mill/Bridge sites where there are two campsites. The Western Tyers ROAD (!) along the river is now only suitable for real 4WDs, though 30 years ago when we discovered it lots of folks made it in Kingswoods!
The Western Tyers Rd parallels the river for many kms usually less than 10 metres away. There are a number of pleasant unofficial campsites. It IS possible to canoe the river from Growlers (possibly from Christmas Creek – another fine campsite) down to the old bridge at Western Tyers and I have done so many times years ago, though I doubt anyone else ever has. There is a spectacular (@ Grade 4) chute and drop just below Growlers where the old rail line diverged from the road. It is possible to walk around it.
You can walk the old rail line down to Palmers (rough going nowadays) but you will catch many trout etc in that remote stretch of river. I planned once to clear the river for canoeing all the way from eg Growlers to the Morwell Pumping Station at Wirilda Park (off the Tyers-Yallourn North Rd). I have from time to time cleared sections of it and canoed others. I estimate it would produce a trip of around a week’s duration containing some superb fishing and some wonderful campsites – and so CLOSE! I did some work on a couple of the worst bog holes on the Western Tyers Rd (to make them navigable) and will do some more next time I am there, (soon I hope). The kids will want to come next time after they see the crays we brought home this time!