Monday, 14 January 2013

A Stinking Hot Day In Werribee Gorge

I'm not good at taking notice of warnings. I should. One day, someone is going to tell me not to do something, and the fact that I didn't listen is going to get me into some serious trouble. I just know it.

Take Werribee Gorge for example.

Being on the tail end of shrinking down from some 170kg to MUCH less than that (like I'm going to tell you how much I weigh!), me and summer are not friends. Not in the slightest.

Not just that, but being a proud red head, me and the sun just don't get along.

So, I should have taken note to the warning in Gregs writings at Hiking Fiasco. But I didn't  As always. And you know, Werribee Gorge is one damn hot place.

The Werribee Gorge circuit is around 10km long, but I didn't want to do the full circuit. Instead, I decided that I'd just take the short cut down from the start of the Centenary track, and cut off a kilometre or two.

This was my first time in Werribee Gorge. I expected a fairly easy walk along the banks of the river, and that it was. With the added heat, and the colouration of the terrain, it actually felt like I'd found myself miraculously in central Australia.

Just minus the crocs, and dingos and stuff.

Did I mention that there are a whole lot of beaches along the track? They make for nice rest stops. This one is Needles Beach, and it marks the climb up Ironbark Gorge, or even up to Falcons Lookout if you prefer some rugged uphill off track.

Maybe next time. Just maybe...

And with that said, this is my new pack. I'd been using a Black Wolf for a while, and after my Mt Feathertop hike the other week, I decided that it is definitely time for a new pack.

I'd used Macpac my whole life, and thankfully, they had a clearance sale, so I picked up this puppy. Its a Macpac Ascent. Its a hike/mountaineering pack, its damn comfortable, and that's about all I have to say about that until I give it a good test next weekend.

I soon got the idea that this track was not as straight forward as it seems.

Its funny actually... the recommendation is to walk this track anti clockwise. I passed a good number of walkers who were walking the other way. Got a funny look or two as well.

Here's the thing. About halfway along the gorge is a section where a rope is required (which is chained to the wall thankfully!), and you sidle above the water on a vertical wall.

For those who have a bit of scrambling experience, it is fine. Quite fun actually. However, I'd love to know how many people wimp out going anti clockwise when its either a climb back out of the gorge to drop to the car, or a small scramble followed by a flat walk to the car.

Speaking of that climb out of the gorge...

The heat accumulates in the gorge, its a hot box. So, when I was told by some "anti clockwise" walkers that they were glad to be in the shade (what shade?!?), I got the idea that climbing was only going to get hotter.

The climb was quick though, and with the views across the gorge, and a nice spot for some lunch, the heat just bothered me that little bit less.

Not much. A little bit less though.

There was even a lovely dead tree at the top before I headed down to the car.

A note - if you're following the short cut down, don't make the same mistake as me and read the contours wrong when you're going down. In the Meridian Map for Werribee Gorge (and Lerderderg), that little warning that says "steep", that's uphill. Not downhill.


  1. 170???!!!! I thought I was beefy! Good work! What's your secret?

    1. I originally thought I was a "little" overweight at around 140, but the scales told me otherwise. Official number was 174kg. Still shocks me now...

      Secret was a combination of gym and eating well. I'd work out anywhere up to 5 times a week, and just learned to say no to the bad stuff. I'd always carried a bit though, walked from Bogong to Harrietville about 8 years ago weighing around 120 - 130 or so. Not to say it was much fun going up Diamantina Spur though... ;)