NOTE: This article was updated on November 13 2014, to correct transpositions of in the original post
he Warramate Hills area is a mini-mountain range, 60 km east of Melbourne, lying between the towns of Woori Yallock and Healesville, on public land, but with access restricted to walkers and management vehicles. There is one main fire access track crossing the hills.
In 1992, much of the land was declared "The Warramate Flora and Fauna Reserve", of some 460 Hectares.
There are two main peaks - Briarty Hill (420 m asl) and Steele Hill (395 m asl).
A communications tower is on Briarty Hill - there is a trig point marker on Steele Hill.
Foot access to both summits is along part of the gated fire track, then an energetic scramble up a very steep track.
The superb views from the Steele Hill Lookout are the reward!
To the north are many large vineyards spread out across the Yarra Valley, with the dominant peaks of Mts St Leonard and Tanglefoot beyond.
The reserve is managed by Parks Victoria, and is a challenging destination for local bushwalking clubs.
It is reached from the Warburton Highway, then along Killara Rd, and Yarraloch Way, to a small car park at a signed gate, at the start of the main track. There is a rise in height from 89m to 425m - good training for the Himalayas!
There is little documentation available on the history of the Hills, but it is known that gold mining was attempted in the area in the 1860s.
These photos were taken on April 15, 2008, during a strenuous 8 km (return) hike to the Steele Hill Summit.
See the Photos