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Ths author is a Chartered Professional Engineer, providing specialized consultancy services in International Broadcasting Engineering. He is graduate of the Royal Melbourne Instiutute of Technology.and holds the rank of Member, Institution of Engineers Australia . he is a recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for Services to Shortwave Radio, and was employed by the PMG's Dept/ATC/Telecom Australia from 1956 until 1997...

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Mount Monda Summit Hike

On June 5, 2008, I walked the 6 km (return) hike along a section of the 24 km Monda Road (also known as the Monda Track, or "Road 19"), 60 km north of Melbourne.

Monda Rd starts at Myer's Creek Rd in the west, and ends at the Dom Dom Saddle (Maroondah Highway) in the east.

Access is from the town of Healesville, up Myer's Creek Rd, then into Monda Rd, passing the gates to the Mt St Leonard lookout tower and the walking tracks to the Mt Tanglefoot area.

The hike started at the Monda Dugout, some 4 km east of the Mt St Leonard Track, and the turnaround point was at the junction with Condon's Track, on the top of Mt Monda.

The walk followed the firebreak ridge on the Great Dividing Range, and reached a maximum altitude of 929m.

The Monda Dugout is a refuge hut, located underground, in the side of a hill, reached by a stone walled tunnel. It is believed to have been constructed in the early 1900s when the firebreak was built. It is in good condition.

There are good views to Mt Murrindindi to the north across pine plantation clearings. Views to the south towards Healesville are obscured by tall timber, in Melbourne Water's Maroondah Catchment Area, part of the Yarra Ranges National Park.

Condon's Track, 7 km, linking Donnelley's Weir with Monda Rd, is very steep, slippery and rocky, and is the popular route to the summit, described in some walking guidebooks. However, 14 km return is a huge challenge, and not suited to the occasional walker!

I walked this section of the Monda Road on June 5, 2008.

The road from the Dugout to the Condon's Track gate is suitable for conventional 2WD vehicles, in dry weather, but 4WD would be best. Walking this road is much more fun, which is part of the Australian National Trail!

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