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Monday, October 06, 2008

Silver Creek Hike, Kinglake National Park

On October 5, 2008, I visited the Silver Creek Buffer, in the Kinglake National Park,about 50 km north of Melbourne.

This is part of the very large 9965 ha Wallaby Creek Water Supply Catchment Area, located in the NE section of the Park, managed jointly by Parks Victoria and Melbourne Water.

The Wallaby Creek area was added to the Park in 1995, and is adjacent to the Mt Disappointment State Forest.

The Wallaby Creek Management Plan provides for the construction of marked walking trails in the Silver Creek Buffer Zone (2100 ha), which is mainly eucalyptus forest, covering steep gullies and narrow ridges.

The first stage of the Trail construction program has been completed recently, with four trails starting at the gate at the Silver Creek Buffer car park, on Silver Creek Rd. This is reached from a turn-off on the Kinglake-Yea Rd, about 10 km south of the settlement of Flowerdale.

These trails are color coded red, blue, yellow, and orange, mostly along management tracks.

I completed the 4 km Red Track circuit, which winds its way around and up a mountain, then along a ridge, past a view point over the Silver Creek Valley, and back to the car park. There were nice views through tall timber across rugged densely forested valleys. There is a change in altitude of about 100 m, to the high point of about 500 m.

The information board at the car park shows details about the distances and features along each track.

Red Track is the shortest - the others are:

Yellow Track 5.2 km
Orange Track 4.8 km
Blue Track 12 km

The Red, Yellow and Orange tracks can be undertaken as a complete circuit, requiring about 5 hrs for completion. Blue Track is long, and runs to the north.

If undertaking any of these tracks, it is vital that the color-coded markers are followed, and access to other management tracks is not permitted.

This is remote and rugged country, with no nearby habitation - a map is advisable, but not mandatory. Good spatial and environmental awareness, and navigation skills, are important.

The catchment area was devastated by major bushfires in 1851, 1898, 1926, 1939 and 1982.

Stands of Mountain Ash exist, dating from the year 1730 and earlier, with some mature stands from the 1851 fires.

The Wallaby Creek Management Plan can be downloaded from

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