The Cathedral Ranges – The Northern Circuit
Without a doubt, the Cathedral Ranges is one of the most picturesque places in Victoria to go hiking. Located in Taggerty, a town located 121 kilometres north-east of Melbourne, the Cathedral Ranges Northern Circuit is a fantastic day hike.
This past weekend I was lucky enough get in on a small hiking group with Trail Hiking Australia to do the northern circuit.
Our group started from Ned’s Gully campground cark park early in the morning and began ascending Ned’s Gully track. T
his section is relatively easy as it is a gradual incline. But, it can still be hard going on the legs in parts.
The track winds its way up to a junction where you can take a short trail up to Ned’s Peak, continue on another trail to Little Cathedral Peak or take the steep Cathedral Peak Track to the ridge line.
Our group took the Cathedral Peak Track and we were able to experience some unbelievable views over Buxton and into parts of Marysville.
After a break, something to eat and plenty of pictures, we were back on the trail heading south on the Ridge Track. Up until this point, you’ll probably find your pace to be fairly good.
However, it is slow going when you walk the Ridge Track as there are plenty of rocks to navigate and your concentration levels are at an all-time high.
For mine, this is the most enjoyable part of the northern circuit.
After completing this section, we made our way south to an area known as The Farmyard to have some lunch.
This area is a large clearing where camping is permitted but is only accessible by hiking in.
After lunch, we descended the Jawbone Creek track, which is downhill the entire way until the last little bit where you ascend up some stairs to the Jawbone car park.
From there, we took St Bernards Track, passed through the popular Cooks Mill campground, and made our way back to Ned’s Gully campground car park via the Little River Track.
We started the Cathedral Ranges Northern Circuit at 9:45am and were back at the car park at around 3:30/3:45.
Depending on your pace, you could easily hike this trail in 4-5 hours.
In my opinion, the Cathedral Ranges Northern Circuit is best done on a day where there are clear skies and little-to-no rain. First, it makes the view at on the Ridge Track so much better if there are clear skies.
You wouldn’t see much on a fairly cloudy day. Secondly, walking along the Ridge Track on a wet or when it has been raining isn’t the best idea.
Even on the driest of days, you can easily slip on those rocks and hurt yourself.
Length (km): 11.6kms (according to WikiLoc)
Time: 6 hours
Return/Circuit/One Way: Circuit
Location: Cathedral Ranges National Park, Melbourne
Maximum elevation: 861m (according to WikiLoc)
Accumulative elevation uphill: 540m (according to WikiLoc)
For maps and information regarding the Cathedral Ranges State Park, please visit the Parks Victoria website.