Lake Tali Karng: McFarlane’s Saddle to Nyimba Campsite

lake tali karng

On a weekend where all sorts of weather was expected, The Hiking Society MeetUp group ventured out for its first camping trip to Lake Tali Karng.

The trip itself lasted three days with the first day made up of an 8.5 km hike from McFarlane’s Saddle to Nyimba campsite; a campsite that can only be accessed by foot.

For those of you who have never been to the Lake Tali Karng area, it is located about 5 hours from Melbourne in the Gippsland area. It forms part of the Alpine National Park.

The McFarlane’s Saddle car park is about a 50-minute drive north-east of Licola.

lake tali karng

The trail begins on a rocky track through a small section of snow gums and burnt trees. However, within 15 minutes the entire area widens significantly as you enter the Wellington Plains.

It is here that you can expect a fairly well-worn path on your way to the campsite with several more burnt trees and snow gums.

lake tali karng

Given the expansive area, you will be treated to excellent views of the various mountains as well as Mt. Wellington which is located to the left of the track.

Furthermore, you will find various little streams along the track with cold running water through it. It is fine to drink out of but if you are a little skeptical always filter it just to be sure.

The entire track is relatively rocky but it wouldn’t be a track that I would classify as difficult. Our group completed it in 2 hours and 49 minutes with 29-minutes worth of breaks.

lake tali karng

One thing to keep in mind when crossing the plains is how exposed you are to the conditions. We had nothing but sunshine all day, and despite wearing sunscreen, most of us got burnt.

We reached the Nyimba campsite somewhere around 2pm and spent the rest of the afternoon setting up our tents and relaxing.

The campsite itself is a free campsite and has plenty of room for tents. It also has a fairly well-maintained drop toilet. If you are in need of phone reception, it can be found around this area.

Despite the sign at the start of the trail saying that Lake Tali Karng can be reached in 6-9 hours, my advice would be to stretch it out over 2-3 days as we did.

As I will point out in my next blog article, the trail from the campsite to the lake is steep and fairly difficult and both trails should ideally be completed over a 2 day period.

As per usual, if you are keen to download this trail you can do so here via WikiLoc.

The Stats – Lake Tali Karng: McFarlane’s Saddle to Nyimba Campsite

Length (km): 8.49km (according to WikiLoc)
Time: 2hr 49 mins (2hr 20 mins moving time)
Average Speed: 2.95 km/h
Difficulty: Easy
Maximum Elevation: 1555m
Accum. elev. uphill: 61m
Accum. elev. downhill: 103m
Return/Circuit/One Way: One way/return
Location: Moroka

10 Responses
  1. Andrew Page

    Could you trek to the lake and back to the campsite in the afternoon, on the same day as you trek to the Nyimba Campsite.

    1. John Feeney

      Hmmm it’d be bloody tough going. The lake is huge and there is plenty to explore, so my advice would be to give yourself the entire day to do so as the hike back up to the campsite is a fairly steep one for most of the way.

      Thanks for reading, Andrew. I hope you’re well.


  2. Sonia

    Hi just wondering where the closest drivable camp site to Tali Karng is?
    Then how far from camp site to the descent to the lake and how long/far to walk down to the lake. Planning on goIng early December with a group of mixed level of experience and fitness. Could we arrive fri set up camp, then get up early sat walk to lake and return to camp before dark? Thank you in advance.

    1. John Feeney

      Hi Sonia,

      Thanks for reading the article and taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it. As far as I know, the only campsite worth staying at in the Tali Karng area is Nyimba. As mentioned, that can only be reached by foot.

      If you only have two days, my advice would be to drive up on Friday night and perhaps camp at McFarlane’s saddle car park. Then get up on Saturday morning and walk to the lake and back.

      Keep in mind that the walk to the lake and back is bloody hard and I would highly recommend that you take three days to do the entire trip as we did. Particularly if you are with a group of people who are of different levels of experience and fitness.


  3. Prita

    Hi I was just wondering if it is possible to book a campsite. We are thinking of heading to the Nyimba campsite over Australia Day weekend and we are just a little worried that it might be too crowded. Thanks 🙂

    1. John Feeney

      Hi Prita!

      You can’t book campsites at Nyimba but I would almost guarantee you that you’ll be more than fine. Every time I have been there was on a long weekend and not once was it overcrowded. In fact, aside from the main area, there are smaller pockets of space for 1-2 tents each scattered around the campsite. In short, I think you’ll be okay.


  4. Roland

    Hi John,

    Have you walked in via Wellington River & Clive Lanigan Track. I was wondering were to camp on-route and of there are any facilities

    Thanks Roland

    1. John Feeney

      Hi Roland,

      Thanks for reaching out, mate. Unfortunately, I haven’t so can’t really comment. What I do know from some good friends of mine is that you cross the river some 20 odd times.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.


    1. John Feeney

      Hi Andrea,

      We’d say both. There is a tank there but you never know if it will be full or not. Bring as much as you possibly just in case.

      Thank you

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