With plenty of long weekends available every year here in Australia, this gives us hikers the opportunity to get away for an extended trip.
This article takes a look at some of the obvious, and not-so-obvious, places to go for a long weekend adventure.
These include places that are suitable for those who prefer camping and staying in proper accommodation alike.
Please note: I’ve only included place I have been to myself as I would rather not give out advice/tips on places I’ve never been to before.
Furthermore, Lake Tali Karng is currently closed due to the bushfires that came through during February 2019 and it is unclear when it will be reopened.
In no particular order…
One of the more popular towns in the north-east region of Victoria, it is a central location for a number of day hikes in the area.
- Cathedral Ranges Southern Circuit
- Cathedral Ranges Northern Circuit
- Tree Fern Gully Return Trail
- The Cumberland Track
- Keppel Lookout via Steavenson Falls
Cooks Mill and Neds Gully are incredibly popular during long weekends.
However, Keppel campground, on the outskirts of Marysville, is a great place to stay if you want to avoid the crowds.
One of the most popular places in Victoria, the Grampians is home to a number of stunning hikes with incredible views.
Granted I’ve yet to do every hike in the area, but I feel as though the ones I have done are more than enough to fill your long weekend.
The day hikes I would recommend are:
- Mount Rosea Return
- Chatauqua Peak Loop Walk
- The Pinnacle Circuit (probably the most popular walk in the area)
- Boronia Peak (I think this one is my favourite)
I think the best thing about the Grampians is that it caters for hikers of all abilities.
If you’re someone who likes to carry a pack to a hut or camping ground, then you’ll be able to do that.
But for those who aren’t at that stage yet, the Plantation Camping Ground on Mount Zero road is perfect to use as a base camp.
There’s plenty of room, several drop toilets and, as a bonus, it’s free to stay there!
Lake Tali Karng
Located in a section of the Victorian Alpine National Park, Lake Tali Karng is one of those places that will take your breath away for a number of reasons.
The first reason is that the views along the Wellington Plains Track are nothing short of spectacular.
You make your way across an expansive alpine plain with surrounding hills and mountains which makes for a nice change from your usual bush trail.
Secondly, the track heading in and out of the lake itself is incredibly steep and you might find yourself sliding down on your bum!
There are two ways to get into Lake Tali Karng – from McFarlane’s Saddle car park and rock hopping across the Wellington River.
I believe the latter is the harder of the two, and you can find more info on the former below:
The best advice I can give you for this one so you can enjoy it as much as possible is to do the hike over three days.
This allows you to spend more time exploring the area around the lake and enjoy it more.
Please note: Lake Tali Karng is currently closed due to the bushfires that came through the area in early 2019. It will be closed for some time to come.
Bunyip State Park, Gembrook
An area that I believe is one of the more underrated places to camp and hike in the eastern region of Victoria, the Bunyip State Park is home to a number of tracks and campsites.
The most popular campsite in the park is the Mortimer Picnic Ground, but Nash Creek and Freemans Mill (walk-in campsite) are certainly worth checking out.
I would recommend using Mortimer Picnic Ground as your base camp and do a few day hikes in the forest to fill your long weekend.
And the hikes I would recommend in this are:
- The Mortimer Circuit
- Four Brothers Rocks Track
- Windy Point Track
- Bunyip State Park Southern Circuit
- Reids and Two Dams Track
- Freemans Mill Walking Track
And finally, and probably my favourite place to go on a long weekend, is…
Mitchell River, Gippsland
If you’re up for a decent 40km walk across 2-3 days, then I can’t recommend Mitchell River and the Mitchell River Walking Track enough.
There are a couple of really good campsites at either end and along the way, but it’s the sweeping views along the river that make this track one of the most underrated in the state.
Special mention goes to the lookout platform overlooking the Amphitheatre near Billy Goat Bend as you won’t find a better viewing spot along the river.
Along with the Billy Goat Bend campsite located some 12kms on the Mitchell River Walking Track heading south, other campsites include:
- Echo Bend Camping Park
Be sure to take your water filter device if you plan on staying at Billy Goat Bend or Angusvale.
Lastly, there’s a great little short walk at the southern end of the park – Den of Nargun – that would be ideal for parents & their children, as well as those looking for something easier to do.