Located in East Gippsland, and at the southern end of the Mitchell River Walking Track, lies the Den of Nargun Return Walk.
A walk that can be done a number of ways such as a return or loop walk, this certainly is one for all you beginner hikers and casual day walkers out there.
I’d also recommend it for those of you with little kids who want to see some really nice scenery without having to walk several kilometres to see it.
What is the Nargun?
Before we get into the walk itself, you might find yourself wondering what exactly is a Nargun and what’s it doing in a den in far-east Victoria?!
A place of Aboriginal cultural significance for the Gunaikurnai people, especially the women, the dream-story of the Den of Nargun tells of a cave that was “inhabited by a fierce creature that was half human and half stone, and would drag unwary travellers or even children into the cave.”
The Walk Itself
As mentioned, this walk can be done as a loop or return hike, with the latter being the easier of the too at 1.5kms.
Starting at the Den of Nargun car park, you won’t miss the path nor the marked signs pointing you in the direction of the path.
The first section into the gorge is reasonably steep but well-formed with a man-made path greeting you to begin with.
After a short period, this section runs out and merges into a rocky path that will descend into the gorge itself.
At the bottom of this path is a t-intersection with a sign that points left to the Den or right to the Mitchell River Walking Track and the continuation of the loop version of this walk.
Making your way to the Den is a breeze from here but be sure to watch your footing as these rocks can be a little slippery at the best of times.
Apart from the Den itself and the story behind this walk, I reckon the best part about this walk is the scenery.
Covered by a warm temperate forest that is similar to something you might find in far north Queensland, the Den of Nargun Walking Track makes you feel like you’re miles away from anywhere.
Even though the Mitchell River isn’t too far away, it’s still so quiet in there which really adds to the overall experience.
About 80ms from the Den, you’ll come across an information board that goes into detail about the story behind the walk, as well as the cultural significance of the area.
Keep following the path and you’ll arrive at the Den which is situated behind a murky waterhole.
The rocks that are littered around the waterhole make for a great viewing platform of the Den and if you happen to be there on a day with good light, you’ll be able to get some great pictures.
As mentioned in the many websites that cover this area, and the aforementioned information board, please respect the location and refrain from crossing the waterhole and entering the Den of Nargun.
To return to the car park, simply go back the way you came.
Other points of interest both nearby and in the area are:
- Bluff Lookout; this overlooks the Mitchell River
- Echo Bend Caravan Park
- The Mitchell River Walking Track
- Billy Goat Bend; in my opinion, the best spot to overlook the river. It’s also another campsite
- Angusvale campground
And, as always, if you have the WikiLoc app and you wish to download my track, you can do so here.
The Stats – Den of Nargun Return Walk
Length (km): 1.5kms (according to WikiLoc)
Time: 1h 10mins
Moving Time: 25 mins
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate (Grade 2)
Maximum Elevation: 176m
Accum. elev. uphill: 68m
Accum. elev. downhill: 68m
Return/Circuit/One Way: Can be done as a loop or return walk