The Cathedral Ranges are only a couple of hours north-east of Melbourne yet somehow I only heard about them for the first time this year. If you want panoramic views of a quintessential country Victorian landscape then the Cathedral Ranges are for you. There are eucalypt forests for miles around. Standing on top of a mountain we felt like we were the only people in the world and suddenly the exhausting trek up all seemed worth it.
Long story short:
Location: Cathedral Ranges State Park
Hiking Track: Neds Gully Track: medium difficulty, approx. 2 hours return (there are many tracks to choose from though)
Where: Cathedral Ranges, Taggerty, Victoria (enter Little River Rd from Cathedral Lane)
Time: 6-7 hours: 2 hour drive from Melbourne, 2 hour hike (return), 2 hour return drive to Melbourne
Getting There: You will need a car. As always, remember to drive on the left in Australia!
When to go: Ideally between November and March or wait for a few sunny and dry days in a row. Avoid if there is a threat of bush fires in the area
We chose Neds Gully Track because we weren’t equipped for a long hike so 2 hours return seemed perfect. It’s rated a medium level of difficulty for its steep incline for the entirety of the way there. Honestly we stopped for breaks… A lot. It didn’t help that none of us had done any steep hikes for a long time. If you’re used to it then it really won’t seem all that difficult. So we started the track at Neds Gully (at about 280m). You can leave your car there and if you’ve booked you can camp there too. From there the track was uphill until we got to Neds Peak (situated at 720m).
You’ll know when you’ve arrived because you’ll get the first real view of the day and you’ll be able to see Cathedral Ridge out along to the right hand side. There should be some rocky terrain to your left. If you’re game for a climb, the views get even better here, I promise. I’m pretty sure this is Australia’s answer to pride rock (apologies for the Lion King reference but come on its uncanny)
You can continue from this point along Cathedral Ridge Track but we didn’t have the time. I’d like to do it next time though.
The view out across the ranges is truly spectacular and you feel as though you’re standing on top of the world!
If you liked this post, you might also like to read about the close by Yarra Valley.