Situated in the heart of country Victoria, the Strathbogie Shire includes the townships of Nagambie, Avenel, Euroa, Longwood, Ruffy, Graytown, Strathbogie and Violet Town.
Bordered to the east by the Strathbogie Ranges and to the west by the Nagambie Lakes district, the Shire is only a 90min drive north of Melbourne. And as for walks, you're spoilt for choice. Here are five of our favourite tracks.
Avenel Heritage and Nature Trail
This walk starts at Hughes Creek crossing where Avenel was established in 1838. The trail includes informative signage, maps and historic markers. During the Victorian gold rush (beginning in 1851) the township became an important stop-over for travellers and prospectors. Along the way you will discover the Royal Mail Hotel (1847) the original Cobb & Co staging post, Hughes Creek Bridge (1859), Stewart Park Nature Trail, Jubilee Park, historic courthouse and police residence, a cluster of heritage churches, old post office, railway station, cemetery, and the Great War Memorial. As mentioned, Avenel was the hometown of Ned Kelly and his family in his early school years. Ned’s father Red, who had been transported from Ireland to Australia for stealing two pigs, had to stand trial in Avenel Courthouse for cattle stealing, though he was later acquitted for the theft but charged with ‘unlawful possession of a hide’, for which he served four months. Red and Ned’s brother Dan are buried in the local cemetery.
Explore the recently protected Strathbogie Forest. Protection of the forest will expand nature-based tourism and prevent native forest logging. It will also save one of the healthiest populations of the threatened greater glider possum in all Victoria along with 36 other endangered and iconic native species. Cleo’s Track navigates dry open woodland, ferny wet gullies and the swampy origins of Seven Creeks. Along the way you will pass through diverse vegetation. Messmate, red stringy bark and peppermint gums dominate the drier high ground. As you walk lower blue gums, mountain gums and blackwood wattles appear before reaching a sheltered fern gully and extensive swampland. On the way back up you will encounter a rocky outcrop of large stacked granite boulders balancing on the hillside.
(4km one-way, 2.5hr/easy-moderate)
Geological and volcanic activity that began between 300-400 million years ago formed the spectacular boulder formations and rocky outcrops seen in the Strathbogie Ranges today. This walk takes you deep into the Strathbogie Forest. Following an old logging track, it features large moss-covered granite boulders, a variety of eucalypts and impressive views from the summit. A highlight of the walk is the lookout at the base of the path just east of the Golden Mountain track. From the cliff edge you can view Lake Eildon, The Paps, and further into the high country to Mt Buller and Mt Stirling and The Bluff.
Bridge to Bridge
Linking Spring Creek Bridge and Smiths Bridge behind the Strathbogie township this trail meanders along the Seven Creeks and Spring Creek. You’ll walk beneath a canopy of swamp gums where you can see a variety of birds, reptiles and wildlife. If you’re lucky you may even spot a koala or platypus. Wooden benches are spread out along the track. The Smith Bridge day visitor-area has an information shelter plus nice picnic facilities. The Strathbogie Landcare Group has planted hundreds of seedling trees and shrubs to rehabilitate the site.
Mt Wombat Flora & Fauna Reserve
One of the most celebrated nature reserves in the region is Mt Wombat and the Garden Range Flora and Fauna Reserve. Covering an area of around 1,400 hectares, the reserve is home to a variety of native plants, animals and birds. The route follows a dirt vehicle track through pleasant forest, but it gets relatively steep near the summit. The Mt Wombat peak is home to a Trigonometric Point, a communication tower and a Forest Fire Management lookout. During summer, fire spotters keep a watchful eye on the surrounding region. At 799m the summit offers an excellent 360° vista with views of Mt Buller, Waranga Basin and Nagambie’s Goulburn Weir. It’s also a popular spot to view sunrises, sunsets and approaching storms.
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