How to choose your favourite child? Impossible, I know, especially when they are all so special. That’s how I feel about the Grampians, having spent a solid few weeks walking there this winter – it’s just one spectacular walk after another.
But if you ask the locals what their favourite day walk is, Mt Rosea crops up almost every time, and I have to agree; interesting, varied, challenging, spectacular rocks and sweeping views – one of the best day walks I have ever done.
This walk is part of the newly opened Central Loop of the Grampians Peaks Trail – the full 144km of which will be opened soon.
You need a car to get you to the start of the walk, at Mt Rosea carpark off Silverband Road. The walks starts with a gentle amble through forests and shrubby grevillea, then gradually starts to rise along a long ridgeline. Take the excuse of catching your breath to stop for fantastic views back across the escarpment of Bundaleer (Walls of China) and across to Tower Hill.
Once at the top of the ridge, some of the light and interesting scrambling starts between rocks and along natural staircases – all very achievable. The track suddenly emerges on the very edge of the Wonderland Range with its precipitous cliffs and stunning views over Lake Bellfield.
From here, turn right to trace along the edge of the cliffs, winding among fantastical rock formations. Keep a close eye on the yellow painted way-finder arrows – it requires a bit of imagination and map checking to stay on the route – especially when the track disappears under a rock opening at one stage; swing a hard right inside the rock to continue.
Shortly after the evocatively named Gate of the East Wind bridge, you walk ‘through’ Eagle Rock, then through a rock and cypress area reminiscent of a Japanese rock garden. Before long, you come out of the rock formations onto an open rock plateau. Head for the ‘pancake stack’ rocks on the far edge of the escarpment, and keep an eagle eye out for the yellow way marking arrows to find the last easy haul up to Mt Rosea lookout (1009m).
From here you can go back the way you came or continue on, following signs to Borough Huts, trundling down through rocks and eventually descending onto a gentle and scenic forest track (which is a bit kinder on the knees). At the track junction at the base, turn left along the overgrown Burma Track (signed Mt Rosea carpark), rather than continuing to Borough Huts, which brings you out on Silverband Road. Turn left for an easy kilometre uphill along the road to reach the carpark.
More info parkweb.vic.gov.au
Words and photos_Julie Mundy