Victoria

Victoria is the smallest mainland state, has the highest population density and is primarily covered in farmland. Even so, there many parks and reserves and this state has some of the most diverse walking areas in Australia.

North West: An area of semi-desert and flood plains. Wyperfeld, Little Desert and the Hattah-Kulkyne National Parks provide both one-day and overnight walks to lakes and sand ridges. Winter is the best walking season, as it is very hot and dry for much of the year.

Grampians (Gariwerd): A series of sandstone ranges rising above level plains, also known as Gariwerd. Has many constructed one-day tracks in the Wonderland, Mt Difficult and Mt Stapylton areas. The Victoria Range, Major Mitchell Plateau, Mt Difficult and Black Range provide good two-day walks. Suitable for most of the year except hot summer periods.

Great South West Walk: A 15-day, 220 km circuit in the far southwest corner of the state. Features are the gorge of the Glenelg River and the varied southern coastline. Shorter circuits of two and three days based on Mt Richmond or the coastline are possible. There are also many one-day walks in the region.

Mt Cole and Langhi Ghiran State Forests: A region of granite outcrops east of Ararat. There are many walking tracks along the range and a variety of overnight trips can be planned. Good in autumn and spring. A good area for less-experienced groups as the ranges are not high in altitude.

Otway Ranges: Covered in tall forest, this range rises above the southern coastline and contains many waterfalls. There is a variety of marked tracks to many waterfalls providing good one-day walks. There are also many opportunities for off-track exploring and longer walks. The most popular regions are near the towns of Aireys Inlet and Lorne, behind the Cumberland River, near Beech Forest and around the coast at Cape Otway.

Lake Mountain: In winter, this is a popular but small ski touring plateau. In summer, there are many walking opportunities that link to nearby ranges such as Cathedral Range, Mt Bullfight and Mt Torbreck.

Kinglake, Mt Disappointment and Strathbogie Ranges: A series of granite ranges north of Melbourne. There are many good one-day walks and some excellent weekend walks for those willing to explore. Suitable most of the year.

Baw Baw Plateau: An elevated plateau with timbered ridges and open valleys. An excellent overnight ski touring area when under snow. Also a good summer walking area for one-day and overnight trips.

Wilsons Promontory: The southern end is the most popular destination for beginners. While very scenic, it can be overcrowded and a strict permit system applies. The northern end is less visited and best seen on a three-day walk. Suitable for year-round walking.

Licola Region: A small town which is on the access road into the southern section of the Alpine National Park. There are many good one-day walks and an infinite variety of overnight trips. Base-camp style trips are popular. Lake Tarli Karng, The Crinoline, Caledonia River, Snowy Bluff, Mt Darling, Bryces Gorge, Moroka River, Wonnangatta Valley and Mt Howitt are all popular destinations each with several approaches. Suitable for the warmer months from spring to late autumn. In winter the higher peaks are usually snow covered and offer interesting skitouring.

Howqua Region: Mansfield is the closest town for the western access into the Alpine National Park. A wide range of short and long trips of all standards is possible. Eagles Peaks, The Bluff, Mt Magdala, Mt Howitt, Cross Cut Saw, Speculation, Razor, Viking and Mt Stirling are just some of the favoured places here. Suitable for the warmer months. In winter, Mt Stirling provides the easiest access to many cross-country ski trails; other higher peaks are under snow and suitable for experienced ski tourers and offer extended trips.

Bogong High Plains: Part of the Alpine National Park, this is the highest region of Victoria. In winter, it is normally covered by snow providing excellent ski touring. In summer, the open alpine meadows invite walking in most directions. The highest peaks Mt Feathertop, Mt Loch, Mt Cope, Mt Nelse, Spion Kopje and Mt Bogong are all worth climbing. Mt Hotham is the base for a good range of marked ski-touring trails and some off-trail touring.

East Gippsland: A series of remote ranges and parks provide some interesting walks. The Cobberas, the Snowy River and side gorges, Coopracambra and Tingaringy National Parks and Errinundra Plateau are all worth exploring. Some one-day walks are possible, but the area is best suited to multi-day trips.

Croajingolong: A large coastal national park in far east Gippsland. The classic walk is a one to three-week coastal traverse. Shorter walks of weekend circuits and one-day walks are also good.

Australian Alps Walking Track: Running from Walhalla near the Baw Baw Plateau all the way to Canberra, this 765 km track follows the Great Divide and can be walked in seven weeks. A popular variation is to walk one- or two-week sections each year.