Charles Dickie has been a Park Ranger for thirty-seven years and currently has Lerderderg State Park in his territory.
This quietly spoken gentleman still has a passion for state and national parks and the wonders they hold for anyone up for a ramble. He is as passionate about the care of the parks as he is about people enjoying them. Charles believes healthy parks make healthy people, as a visit to a park can improve your health and wellbeing. He gives us the inside word on some of the best places to go to in the stunning Lerderderg State Park as well us some sage advice on what to take when we do it.
One of the most popular picnic areas is at Mackenzies Flat which you’ll discover at the end of Lerderderg Gorge Road. Enjoy a picnic lunch listening to the sounds of the birds and then go for a long leisurely stroll. You can’t go past the walking track that winds its way beside the river. Along the way, you’ll find a few favourite swimming holes especially a spot called Graham’s Dam.
Then there’s the O’Briens Crossing picnic area at the opposite end of the Gorge. O'Briens is a great central locale to use as a base as you explore any of the terrific walking tracks around it. Byres Back Track links O’Briens Crossing with the popular mining town of Blackwood. I love this walk as most of the track follows the old water race which supplied water to the early gold miners.
One of the little-known tracks and one that is only accessible on foot is the Blackwood Ranges Track. You can see the whole vista of the park from the mouth of the gorge to the top of the gorge. You can imagine that you are the only people in the world up here.
The best time to head for any of the breathtaking bushwalks is in Spring when the wildflowers are in bloom, the river is flowing, and the birds are celebrating. Be sure to pack a map, water and a good GPS. Don’t rely on your mobile phone alone and be sure to tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. For further information on parks in Victoria please visit Parks Victoria