Located in the large desert expanse of the northwest Victorian Mallee country, the 12 Mile Patch Walk in Wyperfeld National Park is a real bush beat!
This approximately 19.5 km walk through one of Victoria’s largest white sand dune areas is perfect for those looking for a unique adventure in the Australian outback. The entry to Wyperfeld National Park is around a five to six hour drive from Melbourne dependent on entrance.
Depending on your group’s pace, the walk could take anywhere from around 4.5 to 7 hours. We took approximately five hours, walking at a moderate pace with four decent breaks to relax and enjoy our surrounds. The walk is moderate to difficult.
Whether you’re camping or not, I suggest a very early morning start to see the sunrise from the first few sand dune ridges. It’s a truly beautiful sight not to be missed!
Regardless of whether you’re a nature lover or just coming along for the ride, one is sure to find enjoyment through the dunes track with friends, the tranquillity, and encounters with abundant native flora and fauna. The National Park has approximately 450 species of native plants and more than 200 species of birds.
Emu and kangaroo tracks are plentiful, and if you are lucky you may see conserved Mallee bird species, such as a Malleefowl. The Malleefowl is a stocky ground-dwelling Australian bird that is about the size of a chicken, to which it is remotely related. They are rare to spot as they are shy, cautious, solitary birds that typically fly only to escape danger or reach a tree to roost in. Although they are hard to spot, their nests can be found along the track. Large nesting mounds are created by the males as there is a lack of parental care after the chicks hatch.
The park is also home to species adapted to arid habitats, such as the Silky Mouse and many reptiles, such as the Shingleback Lizard and the Sand Goanna.
Autumn, winter and spring are the best times to visit. However, for this exploration you must be well-prepared. Please contact Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 19 63 to ensure your plan, park safety, conditions, entry, regulations and camping. You must have a 4WD and someone to drive to the end point to pick you up, unless you plan on camping and walking back the next day.
Wyperfeld National Park can be accessed a number of ways. If you’re not camping overnight at the ‘Snow Drift’ campsite, which is the track’s starting point, map out your trip leaving plenty of time. If you take our route from the Mallee Highway entrance, I suggest leaving around one to one and half hours four-wheel drive time to the starting point.
Following the sandy path, you will eventually finish up at a dried-up lake, perfect for some late lunch and a rest if you have time. The drive back out to the Mallee Highway will again take around one to one and a half hours.
If you and some friends are looking for an unreal outback adventure in Victoria, plan a trip to Wyperfeld National Park!
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY - 3/5
1. SPECTACULAR SCENERY
2. MODERATE TO DIFFICULT WALK IN NORTHWEST VICTORIA
3. ABUNDANT NATIVE FLORA AND FAUNA
4. EMUS, KANGAROOS, MALLEEFOWLS
5. CONTACT PARKS VICTORIA FOR MORE INFO