hike

Mount Cobbler Summit

This is a guest article by Monique Winterhoff.

Reaching the summit of Mount Cobbler can be quite challenging, but the outstanding 360-degree views of the Victorian Alps make the trek well worth the effort.

The climb to Mount Cobbler can be done as part of a longer trail, the Mount Cobbler Plateau Circuit, but one of the simplest routes to take is the four-hour return walking track from Lake Cobbler up to the summit of the mountain. Lake Cobbler is around a five-and-a-half-hour drive north-east from Melbourne, where four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended, as roads can be rough for two-wheel drive vehicles past Bennies. It is recommended to check the Parks Victoria website for road and trail conditions ahead of time, as the trail is only accessible in warmer months due to closure of the Alpine National Parks roads during winter.

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The trail starts 50 metres east of Cobbler’s Hut at Lake Cobbler, following along an old four-wheel drive track before descending to a small creek crossing. From there, the trail has a short, steep climb before easing into a moderate slope. For the majority of the trail, the hike is through beautiful eucalypt forests, surrounded by mountain gums and broad-leafed peppermints. Closer to the peak, the forest opens out to patches of heathland, grassland and herb fields growing between rocky escarpments. In spring, the wildflowers begin to bloom, resulting in a flurry of pinks, reds and yellows along the trail. At the mountain's summit, there are spectacular 360-degree views of Victoria's stunning alpine region.

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Though the elevation and exposed terrain allows for spectacular views at the summit, this does mean exposure to the elements, so it is important to check the weather forecast before heading out for the hike. However, with a bit of planning, the hike to Mount Cobbler can make for an unforgettable weekend trip.

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SUMMARY

  • Spectacular views over the Victorian Alps.
  • Endemic alpine flora.
  • Summit reaching 1,628m in elevation.
  • 5.5-hour drive north-east from Melbourne.
  • Be wary of weather and driving conditions.

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY

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EASE OF ACCESSIBILITY

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WILDLIFE

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SCENERY

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OVERALL

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Monique Winterhoff is a MSc student at the University of Melbourne studying blood parasites in small mammals on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. One of her interests is the combination of art and science, using art as a medium for communicating scientific research.


All images courtesy of Monique Winterhoff.

Wombat Trail

Approximately an hour and a half’s travel north-east of Melbourne CBD, Trentham is a small town on the edge of the Wombat State Forest. There are a number of small reserves and walking trails around town, and the Wombat Trail, a loop of approximately 8km, takes the walker right around the edge of the houses into the surrounding bushland. 

Parking is available at the Quarry St Reserve, where the trail begins. A large pond in the reserve is home to a variety of waterfowl, and the path leads south along its banks. 
Cross the High St and you’ll enter the community-managed Stoney Creek Reserve. There has been some flood damage to the path here but it has been well marked out by the reserve’s managers and is easily avoided. 

After leaving Stoney Creek, follow Park St until you reach Trentham Cemetery, where a grassy track follows the fence-line of the graveyard before veering into the trees. 

Cross over the Trentham-Blackwood Road to enter the forest, where kangaroos can usually be spotted in the morning and evening grazing in the neighbouring paddock. The path will lead you down to the Trentham Racecourse Reserve, where the last race was run 110 years ago. All that remains of the racetrack is a wide path through gum trees which have reclaimed the reserve over the past century. 

Approximately halfway around the track is the site of the grandstand and finishing post, now unrecognisable, save for the bench and interpretive sign that mark the spot. As you complete your circuit of the track, crimson rosellas, corellas and kookaburras are a common sight in the treetops.

Retrace your steps with the aid of the Wombat Trail signage, then follow the path right; here, you may find yourself surrounded by common brown butterflies. Gleeson St will lead you around the back of the town, then simply pass along Trent Creek and turn down Albert St to return to your parking spot. 

Signage is regular and reliable all the way along the route, making it very difficult to lose your way, and the going is easy underfoot. It’s a steady, flat trail that’s best enjoyed early in the morning while the town is quiet.

SUMMARY

•    A loop around the town of Trentham through the Wombat Forest
•    Sites of historic interest including the old Trentham Racecourse
•    Listen out for corellas and kookaburras along the forest trails
•    Easy terrain for young children or older walkers

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY

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EASE OF ACCESSIBILITY

WILDLIFE

SCENERY

OVERALL


Alex Mullarky

Alex Mullarky is a writer and environmentalist from the UK who has called Melbourne home since 2014. She is a graduate of English Literature and is particularly interested in the connection between language and landscape.


You can find her on Twitter at @saesteorra


Originally published on Walking Maps.

All images courtesy of Alex Mullarky.