Lerderderg Gorge Emergency Markers

IMPORTANT UPDATE: All of the original EMERGENCY SIGNPOSTS in the gorge have been replaced with new EMERGENCY MARKERS by ESTA (Emergency Services and Telecommunications Authority). Of major concern, however, is that the original numbering has been changed. The old (original) numbering is still in use in a number of available publications, including two of our own books and in the very popular Lerderderg and Werribee Gorges Meridian map. Walkers using our guides and the Meridian map must not confuse the original numbering with the new numbering.

Please download the following PDF which spells out all of the changes and even includes the Emergency Markers GPS co-ordinates:

LERDERDERG STATE PARK EMERGENCY MARKERS

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5 Responses to “Lerderderg Gorge Emergency Markers”

  1. Alan Middleton July 29, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    In your document Lerderderg-state-park-marker-data5.PDF, the coordinates for markers 25 (LER300) and 26 (LER523) are the same, which does not seem correct.
    I was at O’Briens Crossing yesterday and marker LER300 is at the the coordinates shown but seems to relate to map pointer 26, not 25. If this is true, then LER523 must relate to map pointer 25, not 26. I could not find marker LER523 to verify this even though they are supposed to be close together.
    Alan M Tarneit

    • Glenn Tempest July 29, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

      Hi Alan, yep you are right to be confused. I got these coordinates directly from Parks Victoria and have been systematically checking each of the coordinates as we check walk descriptions for our new guidebook. After I chatted to you on the phone I checked the PV coordinates and they are indeed using GDA94. At least that is a good thing. I was at O’Briens Crossing the other day and noted that Marker 300 (old marker 25) is on the far side of the bridge (at the start of East Walk). I checked its coordinates which were: 55 H 266714 5846789, which is close to the same figure as those shown on the PV download (I was standing on the bridge however). The old marker 26 (new Emergency Marker 523) is supposed to be at the start of the climb up along Byers Back track and I think it may situated on the trail up to the toilets or next to the toilets (I can’t remember its exact location). I guess technically the two GDA94 coordinates are very similar as they are only 50m apart but they certainly shouldn’t be the same. It’s interesting you couldn’t locate Emergency Marker 523 though. I will check its position next time I’m up there which will only be a few weeks.
      The Emergency Marker system that PV have adopted would not have been such a drama (and a danger) had they left the old Emergency Marker numbers on the posts while they bedded in the new system. I can’t believe that they simply whited out the old numbers. Last summer I had a call from a distraught walker who had become hopelessly lost at the bottom of the gorge. Apparently the relief upon finding an Emergency Marker turned to utter confusion when they couldn’t match the Emergency Numbers in our guidebook (and on the popular Meridian Lerderderg walking map) to those on the post. In the end they were forced to endure an unplanned night out in the bush. I’ll be checking all of the markers carefully and I’ll let you know how things develop.

  2. Alan Middleton July 30, 2010 at 3:49 am #

    Hello again Glenn.
    We are in agreement about the whereabouts of LER300. However, if you look closely at the Meridian Map pointer 25 it actually indicates it is on the south side of the river near the junction of Back Track and East Track, not on the Back Track near the toilets. This would put it fairly close to the natural weir (or cascade) and is where I was looking. I had previously walked about 150 metres past the toilets along Back Track before I realised that I was in the wrong spot (according to the map). So, where is LER523 supposed to be?
    I guess we will have to wait till someone finds it and takes a reading on its location.

    • Glenn Tempest July 30, 2010 at 11:06 am #

      Hi Alan.
      Interesting. I’ve had a closer look at the Meridian Lerderderg & Werribee Gorge map which shows the old Emergency Markers are reversed. No 25 should be 26 and visa versa. I know that our Daywalks Around Melbourne guide is accurate because I have the original printouts of the Emergency Marker text as well as a photograph of LER 300 (old Emergency Marker 25), which is definitely next to the bridge at the start of East Walk. The location of LER 523 (old Emergency Marker 26) is of much more interest. The map shows the walking trail running back along under the road (through the camping area and BBQs to cross the river below the weir. Often you get your feet wet going this way so most walkers start the East Walk from LER 300 (next to the bridge). If you are right (and it appears so on the map) then LER 523 is on the small spur on the south side of the river. The confusing thing is that I have never seen this marker in this position and to be frank, if it is there it is in a most unsuitable position. In practical terms all walkers starting Byers Back Track will start from the carpark and would want to see the Emergency Marker at the start of the trail heading up past the toilets. Very very confusing indeed. Maybe LER 523 (old Emergency Marker 26) has been vandalised and is now sitting in the bottom of the river. I will most certainly check it out soon.

      • Glenn Tempest August 7, 2010 at 6:27 am #

        Just to clarify the issue of the Emergency Markers in Lerderderg Gorge. In a nutshell, the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) in conjunction with Parks Victoria have placed 31 Emergency Markers throughout Lerderderg State Park. These markers have replaced the original system which used simple numbering in combination with navigational information. The new ESTA system is designed to aid in emergency aerial extractions and must be part of a standardised system used across Victoria. Parks Victoria rangers felt that the old system and the new system would create confusion so the old numbers were removed from the steel posts, the new green LER XXX Emergency Markers attached and the original navigational information left. Of course there will be some ongoing confusion but walkers upon encountering the steel Emergency Markers should only refer to the navigational directions when using maps and guides that refer to the old numbering system. These navigational directions usually indicate names of walking trails, nearest roads, walking times and distances. Note however that some of this information is not always as accurate as it should be, though inaccuracies are usually minor and confined to walking times and distances so far as I’ve experienced. As Alan (in previous comments) has pointed out, the two markers, LER 523 and LER 300, have the same GPS location. Indeed they are only 50m apart. LER 300 is next to the bridge and LER 523 is at the top of the steps near the toilets and rotunda. The only other point that may cause some confusion is that the old marker 28 (and its navigational directions) has been moved down to the top of The Tunnel. There is no LER Emergency Number at this point. LER 525 (the nearest emergency number) is 50m back up at the Byers Back Track / Gribble Track intersection on the signpost pointing to The Tunnel. Also of interest is the old marker 19 (now LER 517) which is wrongly positioned on the current 3rd edition Meridian map, Lerderderg & Werribee Gorges. The marker is about 500m further downstream than indicated (the walking trail drops south down the ridge instead of heading west to the river. Here is my GPS reading of LER 517: 55 H 268445 5842391.

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