Mt Arapiles is quite simply one of Victoria’s most outstanding natural features. The park, with its 200m-high red quartzite cliffs is also recognised as a major rockclimbing destination and attracts large numbers of climbers from around the world. However, for many years park visitors have been frustrated by the lack of any longer walking trails within the park. While there are a couple of very short trails (such as those linking the summit road with the campground) and a much longer circuit of the entire mount (along boring management vehicle tracks), these walks do little to satisfy those that want to fully experience the real Mt Arapiles. Locals and visiting walkers have long realised the need for a longer walking trail linking many of the parks most spectacular features. Walkers (locals and visitors alike) regularly walk along the summit escarpment by finding their own way through the bush and along the rocky tops. Rough pads already exist along much of the way. For this reason it seemed that an official walking trail would definitely see the light of day.
Local identity, Keith Lockwood, was one of the main supporters of the walk and had spent hundreds of hours putting together a proposal and possible route. Karen and I walked the proposed trail with him during last spring and we had hoped to include the walk in our forthcoming Daywalks Around Victoria guide. The guide will describe 36 classic daywalks which I feel will best showcase the amazingly varied geography that makes Victoria so unique. A dedicated circuit walk at Mt Arapiles would have had no difficulty in fulfilling this criteria and I was positive it would go ahead. Unfortunately it was not to be. The Mt Arapiles – Tooan State Park Advisory Committee voted against the proposal.
There are quite possibly some valid reasons why the walk concept was scuppered but it doesn’t avoid the main issue which is that Mt Arapiles still does not cater to walkers hoping to better experience one of the most amazing parks in the state. For those interested I have placed the Mt Arapiles Skyline Walk layout pages which were to have been included in our Daywalks Around Victoria guide. Remember that this walk does not officially exist and there are no signs nor obvious trail. This walk description is for record purposes only.
Check out the proposed layout which will now be removed from Daywalks Around Victoria: ARAPILES SKYLINE WALK PDF