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Razorback Spur – Lerderderg Gorge SP

Last Sunday Karen and I teamed up with friend Stuart Imer to check out yet another circuit walk in the Lerderderg State Park. Joining us were NZ couple Nic Learmonth and her partner Chris, who have just recently moved to Melbourne. Right now the river is flowing so it was a good opportunity to see just how difficult walking along the river was going to be in these conditions. Usually, when the river is dry, walking down the middle of the riverbed is fairly straightforward. We followed Razorback Track down into the gorge and was surprised to discover that it is possibly the easiest and most enjoyable access spur into what is regarded as the most remote central section of the gorge. Walking down the river was also easier than I expected as good foot pads existed along the rivers occasionally vegetated banks. Rocky bluffs forced us to cross and recross the river at least a dozen times but it was all very manageable (and a lot of fun). The only drawback was the gorse, a prickly introduced bush which has unfortunately invaded the length of the gorge. A gourmet lunch at McKenzies Campsite was followed by another hour walking downstream. At Ah Kow Ruin we left the river and climbed up the very steep Ah Kow Track. It was a big climb – a direct contrast to the gentle Razorback Track. Eventually we reached Blackwood Ranges Track on top of the range, crossed under Mt Blackwood and made our way up to its grassy summit area. We soaked up the last views of the day and walked on down Mt Blackwood Road back to our car at the start of Square Bottle Track.  My GPS indicated a total distance of 13.5km.

Stuart, Chris, Karen and Nic making our way down the Lerderderg River
Stuart, Chris, Karen and Nic making our way down the Lerderderg River

5 thoughts on “Razorback Spur – Lerderderg Gorge SP

  1. hey i was just woundering if this would be a good trck for scout to hike along ?

  2. The walk is rated as difficult as there is considerable walking off-trail following the river. If the river is flowing you will be wading. If the river is not flowing and it is wet, the going can still be treacherous. Locating the point where you climb back out of the gorge can also be tricky and is easily missed. I’d walk it first and check it out. It is, however, an excellent walk. Probably one of the best in the gorge.

  3. Hey, just wondering where the Ah Kow Ruin might be, and what exactly it is. I do like to explore this area on foot a lot and I’m quite interested to know if its anything significant, or just a name. I also thought that the Ah Kow track was considerably north of MacKenzie’s Flat, and hence upstream, but it says you lunched at the Flat and walked downstream to Ah Kow. Unless I’m confused and MacKenzies campsite is a different place to MacKenzies Flat?
    Stanley J. Gibbons

  4. Hi Stanley. Ah Kow ruin (not much of a ruin now, just a nice grassy flat and a fireplace) is located exactly 1.6km downstream of where McKenzie Track reaches the river at this grid coordinate: 55 H 268995 5840541. There is a nice camping place here. McKenzie Track should not be confused with Mackenzie Flat which is many kilometers to the south at the main southern entrance to the gorge. I suspect that McKenzie (as it is spelt on the Meridian map) should probably be spelt Mackenzie. Just one of those little confusing things. Hope this helps.

  5. Aah, yeah, I see now. I though you meant Mackenzie Flat and I really had no idea how there could be anything downstream of it….thanks for clearing that up. Pity about the ruin though, I was looking forward to checking it out. It sounded so mysterious….

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