Lerderderg Gorge

Lerderderg Gorge Road, Darley (Bacchus Marsh)

Lerderderg Gorge

Lerderderg Gorge Road, Darley (Bacchus Marsh)

Staff Pick
53 m
3.53 km

A very pleasant short walk through the native forest next to the Lerderderg River, from McKenzie's Flat to Graham's Dam. An excellent walk for children who like to explore.

Lerderderg Gorge

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A very pleasant short walk through the native forest next to the Lerderderg River, from McKenzie's Flat to Graham's Dam. An excellent walk for children who like to explore.


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This is a lovely short and generally easy walk through the gorge created by the Lerderderg River.

The walk is mostly through native forest along the river. This is great for kids because it's fairly short and there are lots of opportunities to explore around the river. However people of any age are likely to enjoy it. Allow at least an hour to walk to Graham's Dam and back.

The walk starts at McKenzie's Flat, with a picnic area next to the river. Facilities include car parking area, toilets, BBQ, picnic tables and a shelter with information signs.

The changes in the flow of the river between seasons are surprisingly big. In the winter and spring it is usually a substantial river but in the summer it can stop flowing and dry up entirely in places. If you arrive to find the river is dry at McKenzie's Flat don't be too disheartened - there may still be some very pleasant waterholes upstream in the forest, which also provides some shade as you walk. There may be some good spots for swimming even if the river is largely dry. However if you are looking for a scenic walk alongside a flowing river, winter or spring is the time to go.

The weather here is typically drier and sunnier than Melbourne, so this could be a good walk to do when the weather is not so great in the city. Check the forecast for Bacchus Marsh.

The walk is mostly flat and easy, but it does involve fixed artificial stepping stones across the river at two different points, so it is not suitable for prams, wheelchairs or people with limited mobility. Some of the stepping stones at the start of the walk were washed away in a storm around 2022, so you may need to wade through the stream there.

Please see some cautionary notes about Lerderderg State Park from Parks Victoria here and make sure you give yourself enough time to find your way back before night fall.

Things to note:
- Locations of the points of interest on this walk are approximate only.
- While DOGS are permitted on-leash in parts of Lerderderg state park, they are not permitted on this walk (dogs prohibited from conservation zones, MacKenzies Flat Picnic Area and on the walking track to Grahams Dam).

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Points of Interest

1. Stepping stones

The walk makes a fun start with some stepping stones across the river.

2. Main waterhole

Off the main path there is a steep dirt track down to the river, giving you views across the main waterhole back to McKenzie's Flat, and the rocks at the edge of the water (good for climbing).

3. Second crossing

You walk through some low shrubland and pretty quickly come to another set of stepping stones to cross the river again.

4. Forest

Once you've crossed the river again you find yourself in the forest.

5. The riverbed

At various points you can get down to the shallow riverbed, fun to explore.

6. Graham's Dam

Not really a dam, more a pile of rocks across the river (which don't stop it flowing) and a waterhole.

7. The other side

At various points you can get views to the hills on the other side of the river. The vegetation on the dry hills is quite different to the higher forest at the bottom of the gorge.

8. Rock passage

At a turn in the river the path becomes narrow as it goes around the edge of the escarpment. The path provides a passage through the rocks.

9. Waterhole

In this area there is a good waterhole for swimming. Look for the steep track down from the main path to the water.

10. Burnt tree

Not sure of the history of this tree, but another curiosity for the kids.

11. Trees

Make sure you look up every now and then to admire the trees as you walk through the forest

12. The river

Take a moment to admire the river as you cross it.

13. McKenzie's Flat

McKenzie's Flat is next to the river and makes a pretty good place for a picnic at the start or finish of your walk.


Picnic spot Picnic spot
Public toilets Public toilets
Nature trail Nature trail
Lake, creek, river Lake, creek, river