This walk combines interesting history with natural beauty in the Brisbane Ranges National Park.
The Anakie Gorge is steep and rocky, making for picturesque views with dry forest and high escarpments. However the path itself, following a stream bed along the valley floor, is not particularly hilly. There are a number of short rock hopper crossings of the streambed and regular seating along the walk.
Signs along the walk provide information on the geology and history. This dates back to the 1870s and 1880s, when the Lower Stony Creek Reservoir was constructed along with a pipeline through the gorge, to carry drinking water to Geelong. Some of the works are quite impressive given their age.
The Brisbane Ranges are quite dry compared to Melbourne, so the ecology is different to walking in the Dandenongs or the Otways, for example. We didn't see a lot of wildlife when we visited, but there is apparently plenty around, including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, sugar gliders and echidnas (we did meet him).
The walk starts and finishes at the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area, but it also passes through the Stony Creek Picnic Area, so there are plenty of options to take a break. The walk is 8km return (4 km to the Reservoir, 4 km back) - you could probably do it in 2 hours but we suggest allowing 3 hours.
- Dogs, cats and firearms are not permitted in the park.
- If you are up for a slightly longer and considerably steeper walk, you can get some great views on the 8.3km, 3 hour Tedd Errey Nature Circuit, which is a loop incorporating the Anakie Gorge walk.
The path follows an old weir across the streambed.
You get some beautiful views up the valley at times.
There's a little bit of an uphill climb, but it's not too bad.
With the dry, rocky landscape you catch the occasional glimpse of a grass tree.
We didn't see a lot of wildlife on this walk, but we did come across this echidna next to the path.
The stream was mostly dry at the time of our visit, but there was still the odd pool, providing the pleasant sound of Pobblebonk Frogs calling.
Completed in 1874, this historic reservoir supplied water to Geelong for more than 120 years until it was decommissioned in 2001.
Keep an eye out for the little things - these new gum leaves made a surprising contrast to the older ones.
The Anakie Gorge picnic ground is a pleasant place to stop at the start or finish of the walk. Facilities include toilets, a shelter, picnic tables and both wood and gas BBQs.