Den of Nargun, Mitchell River National Park, East Gippsland

Den of Nargun Picnic Area, Wallers Road

Den of Nargun, Mitchell River National Park, East Gippsland

Den of Nargun Picnic Area, Wallers Road

Staff Pick
1 h 20 m
3.79 km
Intermediate

Tradition has it that the Nargun lives here, a fierce being, half human and half stone. The Gunaikurnai people ask you to respect this special place by admiring the cave from a distance.

Den of Nargun, Mitchell River National Park, East Gippsland

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Summary

Tradition has it that the Nargun lives here, a fierce being, half human and half stone. The Gunaikurnai people ask you to respect this special place by admiring the cave from a distance.

Description

The Mitchell River National Park is 300km from Melbourne. This walk starts from the Den of Nargun picnic area, and takes you down the gorge to the rainforest gully.

It's a fantastic adventure for children and adults alike, although it requires some fitness and high mobility.

You'll have little idea what to expect as you enter the car park and picnic area as the bush here is dry, so the description of this as a rainforest walk seems mistaken! However, the Mitchel River National Park is Warm Temperate Rainforest, and almost the southernmost occurrence of this forest type in the world.

The decent down to the gully and the breathtaking Den of Nargun itself is steep in parts, twisted and rocky! Once you're down in the gully the change is amazing - cooler and moist. The walls of the gorge shelter the plants, preventing them from drying out, and ultimately from fire.

Follow the signs to the awe-inspiring caves. Take your time sitting by the Den, reflecting on what this place has meant over centuries to the Gunaikurnai as you listen to the drip, drip of water.

Please respect this beautiful place, one stop on the Bataluk Cultural Trail , which explores Gunaikurnai Aboriginal history and culture. Do not enter the cave.

The walk then continues down Woolshed Creek and features a small detour to another culturally significant site, Dedcock Den. The Bluff Lookout with views of the Mitchell River Gorge near the end of the walk is also spectacular.

Please note, dogs are not permitted on any part of this walk, or in the National Park area.

This walking map was created for East Gippsland Shire Council with support from VicHealth.

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Points of Interest

1. Toilets

Just off the car park you will find the only toilets on the walk, so make use! They are nothing fancy, but spacious and airy.

2. Track starts

There is a sheltered BBQ and picnic area just beyond this sign.

3. Windy, stone steps steep

The descent down to the gully is scenic, but steep and rocky in parts. Take care of knees and ankles.

4. Turning point

When you get down to the gully and creek head left. Isn't the change in atmosphere and temperature amazing? The Mitchell River National Park has the southernmost occurrence of dry rain forest.

5. Mossy creek bed

Cool - pick your way over the large moss-covered rocks and slate. It certainly feels as though fairy spirits and Nargun creatures are present!

6. The Den of Nargun

What a beautiful place. Read the back story at the signage on the track about 80 metres before you get to this special spot.

Find out more

7. Cross the creek

Keep a look out for the signs. You may pass some walkers doing the much longer Angusvale walk. You'll find some metal stairs to climb just beyond here.

8. Good walking

This is a beautiful section of the track as you near the mighty Mitchell River.

9. Turn point Angusvale or carpark

Continue on the track back towards the car park.

10. River access

Dip?

11. Confusing sign

Though not clear, you can take a detour here to see culturally significant site, Deadcock Den. Take the right path, then head back here to continue the main walk to the Car Park via Bluff Lookout.

12. Deadcock Den

Deadcock Den is another very special place to the women See park Notes.

13. Another river access point off here

Turn left for a look at the Mitchell River, or continue.

14. Steep!

The track here starts to go up, up. But it was worth it, right?

15. Take a break

There is a seat up the top of the steep section of stairs, just beyond the large rock, so you may want to take a well-earned break.

16. Bluff Lookout

You'll get a great overview of the Mitchell River Gorge from here.

17. Almost back

The path mainly flat and level for the rest of the walk, and we loved these lovely Lomandra grasses bordering the track.

18. The end!

You made it back, without being eaten by the Nargun. Well done!

19. Overview map of area

This is Parks Victoria's overview map of the Mitchell River National Park. Find a link to its visitor guide / park notes PDF at the page below (Find out More).

Find out more


Features

Picnic Spot Picnic Spot
Seating Available Seating Available
Public toilets Public toilets
Historical Interest Historical Interest
Local Treasures Local Treasures
Nature trail Nature trail
Lake, creek, river Lake, creek, river