30 March 2013

Beeripmo Wallk

Walk type:  Pack carry and Circuit
Duration: 2 days;  Length: 17km.  Side trip to Mt Buangor not included.
Info from DSE: Beeripmo Camp to Mt Buangor Lookout: 5.4km, 3hrs
Closest town: Beaufort (19km)
Grade: Easy - Medium.  Total climbing: 700m
No permits required
Notes and Maps: DSE and Chapman's "Bushwalking in Australia", p. 226-233
GPS:  My hiking route overlaid on the "Topo Memory-Map"
 DSE's walk map 

The walk starts at Richards Camp, which is located in Mt Buangor State Park, and is 19 km from Beaufort, and is about 2 hrs drive from Melbourne.  The facilities at Richard Camp include: a day shelter, two water tanks, and two long-drop toilets.  There is a little foot bridge which links the car park to the campground
My car camping tent at Richards Camp

The main walking track signpost is located on the left of the steps up to the two toilets, and the Beeripmo Walk signpost shows 17km length and two days duration.  The walk can be done in either direction and I did the walk clockwise.

On day one, I followed the Beeripmo Walk signpost, starting up hill on a wide track (old vehicle track) about 25 m until an old carpark was reached.  The Grevillea Track on the right side of the carpark was the return track for the next day.  On the other side of the carpark was the start of the Beeripmo track.

The start of the Beeripmo Walk in a clockwise direction

The track climbed steadily southwest through an open forest with fern trees and many large granite boulders and it took me about 20 minutes to get to the Raglan Falls.  A short side trip was made to get to the base of these falls. 

A trickle of water at Raglan Falls

I continued climbing for five minutes to reach Rob Falls, a small cascade, where I stopped for photos and cake, with views down the gully.

Up and through the forest

Rob Falls
The track then turns south and climbs gently, crossing Camp Road after over 1km, then another 800 m southwest to the crossing at Mt Cole Road.  The forest starts to become more open and there are views of Mt Cole through the trees when the track swings around to the west.  On the climb up Cave Hill, I wandered off track a little bit to fully enjoy the views of Langi Ghiran and the Grampians.

 Mt Langi Ghiran from a distance

View from the main track 

Leaving Cave Hill, the track swings southwest, south, then southwest again, gently down about 200m, to reach an intersection which provides opportunities for a side trip to Ferntree Waterfalls.
One of the Beeripmo Walk signposts along the trail

Views to the west

 Mt Langi Ghiran, Western plains, and The Grampians

I continued north.  The track climbs steadily for about half of kilometre, to reach the base of Mt Sugarloaf, then zigzags up.  It was an amazing experience to look up to the cliffs and rock outcrops above meHere, I met another party of four and learnt about Mugwamp Camp, which was accessible to motor-bikes and cars, unlike Beeripmo Camp, which is a walk-in camp.

 Cliffs and rock outcrop view from the foot pad up Mt Sugarloaf

The highest point of Mt Sugarloaf (934m) was marked with a cairn, and the lookout is about 50m to the southwest.  
View from Sugarloaf Lookout

After enjoying the views and taking photos, I continued west about 40m to a track junction.  The track to the left provides opportunities for side trip to Ferntree Waterfalls, which is about 2km to the southwest.  Keep to the right track, heading north down the track about 150m to reach the Firebreak Track with a signpost, that shows 500m to Beeripmo Camp. 

This camp provides facilities including two long drop toilets, one water tank, and three main campsites with fire rings and seats.  When I arrived there, the two largest campsites were occupied.  Because it was raining lightly outside, I cooked and had dinner in the tent and was surprised to see those who had been ahead of me, arriving.  They told me that they had been lost.  They had taken the Sugarloaf Circuit Track.

 A misty and damp evening at Beeripmo Walk-in Camp 

I retired early and slept quite well that night because I had had very little sleep the night before.  It rained all night and all morning, so, I was not in a hurry to leave because today’s walk would take only about four hours to get back to Richards Camp.  Two groups had left and I was the third party to leave.  After having a look around at the other campsites and saying good bye to my neighbours, I set off.  

I continued along the wide Firebreak Track for about one km to reach Freemans Track, that provides access to the Ferntree Waterfalls.  I crossed the Freemans Track to continue on the main track, which became a foot pad, which was overgrown and covered with ferns.  The views in mist this morning was fantastic, so, I had a few photo stops

 Lovely view in the mist at noon

 An over-grown part of the Beeripmo Track

The track gently climbed north for 150m, and then turned sharply southwest for another 150m to a lookout.  Leaving the lookout, the track swung northeast around a knoll and then northwest about 100m to reach a track junction, which is the side trip to Mt Buangor (987m).  It was a misty early afternoon, so, I did not bother with the side trip.  I continued on the main track, heading northeast for about 100m to reach a track junction with a signpost which shows 200m to Mugwamp Camp.  I had been to this camp before, so, I kept moving onto Dawsons Rock, for lunch.  There was very limited view up there, apart from the Mugwamp Camp hut in the distance.   

After leaving the rock, the track descended steadily through forest, heading NNW down for about 650m to reach Mt Cole Road.  Then, the track turned east about 30m to meet an old vehicle track, where I took the right turn and followed the Long Gully northeast, gently down over 2km with good views of the ferns along the gully.

 Ferns in the Long Gully

The track then leaves the Long Gully and heads southeast across open steep slops.  It descends steadily through forest until it swings northeast to meet the Grevillea Track signpost, which shows 700m to Richards Camp.

Steep gullies with the tall eucalypts 

The track from the Grevillea Track to the Richards Camp is an easy walk through an open heathy forest.  

To sum up, it is a great overnight walk with a great walk-in campground.  The track is well-cut with foot tracks and markers.  In addition, it takes a short drive to get there.  Below is the GPS route, which is overlaid on the "Topo Memory-Map."