Bump & Grind Cycling Route Route Name: Graytown – Mt Black Quarry Loop Heathcote – Graytown National Park Start: Graytown Prisoner of War Camp Heathcote – Graytown Rd., Graytown 3608 Mode: Gravel, Mountain Bike, Hybrid, eBike Start / Finish locations: Graytown Historic Prisoner of War Camp Map: -36.815797, 144.949878 Difficulty: Intermediate Distance: 17km Elevation: Between 168 and 232m Topography: Gravelly, undulating hills, with some short steepish climbs Surfaces: Loose gravel, dirt, clay with patches of dust in summer and mud in winter, some short rough rocky sections. Ruts and erosion in places. Description and Features: The dirt tracks and roads through Heathcote – Graytown National Park Box Ironbark Forest are dirt and in regular use. Very dry and hot in summer and can be very cold in winter. Riding conditions vary with the seasons and over time. This ride passes significant historic sites and lookouts you may choose to explore along the way including: Graytown POW Camp, Cemetery and diggings, Mt Black, Mt Black Quarry and Melville’s Lookout. See the walking track links below. Riding conditions: Dirt tracks shared with occasional vehicles and motorbikes. Alternatives: 1. Start anywhere either direction. 2. You can choose to reduce or increase the distance. There are several dirt roads or tracks for various alternative routes. 3. Return via Surface Hill Rd and Graytown Cemetery Rd to avoid the 1.8km of Heathcote – Nagambie Rd bitumen. Clockwise Cues: Start Graytown Historic POW Camp East on the dirt track below and parallel with Heathcote – Nagambie Rd Left Graytown Cemetery Rd Left Surface Hill Rd Right Ballieston Rd Roght Mt Black Quarry Rd Right Tin Hut Track Right Heathcote – Nagambie Rd back to start. Amenities: Car parking Historic features Road and track signage Alternative routes Flora and fauna habitat Cautions: Open water Mine shafts Steep climbs Soft shoulders Rocks may fall Limbs may fall Embankments Uneven ground No potable water Slippery surfaces Subject to flooding Road surfaces vary Snakes may be active Beware of vehicle traffic Mobile reception may be unreliable Be mindful to keep within the Reserve Carry food, water, First Aid, be SunSmart Be equipped for self-reliant riding Restrictions No dogs No firearms No hunting No camping Take rubbish with you No rubbish dumping No firewood collection Do not remove soil or rock No theft of forest produce Historic relics are protected Native flora and fauna are protected Do not remove timber from standing trees No fires in the open Closed on days of total fire ban No 4WD or bike use of walking tracks Drivers/motorbike riders must: use formed roads only, be licensed, be registered Heathcote - Graytown National Park camping at Dargile (Heathcote-Graytown National Park) Camping & Picnic Ground, Plantation Track, Mt Camel 3523 Goulburn Broken Cycling #goulburnbrokencycling For some excellent walks along this cycling route check out the links below ..... VictoriaWalks Mt Black walk: https://walkingmaps.com.au/walk/4573 VictoriaWalks Melville's Lookout Walk: https://walkingmaps.com.au/walk/4513 VictoriaWalks POW Camp, Gold Diggings and Cemetery Walk, Graytown:https://walkingmaps.com.au/walk/4572
Melville’s Lookout Track
Distance, Grading and Cautions
|3 – 4 hours bushwalking|
|Alternative Recreational Uses|
|This is a good location for multi recreational use: bushwalking, mountain bikes, orienteering, rogaining and driving (on formed roads only)
Horse riding, motor bikes and 4WDs are only permitted on formed roads.
|Wildflowers in autumn and spring. Muddy tracks in winter. Very hot and dry in summer.|
|Grass trees are vulnerable to cinnamon fungus transfer: keep to formed roads and tracks.
Unauthorised tracks exist. Take care not to get lost!
No pets or firearms. No drones without a permit.
Rough ground, snakes, falling limbs, no potable water.
|Picnic tables and fire grates at the Lookout|
|Management and Support Groups|
Embark from and return to the carpark (of sorts) on the corner of Mt Black Quarry Rd and Heathcote Nagambie Rd., Wirrate.
The main part of the track comprises Mt Black Quarry Rd. This is a dirt vehicle track with very little traffic. Take care, loose stones can make the track slippery. The track rises gently for 3.6km, where it arrives at the base of a steep, rough foot trail that ascends directly to the Lookout (at 4.2km). This foot trail then joins the dirt vehicle track on the opposite side of the summit. This dirt vehicle track loops back to the base of the hill. If the initial steep foot trail ascent looks too daunting, keep walking along the road approximately 100 metres until you get to the Melville’s Lookout 2km directional sign pointing left. Follow this track up and back down for a less demanding walk.
To the right of the Melville’s Lookout sign you will see remains of the old Goulburn Weir quarry site. Rocks from this location were cut to build the Goulburn River Weir wall at Nagambie in 1890. This area invites exploring. Kids will love it for all the climbing and hiding places. It makes for excellent mountain biking as well.
- For a shorter walk, you can comfortably 2WD drive in on Mt Black Quarry Rd to the base of the Melville’s Lookout.
- A 4WD can take you all the way to the Lookout on the summit vehicle track, 2km from the Melville’s Lookout directional sign.
- Walking 800 metres further along Mt Black Quarry Rd brings you to a walking track on the right going up to the Mt Black summit.
- The nearest camping is permitted at Spring Creek or Dargile Camping and Picnic Grounds or the Whroo free camping area.
Topography and Geology
The National Park is composed of forested hills and gullies. The sand stone ridge lines are a result of folds in the earth’s crust. Look out for fossilised sea shells from the ancient sea bed.
This park comprises Victoria’s largest remaining box – ironbark forest, consisting of open woodland including ironbark, grey and yellow box and stringy bark. The understory features blackwood, gold dust wattle, silver wattle and drooping cassinia. Grass trees are numerous. Green rock fern is a common ground plant in milder months.
Wildflowers include grassland wood sorrel, shiny everlastings, tall bluebells and Nodding Greenhood orchids, with many more according to the season. Rare spider orchids may be also found.
Eastern Grey kangaroos and goannas may be encountered.
Threatened species you may be lucky enough to see are the tuan and swift parrot
White winged choughs love the ground layer and white throated tree creepers are commonly seen running up midstory trunks. Red and little wattle birds and parrots particularly enjoy the canopy when eucalypts are in flower. And, of course, cockatoos abound. If you keep your wits about you, there are plenty more birds to be seen.
Damage from 4WD and motorbikes is not as bad as elsewhere, but sadly some clowns will always take pleasure in littering and tearing such places up.
March flies can be a problem in Autumn.
Dargile (formerly Heathcote – Graytown) National Park.
Melville’s Lookout: Captain (Francis) Melville was a notorious goldrush era bushranger. After being transported to Australia at age 15 for housebreaking, he escaped Port Arthur to live with local aborigines for a year. He came to Victoria in 1851. Within a short time he had formed the Mt Macedon Gang that robbed travellers heading to and from the goldfields.