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Mt St Gwinear to Rock Shelter

Updated: Apr 7, 2019


Distance: 8kms

Time: 3 hours (that’s including stopping twice at the summit and taking heaps of photos)

Difficulty: Moderate

Toilets: Yes - Drop Toilets

Pram Friendly: No

Pet Friendly: No


The beauty of this place is there are so many options to do lots of different walks, you can make your walk as short or long as you like. You can do just Mt St Gwinear & back which is around 6km return, and if you want a really long walk you can walk to Baw Baw village which is around 18km return. There’s heaps of options, which is why I love this place, it’s like a hiker’s playground.



So, this is my first really big hike back from surgery and although I was very tired after it, it was the best feeling. Climbing St Gwinear is one of my favourite hikes around here, I think this is my 4th time hiking it. It takes us about an hour to get to St Gwinear carpark from Newborough. *Note* there are toilet facilities on site. We started walking at about 9:30am. You have 2 options of walking up to the summit, 1 is the walking trail and the second is the ski run. I personally like to walk on the walking trail rather than the ski run straight away. I like the feeling of the little trail and it’s a very pretty part of the walk too. The walking trail is about 2kms long until it joins up with the bigger ski run.


To the left is the walking track (near the park bench) and to the right is the ski run.


The track starts out with a moderate climb, not too hard but enough to get the blood pumping. About half way through the climb you reach a little bridge, which is a lovely little spot for a rest. After that you climb through some lovely lush vegetation as the trail gradually winds up. You will reach a sign at the end of this trail saying, 'no walkers past this point' but obviously that's in the snow season, at this intersection you are only 1km from the summit. It’s a very pleasant walk up to the summit, it’s not all uphill climbing, it seems to climb then plateau out, which makes for some nice walking. Also look out towards the right-hand side you'll see some pretty views, through the trees, on the way up to the summit.



It took us about 45 mins to reach the summit. We were going on the slower side as neither of us had been on a real hike in some time, but I’d rather go slow and enjoy myself. Once you get to the top you have some amazing views of some surrounding mountains and you can even see parts of the Thompson Dam. We did sit at the top for a while taking photos and eating our snacks and on the way back we stopped again to have our lunch.

On the other side of the peak, you travel downhill directly after the summit, this one is a bit of a climb coming back up but it’s really the only hard part on your way back to St Gwinear. The track winds around into a big open gully where you have heaps of open space and a little creek that flows through, walking on a board walk adds a little something different to the walk. Not long after that you reach the rock shelter. This is where the track meets the Australian Alps Walking Track which leads to Baw Baw, which is 5km’s away from this point.


This is such a beautiful walk, with a diverse range of vegetation, I highly suggest people give it a go. Especially in summer there’s heaps of wildlife around, we saw a wallaby, butterflies, lizards and heaps of flowers out in bloom (no snakes seen – thank goodness).



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The Gippy Explorer enjoying the sights and discovering what the Gippsland region has to offer.