Beeripmo Walk // Mt Cole State Forest (VIC)

The Beeripmo Walk is named for the local Beeripmo balug Aboriginals, who refer to their home as “Beereep-Beereep”, which means “wild mount”. It sure is a wilderness, with bush and wildlife galore. Our Explorer Chris Paola has the lowdown on this simple yet satisfying Melbourne microadventure. 


Highlights

  • An excellent overnight walk for beginners and experienced walkers
  • Stunning views of Mt Langi Ghiran and The Grampians
  • Close enough to Melbourne for a weekend, far enough away to enjoy the isolation

The Beeripmo Walk

It was my last day of work before two weeks off and I was trying to figure out how to fill my time. There were things that needed to be taken care of at home, but there was a strong call beckoning me to head to the bush.

There was an urge to head somewhere new, but I was low on inspiration and at serious risk of burning the first week of my time off running errands and battling soccer mums in shopping centre car parks.

Cue a post in the We Are Explorers Victoria Facebook group from fellow explorer and veteran of seven Beeripmo walks, Sam. A few messages back and forth and I was locked in for my first overnight hike in a long time, in an area I’d never visited and with a guy I’d never met. Talk about embracing the new!

Richards Campground

A few days later I rolled into Richards Campground and met up with Sam. We were out on the trail in no time, chatting away and absorbing everything that the beautiful spring day threw at us.

The Beeripmo walk is often touted as an excellent walk for beginners and kids alike but don’t let that fool you. The first few kilometres are a slap in the face, as you ascend towards the undulating plateau that forms the bulk of the walk.

Day One

The first day of this hike offers stunning views of Mt Langi Ghiran and The Grampians punctuated by moss-covered granite slabs that deserve their own postcode. That said, the highlight for the day was the detour down to Bukertillible Cave. It’s a tough little track but well worth the effort.

Beeripmo Walk // Mt Cole State Forest (VIC) Chris Paola sugarloaf lookout, mountains, treetops

After pausing at the Sugarloaf Lookout we pushed on to the Beeripmo Campground, a well established campsite complete with tank water and drop toilets. Being midweek we had our pick of the spots and settled in for a night around the fire before a soupy mist enveloped us.

Day Two

We agreed to start day two off early, with a goal of catching the sunrise from one of the nearby hillsides. We broke camp around 6am and the day did not disappoint. After twenty minutes of hiking we settled in to enjoy the show of crimson and purple splashed across the Victorian sky. An inversion in the valley below topped off an amazing view that made the early start well worth the effort.

This second day of our hike expanded on the themes of the first, with quintessential Australian bush surrounding the path and wildlife seemingly popping up at every corner. We called in at Mugwamp Hut and soaked up the bush ambience of the alternative camping site.

Beeripmo Walk // Mt Cole State Forest (VIC) Chris Paola grass, trees, mugwamp hut campground, shack

Descending along the ridge of a valley carved out by a burbling creek, the granite slabs gave way to boulders and fallen trees that lay across the trail. One in particular required a scramble up a steep embankment to get around it, while the next series required an over-and-under approach.

Before we knew it we were back at Richards Campground, shaking hands and promising to meet up for further adventures. As I rolled back through rural Victoria to my inner-suburban life, I promised myself that I would continue to embrace as much of the new that is thrown my way as I can.

Essential Gear

  • Standard overnight hike kit including a tent and sleeping set up, food, stove, water, first aid kit, map and appropriate clothing.
  • Water – There is a rainwater tank at Beeripmo campground, but there are no guarantees it will be full. Two to three litres would be a good starting point, more in summer.
  • One or two walking poles – It’s your call but the steep start to the walk and some of the side trips become a lot easier with poles.

How To Get There

The walk starts and finishes at Richards Campground in Mt Cole State Forest. It’s about 220km from Melbourne, with Ballarat being the closest major town for last minute supplies.

Activities

The Beeripmo walk is the main attraction in the area, with numerous side hikes available to Bukertillible Cave, Mt Buangor and Ferntree Falls. Wildlife is common throughout the walk, with Kangaroos, Wallabies, Kookaburras and Cockatoos all common sights.

Skill Level

This walk not difficult, but calls for a moderate level of fitness and enough knowledge to be self sufficient in semi-remote areas. The walk down to Bukertillible Cave becomes steeper and more technical than the main loop and is easier without big packs. For emergencies, phone coverage is good across the trail.

Distance/Duration

Depending on side trips, the walk can vary from 17-22kms. We spent five to six hours hiking on day one, which included the majority of climbing for the walk. Day two from Beeripmo Campground went by very quickly and we were done in around four hours with generous stops for breakfast and the Mugwamp Hut visit.

 


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