Wander through some of Australia’s beautiful temperate rainforest to the wondrous alpine wonderland of Mushroom Rocks.
- Towering granite boulders shaped like mushrooms
- Amazing trees
- Birds including Eastern Whipbirds
- Hike some of the Australian Alps Walking Track
- Snow, if you’re lucky!
Seeking out Mushroom Rocks
With a work trip to Gippsland on the agenda, I wanted to squeeze in an adventure on my way across from Melbourne. Checking the weather forecasts I was delighted to find that it had been snowing in the alpine areas!
Equipped with only a small hire car, it sounded risky to head too far up into the mountains, so I chose somewhere not too far from the main highway to explore.
Starting in Melbourne, I went through the town of Moe, up towards Erica and followed the signs to Mount Erica car park. The track to the car park is unsealed and bumpy but my little car made it up easily. This is still a designated road, so no hire car rules broken here, as long as you’ve read the fine print about unsealed roads!
Being from Western Australia; where to see snow you need to head to the hills before the roosters crow, battle the hordes and hike for hours just to see some icing sugar on the rocks, I was ecstatic to see snow from the car! I was grinning like a little kid all the way to the car park! I jumped out of the car, threw on my backpack and trudged up the sloshy path towards Mushroom Rocks.
The Gunaikurnai people of the Wurundjeri language group are the traditional custodians of the area, so tread lightly and respect the significance of the area. Places like Mushroom Rocks would have been used as shelter and meeting places for the Brayakaulung clan for thousands of years.
I admired the huge tree ferns and towering timbers on my way up through the temperate rainforest, and heard the call of the Eastern Whipbird loudly announce itself in the silence.
The change from rainforest to alpine vegetation was like a line in the sand. Snow gums protected me from the drizzle that was beginning to set in over the mountains. Granite boulders began to border the track as did the cold white stuff on the ground. The Mushroom Rocks are impossible to miss! You know you’re there when you become surrounded by immense tors of interesting shapes! I scampered around in the snow for a good hour. This place was incredible and the snow just made it even more magical.
- Waterproof footwear if it’s been snowing
- Water and snacks
- Binoculars to spot whipbirds
- Camera and wide-angle lens
How to Get There
The walk begins at Mount Erica car park, 183km or 2 hours 50 minutes from Melbourne.
- Frolicking in the snow!
Distance Covered/Time Taken
3km/ 2 hours return at a casual pace. Give yourself extra time for exploring around the rocks.