The sixth of our top ten Australian day walks, Cathedral Range is the highlight of the Yarra Ranges, including the love it or loathe it Razorback.
With farms on one side and cutesy Marysville on the other, there’s little to indicate that the Cathedral Range should be so rugged.With a ridge as narrow and treacherous as a fundamentalist’s mind, it’s the equal of any High Country walk, yet less than a two-hour drive from Melbourne.
Begin with a heart-starting scramble up the rocky slopes of Sugarloaf, rising to a view of the craggy ridge ahead (yes, it’s called Razorback). It’s a scene that will either inspire or defeat walkers.
For those who continue, it’s a slow and rocky traverse atop the knife-sharp ridgeline; 4km and umpteen hours later it finally flattens into the saddle known as Farmyard, where a trail turns down Jawbone Creek, returning to the valley.
If time and legs allow, detour to North Jawbone Peak for a final view (the post-coital cigarette, if you like) back along the route.
WHERE: Around 100km northeast of Melbourne.
WHY: For a heady mountain experience providing some of the finest ridge walking in the country and one of the surest places to see lyrebirds.
DON’T MISS: Spending some quiet time around the Farmyard, named for the lyrebirds that mimic livestock from the plains below.
GRADE: Though short on distance this is a taxing day out because of the difficulties of the rocky ridge and the scramble up the slopes of Sugarloaf.
MORE INFO: Marysville visitor centre (03) 5963 4567, www.marysvilletourism.com. Cathedral Range State Park, www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
6. Cathedral Range, VIC
10. Bluff Knoll, WA