A note from Ben: Thanks for your patience everybody, We’re back again with another Guest post, Sam is a young adventurer that showed great interest in my site, and has been very patient with me and my sporadic upload schedule. Thanks for your continued patience readers and Sam alike! So in the usual form, here is a short introduction followed by the post!
Langi Ghiran is a mountain 14 kilometres east of Ararat in Victoria, Australia, and is home to the Djab Wurrung people who have lived on this land for tens of thousands of years. Major Thomas Mitchell climbed Mt Langi Ghiran during his 1836 ‘Australia Felix’ expedition. Langi Ghiran (Lar-Ne-Jeering) is Djab Wurrung language meaning ‘home of the Black Cockatoo’.
It was 12:00 when we set out, later than planned, so instead of starting from Langi Ghiran Camground, Dad and I got dropped off outside the Langi Ghiran reservoir, so we could walk the short distance to the start of Easter Creek Track, the start of our climb.
Easter Creek Track rises slowly but consistently, with a few steep pinches. Beware of loose sand on the granite, because it makes it slippery in places. After following Easter Creek Track for around 4 km we found a cairn to the left of the track that indicated a trail to the summit. The trail is just a footpad that is barely visible through the dense undergrowth, and after walking a very short distance, you get to an old campsite and from there the trail seems to disappear.
To get to the summit from here we had to work our way through large granite boulders and push through thick scrub. In sections it required some pack hauling, and walking poles were of no use, because we needed hands and knees to clamber up steep rocky outcrops. After scrambling around for what seemed like an eternity, we finally stood upon the highest boulder, at an altitude of 950 metres. The weather was clear and the summit provided good views of the Challicum Hills wind farm and the Grampians to the West as Wedge-Tailed Eagles circled the sky above. After a few minutes, we headed down out of the wind and found a nice spot to boil some water on the Trangia for lunch and a cuppa.
After lunch we shouldered the packs again and navigated back to the cairn on Easter Creek Track. Our plan was to walk until Easter Creek Track ran out and find our way through the bush to a place called Hidden Lagoon from there. The track was taking us further from our goal so we decided to head cross country. The going was tough and we had to push through 5-foot tall sword-grass hiding sharp rocks and slippery logs beneath and Dad lost his footing multiple times. After about a kilometre, we noticed a clearing ahead of us that looked like a meteor crater. It was Hidden Lagoon and it was full after recent rains. This is where we were to camp overnight.
We found a clear spot by the lagoon but soon we were being eaten alive by Mosquitoes and there were lots of Leeches in the area so we kept moving and eventually came across a nice spot to pitch our tents next to Lagoon Track. We finished pitching our tents and started organising a freeze-dried meal for tea. We took advantage of a hole supposedly made by a Wild Pig, to make a small campfire and we kept ourselves entertained until 9:00 by keeping the fire alive and then it was time to hit the sack.
I awoke at 6:00 to find the campsite full of fog, and barely any condensation on the inside of my tent (both pleasant surprises). I got breakfast cooking on the Trangia, Uncle Toby’s oats for me and VitaBrits for Dad. After breakfast we took down our tents, packed up all our gear and put out the fire. We were on the move by 8:01. We walked along Lagoon Track for a couple of kilometres and saw some of the largest Kangaroos we had ever seen. One Kangaroo (perhaps the largest of them all), just stood there and eyed us off as we rounded a bend.
We arrived at an intersection where Lagoon Track and Link Track meet and battled our way through the vegetation and towards Mount Gorrin from there. There are no tracks on Mount Gorrin. Dad had studied the contours on a topographic map to allow us to assault Mount Gorrin where it’s least steep, but that didn’t make navigating around large boulders and tors any easier and we had to fight impenetrable undergrowth. We soon picked up a Kangaroo trail that would lead us in the right direction so we followed it up the mountain until it ran out, not far from the summit, but with many boulders to traverse.
We trudged around the obstacles until we got to a boulder that was far too steep to climb with full packs (about 15 kilograms in each) and there was no way around it. We made the decision to leave our packs there to allow us to clamber up the boulder and continue upwards. It wasn’t far to the summit but Dad was concerned that we wouldn’t be able to relocate our packs so he waited within sight of the packs while I continued up to the summit alone. From the summit there was a beautiful view of Langi Ghiran in the mist and I was so dazzled by the sight that I forgot to take a photo, something I regret now.
I found my way back to Dad and I took over pack-watching duty while he went up for his moment on the summit. As I stood there I was dumbfounded by the beauty of the landscape around me and I felt like I was the only person on earth.
Soon Dad and I found our packs again and searched around in circles for the Kangaroo trail that we had followed earlier. After five or so minutes, we found it again, and began to descend the mountain. Halfway down, my shoulders needed a rest and I was hungry, so we had lunch, despite it being far too early. We fried pita bread on the Trangia frypan and spread cream cheese over it, which made for a tasty meal.
We strapped on our packs and walked off Mount Gorrin to a smaller neighbouring peak that is nameless. We were halfway down a ridge when we noticed a track a couple of kilometres away on ground level. We soon found a game trail that we think was either Pig or Deer, judging by the hoof-prints in the mud. We slogged down the mountain and finally stumbled upon the track that we had seen from the mountain, Langi Ghiran Track, a rather flat track designed for 2WD so it was well formed. It went on for a couple of kilometres before we reached the end of our walk, the Western Highway, where we were greeted by our car and the rest of the family.
Langi Ghiran is a beautiful state park that not many people know about. It is a ‘hidden gem’ that provides many beautiful and wild walks for those who are lucky enough to visit this amazing area.
Notes: Day 1- 7 km, Day 2- 8.7 km, Total= 15.7 km. There is no water at Langi Ghiran, byo water (Hidden Lagoon water clear but not flowing, unsafe to drink except maybe when treated). Off track walking is permitted in the park. Take a GPS, but also a map and compass (never rely completely on a GPS). Walk is not a circuit, requires car shuffling or pick up at end of walk.