Leanganook Track

CASTLEMAINE TO BENDIGO (61km)

Leanganook is the Aboriginal name for the 746m high Mt Alexander overlooking Castlemaine. Its spectacular summit is only passable by walkers. Bike riders deviate north via Harcourt around the base of Mt Alexander, rejoining the shared use track at the Coliban Channel.


The Leanganook Track completes the Goldfields Track’s linkage of central Victoria’s three ‘golden’ cities – Castlemaine, Bendigo and Ballarat.

Heritage abounds in the first section from the Castlemaine Railway Station through intact streetscapes to the mining artefacts of Australia’s first cultural national heritage park. Highlights are a gold rush era cemetery, the massive foundations for the giant Garfield water wheel and the ruins of the Welsh village and its slate quarry. Bikers can visit the Harcourt Mountain Bike Park on the west flank of Leanganook, with its 34km of purpose-built trails.

After going under the Calder Freeway, the walkers-only track heads up through impressive granite tors, skirting the western flank of the Mt Alexander Range, before dropping through mature box woodland to join the Coliban Water main channel, constructed in the 1870s.

The shared use track follows this heritage-protected, engineering gem for 20km through boulder-riddled hilly farmland and forest to the Sandhurst Reservoir. In the final section through forest dominated by the black-fissured trunks of ironbark, a pleasant surprise awaits travellers during spring and summer. Wildflowers and orchids of many hues and varieties line the singletrack from Diamond Hill to the Salomon Gully Flora Reserve on the outskirts of Bendigo.

The Leanganook Track is broken into four Walks/Rides starting from the south and heading north – see panels on the left for the features and photo galleries of each of these.

A downloadable gpx file of the Leanganook Track Walk is freely available by clicking here.

A downloadable gpx file of the Leanganook Track Ride is freely available by clicking here.

Refer maps 24b - 34 of the Goldfields Track Walk or Ride Guide

RRP $29.99 (inc. P&H)

NEW GUIDEBOOK NOW AVAILABLE

But while the downloadables are great, to ensure you are on track, and to fully experience the area, seriously consider purchasing a printed map or Guidebook. You can do research before you head off by purchasing a copy of the Goldfields Track Guidebook.

The Guide does more than just show you the way, it includes informative essays and information on the area’s flora, fauna, cultural and natural history to be discovered along the track. It is highly recommended for anyone exploring the Goldfields Track.


Click here to visit the GDTA’s online shop for the walker’s only individual maps.

Leanganook Track Elevation

Start on the Heritage Park Walk/Ride at the railway station and head through Castlemaine’s suburbs to follow track beside Forest Crk. Leave creek and climb steeply past Manchester Reef to the imposing foundations of the Garfield Water Wheel. Rocky track beyond to the ridgetop that you follow to the ruins and abandoned slate quarries of the Welsh village. Serious climb up sandy road next to Expedition Pass Reservoir. Down to specimen Gully Rd where bikers ands walkers separate. Bike riders take a long loop around the base of Mt Alexander. Walkers regain height lost then drop down to go through an underpass beneath the Calder Freeway.

For walkers only, the Leanganook Summit Walk climbs steadily through giant granite tors, skirting the western flank of the Mt Alexander Range, before dropping steeply through mature box woodland to join bike riders at the Coliban Water main channel.

The Coliban Water Walk/Ride follows the undulating shared use track next to the channel. The journey is punctuated at regular intervals by heritage-listed tunnels and artificial waterfalls. From Springs Rd, a flat section next to the channel takes you to a camping ground and the track’s only purpose-built rainwater tank for walkers and riders. More flat, winding track next to the channel lies ahead of you in the final push to Sandhurst Reservoir.

The Bendigo Goldfields Walk/Ride starts with a climb leading you away from the Coliban Channel. It introduces you to forest dominated by the black-fissured trunks of ironbark. There’s a mix of singletrack and 4WD track on the way to Diamond Hill.  From here, the sandy shared use track is lined by wildflowers during spring and summer. After an abrupt descent on bitumen, wind on singletrack through the Salomon Gully Flora Reserve, then watch out for the blue Goldfields Track street signs that will lead you through suburban streets to the Bendigo railway station.

What you can expect to see