Easy bush walk from the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area to the Lower Stoney Creek Reservoir
The Anakie Gorge Walk is a nice and easy stroll along the dried-up Stoney Creek in the Brisbane Ranges National Park.
The walk begins at the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area and weaves along the creek bed to the Stoney Creek Picnic Area, then over to the base of the Lower Stoney Creek Reservoir dam. It’s a touch over 3kms from the picnic area to picnic area, then less than a kilometre to the dam. The hiking trail then returns the same way, back to the car park at the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area.
You’ll enter the gorge just as you leave the first picnic area, then it’s pretty much flat the entire way out to the dam and back. If you’re quiet and a little bit lucky, there’s plenty of wildlife to see, including a large population of Koalas, Kangaroos, Wallabies, Echidnas, Lizards and Sugar Gliders.
Along the way, you’ll come across some old tunnels that were built in the 1870’s and 80’s to get water from the reservoir all the way over to Geelong.
The Anakie Gorge Walk is a nice and relaxing bush walk, but there’s no main highlight or vantage point on the trail. However, if you’re fit, have a bit more time and want to see some great views of the Brisbane Ranges, including the rolling Eucalyptus covered hills, ancient grass plants and rich red soil, then instead of following the same trail back, once you get to the Stoney Creek Picnic Area, take the Ted Errey Nature Circuit that goes up on top of the hills and loops back around to the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area, where you would have parked.
Watch us hike the Anakie Gorge Walk, then loop back around via the Ted Errey Circuit
The entire walk is very easy. From the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area, you’ll follow the Stoney Creek pretty much the entire way, although don’t be surprised if you see little or no water, as the trail leads to the dam that stops the flow of the creek, alongside the Brisbane Ranges being a dry place, so it’s not often that rainfall will fill up the creek.
If you’re just walking from the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area to the dam and back, it’s just a stroll in the park, but to makes things a fair bit harder, you can instead loop around back to the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area via the Ted Errey Nature Circuit which goes up and over the hills. It’s not overly difficult, but very steep in some places. Once you’re on top of the hills, your greeted with some of the best sites and vantages points of the entire Brisbane Ranges. We definitely suggest doing the full loop, if it’s within your abilities.
From the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area to the Stoney Creek Picnic Area, it’s a little bit over 3 kms, then a further 600 metres or so to the base of the Lower Stoney Creek Reservoir dam. You can walk another few hundred metres around to get a view of the reservoir.
All up, it’s around 4kms each way. You can choose to do the loop back to the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area via the Ted Errey Nature Circuit.
If you just chose to walk from the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area to the reservoir and back, there is almost no elevation. It’s a very flat and easy walk.
Prefer some elevation? Complete the Ted Errey Nature Circuit.
At both picnic areas, there’s a large car park with plenty of room, facilities, picnic tables and barbecues. There are non-flushing toilets and there is not any drinking water available.
Closest place to buy food & drinks
There are two small towns close by, Anakie and Steiglitz. You’ll be able to grab a drink and some food from both places.
Unfortunately, being a national park, no dogs are allowed at the Brisbane Ranges, which includes both of the picnic areas.
Getting to the car parks
The walk starts from the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area and heads west for a few kilometres to the Stoney Creek Picnic Area with the option of walking a bit further to the reservoir, so it makes sense to drive straight to the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area, but you can also drive into the Stoney Creek Picnic Area, park there and make up your own version of the hiking trail.
If you’re coming from Melbourne, it’s only a bit over an hour to get out to the Brisbane Ranges. From most parts of Melbourne, it’s best to head towards Geelong on the Princess Freeway, then take the Werribee exit (but turn right onto Wests Road instead of left into Werribee) or any of the next several exits where you can then drive to the north-west.
Coming from Geelong, head to Anakie and drive right through it, then take the second right turn after the Fairy Park, a few kilometres further, you’ll see Gorge Road on your left and the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area is at the end.
Take a look at this big Koala we came across between the Stoney Creek Picnic Area and the Lower Stoney Creek Reservoir
Camping near Anakie Gorge
Both the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area and Stoney Creek Picnic Area don’t allow camping, but there two decent campgrounds nearby.
Fridays Campground is about a 20 minutes drive from the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area or 15 minutes from Stoney Creek PA. There are a couple of hikes that go past or start at Fridays. It’s really one large campground in a bit of an oval shape where everyone camps next to each other with a dirt track going around the perimeter.
Boar Gully Campground is around 25 minutes from both picnic areas. Each campground is much more private than at Fridays, with most sites being mostly surrounded by bush, or at least not all of the sites are right next to each other. There are multiple fire pits and a small dam for fishing. It’s our preferred place to go camping in the Brisbane Ranges.