Wear pants and follow the dried-up creek bed
Steiglitz is an old mining town in the Brisbane Ranges National Park, a bit over an hour to the west of Melbourne and 30-40 minutes to the north-west of Geelong. The area is dry with small but steep hills covered in Eucalyptus trees and other natives. It’s a great place to call into and head out on a bush walk, although unless you’re ready to make your own track and cut up your legs from charging through the shrubs, then the South Steiglitz Loop might not be the best walk for you and instead consider the Anakie Gorge Walk or Ted Errey Nature Circuit which aren’t too far away.
The first part of this trail is easy to follow, until you get a few kilometres into it and reach the creek. From there, you’ve really just got to follow the creek bed for a bit more than two kilometres until you make it back to the Burchell Trail.
The South Steiglitz Loop hiking trail begins at the Steiglitz Courthouse. Park just near the courthouse and follow the track that goes slightly down hill. You’ll follow the Burchell Trail for 500 metres, then you need to take Wrixon Street that goes up hill to the left. There’s a timber sign, so it’s easy to find.
Walk all the way to the end of Wrixon Street, which is around 500-600 metres, until you reach a dirt road, which is the South Steiglitz Road. Turn right onto the road and walk along it for 600 metres, until you see the Miners Track, which is a narrow trail veering to the right.
Follow the Miners Track to the end. It’ll be a gradient down hill walk for a bit less than a kilometre and you’ll end up at a creek. You’ll need to cross over the creek and follow it to the north, as there’s no more trail to follow until you reach the Burchell Trail.
As you start walking north along the creek bed, at times you’ll see a bit of a trail and it’s usually a safe bet to follow it. You’ll need to keep on crossing the creek from side to side, finding the easiest terrain to cross, but don’t worry, most of the creek is dried up and you don’t have to get wet to make it across.
At times, one side or the other of the creek bed is a steep rocky cliff, so obviously you’d walk along the other side, although often it’s not an easy choice as one side might be thick prickly bush, the other being a gorge. It’s safest if you download the AllTrails app and follow the Hay, Miners, Native Youth and Mulrooneys Loop.
You’ll need to follow the creek for around 2 kms and will eventually reach the Burchell Trail, just a bit to the west from where you turned off at Wrixon Street. For some people, the bush-bashing will be the most enjoyable part, for others, the enjoyment will start again here, when you walk to the right at the Burchell Trail on a well defined track through some beautiful typical Aussie bush, all the way back to the Courthouse.
As far as physical difficulty goes, this trail isn’t a big challenge, although once you get to creek at the end of the Miners Track, there track barely exists and for most of it, there is no trail at all, or at least not one that we could find. This makes it a very difficult hiking trail.
You’ll need to use the creek, which is mostly dry with the occasional pond, to navigate about one third of the entire walk. We don’t recommend this trail because it’s easy to get lost and you’ll end up with a lot of scratches from trying to get through the bush. Although some of you will love it and find a lot of enjoyment in trying to make your own track, most people won’t be too impressed and are better of following a more well defined trail.
The start of the trail at the Steiglitz Courthouse parking area is 242 metres above sea level. You’ll descend to 209 ms before climbing to 269 ms, which is the highest point of the walk. The trail remains flat for a while, then you’ll go down to 172 metres, for the lowest part of the trail. From here, you’ll mostly gradually elevate for the rest of the way back to the car park.
There’s a large car park with plenty of room and facilities nearby.
Closest place to buy food & drinks
There are some options around Steiglitz to buy some food and a cold drink, otherwise head to Anakie, which is about 10 minutes away. The closest large city is Geelong, which is about 30-40 minutes to the south-east.
Steiglitz, including all parts of this walking trail are inside the Brisbane Ranges National Park, being a national park, no dogs are allowed.
Start at the Steiglitz Courthouse Carpark
Steiglitz is only about an hour from Melbourne, depending what part you’re coming from. The best route is usually along the Princess Freeway, heading out towards Geelong, then at Werribee or one of the several exits after, you’ll head in a north-west direction off the Freeway and make your way around the top of Little River and over to the Brisbane Ranges.
As you’re coming into Steiglitz, there’s a parking area just near the old Steiglitz Courthouse. You can park there or anywhere nearby, wander down to the Burchall trail and start walking to the west.
Camping near Steiglitz in the Brisbane Ranges
Now that you’re out of the city and into camping country, there are plenty of places to go camping nearby, although as far as campgrounds in the Brisbane Ranges that you can drive into, you’ve got two options: Fridays and Boar Gully.
Fridays Campground is only a couple of kilometres from the Steiglitz Courthouse carpark, although you would need a tough forward drive to take the shortest route and instead need to loop right around for about 30 minutes to get there. Fridays is pretty much one large campground split into a bunch of individual campsites that are all in the middle of a dirt track going around the perimeter. It’s a nice place with a couple of hiking trails that go past the campground.
Boar Gully Campground is a bit further north than Fridays, about a 35-40 minute drive from Steiglitz. There’s a dam for fishing and each campsite has it’s own section with a lot of bushes and shrubs throughout the campground to make each site a bit more private. It’s a great spot and we recommend heading there if you like to have your own space and feel like you’re a bit more remote.