The Ted Errey Nature Circuit is a hiking trail in the Brisbane Ranges National Park that takes you along the popular Anakie Gorge Walk then up onto the hills with stunning views of the Eucalyptus covered hills that roll to the horizon.
Begining and ending at the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area on the eastern side of the national park (around an hour from Melbourne), the trail goes along the dried-up Stoney Creek for about 3 kilometres to the Stoney Creek Picnic Area. This part of the hiking trail is mostly flat and very easy, you’ve then got the option of walking out to the bottom of the dam of the Lower Stoney Creek Reservoir and back, or can continue along the Ted Errey circuit and start your first part of elevation.
Once you’ve passed the Stoney Creek Picnic Area, the walk goes up on to the top of the hills for a little while where you’ll get your first decent view of the Brisbane Ranges, you’ll descend for a little bit and then come across your second and final larger climb. After this, the trail does go up and down a fair few times, but the first two climbs are the only ones that will get you sweating a little.
Along parts of the track, mainly when you’re at the top of the hills, the ground is a dry and rich red soil with an abundance of large and old grass trees, wild flowers (at the right time of the year) and plenty of other native plants and trees.
The Ted Errey Nature Circuit is about 12.5 kms and it’s pretty easy, there aren’t any super challenging climbs or difficult sections, other than the occasional short bit of elevation. The walk from the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area to the Stoney Creek Picnic area is pretty nice, but it’s the most dull section of the hiking trail. The real treat is once you get up onto the hills and get to take a look at the stunning soil and flora.
It’s a great day hike that’s only an hour from Melbourne. This hiking trail is a lot different to most other hikes in the area and definitely worth heading to if you’re from or in Melbourne, Geelong or Ballarat and want to see some typical Australian bush and wildlife in a dry environment that feels like you’re in the outback.
Here's a video of us hiking the Ted Errey Nature Circuit
The first 3-4kms of the trail, from picnic area to picnic area, then out to the reservoir, is all easy and mostly flat. The work begins once you’ve passed the Stoney Creek Picnic Area, but it’s still not overly difficult.
There are two steep hills that you’ll need to climb, the second one being bigger than the first, but they’re both over before you know it and you’re rewarded with a stunning view of the tree covered ranges. There are a bunch of other short, steep sections, but other than that, it’s not a difficult hike and only a moderate level of fitness is required.
Although there aren’t any overly tough parts to this hike, the Brisbane Ranges are a dry and hot place, so you’ll need to bring plenty of water.
Now, that’s all in reference to physical difficulty, in terms of navigating the track, it can be quite hard. Getting to Stoney Creek Picnic Area is easy, it’s one track, then from there-on-out, the Ted Errey Nature Circuit combines several more trails to make one large loop. You’ll mix and match parts of trails to walk along the top of the hills and back around to where you started. It can be pretty confusing at times, so we suggest that you download the AllTrails app on your phone and follow the ‘Anankie Gorge Loop’, as that’s what the Ted Errey Nature Circuit is named on their app. This will guide you the whole way, even without phone reception.
The entire walk is about 12.5 kilometres, which can be shortened if you don’t walk out the Lower Stoney Creek Reservoir from the Stoney Creek Picnic Area and if you don’t walk out to a couple of lookouts, which both are a short distance from the trail.
From the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area to the Stoney Creek Picnic Area and even out to the Lower Stoney Creek Reservoir dam base (if you chose to go there), there’s really not a lot of elevation and the track is mainly flat. Once you’ve passed the Stoney Creek Picnic Area, you’ll begin to climb and descend short steep sections throughout the rest of the hiking trail, with only two main hills and lots of little ones.
The maximum elevation that you’ll climb to is only 376 metres from a minimum elevation of 198 metres. Through the walk, you’ll climb and descend a total of about 415 metres.
There’s a large car park with plenty of room, facilities, barbecues, picnic tables and a shelter at both the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area and Stoney Creek Picnic Area, other than that, there’s not much else along the trail.
There isn’t any drinking water available at the picnic areas or on the hiking trail, you’ll need to bring that along.
Closest place to buy food & drinks
There are two small towns nearby, Anakie and Steiglitz. You’ll be able to grab a drink and some food at both of them, although there’s not a great deal of options.
Geelong is around 45 minutes from the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area. It’s a large place and you’ll be able to find anything there, without a concern of missing the opening hours, which will be a factor at both Anakie and Steiglitz.
Being a National Park, no dogs are allowed in the Brisbane Ranges, including this hiking trail and the picnic areas.
Getting to the car parks
You can start at the Anakie Gorge Picnic Area, which is on the eastern side of the Brisbane Ranges National Park. This is just over an hour from Melbourne, depending on which part your coming from. From most places in Melbourne, it’s usually best to head out towards Geelong on the Princess Freeway, then head to the north-west from the Werribee exit or on one of the following few exits after there.
Coming from Geelong, just head to Anakie, then keep driving through it and take the second right turn after the Fairy Park. Drive for a few minutes until you see Gorge Road on your left, the car park and picnic area is at the end of Gorge Road.
Accommodation & Camping
There are two main campgrounds in the Brisbane Ranges National Park that you can drive into. Both of them are quite different, although quite close to the Ted Errey Nature Circuit. Unfortunately, no camping is allowed at the picnic areas or car parks on this hiking trail.
Fridays is a nice place with a couple of trails passing the campground, it has facilities and a large enough car park with a dirt track that loops right around the campground. All campsites are next to each in a bit of an oval shape, therefore everyone sets up camp next to each other. It’d be a good spot for families that want to keep an eye on their kids.
Boar Gully is more spread out and each individual campsite has some bush around parts of the perimeter, so it’s much more private. There are some facilities, fire pits, some sites share pits, and dam that’s half-decent for fishing. We prefer to camp at Boar Gully over Fridays, it’s a great spot.
There’s plenty of wild life in the Brisbane Ranges, including a large number of Koalas, Kangaroos, Wallabies and Echidnas with the occasional Snake and Lizard.
Here’s a large Koala that we came across between the Stoney Creek Picnic Area and the Lower Stoney Creek Reservoir: