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Donnelley's Weir - Condon Track - Mt St Leonard Walk

Home > Melbourne > Walks | Outdoor | Nature | Escape the City | Day Trips
by Lorraine A (subscribe)
Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
Published June 11th 2013
Mountains, Views, Picnic Area and Wildlife
Views over the valley

If you're a keen day hiker then this 21km circuit provides a great challenge. Beautiful mountain scenery and plenty of wildlife to keep your mind off the continuous 5.5 km uphill battle to the Monda Rd, though it does level off after this for about 1 km near the top.

Donnelly's Weir

We had previously walked Donnelly's weir to Mt St Leonard via the National Trail (track 11) and noticed the circuit walk via Condons track, which was described as very steep and for experienced bush walkers only. So I guess this was our invitation to come back without a pram. With 2 of our oldest children at nan and pop's house for an overnight stay we saw this as a perfect opportunity to complete the walk.

We put the two smallest children in hiking child carriers and set off from the Donnelly's car park just outside of the Healesville township.

Looking through the ferns

We started from the car park at around 11.45am which was not ideal as it gets dark early in the mountains. Knowing we didn't have time on our side we needed to complete the walk without wasting any time.

On the track

The track kicks up hill right from the beginning, and keeps going until you come out on the west side of Mt Monda 6.5 km later. The only saving grace is the scenery and views which are amazing with lyrebirds around many of the corners. It wasn't until we were nearly at the top that we realised we had taken the wrong track, with a sign at the top saying walkers aren't permitted with a tiny sign to the side reading Condon Track which was so overgrown it didn't look like a track at all, so be mindful when you go not to make the same mistake. The tracks obviously start and finish at the same point but one is not a legal walking track. Further along the track we met people that had the same problem and couldn't find the track and took Road 11 up instead.

About 3/4 the way up the hill it turned to fern forest

Sign at the top of the track

We were happy to come out at the top, but not to find it took 2 hours to complete the 6.5 km up hill section and we were questioning if we should return at this point, however I thought that since we were this far in, we decided to continue on.

Along the Monda Road with Myrtle Beech

View from Mt St Leonard on a previous occasion

We followed the Monda Road for approximately 6-7 km, it was nice to have a relatively flat stretch of road until we got to Mt St Leonard car park, where it becomes an easy uphill 1.2 km walk to Mt St Leonard viewing platform. At this stage the sun was going down and it was extremely cold and as a result we stopped to put snow clothes on the children, they were freezing and we were worried about making it back before it got dark. Although we came within a 200 metre walk to the platform we wanted to get back down the mountain where it was warmer and back to Donnelly's Weir car park as the darkness was closing in.

Coming down

On the way down we were lucky enough to see some amazing sights with the sun's red glow on the mountain opposite us and a lovely glow through the trees. Wallabies and kangaroos were about, along with cockatoos and lyrebirds and other birds starting to settle.

Going up

We got back to the car park around 5.35 pm and it was quite dark, but it was a great adventure.

Another picture of the amazing view over the valley

The great thing about Donnelly's weir, is you don't need to walk far to see it, it's located only 50 metres from the car park and is surrounded by a picnic area with BBQ's and toilets.

Mt St Leonard is also accessible by Monda Rd. From the car park it's a 1.2 km stroll up a fire track to the viewing platform.

So if you're not up for a 21km hike you can still enjoy the weir and great view from Mt St Leonard.

Happy hiking.

Sun beginning to go down with views toward Road 12
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When: All year round
Where: Donnelly Picnic Ground, St Leonard Rd Healesville,
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Great photography, thank you.
by waldr (score: 0|6) 2694 days ago
I remember going to Donnellys weir when I was a child. It became an annual event...cant remember why, but we were always so excited to go there. We actually called it fairy land as it was such a beautiful, magical place. Thank you for reminding me of beautiful memories!
by Patrol (score: 1|15) 2689 days ago
Thank you for helping me decide which trail to hike. Nice pics, inspiring.

Glenn Melbourne
by glenn (score: 0|2) 1996 days ago
Thank you for posting your story and comments, you have helped me decide which trail to hike.

by glenn (score: 0|2) 1996 days ago
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