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Steiglitz Circuit Bushwalk, Steiglitz Historic Park

Home > Melbourne > Environment | Escape the City | Nature | Outdoor | Walks
by Lyndsey V (subscribe)
I'm an ecologist and writer based in Melbourne, Australia. Also visit me at www.instagram.com/victoriafloraandfauna/
Published October 26th 2019
A bushwalk through nature and a historic gold mining town
Steiglitz Historic Park, west of Melbourne, was once home to the bustling gold mining town of Steiglitz. The town's heyday was back in the booming gold rush era of the 1850s, with the population growing to over 1000 people. Today, the park abuts the beautiful Brisbane Ranges National Park, and is a great place to go bushwalking, as well as exploring the remnants of the town itself.

Steiglitz Historic Park, bushwalk, gold mining, history, nature, Brisbane Ranges National Park, hiking
The trail winding through the bushland of Steiglitz Historic Park


This walk is called the 'Steiglitz Circuit Walk' by Parks Victoria (pdf), and is also the same as the 'Yankee Gully' walk described in the excellent book Day Walks Victoria. Although the track is well-marked, it's a good idea to take along a decent map.

Steiglitz Historic Park, bushwalk, gold mining, history, nature, Brisbane Ranges National Park, hiking, courthouse
Start at the historic courthouse building


The walk is a 8.5 km loop, starting and ending at the small carpark off Meredith-Steiglitz Rd, right near the Steiglitz Courthouse. At the carpark, there is also an information board, as well as picnic tables.

Steiglitz Historic Park, bushwalk, gold mining, history, nature, Brisbane Ranges National Park, hiking
Picnic tables near the carpark


Highlights of the walk include picturesque creek crossings, views across rocky gorges, beautiful native wildflowers in spring, lots of birdlife, and plenty of evidence of the area's historic gold mining past. It's a good mix of nature and history. The track alternates between narrow rocky trails and unsealed roads. There's a few short and steep rocky sections, particularly in the first half of the walk, but the walk overall is generally not too difficult, and the second half, in particular, is fairly flat, or downhill.

Starting from the Steiglitz Courthouse, the trailheads to the south-west, along 'Stawell Street'. It's now a small dirt walking track through lovely bushland, but once upon a time, it was a busy road lined with buildings. It's hard to imagine what it would have been like back then!

Steiglitz Historic Park, bushwalk, gold mining, history, nature, Brisbane Ranges National Park, hiking
Views along the rocky gorge


The trail then becomes Deadmans Track and is fairly well-marked. It follows the Sutherland Creek, crossing over the creek several times, which involves a bit of rock-hopping. At one point, the track climbs up high to reward walkers with spectacular views down the rocky gorge where the creek flows.

After 1.4 km the track leaves Sutherland Creek and heads sharply uphill this is easy to miss so keep your eye out for markers up the hill on the opposite side of the creek. The track then leads steadily uphill to the Meredith-Steiglitz Road. Cross over carefully, then follow the unsealed Hut Road to Crossing Picnic Area a good spot for a break. After this, follow the Hut Road for a short distance, before transferring onto the Burchell Trail. (For those that are keen, the entire Burchell Trail is a three-day hike through the Brisbane Ranges National Park).

Steiglitz Historic Park, bushwalk, gold mining, history, nature, Brisbane Ranges National Park, hiking
The Crossing Picnic Area


This is a great section of the walk, passing through the lovely bushland of Yankee Gully, and past signposted remnants of the area's gold mining past. There is lots of history to learn! Look out for the spectacular grass trees among the rocky bushland. The track eventually comes out at another dirt road, Durdidwarrah Road. Turn right, and follow this road carefully (as cars can come along here) until the turn off to the left along Hay Track.

Steiglitz Historic Park, bushwalk, gold mining, history, nature, Brisbane Ranges National Park, hiking
Gold mining history along the walk


In spring, this section is dotted with wildflowers, including lots of orchids. Keep your eyes out on the side of the track for splashes of colour.

Steiglitz Historic Park, bushwalk, gold mining, history, nature, Brisbane Ranges National Park, hiking, wildflowers, orchids
A beautiful native orchid in spring, Wallflower Orchid (Diuris orientis)


Eventually, the track comes back to meet up again with Durdidwarrah Road. Cross over a picturesque bridge and enter the remnants of the Steiglitz township.

Steiglitz Historic Park, bushwalk, gold mining, history, nature, Brisbane Ranges National Park, hiking
Cross the bridge and explore the historic township of Steiglitz


It's worth spending some time here, reading the information signs and looking at the remaining buildings. From here, it's a short walk up the road back to the Courthouse.

Steiglitz Historic Park, bushwalk, gold mining, history, nature, Brisbane Ranges National Park, hiking
Information boards in the historic township


The Steiglitz Courthouse is open Sundays from 1pm to 4pm, and is staffed by volunteers. We fortuitously timed our walk on a Sunday to finish before closing time, so we had the chance to have a good look inside. There's lots of information about the history of the town, and it's really interesting to see inside the courthouse itself. The volunteer staff member was very happy to talk about the area's history and answer any questions we had. There are also some great books for sale, including Wildflowers of the Brisbane Ranges. Donations are also welcome.

Steiglitz Historic Park, bushwalk, gold mining, history, nature, Brisbane Ranges National Park, hiking
Visiting the courthouse on a Sunday afternoon


The walk is about a 1 hour and 20 minute drive from Melbourne CBD.

If you want to learn more, there is a great website about the township by the Back to Steiglitz Association.
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Why? Bushwalk through an old gold mining town
When: Anytime. The courthouse is open on Sunday afternoons.
Phone: 131 963 (Parks Victoria)
Where: Steiglitz Historic Park
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Lyndsey, I visited the area many years ago on a camera club outing. It brought back many memories. Neil.
by Neil Follett (score: 2|299) 22 days ago
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