The Werribee Gorge Circuit Walk spans 10 kilometres through arid hills, leading you through a gorge with a stream and a wealth of plant-life. The circuit travels through a number of car parks which you can use as starting points; we started at Meikles Point Picnic Area.
The first part of the walk is steeply uphill, getting the blood flowing and the lungs working pronto. After that, the slope eases off. Soon, you reach the Eastern Viewpoint, a panoramic view of dense trees in the foreground, rolling hills behind them, and the silhouette of Melbourne's skyline to the far right.
Next comes the Western viewpoint, which gives you a closer look at an immense hill; flat on top, the hill quickly plunges on the side facing you. It is sparsely vegetated and has an earthy colour. The sun and shade play over its complex ripples like light over crinkled paper.
Some of the most pleasant scenery comes next. You walk along a rocky ridge that drops steeply off into the lower ground to your right, below, white light glints on a stream. As you progress and the sunlight becomes more direct, you can see into the water and spy the underwater vegetation tinted golden brown.
The ridge slants downwards and soon you are on the level of the water. It is flowing in the same direction as you walk and it trickles gently by your side. Dense plant-life grows on either side, from sunburned reeds to lush green plants.
Further along, the path terminates and you intermittently scale the rock surfaces forming the gorge's walls. Usually, this is straightforward, with flat ledges of rock allowing for easy passage.
At the most difficult point, a metal rope is installed in the wall, more for assurance than out of actual need. The stream is at its widest and most stagnant point here, and you stand about 1 or 2 metres above it as you scale the wall for perhaps 40 metres.
Photo opportunities abound in the gorge; one of the best may be a prominent, triangular peak, like a smaller version of St Mary Peak in South Australia's Flinders Ranges. This reflects in the stream and you can also frame it to include a small, low falls channelling water smoothly between stones.
It is not too much further back to Meikles by this point. The 10km hike should give you a pleasant endorphins boost, fill your SD card with some nice pics and make you feel in tune with nature, just an hour and a half from the CBD.