Mount Richmond National Park is some 30 minutes drive northwest of Portland, in the far southwest of Victoria. Mount Richmond itself, more a hill at only 229m elevation, is an extinct volcano. However, you won’t find any crater nor volcanic rock there. That is because the volcano a long time ago got covered with sand blown inland.
Mount Richmond National Park is a lovely and tranquil place for a hike, offering plenty of wildflowers, some beautiful district, and distant ocean views.
Good Mrs and I spent a couple of nights in Portland and decided to pay a visit to this quiet little gem. The map:
There is a lovely picnic area at the southern end of Mount Richmond Road. Park your car there. Toilets are also provided.
Our hike consisted of three individually named walks (and snippets of a few more).
First, Ocean View Walk, taking you to a lookout providing… yes, ocean views. As we soon will see. Good Mrs is leading the way…
The Ocean View Walk is a short 2.4km circuit, with a short detour to the lookout. Here is that trail junction.
At the Ocean View Lookout, a raised timber platform provides optimal viewing above the vegetation.
And the views… Not too bad. The feature image shows additional views further right from below.
Good Mrs and I soon marched on. Through some bare trees this time…
Another trail junction then gives you the option of completing the Ocean View Walk and return to the picnic area. Or continue on the West Walk, which we did, through tall grass…
…while checking out some black cockatoos. Nowhere near as common as the white cockatoos, but here they were…
…and a few boardwalks. Presumably to protect the fragile vegetation underneath. We speculated whether wallabies used these, to look for green grass alongside to eat.
It seems almost impossible to hike in this part of Victoria without crossing or temporarily joining the Great South West Walk. Here too, on the West Walk, we join a small part of that well-known 250km loop hike (yet to be “road tested” in full).
However, below we depart Great South West Walk. West Walk turns east and so do we. No long distance hiking for us today, just a gentle circuit.
The West Walk concludes at Mount Richmond Road. Across the road, Noels Walk begins. The trail now turns more overgrown, clearly less used than the others.
Up until now, just short of 6km, the terrain had been flat, downhill a fraction. Noels Walk descended further before we moved right for a short stint on Telegraph Road. As Noels Walk then left the road and turned back towards Mount Richmond’s picnic area, its last section became fairly steep.
Still, before you knew it, Mount Richmond’s picnic area appeared through the vegetation. We were back at the beginning.
Now, what about Mount Richmond itself?
Well, after re-checking the map later we would have passed it almost at the end. However, there was nothing obvious and I saw no signs pointing it out. Mmm…
This was a gentle 8km loop through what appeared to be a lesser-visited national park. Nobody crossed our path on any of the trails. Nor were there any other cars parked at the picnic area, either before or after. A worker’s vehicle passed us during a break but that was the extent of others.
If it’s tranquility, easy walking with some views thrown in, and supported by a good setup picnic area, this can be a contender.
Us, we then drove towards Cape Nelson State Park for another wander, an additional 5.7km detailed in the next post…