Mt Black Quarry Rd, Heathcote-Graytown National Park Wirrate 3608
The Mt Black walking tracks are best for walkers with a reasonable level of fitness and agility due to the steep incline, loose surfaces and the presence of motor bike and 4WD ruts and erosion.
The entry to the Mt Black walking track is 800m from the Melville’s Lookout directional sign. Keep going along Mt Black Quarry Rd to the entrance on the right. There is no sign. This location is a great place to walk. The tracks are well defined up and down the inclines, but disappear along the ridge-line. Rock litter can be unstable, be mindful.
Topography and Geology
The National Park is composed of forested hills and gullies. At 300m, Mt Black has the highest elevation of any hill in the area. The sand stone ridges are a result of a folding earth’s crust. The views from these hilltops are terrific. This makes for enjoyable bushwalking. Look out for fossilised sea shells from an ancient sea bed.
Spectacular stands of huge old grass trees (Xanthorrhoea australis) up to three metres high can been seen in this part of the National Park. Grass Trees are common in the Mt Black area. They are very slow to grow and flower most often following bushfire.
This National Park comprises Victoria’s largest remaining box – ironbark forest, consisting of open woodland including ironbark, grey and yellow box and stringy bark. The understory features blackwood, gold dust wattle, silver wattle and drooping cassinia. The latter (also known as Chinese Cassinia or Scrub) is an opportunistic coloniser that is considered a bush fire enhancer. Green rock fern is a common ground plant in milder months.
Wildflowers are abundant in spring, but may be found in smaller numbers at any time. They include grassland wood sorrel, tall bluebells and greenhood orchids, with others according to the season. Rare crimson spider orchids may be also seen.
Eastern grey kangaroos, echidnas, antechinus and goannas may be encountered. Threatened species you may be lucky enough to see are the squirrel glider (tuan) and in winter the Swift Parrot.
Red and Little Wattle Birds, Honeyeaters and Parrots enjoy the canopy when eucalypts are in flower. Sociable White-winged Choughs are common and White-throated Tree Creepers are often seen trunk running, Cockatoos abound and Gang Gangs can be spotted. For the birdwatcher there is an abundance.
Areas of Heathcote-Graytown National Park are infected with the soil borne disease know as Cinnamon Fungus (Phytophthora cinnamomic). To prevent the spread of this disease visitors are requested to stay on formed tracks and take note of signs that restrict public access.
Damage from 4WD and motorbikes is significant on the walking tracks of Mt Black. Watch your footing.
March flies can be a problem in Autumn.
Limbs may fall
No potable water
Be equipped for hiking
Visitors must be self-reliant
Native flora and fauna are protected
Take rubbish with you.
Fires only in places provided
No 4WD or motor bike access