Cathedral Range, a 7km-long stand-alone ridge of sharply tilted sedimentary rock, two hours’ drive northeast of Melbourne, is a fabulous Victoria bushwalking destination – but not for beginners!
It is exposed – baking hot at summer’s height, wet and cold in winter, with occasional snow – and the terrain rocky. Hiking here demands alertness and surefootedness. Your reward for these attributes are panoramic views, stomach-turning drops and carpets of spring and summer wildflowers.
Some people walk the ridge nose-to-tail over two days, tenting up top in the Farmyard (no facilities). Alternately you can do two day walks from Cooks Mill camping area (bookings required): north to Neds Gully and up to Cathedral Peak; south and up Sugarloaf Peak on a steep, natural rock ladder, working back along the aptly named Razorback Ridge.
Unsurprisingly, Cathedral Range is also popular with rock climbers whose tinkling gear you often hear even if you don’t see them.