To walk at Budj Bim National Park, in southwest Victoria, is to journey 10,000 years back in time. Back to when the earth shook and ruptured, disgorging clouds of ash and dust, and lava that snaked 50km towards the sea. A unique bushwalking Victoria experience.
Eucalypt forest and water have long since camouflaged the site of one of the state’s last volcanic eruptions but two short walking tracks (8.6km combined) take you on a revealing (and scenic) journey.
The Lava Canal Walk ventures down a collapsed lava tunnel and through a natural bridge built by cooling lava. The Rim Walk circles rush-fringed Lake Surprise, three joined crater lakes, and scales Budj Bim/Mt Eccles (178m). From the top of this cone of scoria (aerated, reddish rock created when frothy lava cools quickly), piled on the crater’s rim by the prevailing westerly, you get an expansive view reaching south to the ocean and northeast to the Grampians.
Manna gums, a preferred food of koalas, grow around Budj Bim. Look out for these cute, furry marsupials in tree forks as you walk.