Baw Baw National Park
The 13,300 ha Baw Baw National Park covers a substantial part of the Baw Baw Plateau and sections of the Thomson and Aberfeldy River valleys. One of the two Victorian national parks with large areas of sub-alpine vegetation, it offers outstanding views, colourful wildflowers in early summer and open grassy plains with Snow Gum woodlands.
Things to Do
Scenic drives: Drive to Mount St Gwinear or Mount Erica. Enjoy a picnic at Silvertop Picnic Ground overlooking the Thomson Dam or visit the nearby historic township of Walhalla.
Walks: Mount St Gwinear, Mount Erica and the Baw Baw Alpine Village are ideal bases for bushwalking. At Mount St Gwinear take in the view across the Thomson and Aberfeldy River valleys from View Point, then continue on to open, grassy plains and the headwaters of North Cascade Creek. From Mount Erica, take the short Beech Gully Nature Walk, or walk to Mushroom Rocks along the Australian Alps Walking Track.
The long-distance Australian Alps Walking Track from Walhalla to the ACT crosses the plateau. Feeder tracks from Mount St Gwinear and the Baw Baw Alpine Village link to the track.
Ski touring: The park is ideal for ski touring and has a variety of marked trails to suit the skills of skiers. Trails can be followed from the St. Gwinear car park onto the plateau or further to the Baw Baw Alpine Resort. Only experienced skiers should undertake extended trips. Basic facilities such as toboggan slopes and toilets are available at the St Gwinear car park.
Rafting and Canoeing: The Thomson River downstream of the Thomson Dam offers some of the best white water rafting in Victoria. Several commercial tour companies conduct rafting tours of the river all year round.
Fishing: Recreational fishing is popular at several places along the Aberfeldy River, Thomson River and Tyers River.
Car parks at Mount St Gwinear, Mount Erica, Thomson Dam and the Baw Baw Ski Village. Toboggan Hire and Kiosk facilities operate at St Gwinear during the snow season
Camping grounds at Aberfeldy River and Eastern Tyers River and Walhalla Township (only basic facilities are provided).
A variety of accommodation in Erica, Rawson, Walhalla and the Latrobe Valley.
Ski hire and chain hire is available at Erica, Rawson and several outlets in the Latrobe Valley.
The Baw Baw Alpine Village offers winter accommodation and ski hire.
The words baw baw are Aboriginal for 'echo', although another possible origin of the name is from the words Bo Bo, used on early maps and said to mean 'big' in an Aboriginal language. The mountain was explored by the botanist Baron von Mueller in 1860 and the area declared a national park in 1979.
The extensive plateau of grassy snowplains, a contrast to the steep river valleys, is punctuated by peaks such as Mount Baw Baw, Mount St Gwinear and Mount Erica. The alpine meadows in early summer are bright with wildflowers among twisted Snow Gums.
The park protects a range of significant plant communities in the alpine environment, forest and river areas. Trees include Alpine Ash, Mountain Ash, Snowgum, Messmate, Myrtle Beech and stringy barks. Baw Baw Berry, endemic to this region, occurs on the plateau.
As well as the more common wombats, echidnas, possums, lyrebirds and cockatoos, the park is home to the endangered Leadbeaters Possum and Baw Baw Frog.
Watch out for logging trucks on forest roads.
Chains must be carried in winter.
Let someone know of your plans before setting out on a walk; carry water and warm clothing (weather changes can be sudden and dangerous).
How to Get There
The Park is best accessed from the Latrobe Valley via the towns of Traralgon or Moe. Signposted roads direct you to the townships of Erica and Rawson.
From here follow the Thomson Valley Road 11 km to the Mount Erica car park turnoff, or continue to the Mount St Gwinear turn off. The approach to St Gwinear is along 13 km of winding gravel road. Care must be taken and chains are required in winter. The Thomson Dam and Aberfeldy River are accessed from this same road.
Signs at Erica and Rawson direct visitors to the historic township of Walhalla .
The Baw Baw plateau can be accessed via the Baw Baw Alpine Resort. From Neerim South, the bitumen ends a few kilometres beyond Noojee. Beyond Tanjil Bren the road is narrow, winding and rough in places as it climbs to the village.
Annual Parks Passes and Multi Day Parks Passes are available for Baw Baw National Park. These can save entry fee costs for regular users, local residents and interstate visitors.
Camping, Orienteering, Snow Skiing, Walking
1. Bicycle Touring
4. Canoeing / Kayaking
5. Coach/Bus Tours
6. Four Wheel Drive Tours
7. Horse Riding
8. Mountain Bike Riding
10. Ski Touring
11. Snow Shoe Tours
12. Spotlight Tours / Nightwalks
13. Trail Bike Tours