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Walk 14: Ironbark Gorge
This popular walk takes you beside a small creek and past tall ironbark trees. Although an interesting walk at any time of the year, it is particularly beautiful in the spring when the variety of wattles and heathland plants provide a colourful understorey to the tall eucalypts. Bird calls are usually abundant as it is perfect habitat for many of our indigenous species.
Lower car park at Distillery Creek Picnic Ground
1.5 hr 4.5 km circuit
Easy to moderate
How to get there

Turn off the Great Ocean Road at Bambra Road, just east of the bottom shops in Aireys Inlet. Follow the bitumen road alongside the Painkalac Creek Valley for 2.5 km and then turn left at junction of Bambra Road and Distillery Creek Road. The lower car park and picnic area is on the righthand side and the upper car park and picnic area on the left-hand side has an information board and toilets. Both have picnic tables and wood-fired barbecues (supply your own wood).

Walk Notes
Blue-winged Parrot

The walk begins at the far end of the car park for the lower Distillery Creek Picnic Area where there is a sign designating ‘Ironbark Gorge’ Track. This is a narrow walking track that follows the creek to the top of the gorge taking you through a rocky area where some very fine views can be obtained across the gully. The tall ironbarks and other eucalypts reach high into the sky, and the understorey of wattles and other shrubby vegetation is most attractive and includes Common Correa, the Narrow-leaf Bitter-pea which flowers in late September, and a particularly fine stand of Rusty Pomaderris. Closer to the ground there are many small treasures – violets, Cut-leaf Daisy, Tall Greenhoods and many others. Once you reach the top of the gorge there is a panoramic view back down the creek.

The track then winds through the gorge crossing the creek via a number of wooden bridges. Sometimes there is water, but usually the creek bed is dry. Ferns and mosses are a feature of this part of the walk. The feeling of being in a gorge is more apparent at this stage as the rocky outcrops can be seen on both sides of the creek. The high cliffs were once the nesting place of Peregrine Falcons but these magnificent birds have not been seen there recently. Vegetation is now screening sections of this rocky area.

The Ironbark Gorge Track joins a walking track to Currawong Falls 500 m from the Distillery Creek Picnic Ground. There is a sign at this point directing you back to the picnic ground.

Bird Calls
New Holland Honeyeater
Red Wattlebird
Pied Currawong

New Holland Honeyeater (Recording by Marc Anderson, CC BY); Red Wattlebird (Recording by Khristos Nizamis , CC BY); Pied Currawong (Recording by Marc Anderson, CC BY)

Check Out Fauna & Flora Below
Peregrine Falcon (Photo by Carlos Delgado CC BY)
Cut-leaf Daisy (Photo by Margaret MacDonald)
Sweet Wattle (Photo by Ellinor Campbell)
Rough Tree-fern (Photo by Alison Watson)

Narrow-leaf Bitter-pea (Photo by Melburnian GNU)
Eastern Correa (Photo by Ellinor Campbell)
Rusty Pomaderris (Photo by Murray Fagg CC BY)
Mossy rocks (Photo by Margaret MacDonald)


Ivy-leafed Violet (Photo by Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz CC BY)
Ironbark (bark) (Photo by Ethel Aardvark, CC BY)
Tall Greenhood (Photo by Margaret MacDonald)