McMillans Walking Track is a 220 km track running through the southern edge of the alpine country east of Melbourne.
Even to walkers from Victoria, this track is not very well known being often overshadowed by the Australian Alps Walking Track. While the two tracks do cross, this track provides a very different experience as it crosses some deep valleys with numerous river crossings and passes isolated mountains like Snowy Bluff. For experienced walkers seeking something different, this track provides it.
This is an historic track that cuts across the southern side of the Victorian Alps. The track climbs and descends a lot as it crosses many river valleys and is a fairly tough walk. It is suggested to take 12 to 14 days to complete the 220 km track. The Ben Cruachan Walking Club repeat this walk every few years as a vehicle supported trip.
While the track is marked at junctions and important areas, experience at using maps is needed as markers do go missing. Bushfires are also a regular event and can make sections of the track harder to follow..
In 1864, Angus McMillan led an expedition to cut a track through the high country of Victoria to link the goldfields together. It took about one year to cut an eight foot wide track that was suitable for pack horses. This was used for many years but as the goldfields declined and modern roads replaced the need for a pack horse trail, the track fell into obscurity and vanished under the scrub.
In 1983, the Ben Cruachan Walking Club began a project to discover and remark the original MacMillans Walking Track from Woods Point to Omeo. This small club based at Maffra (a town in Gippsland in eastern Victoria) was led by John Smith and took on a difficult task as the track had all but vanished. On such a project, probably the hardest job of all is getting official approval. By 1987 they had this and the track was remarked. In 1988 it was officially re-opened.
In places, the original track had been 'improved' to a road.Some of these sections have been replaced by walking track to make it more interesting for bushwalkers. Where possible, the track follows McMillan's original route.
The track runs from Woods Point, a small town in the mountains east of Melbourne. It ends at the Alpine Road, 17 km from Omeo, which is a small town in a broad valley in the centre of the alpine region.
The track crosses several major roads that cross the alpine region. The track does not pass through any towns and you can either carry all supplies or use one of the access roads to put in a food drop. The most useful roads for a re-supply point are the Jamieson-Licola Road, the Tamboritha Road (near Licola) and the Dargo Road.
In conjunction with the Ben Cruachan Walking Club, we have produced a guide book for the track. Like all our guide books, it includes topographical maps and gradient profiles. While the track is officially recognized and supported, not all maps for the area show the tracks location.
None are needed for walking the track.