For those with a four wheel drive vehicle and looking for an easy day trip from Melbourne, Mt. Disappointment may just be what you are looking for. Mt. Disappointment is located only about 45 minutes north of Melbourne near the small town of Whittlesea. The mountain is highlighted on the map below:
Mt. Disappointment received its name in 1824 when the Hume and Hovell Expedition traveled from New South Wales to explore the territory of present day Victoria. The expedition had traveled through thick bush land for months and morale of the expedition was extremely low. The two leaders decided to climb a high hill in hopes of spotting Port Phillip Bay near present day Melbourne. They spent days fighting their way through the bush and were “disappointed” when they reached the summit because the trees blocked any views.
Well today getting the summit is quite easy because there is a four wheel drive track that will bring you right to it:
Along the dirt road the mountain is thickly forested and gives you some idea of what the Hume and Hovell expedition had to travel through:
Logging and gold mining came to this area beginning in the 1870’s and over the next few decades the mountain’s forests were eventually depleted. Logging on the mountain continues to this day but fortunately smarter logging practices has allowed much of the trees on the mountain to recover and flourish:
The higher the dirt road goes up the mountain; bigger the trees become:
Once towards the top of the mountain the road comes to a pleasant campground. From the campground it is an easy one hour round trip walk to the summit of the mountain. As you can see the views from the summit are still a bit “disappointing” to this day:
While walking in Victoria something you have to be aware of is sword grass:
If you are wearing shorts and brush to much of this sword grass it will actually leave paper cuts on your legs. This is the reasons why I usually wear pants when hiking in the mountains in Victoria.
Besides hiking to the summit of Mt. Disappointment you can also travel further down the dirt road and check out the remains of a World War II internment camp:
Much like the United States Australia also interned Germans living in Australia during World War II into holding camps. This camp on Mt. Disappointment held primarily Germans and Italians. After the war many of the released internees would move to Melbourne and become part of the culturally diverse city.
Mt. Disappointment as not as spectacular as other day trip locations around Melbourne but if you are looking to get away from the crowds this is one place where you won’t be disappointed by.
Next Posting: Mt. Hickey & Strath Creek Falls