Mt Juliet

5ish months pregnant, and I thought I had one more mountain in me for the year. I thought I’d do something with a well defined track, something that didn’t involve bush bashing, and something relatively short. So last week I had a day free and I thought Mt Juliet would fit the requirements. If you’re reading this and you’ve done Mt Juliet, I can hear you laughing.

So it is a well defined track, there are no sections where you have to go off trail, and it is very short. Only 4.5km up, then 4.5km back down. Easy, right?

You start at Road 3, which is a management vehicle track just off the main road out of Healesville. If you’re looking to do this one, this is the 5th management vehicle track on your right after the last street heading out of Healesville. I think this is the only one that allows walkers. There’s a small number 3 marked, so you can’t miss it if you keep an eye out for it.

So you start there, and it’s an easy incline up to the start of the walking track bit. Then the incline increased a bit. No worries, I’m big and the heart rate is high, so I planned to take it super easy. Bonus: It looked like the track had been recently cleared 🙂

Mt Juliet, Vic

After a while, I came across a huge fallen down tree. You can’t tell the size in the pic, but the width of the tree base is taller than me.

Mt Juliet, Vic

As I went further along, the amount of fallen trees increased. It was no longer a matter of just climbing through a few branches here and there.

Mt Juliet, Vic

Sometimes the path was just a bunch of fallen down trees and slippery bark.

It was getting really steep. I was on all fours for most of the top bit, holding onto rocks, small trees, or just the bare ground to help pull me up the hill. Doing this with a big tummy is not very comfortable!

Mt Juliet, Vic

The trail is through there.

At some point a thought kept nagging at me: How the fuck are you supposed to get down from this?

And I realised, it wasn’t going to get any better. There were almost no sections clear of fallen trees. And to top it off, it was CRAZY steep. I knew that to get down I’d have to slide down on my bum. And the further I kept going, the more bum sliding I’d have to do later.

I got to a point where HUGE trees were EVERYWHERE across the trail. I was too short to climb over one, and too fat to crawl through the split in it:

Mt Juliet, Vic

And then I thought Stuff it. I was probably only 500m or so from the top – but that may have been 30-60 minutes for all I knew. That would be maybe up to an hour of uncomfortable crawling, followed by almost as long bum sliding down.

So then I realised that this trail is not built for people with a big tummy. It was going to have to wait until next year 😦

So I slid down for about 40 minutes, holding on to young wattle and eucalyptus trees.

Mt Juliet, Vic

Then it was steep, but at least upright, going for another 30 minutes, before getting back to much more manageable terrain:

Mt Juliet, Vic

And then the easy management vehicle track back to the car.

I have finally come to the realisation that I can’t be trusted with new adventures for the rest of the year 😦 Everything else will have to be tried and tested easy stuff, and probably with other people, so that I am definitely forced to choose easier, more comfortable options. I am not very good at doing the same route twice, and I am not very good at deliberately taking it easy, so we’ll see how that goes…

21 thoughts on “Mt Juliet

  1. Anna Post author

    Thanks Tzu-yen 🙂 I’m sure you’d be fine to do it. I’ll be back next year to do it properly. This walk was just too awkward for someone with a big tummy!

    If you go up there, I’d love to know how you go 🙂

  2. Martie

    Hi Anna,

    Your blog inspired me to give this “easy” hike.

    Omg….steeeeep…..I reckon it was even steeper than the Mt Bogong staircase track!!!!

    To go from an elevation of 185 m to 1110+ in 4.5 kms is brutal.

    Took me under 2.25 hours to summit including rests.

    You did well in turning back when you did… I slipped and butt planted it 4 times on the way down…so slippery and it feels even steeper going down.

    Was a great hike but very demanding and not doable on a rainy day.

    Juliet was a tough old gal to conquer.

    1. Anna Post author

      When did you go, Martie? There’s been a bit of rain recently. I couldn’t imagine how bad it would be with a bit of mud.

      Nice work getting up there though! I am sooooo looking forward to giving it a proper go next year. Can’t wait!

      1. Martie

        I did it this morning. Started just before 8.30am and made it to the car by 12.30pm

        The slippery ground made the going up slow and I had a few close calls as every step was a matter of careful planning to avoid the inevitable.

        I did Mt St. Leonard a couple of weeks ago but Mt Juliet proved much tougher,still can’t get over how steep the last 1km was.

        An interesting hike to try is ‘Spoon Kopje’ in Powelltown, I can send you some notes and coordinates if you’re interested, its a 1.3 one way trip but really cool hiking.

        Really enjoy your blog by the way.

      2. Martie

        By the way…made a typo in my reply to you earlier on…… The name of the track in ‘Spion kopje’.

  3. Anna Post author

    Might give Spion Kopje a go – It looks short enough for me!

    Funny thing before doing Mt Juliet, I was considering Mt St Leonard again, but I didn’t want to do something that steep. Oops.

    Got any more adventures planned?

    I have just been repeating easy stuff lately. Did Werribee Gorge the other day. That one is so fun I might do it again soon 🙂

  4. martin

    I’ve got “Mount Kosciuszko” and “Mount Townsend” in my scope towards end of this year.

    You may want to check out the “MRWT- Macedon Ranges Walking Track”…did that one a few weeks ago and broke it up between 2 x 15KM circuits…was a great day out.

    Read your blog about the Gorge..will give it a try myself too.

    1. Anna Post author

      Oh that sounds fantastic! I think there’s some special allure about being on top of the country 🙂 Would they be multi day tasks?

      I’ve done a lot around Macedon – probably most or all of that walk. I did a 30k race around there a few years ago, plus some other wanderings around up there. Will have to go back some time soon 🙂

      1. martin

        From Charlotte’s pass I plan to hike via the main range track and summit Mt Townsend, if I can also do Kosciuszko on the same day ‘bonus’…otherwise I’ll try again the next day.

        To be honest I’m more excited about Mt Townsend than Mt Kosciuszko.
        Either way it’ll be a day trip, have u ever being up that part of the high country?

      2. Anna Post author

        Nah, never been there. Sounds awesome, though! 🙂

        I’m considering doing Mt St Leonard again this week. Not doing a good job of curtailing my walks…

      3. martin

        I’ll be sure to post up photos when I summit successfully, in hanging to go !!!!

        Mt St Leonard is a good one, have you done Condons Track ?…. It’s within the same region…. But im yet to do it…

        Too many tracks and not enough time…. But makes one realise how lucky we all are to live in such a beautiful country like Australia.

      4. Anna Post author

        I think I’ve done some of Condons. It was a while ago…. I think I ran out of time to get to the top.

        The perils of being a hill seeker. So many hills. Not enough days free in the year!

  5. Andrew Bishop

    Loved this post. It’s just the sort of misadventure I have often stumbled into myself. All those fallen trees! i will get up there soon. I expect you’ve already been back on the trails – little one in tow

    1. Anna Post author

      Actually I haven’t been back – the little one is only JUST finding car trips bearable up to 20mins, so we’ve had to stick to local areas. I am DYING to get out and explore more! The kid is definitely an adventure, so some time in the next year we’ll have something interesting to report I’m sure 🙂

    2. Anna Post author

      Actually I haven’t been back – the little one is only JUST finding car trips bearable up to 20mins, so we’ve had to stick to local areas. I am DYING to get out and explore more! The kid is definitely an adventure, so some time in the next year we’ll have something interesting to report I’m sure 🙂

  6. Zdenek

    Thanks Anna for the blog,
    I decided to challenge myself yesterday and took on Mt Juliet. I started at 10.45 a.m. on the Road Three and on 1.30 p.m. I was on the summit. The most gruesome walk I have done – at least in Australia. Every meter in the last 1000 m was a challenge. But getting back was as challenging as climbing up.
    Was it worth it? If you do it for the views – not. But the feeling I did it is priceless. I wonder how many nuts like me did it at the age of 68 and 1/2.
    Best regards,


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