Hamilton Victoria

Volcanic trail

The turbulent history of the Western District can be discovered on this route, known as the Volcanic Trail. The town of Penshurst, 20 minutes east of Hamilton, is home to the extinct volcano Mt Rouse which dominates the landscape. The panoramic view from the top is breathtaking. The mountain has been reforested with native trees after years of scoria mining and there are walking tracks, car parking and a picnic ground.

You can follow the lava trail along good roads to Macarthur, 30 minutes west of Penshurst. On the outskirts is Mt Eccles, an area that warrants a full day trip. Part of the beauty and mystery of Mt Eccles is Lake Surprise, situated in a dormant volcanic crater. The interpretation centre provides visitors with information about the area and surrounding 6120 ha parkland and large koala colony.

A short distance from Mt Eccles is the Tumuli, a series of lava blisters, the only ones of their kind in Southern Australia. Close by at Byaduk you’ll get a view of the lava trail’s journey from Mt Napier across the South West and from here you’ll discover the Byaduk Caves with several open to the public. You now have the choice of returning to Hamilton or continuing to Mt. Napier, the youngest volcano in Victoria. This trip, allowing for stops at many interesting places takes a full day, but remains within a short driving distance of Hamilton.