Leanganook is the Aboriginal name for the 746m high Mt Alexander overlooking Castlemaine. Its spectacular summit is only passable by walkers. Bike riders deviate north via Harcourt around the base of Mt Alexander, rejoining the shared use track at the Coliban Channel.
Leanganook Track Elevation
Start on the Heritage Park Walk/Ride at the railway station and head through Castlemaine’s suburbs to follow track beside Forest Crk. Leave creek and climb steeply past Manchester Reef to the imposing foundations of the Garfield Water Wheel. Rocky track beyond to the ridgetop that you follow to the ruins and abandoned slate quarries of the Welsh village. Serious climb up sandy road next to Expedition Pass Reservoir. Down to specimen Gully Rd where bikers ands walkers separate. Bike riders take a long loop around the base of Mt Alexander. Walkers regain height lost then drop down to go through an underpass beneath the Calder Freeway.
For walkers only, the Leanganook Summit Walk climbs steadily through giant granite tors, skirting the western flank of the Mt Alexander Range, before dropping steeply through mature box woodland to join bike riders at the Coliban Water main channel.
The Coliban Water Walk/Ride follows the undulating shared use track next to the channel. The journey is punctuated at regular intervals by heritage-listed tunnels and artificial waterfalls. From Springs Rd, a flat section next to the channel takes you to a camping ground and the track’s only purpose-built rainwater tank for walkers and riders. More flat, winding track next to the channel lies ahead of you in the final push to Sandhurst Reservoir.
The Bendigo Goldfields Walk/Ride starts with a climb leading you away from the Coliban Channel. It introduces you to forest dominated by the black-fissured trunks of ironbark. There’s a mix of singletrack and 4WD track on the way to Diamond Hill. From here, the sandy shared use track is lined by wildflowers during spring and summer. After an abrupt descent on bitumen, wind on singletrack through the Salomon Gully Flora Reserve, then watch out for the blue Goldfields Track street signs that will lead you through suburban streets to the Bendigo railway station.