This delightful trip starts in Drouin, 100km south-east of Melbourne at the centre of a dairying, grazing and timber region in West Gippsland. Initially you'll follow a bitumen road to Warragul, Nerrim and Noojee before dirt road to Loch Valley, winding through the Goulburn State Forest and continuing further north on gravel roads through the tiny settlements of Matlock, and finally into historic Woods Point.
The trip is relatively easy and could be handled by small 4WDs and soft-roaders. The section through the Goulburn State Forest is used by logging trucks so particular care must be taken to keep alert for oncoming vehicles.
How to Use this Trek Note
Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places
on each POI page.
If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
- Ideal solution - download the ExplorOz Traveller App from Google Play or the App Store. The app enables you to carry the ExplorOz Places, Treks, & Maps data offline in your mobile device ready for your adventures. It is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app. For more details, read our ExplorOz Traveller page.
- You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
- If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
- If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.
Birds are prolific through this trek, particularly Eastern Rosellas in the state forest. Wombats and wallabies are the main marsupials seen during the day and Mountain & Alpine Ash are the most notable of the large trees. The trek follows the edge of Radiata Pine Plantation and with ferns in the understory, makes a delightful driving environment.
This trek is full of historical significance so we do suggest you take the time to read up a little, especially about Woods Point.
At the beginning of your trip however, you'll pass the turnoff to the Victorian Heritage
-listed Noojee Trestle Bridge. It's definately speccy to see, but it is also significant for being one of the only remaining historic timber trestle bridges in Victoria
. Being so easily accessible just off the Noojee Road, its definatley worth a look-in. The Noojee to Nayook section of the broad gauge line to Warragul opened in 1919. There was a terminus at Noojee, to which large amounts of timber were transported from mills scattered through the forest by means of a network of timber tramlines, heading to the West and to the North. The bridge originally carried the weight of N class steam locomotives and was eventually taken out of service in 1954 when the line was closed. When the line was being dismantled, the Buln Buln Shire Council purchased the bridge from the Victorian Railways for one pound ($2) so it would be preserved for the future.
Further along this trek you skirt the Yarra Ranges and enter the Goulburn SF. The dense forests of the area were not particularly favoured by Aboriginal people, and were a barrier to European settlement
. Europeans first settled in the 1860s to access Woods Point goldfields and soon the area was recognised as a valuable source of timber.
At the end of the trek you'll reach historic Woods Point, which today only exists for passing tourism, but in former years was a gold-mining township. Gold was official discovered here in mid 1861 by William Gooley. Not long later, the Morning Star reef was found and a storekeeper by the name of Wood set up business on the largest point of the spur. The town was built around it, and so the site became known as Woods Point. Within a few years it had a post office, a police court, a hospital, a school, three churches, three banks, two newspapers, three breweries and numerous shops and hotels. Woods Point went eventually went into decline however the Morning Star continued to operate until December 1927. Much of Woods Point as you see it today is the new town built in 1940, after much of it was destroyed in Black Friday fires of 1939. Today the permanent population
is about 30.