A fascinating trek along the Volcanic trail provides insight into the turbulent geology of the Western District.

Penshurst is 20 minutes south east of Hamilton, and is home of the extinct volcano Mount Rouse, which dominates the landscape. An easy climb to the Mt Rouse lookout provides panoramic views of the Grampians and the volcanic plains.

Travelling west, follow the lava trail for 30 minutes to Macarthur, and Mt Eccles National Park. Mt Eccles is 6120 hectares of parkland, featuring a lava tube cave, Lake Surprise, situated in the dormant crater, an interpretation centre, and a large koala colony. It’s not so much; can you spot the koala, but how many can you spot?

Travelling north, the Tumuli are a fascinating series of lava blisters and the only ones of their kind in southern Australia. At Harman’s lookout, closer to Byaduk, view a river of lava making its way toward you from Mount Napier, Victoria’s youngest volcano. The Byaduk Caves are Australia’s most accessible lava caves, several of which are open to the public. Walking tracks and viewing platforms make viewing the caves accessible to everyone.

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