Start point: Everton Upper Railway Station, White Post Road Everton, Victoria – Directions
Distance: 25.5km (51km return)
Track: Good – smooth bitumen
Birds: Honeyeaters, Willie Wagtail, Brown and Striated Thornbills, White-browed Scrubwren, Satin Bowerbird, Turquoise Parrot, Crimson Rosella, Golden and Rufous Whistlers, Olive-backed Oriole
Notes: Trail is bitumen – good quality surface. However, not so good for birding – the first section (12km) is mostly open country – farmland and cattle plus the usual magpies, ravens, corellas and Willie Wagtails. Occasional flocks of Red-browed Finches. Note that it runs close to and parallel with the Great Alpine Way – which results in lots of distracting traffic noise. After the Whorouly-Bowans Road crossing you skirt along Paddy Gully which is worth checking for a variety of birds. After the second Great Alpine Way crossing you enter the edge of the Murmungee I79 Bushland Reserve. Forest is contiguous with Paddy Gully. Again, worth stopping to check for birds. There is another patch of bush before you reach Gapstead and then you are back running parallel to the noisy Great Alpine Way.
After Gapstead you will see the Sewage Treatment Ponds on your left – always worth checking for water birds, but access is restricted. Work is underway to convert part of the existing lagoons to shallow wetland areas for aquatic plants. This will improve bird habitat over time. Soon after you are in Myrtleford.
On your right (across the highway) you will see the Historic Log Tobacco Kiln. Nearby is the Rotary Park with picnic facilities, toilets and a parking area. More importantly, this area encompasses the junction of the Happy Valley and Barwidgee Creeks which then join the Ovens River. The Mosaic Track will take you down to the Ovens – always a nice place to check out the birds.