The following walk notes have been developed as a guide to help evaluate whether you are sufficiently competent to undertake the Lake Rhona walk.
There are minimal facilities provided along this track, and walkers must be self-reliant. The weather conditions in this national park are unpredictable and can change quickly without notice. The route is not signposted due to it being a wilderness area, so carrying appropriate maps is highly recommended.
Richea Creek Carpark to Lake Rhona
- Distance: 14km Time: 5-7 Hours.
- Walk conditions and terrain: Moderate to advanced. River crossing and creek crossings. The buttongrass plains in the valley can become muddy in sections. A steep, exposed uphill section to the lake.
- Facilities: Toilet at Lake Rhona.
From the Richea Creek carpark (which is approximately 1 hour from Mount Field National Park), the undulating walk towards Gordon River is approximately 45 minutes away. It is advised that you walk on the eastern bank approximately 20m upstream. First ford the small creek. From here look for the orange track-marker arrow pointing across the Gordon River to another marker diagonally downstream. Expect to get wet and muddy feet!
River Crossing NOTE: Crossing the Gordon River can be hazardous if the water level is high or the water is flowing fast. Use extreme caution when crossing this river. Ensure that your pack is unclipped and not tightly secured onto your body – in the event you fall whilst wading across the river you want to be able to remove your pack quickly and safely. When planning for your trip it is important to allow for extra days whilst you potentially wait for the Gordon River to become safe to cross. The Gordon River can rise quickly and it is not uncommon to become stranded.
Drinking water: Beside the small creeks carving through the valley floor, Gordon River is your last major stop for fresh water before arriving at Lake Rhona. There is also a suggested water collection point at the Lake Rhona inflow creek.
NOTE: In previous years, there's been known water quality issues from Lake Rhona. It is highly recommended that any water collected in this area is treated prior to consumption.
From the Gordon River, you'll spend the next few hours on undulating ground through the valley floor towards the Denison Range. Heading north along the Rasselas Track for the next 3km, the trail alternates between muddy button grass marshland and dry sclerophyll forest before entering Gordonvale – the once-thriving homestead of Ernie Bond in the 1930's to 1950's.
The walk through the valley provides spectacular views of Mount Wright, the Gordon Range, the Denison Range and Reeds Peak in the distance. Sections of this track were considerably burnt in 2019, and regeneration is slow. Abide by the Leave No Trace principles and stay on track to minimise further track degradation.
The short and abrupt 400m climb towards Lake Rhona itself is quite steep and exposed, but with rewarding 360 degree views, as well as brilliant views towards the Gordon Range highlighting the intricate system of waterways within the Vale of Rasselas.
Camping is recommended at the campsites at Lake Rhona – on the flats behind the dunes. There are small tent sites trackside in the valley floor.
Lake Rhona to Richea Creek Carpark
- Distance: 14km
- Time: 4-6 hours.
- Walk conditions and Terrain: Steep descent from Lake Rhona towards the valley floor. Be careful of slippery footing in wet conditions. River crossing and creek crossings.
Retrace your steps towards the carpark, be advised that river levels rise and fall rapidly. Crossing the Gordon River can be hazardous if the water level is high or flowing quickly. It is recommended that you camp out of the forest and in the buttongrass moorlands when waiting for river levels to drop - as the cleared areas near the Gordon River can flood quickly and without warning.
There are cleared areas on the Lake Rhona side of the Gordon River if you need to camp until water levels drop. It is advised you pack extra food for this reason.