Tali Karng is a hidden jewel nestled deep in the mountains of Gippsland, fed by snowmelt waters of the Wellington Plains. The lake is believed
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Tali Karng is a hidden jewel nestled deep in the mountains of Gippsland, fed by snowmelt waters of the Wellington Plains. The lake is believed to have been formed about 1500 years ago when a massive rock slide collapsed into the valley damming the waters of Nigothoruk Creek above Wellington River. The water runs underground from the lake to emerge as the infant Wellington River 150m below in the Valley of Destruction.
The first occupiers of this area were the Gunai Kurnai tribe, most likely member of the Brayakaulung clan. Evidence of their presence can be found in many places, from stone quarries, stone tools and flake scatters, to a system of ancient pathways. Aboriginal people guided many European explorers and gold miner through the mountains along these pathways – pathways which eventually formed the basis of some of today’s road and track network.
Tali Karng is a sacred place to the Gunai Kurnai and in keeping with their law, aboriginal people are forbidden to go there. Although Johnny Snowden, an aboriginal stockman wouldn’t visit the lake, he guided his employer Edward Riggall near the lake and showed him where it lay.
Respect for culture
Aboriginal people are tolerant of non-indigenous people visiting Tali Karng as long as they treat the area with respect. When people camp at the lake however, to aboriginal people it is disrespectful, like someone camping in a cathedral. To show respect for the Gunai Kurnai people of Gippsland, please treat the area with care as you pass by the lake.
Rather than camping at the lake, please camp at Nyimba Camp near Riggalls Old Hut Site at the southern end of the Wellington Plains or below the lake in the Valley of Destruction along the Wellington River. It is a good day walk from Nyimba Camp to Tali Karng and return without heavy packs.
Starting at McFarlane's Saddle on the Moroka Rd, the walk across the Wellington Plain to Nyimba Camp and Riggall Old Hut site is approx 9km on a gentle gradient. Walkers with 4WD vehicles may choose to start their walk at Millers Hut. From Millers Hut it is approx one hour walk to Nyimba Camp. From Nyimba Camp to Tali Karng via Gillios Track is about 4.5km with a descent of almost 600m and will take the average walker about two hours with light packs (allow 2.5 - 3 hours for the return walk uphill, climbing almost 600m).
Riggall Spur Track and Echo Point Track provide an alternative route between Nyimba Camp and Tali Karng. The distance is a little longer but on a slightly easier grade.
The route to Tali Karng from the south leaves the Tamboritha Road and follows the Wellington River Walking Track then either Clive Lanigan Track (through Valley of Destruction) or via Riggall Spur Track and Echo Point Track to the lake. This route includes some 16 river crossings so use care and do not attempt to cross if river levels are high following recent rain.
The difficult route to Tali Karng via Mt Margaret is unmaintained and poorly defined for much of its length between Tamboritha Road and Dolodrook River. Remote navigation skills are required. From the Dolodrook River it follows a 4WD track past the Chromite Mine then Brandy Pinch Track to join the Clive Lanigan Walking Track below the Valley of Destruction.
Horse riders can use Wellington Plains, Millers Hut, Riggall Spur and Echo Point Tracks. Horses are not permitted within 200m of the Lake and a horse-yard is provided on Echo Point Track. Horses are not permitted on the Clive Lanigan or Gillios Walking Tracks and Wellington River Walking Track is currently unsuitable for horses.
Camping and facilities
Tali Karng is a fuel stove only area and no fires are permitted within a 1km radius of the lake. Fires are permitted within fireplaces at Nyimba campsite (near Riggall Old Hut site) at the southern end of the Wellington Plains. Fires are also permitted within fireplaces at informal campsites along the Wellington River.
There are no toilet facilities at the lake. There are toilet facilities at the Nyimba Camp and Nigothoruk Creek nearby is a reliable source of water.
The best time to visit is November through to April. Always carry and know how to use a map and compass and be prepared for sudden changes in the weather.
Larger groups must register with Parks Victoria's Heyfield office. Call 13 1963 for details.