Growling Swallet – Florentine Valley
Allow about an hour and a half return for this rainforest walk.
1. Before heading out to the Florentine Valley, phone the Mt Field National Park Office 03 6288 1149 to book a gate key for access to the F8 East forestry road that leads to Growling Swallet. Pick up the key at Mt Field National Park – there’s a $300 deposit for the key, refunded on key return.
2. A four wheel drive would be useful if not essential. The road beyond the gate is narrow and unsealed. The condition is mostly good, but there are a couple of extremely wet, boggy and heavily rutted sections where a vehicle with high clearance is necessary.
3. This walk can be very wet underfoot and boots and gaiters are recommended.
4. There is no mobile phone coverage in this area.
Growling Swallet, is a place of fascinating limestone rock formations, where clear running water plunges underground into the Junee-Florentine karst. The Junee–Florentine karst covers an area of about 18,500 ha and contains more then 500 documented cave entrances.
From Mt Field National Park, drive west on the Gordon River Road (B61), through the township of Maydena. Just past Maydena there’s a well signposted road to the right. This is the Florentine road to the Styx Valley – turn right here. This is a wide, unsealed, but well maintained forestry road. Continue on this road (approx. 20 minutes) until you reach forestry road F8 East. Turn right into F8 East, where you’ll need the key to open the gate. The Growling Swallet walk begins at the end of this road.
The walk is mostly flat, through beautiful forest, with lots of fungi, ferns, mosses and lichens. The track can be very wet in places. Track markings are minimal and it is easy to miss the final fork in the track that leads to Growling Swallet. After you’ve walked for some time and can hear the sound of rushing water, watch for a narrow fork in the track off to the right and leading downwards. Take this track down to the right, to a small landing area where you can catch a glimpse of water. The final few metres of the track down to Growling Swallet is steep and can be slippery.