Hiking the Yarra Ranges National Park
Are you looking for an unforgettable hiking experience in the Yarra Ranges National Park? With its stunning natural beauty, diverse range of hiking trails, and unique wildlife, this park is truly a treasure. In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know to plan your next hiking trip to the Yarra Ranges National Park, from the best trails to the top tips for a safe and enjoyable experience.
If you’re an avid hiker or just looking for a fun day out in nature, the Yarra Ranges National Park is the perfect destination. Located just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the park offers a range of hiking trails for all levels of fitness and experience. With stunning views, pristine forests, and plenty of wildlife, the Yarra Ranges National Park is a true gem of Victoria.
Hiking trails in the Yarra Ranges National Park
The Yarra Ranges National Park has a wide range of hiking trails to suit all fitness levels and experience. Whether you’re looking for a short walk or a challenging hike, there’s something for everyone in this stunning park.
Mount Donna Buang Summit Walk
This challenging hike takes you to the summit of Mount Donna Buang, where you’ll enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area. The trail is approximately 7km return and takes around three to four hours to complete.
La La Falls Walk
This easy walk takes you to the beautiful La La Falls, which are located in a stunning forest setting. The trail is approximately 4km return and takes around one to two hours to complete.
O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail
This moderate hike follows the historic O’Shannassy Aqueduct, which was built in the early 1900s to supply water to Melbourne. The trail is approximately 30km return and takes around six to eight hours to complete.
This challenging hike takes you through the stunning Cathedral Ranges, where you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. The trail is approximately 10km return and takes around five to six hours to complete.
Top tips for hiking in the Yarra Ranges National Park
To make the most of your hiking trip to the Yarra Ranges National Park, here are our top tips for a safe and enjoyable experience:
- Check the weather: Before your trip, check the weather forecast for the area and pack accordingly. The weather in the Yarra Ranges National Park can be changeable, so it’s important to be prepared for all eventualities.
- Bring plenty of water: It’s important to stay hydrated while hiking, especially in warmer weather. Bring plenty of water with you, and consider using a hydration pack for hands-free drinking.
- Wear appropriate clothing: Wear comfortable and appropriate clothing for the conditions, including sturdy hiking shoes, a hat, and sunscreen. Layers are also important, as temperatures can change quickly in the park.
- Pack a first aid kit: Bring a small first aid kit with you, including basic supplies such as bandages, antiseptic cream, and pain relief medication.
- Follow trail markers: Stay on designated hiking trails and follow trail markers to avoid getting lost. Make sure to carry a map and compass, or use a GPS device.
Getting To Yarra Ranges National Park
Getting to the Yarra Ranges National Park is easy, with several options for transport depending on your preferences. The park is located approximately 70km east of Melbourne, and can be reached by car, public transport, or organised tour.
- By car: The most convenient way to get to the Yarra Ranges National Park is by car. From Melbourne, take the Eastern Freeway and exit onto Maroondah Highway, which will take you to the park entrance. There are several car parks located throughout the park, and many of the hiking trails start from these car parks.
- By public transport: If you don’t have a car, you can take public transport to get to the Yarra Ranges National Park. From Melbourne, take the Lilydale train line to Lilydale Station, and then catch a bus to the park entrance. The journey takes approximately two hours.
- By tour: Another option is to take a guided tour to the Yarra Ranges National Park. This is a convenient option, especially if you’re not familiar with the area. There are several tour operators that offer day trips or multi-day tours to the park.
The weather in the Yarra Ranges National Park can be changeable, so it’s important to be prepared for all conditions. The park has a temperate climate, with warm summers and cool winters.
Here’s what you can expect:
- During the summer months (December-February) in the Yarra Ranges National Park, temperatures range from around 10 to 30 degrees Celsius. The climate can be quite warm and humid during the middle of the day, so it’s important to bring plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing to protect against the sun. The park is at its busiest during these months, as they coincide with the summer holiday season. If you plan on hiking during this time, it’s important to arrive early in the day to beat the crowds and avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day. Additionally, it’s important to note that bushfires can occur during the summer months, so it’s always a good idea to check for any alerts or warnings before heading out on your hike.
- During the winter months (June-August) in the Yarra Ranges National Park, temperatures range from around 0 to 15 degrees Celsius. The climate can be quite chilly, especially in the early morning and late afternoon, so it’s important to bring warm clothing and a rain jacket.
- The best time to visit the Yarra Ranges National Park is during the spring and autumn months (September-November and March-May), when the weather is generally mild and there is a lower chance of rain. During these seasons, the park is at its most beautiful, with wildflowers in bloom and stunning foliage colours.
However, it’s important to note that weather in the park can change quickly, so it’s always a good idea to check the forecast before heading out on your hike. Dressing in layers is key, as temperatures can vary significantly throughout the day. It’s also important to bring plenty of water and snacks, as well as a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
By being prepared for all weather conditions, you can make the most of your hiking experience in the Yarra Ranges National Park and enjoy the stunning scenery that this beautiful park has to offer.
Yarra Ranges National Park FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about hiking in the Yarra Ranges National Park:
Q: Are there any entry fees for the park?
A: Yes, there are entry fees for the park. You can purchase a day pass or an annual parks pass, which provides entry to all Victorian national parks.
Q: Is it safe to hike in the Yarra Ranges National Park?
A: Yes, hiking in the park is generally safe as long as you follow basic safety guidelines and stay on designated trails.
Q: Are dogs allowed in the park?
A: Dogs are not allowed in the park, with the exception of guide dogs.
Q: Is camping allowed in the park?
A: Yes, there are several camping areas located throughout the park. You can choose from a range of campsites, including basic and powered sites, and book in advance online.
Q: Are there any guided tours available?
A: Yes, there are several tour operators that offer guided tours of the Yarra Ranges National Park, including day trips and multi-day tours.
The Yarra Ranges National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves hiking and nature. With its stunning scenery, diverse range of trails, and unique wildlife, this park is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a fun day out, the Yarra Ranges National Park has something for everyone.
By following our top tips for a safe and enjoyable experience, you can make the most of your trip to this beautiful park. So pack your hiking boots, bring plenty of water, and get ready for an adventure in the Yarra Ranges National Park!
We encourage you to get out and explore the natural beauty of Melbourne and the surrounding areas, check out our other blogs. Not only will you get some great exercise and fresh air, but you will also have the opportunity to connect with nature and take in some truly breathtaking scenery.
Check out the Parks Victoria page for more details on the Yarra Ranges National Park.
Other Hikes in Victoria
Check out our other Victorian hikes here.