Phillip Island Sand Sculpture

things to Do on Phillip Island this weekend

 

 

Escape Melbourne this weekend! Phillip Island is a small island connected to the main land by a bridge just under 2 hours’ drive from Melbourne in the state of Victoria. Home to the famous Penguin Parade, there’s so much to see and do on this tiny Island. Coastal walks and surf beaches await. Great restaurants and iconic Australian animals to see. There’s even a mini island off Phillip Island. This is called Churchill Island and is the top place to see koalas in the wild in Victoria.

Quick Index

echidna vs wallaby Philip Island Only1invillage

                    

How to Get to Phillip Island

Phillip Island is best explored by car and on foot when you’re there. Public transport options are not great. You can get tours from Melbourne, but you won’t get a real feel for the place in one day. Buses will get you to the main towns, but then you’ll have to use taxis.

Melbourne to Philip Island map is a 2 hour drive Only1invillage
Phillip Island is a 2 hour drive from Melbourne. It can be a day trip, but, you’ll only catch a glimpse of the place. Better to stay a few days.

                  

The Penguin Parade on Phillip Island

Penguin at home on Philip Island Only1invillage
A famous penguin coming in after sunset on Phillip Island. The Penguin parade is a nightly spectacle of returning penguins from the ocean onto the beach at Phillip Island.

This is the most visited attraction in the whole of Phillip Island. Viewing platforms enable you to watch this evening spectacle of cuteness. Every evening, fairy penguins head in from the sea without fail and waddle onto the sand and to their homes amongst the rocks and sand. The viewing of the tiny little birds has become so popular that there is a limit of people, each day and you must book your day in advance.

3 parks pass savings Philip Island Only1invillage
The 3 parks pass lets you see the penguin parade, the koala conservation centre and the Churchill Island heritage farm.

Prices start from Au$27.25 per adult. You can buy various packages and save when you see other Phillip Island attractions. These are the koala conservation centre and the Churchill Heritage Farm. In our opinion it is very worth it. See below if you buy separately. You must book your Penguin Parade day, but the other two site are valid for 6 months from date of purchase.

attraction attraction cost if you buy separately You save with a 3 Parks Pass
Penguin Parade 27.25  
Koala Conservation Centre 13.50  
Churchill Island Heritage Farm 13.50  
  54.25 (total of 3 above) 8.05

OK so you save AU$8, better than a kick in the …….don’t you think?!

                  

Koala conservation centre Rhyll

Enjoy a lovely walk amongst typical Australian bushland and look up to the tree tops. This is the place to see koalas on Philip Island. It’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll see three or four on your boardwalk stroll. You can buy a separate ticket or you can enter as part of the “3 parks pass”. These iconic cute fur balls are just adorable.

cute koalas koala conservation centre Philip Island Only1invillage
OMG cute koalas are everywhere at the koala conservation centre on Phillip Island.

                  

Cape Woolami Walk and The Pinnacles

The Pinaccles in Philip Island on the Cape Woolami walk Only1invillage
The Pinnacles on the Cape Woolamai Loop Walk. There’s pinnacles all over Australia!

A stunning coastal walk taking in rugged landscapes and a granite quarry! This is a very windy walk, being coastal, but very rewarding. On our walk we saw an echidna and a wallaby. It’s a medium grade walk and should take about 3 hours to do the whole loop. This is the one which takes in The Beacon.

Panoramic view towards the ocean near the Old Granite Quarry, Cape Woolamai Walk, Philip Island Only1invillage
Panoramic view towards the ocean near the Old Granite Quarry, Cape Woolamai Walk, Phillip Island.
spectacular scenery on the Cape Woolami walk Only1invillage
The spectacular rugged coastal scenery on the Cape Woolamai Walk. It’s windy!
Cape Woolamai walk Philip Island Only1invillage
Cape Woolami takes in the ocean and cliff views. Phillip Island is an island off the south east of Melbourne.
Granite Bay Cape Woolamai walk Philip Island Only1invillage
Granite Bay. Don’t let C get too close, she’ll want it for the kitchen!

                  

Nobbies Walk

The Nobbies rocks Philip Island Only1invillage
The Nobbies are cobblestone rocks which act as an important breeding ground for Australian Fur seals. Spot them here on Phillip Island.

This is a lovely boardwalk of 1 km in length to see some fantastic rugged coastline from the Nobbies Centre. The Nobbies themselves are a collection of rocks, which provide an important breeding ground for Australian Fur seals. Yes, first you didn’t think Australia has penguins and now seals?!! As you stroll along the boardwalk to see the blowhole and hopefully the seals, there is also a majestic carpet of wildflowers.

pretty wildflowers near the Nobbies Philip Island Only1invillage
A pretty carpet of flowers covers the conservation area near The Nobbies. You can view this from the boardwalk.
Nobbies boardwalk is windy Philip Island Only1invillage
The Nobbies walk is a lovely stroll along a boardwalk. It’s very windy though!

                  

Chocolate Factory

Penguin chocoalte display 100 per cent chocolate chocolate factory Philip Island Only1invillage
This display is 100 % chocolate! A fascinating insight into everything chocolate at the Chocolate Factory on Phillip Island. If you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss this place.

A very enjoyable and informative place where you get to make your own chocolate. The highly prized cacao bean has been elevated to its rightful place as the number 1 ingredient for chocolate lovers.

CHocolate factory Philip Island great displays prizes to be won Philip Island only1invillage
The Chocolate Factory brings in bus loads of excited tourists. Tour the facilities, witness some amazing displays and make your own chocolate creation! This whole display, apart from the train, is made from chocolate!

                  

Churchill Island Heritage Farm

If you have your 3 parks pass you are obviously coming here to Churchill Island. It is a fascinating glimpse into history and settler life. You have the whole island to yourself to walk around. You can even bring your bike along for the ride!

Inside a historical house on Churchill Island Philip Island Only1invillage
Inside a historical house on Churchill Island.

                  

Surf at Smiths Beach

Smiths Beach Philip Island Only1invillage
Smiths Beach is a great surf and family beach with a lovely crescent shape.

One of many lovely relaxing beaches on Phillip Island. This is a popular surf beach and has some prime real estate just metres back from the beach. The sand is 1 kilometre long and it draws surfers because of its consistent wave quality. Children can explore the awesome rock pools at low tide. These are located at either end of the beach. During high tide, snorkellers can enjoy the rock pools too. Something for everyone! Toilets and cold outdoor showers are available here.

                  

Stroll along Cowes Beach

Cowes Beach Phillip Island Only1invillage
Cowes Beach Phillip Island is a calm and wide family friendly beach. Perfect for a stroll along the beach or the impressive walking track behind the beach. Make sure you check our the pier as well. This is the place boats depart for the seal colony at Nobbies.

Cowes is the main town of Phillip Island. It has plenty of accommodation, shops and places to eat. Eating options range from fish and chips to fine dining and wine bars. The beaches on this side of the island are sheltered and family friendly. 

                  

Rhyll Inlet Walk 1.5 hours return

A gentle walk starting with flat boardwalk, suitable for all ages. The Rhyll Inlet walk is a great opportunity for bird spotting along the boardwalk. There are many places to start this walk. You can start at Conservation Hill, mangrove boardwalk or Harbison Road carpark at Oswin Roberts Reserve.

Outlook from Conservation Hill overlooking the Rhyll Inlet Philip Island Only1invillage
Get good views of the Rhyll Inlet from Conservation Hill on the Rhyll Inlet Walk, Phillip Island.

Now if you fit this all in on one weekend, we’ll be amazed!

The next three places are not strictly on Phillip Island, but are nearby and you can make a separate weekend to do these.

                  

San Remo Coastal Walk 1 Hour return walk 4kms

San Remo Coastal Walk near Philip Island Only1invillage
San Remo Coastal Walk near Phillip Island. Prepare to get your feet wet. There’s sand, gravel, stones, stairs and concrete path along this walk!

                  

Wonthaggi State coal mine

Ride the coal mine train from deep underground at Wonthaggi State Coal Mine before Philip Island Only1invillage
Big and little kids get to ride the coal train! Wonthaggi State Coal Mine runs underground tours twice a day. The above grounds are all free for you to explore at your leisure.

 

This place is fantastic. Completely run by knowledgable volunteers who will give you the full mine tour. Go underground and get dirty! Just kidding, it’s very clean. The guides are fantastic and on the day we went, our guide had us in stitches with his anecdotes. You also get to ride on a coal train. Now all the big kids in you…steady on.

Underground tours run twice a day and are very informative and entertaining. Wonthaggi State Coal Mine was operational until 1968. Don't go if you don't like confined dark spaces Only1invillage
Underground tours run twice a day and are very informative and entertaining. Wonthaggi State Coal Mine was operational until 1968. Don’t go if you don’t like confined dark spaces.

George Bass Coastal Walk

Click here for our separate blog on this amazing must do walk near Phillip Island.

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Peninsula Hot Springs near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation

Only1invillage reviews the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne

Tired, stressed out, need a short break? Head to the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne for a much needed short getaway. Indulge, relax and rejuvenate. Luxury is so close at hand for city slickers at the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne.

Healing thermal waters are just 100 kms from the CBD. Make a day trip from Melbourne or stay in a nearby winery for extra luxury. 

The Peninsula Hot Springs on the Mornington Peninsula have long been a secret destination for corporate bonding, girls’ day out, hen parties and nature lovers. Here you can immerse yourself, literally, in warm mineral water and in nature. 

Quick Index Peninsula Hot Springs!

                                                    

The Benefits of Thermal Spring Waters

The benefits of geothermal waters are plentiful. You get really smooth skin and a great night’s sleep for starters! In addition to this, the minerals in the water are good for arthritis sufferers and can reduce blood pressure. Finally, bathing in mineral rich waters, such as the Peninsula Hot Springs promotes detoxification. By increasing blood circulation and the movement of oxygen through the body, the warm waters contribute to the body’s detoxifying capabilities. So what are you waiting for? Not only enjoyable, a social event and a beautiful peaceful place to visit, but good for your health!

                                                    

When to go to the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne

The good thing about hot springs is that you can visit them at anytime of the year. Even when it’s cold and raining, you’ll be immersed in warm water. You won’t feel the cold at all. Personally we like to go on sunny or cloudy days with an air temperature in the 20s. 

                                                    

Getting To The Peninsula Hot Springs

Drive

About 1.5 hours away from Melbourne. Of course this is traffic dependent too. Taking the paid way is 15 minutes quicker than taking the free roads.

Peninsula Hot Springs near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
The best way to get to the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne is to drive.

Public Transport

It’s a bit difficult to get public transport and we don’t recommend it. But it is possible. If coming from Melbourne, you need to get a train to Frankston. From Frankston take the number 788 bus to Rye. From Rye you need to call a taxi or an Uber.

Tour

Book a day tour which includes entrance, lunch, wine tasting and a gondola ride. The lunch is not at the Peninsula Hot Springs. Prices start at over $200AUD. You only get to spend 2 to 3 hours in the pools, if you come on a tour.

                                                    

Prices and Packages at The Peninsula Hot Springs

For public bathing,  prices start at $55AUD for a whole day. To experience all pools you need at least 4 hours in our opinion. 

If you want just a ‘quickie’ and you can get to the Peninsula Hot Springs before 9am, you can pay as little as $25AUD. That’s the off peak tariff, which means Monday to Friday. Weekends are naturally more expensive!

If you don’t want to mix with the common people and are seeking seclusion, packages start at $95AUD per person. This means however, no people watching and why would you sacrifice that?! There are also plenty of other ways to spend your money, for example, buying a massage package or the Spa Dreaming Package.

                                                    

Staying Overnight

At present you cannot stay on site. There are plans for 10 glamping pods to be opened soon. Stay at nearby wineries or in hotels in the nearby towns of Fingal or Rye. The Peninsula Hot Springs has partner hotels on their website. We stay at the excellent 4 star Rye Hotel

                                                    

What to bring

Bring your own towel and bathrobe if you want to cover up as you run from pool to pool. Bring your thongs! By that we don’t mean your G string! Take our Aussie slang guide quiz to make sure you can understand what the staff are saying! 

Ladies – C always brings her own powerful hairdryer. There’s nothing worse than a bad ‘after the hot springs’ look!

Bring some clay. What? A mud mask or a body mask. There’s an area where you can paint yourself with clay, but, you have to buy it. SO bring your own instead!

                                                    

What not to bring

On sunny days, you don’t need sunscreen as there is plenty available at the Peninsula Hot Springs. Can we just say though, please don’t smother yourself in it and get straight in the pools. It leaves a sticky, oily mess floating on the top! 

Don’t bring jewellery because it will tarnish – badly!

Don’t wear your best footwear. They might get wet and shrink.

                                                    

Spend a whole day relaxing at the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne

The number of pools is amazing. They keep adding to the pools too. It’s getting bigger and bigger. You can bring your own food because there are dedicated picnic areas. The food isn’t that great at the first cafe we’re afraid to report.

Start at the bottom of the complex and slowly work your way up!

There’s even a ladies’ only area, but, sadly, it’s not very exciting. It’s a fenced off garden area, with a few deck chairs and a table. See the photos below.

ladies only area Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne day trip
Behind this intriguing sign is…….
Ladies only garden Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne Day trip
The ladies only area consists of a small fenced off garden with a few deck chairs and a table (not shown).

Let’s get stuck into the pools!

We like the public spaces pools. You can have private baths, but the tubs in the private areas are not that big and there’s less people watching. Where’s the fun in that?

After parking, you follow the signs to the Reception area. It’s best to book ahead, especially at the weekends. You will get refused entry or told there’s a slot available in four hours if you want to wait. The locker charge is $5 which is activated onto your wristband. You don’t have to use a locker, there are wooden boxes that you can put your belongings by the first hot pool. However, you are relying on other people’s honesty not to rifle through your things.

The first pool has a hydrotherapy bar and lie down jet massagers, that you can activate yourself. The water temperature  is a very pleasant 36 – 37 degrees. Just behind is a cold plunge pool which apparently is the best way to use thermal waters. You warm your blood up and then you cool it down. 

Peninsula Hot SPrings near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
If you turn right after coming down the stairs at Reception, you will see these pools. The ladies in the background are sitting on the jet massagers and you can see some people doing exercises in the hydrotherapy pool.

To the left of the first pool is another low pool surrounded by trees. The water  temperature is pretty much the same as the first pool (36 -37 degrees).

As you head up the hill, you come to the reflexology walk, also known as the ‘freakin painful footpath’. Raised pebbles make a supposed therapeutic walk  to ease the tension of your whole body and massage pressure points. It’s not for everyone, but, most people do it as a badge of honour. We just like the punishment factor. Of course, it’s filled with warm spring water.

Peninsula Hot SPrings near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
J starts the reflexology walk and stops to contemplate the health benefits! Come on, you can get to the end, deep breaths!

After you survive the water walk torture, there’s another pool and then the Turkish style hamam. Basically a steam room with a dome, a hamam, is the place to sweat all the toxins out. As is traditional, there is a heated marble stone in the centre to lie on, if you like to pose. Fill up the little silver bowls with cold water to splash on yourself, if you get too hot. Make sure you close the door quickly as you enter and leave, so the temperature can remain hot and all the steam doesn’t escape.

Just adjacent to the Turkish style hamam one sauna. It’s quite small and can fit a maximum of 10 people comfortably. Bring a towel to sit on the wood for hygiene reasons. Recently added, there are now two larger saunas which can probably squash 30 people in each. You will find the new saunas in the ‘fire and ice’ section.

Peninsula Hot SPrings near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
As you ascend, each pool has either pegs or rails where you can hang your towels and bath robes. Some spots have little rectangular boxes to place your glasses in. There are also water taps, so you never get thirsty.

Before you get in each pool and after you get out, you are supposed to have a shower to rinse off any dead skin. There are a variety of massage showers which we love to stand under as the powerful jets massage the head and shoulders. All the water coming out of the massaging showers contain trace elements. C swears her hair feels better and has more root lift after using thermal waters.

Peninsula Hot SPrings near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
Rinse off and get a massage at the same time! These powerful showers are pure bliss at the Peninsula Hot Springs on the Mornington Peninsula.

The newest area of the Peninsula Hot Springs, is called the amphitheatre. This area seems less busy probably because it’s further away from the older section.

quieter newer area Peninsula hot springs Melbourne day trip only1invillage
Outdoor concerts are held here in the newest addition to the Peninsula Hot Springs. Top tip, the pools are less busy here.
Peninsula Hot Springs near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
The newest area of the Peninsula Hot Springs is the amphitheatre area.

 

 

You get beautiful garden views here, an outdoor stage and a new cafe, with outdoor seating.

Peninsula hot Springs new cafe only1invillage
The new cafe area in the ampitheatre area is another place to buy food.
Peninsula hot Springs new cafe only1invillage
A closer look at the menu near the stage. Previous to this there was only one place to buy food, near the entrance area.

There are seven hot pools and two cold plunge pools.

Peninsula Hot Springs near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
The newest addition to the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne is the amphitheatre area. In the background you can see the outdoor stage.

If you turn left at the bottom of the stairs after the reception area, you start at the foot pool inside. Continuing outside there are Japanese style waterfall jets and a small cold plunge pool. There’s a hand bath basin, where you can fill up a huge stone basin with therapeutic thermal waters.

Keep walking and you will come to a pond where the ducks are having the best time! Look carefully as you walk between pools. 

blue tongue lizard peninsula hot springs only1invillage
Look down as you walk between pools. You might spot a blue tongue lizard coming out to bask in the sunshine.

It’s not all about soaking at the Peninsula Hot Springs. There are some day beds and deck chairs scattered around the gardens. The most recent addition is hammocks which take 2 people for lazing around on.

lazing on hammocks Peninsula hot springs only1invillage
If you need to dry out, relax on one of these giant hammocks. They take two adults.

If you don’t fancy swinging to relax, there are also some igloo shaped, plastic giant domes, which act like greenhouses. Inside these ‘bubbles’ are giant beanbags for sleeping on and deck chairs in others.

plastic domes that act like glasshouses for relaxing in at the Peninsula Hot Springs only1invillage
As you walk around the gardens, you might like to have a snooze in one of the domes, in between bathing at the Peninsula Hot Springs.

You can watch the wildlife from the next pool which has the best foot, calf and back massaging jets. The jets are on automatic timer and get switched on every 15 minutes. Most of the pools look like the one below. The temperature of the pools range from 36 to 42 degrees celcius. All the pools are clearly signed for temperature.

Peninsula Hot Springs near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
Most of the pools at the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne can fit 8 to 10 people. You are always surrounded by bushes and native grasses as you soak.

Now for the best part of the Peninsula Hot Springs. No it’s not pictures of us in our swimwear, it’s the hilltop pool. When you make it to the top pool, you are rewarded with a 360 degree view of the Mornington Peninsula. Be warned, however, you will rarely get this pool to yourself!

Peninsula Hot Springs near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
The hill top pool provides panoramic views of the Mornington Peninsula. Immerse yourself in nature, literally!

After some careful editing to protect the privacy of others, we can show you the hill top pool. Be warned though, you will rarely have it to yourself.

Peninsula Hot Springs near Melbourne indulge relax and rejuvenation
When you get to the hill top pool at the Peninsula Hot Springs Melbourne, you will rarely be alone! It’s quite a hot pool and very small.

We hope you enjoyed this review from Only1invillage. The Peninsula Hot Springs is an easy day trip from Melbourne. If you’re in the Mornington Peninsula area, stay at the excellent wineries of the region and of course, take a detour to the nearby beaches. Make a weekend out of it or a day trip. Relax, indulge and rejuvenate!

 

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You Yangs regional park near Melbourne by only1invillage

Get Active in The You Yangs!

The You Yangs Regional Park is only 67 kms outside of Melbourne along the Princes Freeway or M1. It takes about an hour and 10 minutes to drive there. It’s a great Melbourne day trip and a chance to do some easy walking with great views. City dwellers love the You Yangs for its ‘bushwalking’ and fresh air. From Geelong, you’re only 30 kilometres away, but, it will still take you 50 minutes to drive there. The nearest town is either Lara or LIttle River, which are both about 10 kilometres away.

What is there to see and Do at The You Yangs Regional Park?

You Yangs regional park near Melbourne only1invillage
You will see huge granite rocks everywhere in the You Yangs.

There are spectacular views of the volcanic plains below when you climb to the peak. There is good native vegetation featuring plants such as Sugar Gum and Yellow Gum Eucalypts. If you’re very lucky, you might spot a koala! Sightings of kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and lizards are common. Bird lovers will find the You Yangs Regional Park particularly rewarding. Over 200 species of birds have been recorded.

water dragon at the You Yangs regional Park
Remember to look down on your walks in the You Yangs, especially on a sunny day. These lizards or water dragons are quite common. Don’t freak out, they’re harmless.

Most of the walk, trails and hikes are quite open and exposed to the elements. There are lots of granite rocks and boulders, with some very interesting shapes. Big Rock, the most popular granite rock is huge. If you can’t make it into the Red Centre of Australia, to see Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) this is quite a good substitute!

You Yangs Mountain Biking
It’s not all about walking and hiking. Get some off road biking done too in the You Yangs.

You can go mountain biking here. Even horse riding is permitted. There are a variety of walks as well as some basic rock climbing available to everyone. Groups have to book, but individuals don’t need to. Free barbecues are on offer on a first come first serve basis. The car parks have plenty of picnic tables to take a break after your outdoor adventures. You Yangs Walks

The You Yangs Regional Park is well signed. Get out of the city and experience Melbourne’s mini ‘outback’.

Top Tips

When to go: As long as it’s dry, any season is good to go.

Difficulty of hiking trails: Mostly easy to hard. The hiking trails offer something for everyone. Even young children can do most walks as it’s pretty flat.

Car Parks: There are 5 car parks. All have picnic tables and areas attached to them.

The first car park is the Office Park car park. This is where you can check which rock climbing sites are available and any other important updates.

The second car park is with the Yellow Gum Picnic Area. 

The third car park is the Turntable Car Park. It also has picnic tables and toilets. Warning: the toilets have no flushing water. They are typical ‘bush’ composting toilets. A deep hole where you just throw the toilet paper into the dark. Always close the lid for obvious reasons!

There are two other car parks called Big Rock and Kurrajong.

Provisions: We recommend that you take half a litre of water per person, per hour, that you intend to walk. For the longest walk, you might want some muesli bars or protein balls too.

Sun protection: Don’t get caught out with the harsh Australian sun. Wear sunscreen and a hat. You might not feel like you’re getting burned, but sun burn is never a good look!

Shoes: Hiking shoes are not necessary for the majority of the You Yangs walks. For the East West walk you might want to wear hiking boots. There are parts that you need to scramble and some steep steps. However, you can get by with running shoes and many of the trails are popular with fitness runners. They aren’t wearing hiking boots.

Mobile phone reception is good within the You Yangs Park.

Flooding: There are some areas which can be closed after heavy rainfall. Always check with the Park Office first for safety reasons.You-Yangs-Parks-Victoria-map

The map above has been republished with permission from Parks Victoria. It’s the best map of the available walks.  It can be found with additional information at the You Yangs state park site  here

Branding Yard Trail

5 km return 2.5 hours easy/medium grade .Start at Turntable car park or Toynes Road Gate.  

Northern Range Walk

3.5km one way 1hour. This walk extends from the East West Walk and the Branding Yard Trail. A bit more of a challenge. Some steep parts and you get water views.

East West Walk

You Yangs regional park near Melbourne East West Walk by only1invillage
You can start this walk in two places, but, you’ll end up back at the Turntable car park.

4.5km return 1.5 to 2 hours medium/hard grade. Start at Turntable parking area.

You Yangs regional park near Melbourne East West Walk by only1invillage
You have 2 options to start the East West walk. These giant steps mean you get your heart racing right from the beginning.

This is probably the most challenging of all the You Yangs walking trails.

You Yangs regional park near Melbourne East West Walk by only1invillage
Magnificent views are your reward on the East West walk in the You Yangs.

You’ll need to do some rock scrambling. However, you are rewarded with stunning views of the You Yangs and the surrounding areas.

You Yangs regional park near Melbourne East West Walk by only1invillage
Probably one of the hardest walks, but, hey, look at the views! The East West Walk will take you about 1.5 hours.

Flinders Peak Walk

Flinders Peak Walk You Yangs
All the information you need on the sign. Climb your own little mountain in Melbourne!

3.2 km return 1 hour hard/difficult grade. Start at the Turntable car park. If you’re trying to do your daily 10,000 steps, this walk will give you 450. When you get to the top, you guessed it, you’re at the highest point in the You Yangs ranges.

Flinders Peak Walk You Yangs Melbourne day trip
The Flinders Peak Walk in the You Yangs starts with 450 steps. Up we go!

As you ascend there is a very interesting bird to look out for. It is one of a kind in Melbourne. You won’t find it anywhere else!

Flinders Peak Walk You Yangs
This geogylph is a unique bird of the Melbourne region. You can only see it if you come to the You Yangs which is about an hour’s drive from Melbourne. You don’t even need binoculars!
Flinders Peak Walk You Yangs
Take a rest half way up the Flinders Peak Walk to admire the stunning outlook.
Flinders Peak Walk You Yangs
You made it to the peak of Flinders Peak! Just love these huge granite rocks which are everywhere at the You Yangs.

Big Rock Walk

3 km return 1 hours easy grade. Start at the Park Office Car Park. A gently sloping loop, popular with dog walkers, fitness runners and families. Big Rock is never far away. If you just want to walk on Big Rock ( a big granite rock) you can do this from Big Rock Picnic Ground Car Park.  We did it from Turntable car park. It’s about a 1.3km easy walk to Big Rock from here.

You Yangs Regional Park

Starting our walk from Turntable car park to the Big Rock picnic area.

You Yangs Big Rock

This is the sign from the Big Rock Picnic Area.

You Yangs Regional Park

Looking out at the You Yangs from on top of Big Rock.

You Yangs Big Rock 

The Big Rock is huge. You can walk all over it in about 20 minutes and you can walk around it.You Yangs Tee Pee

Climb the rock and congratulate yourself! On the path around Big Rock you will see Tee Pees. Some trees  have been burnt and have colourful amber sap leaking out as they heal. You Yangs Regional Park

 

On our way back we passed this colourful split rock.

 

The You Yangs is a beautiful spot. It’s so close to Melbourne and has enough to do to keep you going back. This was such a fun day out. We know we will back soon!

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Things To Do on Phillip Island This weekend Melbourne City Escape 5

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Werribee Gorge State Park Hiking Clifftop

Werribee Gorge State Park 5 Epic Hikes

Werribee Gorge is only 75 kms outside of Melbourne along the Western Freeway. It takes about 45 minutes to drive there. It’s a great Melbourne day trip which we love doing. City dwellers love Werribee Gorge as it’s a chance to do some ‘bushwalking’ and get some fresh air. If you’re basing yourself in Geelong, the drive is just over an hour. The nearest town is Bacchus Marsh, which is 8 kms away. 

What is there to see at Werribee Gorge State Park?

There are spectacular views of the gorge and lookout points over the hills. There is good native vegetation featuring plants such as the white flowered Snowy Mint bush. Parts of the walk are open grassland and there’s even a mini beach! There are a variety of walks as well as some basic rock climbing available to everyone.  There is also an abundance of native animals such as the black wallaby, snakes and wedge tailed eagles. Keep your eyes peeled as you go on this fantastic bush walk. Werribee Gorge State Park Hiking Circuit River Melbourne Day Trips

cenery constantly changes in Werribee Gorge State Park. Get out of the city and experience Melbourne’s mini ‘outback’.

Top Tips

When to go: As long as it’s dry, any season is good to go.

Difficulty of hiking trails: Easy to hard. The hiking trails offer something for everyone. Even young children can do some of the river walk as it’s pretty flat.

Car Parks: There are 3 car parks off Myers road.

The first car park is directly off Myers road as you come off the Western Freeway. There is limited car parking in the first car park, so just keep heading down the unsealed road if it’s full.  

The second car park is the Quarry picnic parking area. This is the second parking lot and can be reached down the same road just further along from the first car park. It has picnic tables, toilets and water taps and quite a lot more parking than the first car park.

The third car park is at the Meikles point picnic area. To reach this car park you have to go down a narrow-unsealed road which can be quite challenging if a car is coming the other way. It also has picnic tables, toilets and water taps.

Provisions: We recommend that you take half a litre of water per person, per hour, that you intend to walk as well as some emergency rations.

Sun protection: Don’t get caught out with the harsh Australian sun. Wear sunscreen and a hat. You might not feel like you’re getting burned, but sun burn is never a good look!

Shoes: Hiking shoes are the best choice for most of these walks, as part of the walks are quite difficult and rocky and can be slippery as well. However, you can get by with running shoes if you have to.

Mobile phone reception is limited and unavailable through parts of the walks in Werribee Gorge.

Flooding: The gorge is subject to flooding during heavy rainfall, so it’s best visited outside of heavy rainfall. The path can also be quite slippery when wet so, it’s even more important to have hiking boots, if walking when wet.     

WerribeeGorgeSP[3783map]The map above has been republished with permission from parks Victoria. It’s the best map of the available walks.  It can be found with additional information at the Werribee gorge state park site  here

River Walk

3 km return 1-1.5 hours easy/medium grade .Start at Meikles point car park. Follow the river along an old aqueduct until you get to a rock face with a rope to climb around. At this point you turn around and go back if you only want to do the river walk. The path is narrow and mostly flat. Look to your left and you will see the amazing layers in the rocks. Note, there is no sign to tell you this is the point to turn around. If you continue it will be along the circuit walk and will add 2-3 hours to your return time. There are some swimming opportunities along the way. Werribee Gorge State Park Hiking river Melbourne Day Trips 

The River Walk in Werribee Gorge is mostly flat.

Falcons Lookout

3km return 1.5-2 hours medium grade. Start at Ironbark point car park off Inguston road. Some up hill trekking for a  magnificent view over the gorge. Keep an eye out for wedge tailed eagles and hawks. This is also the only area where rock climbing is allowed according to Parks Victoria.

Centenary Walk

4 km return 2-2.5 hours medium/hard grade. Start at Quarry picnic parking area and follow the circuit walk until you see the sign for Centenary Walk. The climb up to the top is steep and the path is rough in spots. You will be rewarded with wild flowers and amazing views of the gorge. There’s some open woodland and a creek to spot some frogs.

Short Circuit Walk

5 km return 2-2.5 hours medium grade. Start at any of the three car parks. This follows the eastern part of the walk heading down to Meikles car park via the river after the Eastern viewpoint. Some steep parts but doable for families. 

Long Circuit Walk

10 km return 3.5-4.5 hours medium/hard grade. Start at any of the three car parks. Lots of different terrain to cover on this circuit. Steep hills, rocky flat paths, sand and grassy banks. This long walk provides the best opportunities for spotting the native black wallaby. The scenery is constantly changing. There are many information boards detailing the rock, river and beach formations.Werribee Gorge State Park Hiking Geology Melbourne Day Trips

Want to know what types of rock you’re looking at in Werribee Gorge? There are many information boards along the walks giving great geological explanations.

Our Walk at Werribee Gorge

We did the river walk and the long circuit walk which includes half of the short circuit walk.  We got a bit lost, but, hopefully you won’t! 

We parked at the un-named car park, which is the first one you get to, if you follow the brown road signs. Get there early, especially on the weekends. It is very popular with city folk looking to escape the big smog. Werribee Gorge State Park is also popular with the fitness crowd. It’s a great place to spot the latest Lycra trends.Werribee Gorge State Park Hiking Road Melbourne Day Trips

 To start the River Walk from the top car park with no name, walk down this unpaved road.

Head down the unpaved road towards the named, Meikles Point picnic area. Watch out for cars as this is a shared pathway. When you arrive, make a U turn and walk directly along the river. This flat part goes for about 20 minutes. The gradient begins to change and you are now slowly going uphill. The path becomes quite narrow and the river is now on your left. Werribee Gorge State Park Hiking riverview Melbourne Day Trips

After the flat River Walk path ends, you’re quite high up. You are now looking down on the river below and get a great view of the colourful rocks.

There are information boards telling you which geological periods you’re looking at.Werribee Gorge State Park Hiking water channel Melbourne Day Trips

When you get to this point and the path narrows, it’s the end of the easy River Walk.

The narrow path should take about 25 minutes. When you reach the climbing ropes, you have two choices. You can turn around and go back to the picnic area or continue. If you only plan on doing the River Walk, then turn back. If you choose to carry on, some challenging hills, change of terrain and river ropes await.  

Werribee Gorge State Park Hiking Rope Challenge Melbourne Day Trips
Erm ,no one told us there was a Ninja Warrior challenge on the Long Circuit Walk!

The river rope section is quite a fun challenge. You can’t see round the corner and don’t know how long you’ll be rock scrambling. In reality it’s only 5 minutes, but if you weren’t expecting it, it can seem like an eternity. If you’re not confident near water, the rope section can also be quite scary. We scramble over, thankful we’ve been doing lunges at the gym and working on our biceps! We carry on, oblivious to the fact that we’re now on the Long Circuit Walk.Werribee Gorge State Park Hiking Lions head beach Melbourne Day Trips

Lionhead Beach is a welcome pit stop. Take off your shoes and wiggle your toes in the cool water.

Just after the ropes, you see Lionhead Beach. This is a good rest point and a chance to dip your toes in the refreshing water. The information board tells you reasons behind the name and some native trees to look out for. At this point, you are 2 hours away from the top, unnamed car park. You are now walking on sand and it’s relatively flat and open terrain. We see some other people and they tell us we’re in for some ‘goat trekking’. We laugh outwardly and inwardly groan because we only brought 600 mls of water each and it’s a hot day. So be prepared, unlike us!Werribee Gorge State Park Hiking circuit trail Melbourne Day Trips

Fellow hikers warn us of the ‘goat trekking’ part of the walk. Guess we found it!

The rugged beauty of the open landscape compensates for the sweat dripping into your eyes, as you trudge on. We pass ‘unstable cliff’ signs and trip over large rocks sticking out. Fellow hikers encourage you to keep going with words like, ‘almost there’ and ‘only another hour’. We keep going, telling ourselves this short walk that turned into a long walk is doing us good. We’re being spontaneous! In reality, it’s too late to turn back, so we might as well continue. We started at 10:00 am and intended to be eating lunch at 1pm!

Half an hour later, we are rewarded with a spectacular view. It takes our minds off the snacks we didn’t bring.Werribee Gorge State Park Melbourne Day Trips

The Eastern Viewpoint is a spectacular pit stop. This is typical Australian bush landscape.

We take our time posing and congratulating ourselves on the rock edge at the Eastern Viewpoint. The beautiful views taking in the gorge and the open forest below is a sight to behold. We snap a few shots for Instagram and move on. 

At the top of one of the hills, we see our car in the car park. Spurred on with visions of smashed avocado and sourdough, we pick up the pace. Three and a half hours later, we arrive back where we started. We promise ourselves we’ll do it all again next week!Werribee Gorge State Park Hiking scenery Melbourne Day Trips

Australian bush at its best! Native flora and fauna. Don’t miss out. Go and explore Werribee Gorge State Park, it’s an easy Melbourne day trip.

We hope we have inspired you to go to Werribee Gorge State Park and do some hiking. It’s an easy day trip from Melbourne or Geelong. For a taste of the Australian bush, you really can’t go wrong in Werribee Gorge. Have you been? What are your views on the various walks? Do you have any tips for fellow travellers? We would love to hear from you.

 

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