Yv big peninsula tunnels warburton

8 Hidden Gems of the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges

12 Mar. 2021

There's so much variety and beauty to discover in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, especially when you go beyond the well-trodden paths. Gather your team and and Find Your Self going places new.

1. Kurth Kiln Regional Park

Immerse yourself in wildlife, multiple forest environments and untouched flora and fauna. Kurth Kiln has more than 20 kilometres of walking, horse riding and mountain biking tracks that weave through this historic park, and Kurth Kiln, which gives the park its name, is worth exploring.

Where: Beenak Rd Gembrook, VIC 3139

2. Seven Acre Rock

Stand on the edge of the world. Seven Acre Rock is a large rocky outcrop that provides some of the most spectacular views of the Yarra State Forest, Bunyip State Park and on a clear day, Western Port Bay and Port Phillip Bay. The tranquil lookout provides an excellent location to listen to native birds and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding forest. Short walk from car park – big views.

Where: Bunyip Road, Gladysdale VIC 3797

3. Gawa Wurundjeri Resource Park

Cultural appreciation for everyone. The Gawa Wurundjeri Resource Trail is a self-guided 340m loop walking trail. Learn how the Wurundjeri clan lived near the creek and used the land to obtain bush foods, medicines, implements, shelter and clothes. The trail introduces indigenous flora and fauna, including manna gums, Lomandra (used to weave baskets) and wombat burrows.

Where: 873 Eltham-Yarra Glen Road, Watsons Creek VIC 3097

4. Big Peninsula Tunnel

How about a natural spa? The watercourse at the Big Peninsula tunnel entrance has a unique natural bubbling pool. This hand dug tunnel was established in 1864 during the gold mining boom. Today it is a lovely place to explore, enjoy a picnic or a swim on a hot day. There are formed stepping stones across the river and lots of walking tracks loop from this area. It’s easy to spend an entire day relaxing here.

Where: Peninsula Road, McMahons Creek VIC 3799

5. Wombelano Falls

Looking for an easy stroll to a fabulous view (great for kids)? Wombelano Falls in Kinglake National Park is a delightful 90 metre cascade that makes the 30-minute walk (3km return) through old growth forests and is a delightful wander.

Where: Captains Creek Rd, Kinglake VIC 3763

6. Emerald Lake Park

Be the first in your crew to discover all Emerald Lake Park has to offer – paddle boat rides, model railway display, café, free barbeque facilities, Puffing Billy, walking tracks, seasonal wading pool, fishing. The Environment Centre offers a live aquatic display, information on flora and fauna, and information on the park. Often overlooked and always welcoming, every season of the year.

Where: Emerald Lake Road, Emerald VIC 3782

7. Lysterfield Lake

Beach-like swimming in the mountains – that got your attention! So close to Melbourne with heaps of space for everyone, Lysterfield Lake is popular for swimming, canoeing, sailing, paddle boarding and surf skiing. There are also a number of walking tracks including three trails that are linked for a brisk two-hour walk around the lake. Mountain Bike tracks attract cyclists of all ability with 20 kilometres of dedicated tracks suitable for beginners through to extreme riders. Pretty sunsets and photography opportunities too.

Where: Lysterfield Park, Lysterfield VIC 3156

8. The Big Culvert at Cambarville

Dragons Lair or gateway to another world? Tucked away and harder to find, the mysterious The Big Culvert near Cambarville has many people wondering its origins. Great photography destination in pristine bushland between Marysville and Warburton. Built in the 1870s from granite and bluestone.

Where: Yarra Ranges National Park, Marysville-Woodspoint Rd, Cambarville.