Up until a few years ago, the Redwood Forest was a little-known stand of Californian Redwoods that was considered a secret and meditative destination among locals. As a National Trust heritage-listed site, stepping into the forest was done with a sense of awe and respect – its silence and simple beauty were the essence of its appeal.
Today it is bittersweet to see that its appeal is so widespread. The attraction of visitors has happened at a rate that has far outpaced the Redwood Forest’s capacity to cope, and also the ability of authorities and stakeholders to develop appropriate infrastructure.
Currently, recent works to upgrade the connecting Cement Creek Road Bridge to the forest cannot be accessed via Cement Creek Road – by car or on foot. But these towering trees are still open to visitors if you're up for a bit of a hike (or cycle).
Make your way along the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail from the Yuonga Road car park. With the current bridge closure, you can avoid the crowds typically seen in autumn, spring and during the school holidays, and be rewarded with the unique and serene experience of exploring the beautiful Redwoods with only a handful of people around.
The Yuonga car park is about 2.7km from the Warburton Waterwheel Visitor Information
Centre. Take a left turn at Donna Buang Road, and another left at Yuonga Road. The car park entrance is on your left.
The walk to the Redwoods is a 16km round trip (a little over 8km each way) leading you along the historic open-channelled aqueduct through cool fern gullies, alongside the bubbling waters of creeks and tributaries, and across mountain ridges with spectacular views of surrounding valleys and ranges.
Remember: the trail is unsealed and with some steep inclines in sections. Depending on your pace and fitness level, it will take approximately two hours each way when walking at a reasonable pace. During colder months it can be muddy and slippery and during the summer hikers are advised to be aware of snakes.
There are NO toilets or drinking taps on the trail or at the Redwoods so bring a water bottle and stop in town at Warburton to make use of the toilet facilities, grab a bite and stock up on any supplies. Wear sturdy, closed-toed trainers or boots and remember that mobile phone reception can be patchy, depending on your provider so be sure to hike with a buddy or two and let someone know where you’re going.
So how can we, as lovers and visitors of the Redwood Forest, ensure it remains healthy, viable and respected?
Here are some important ways every individual can help preserve this amazing natural wonder.
Other tips for minimising impact are to choose a time to visit that is a non-peak visitation time – avoid weekends and keep your visits short. You may even choose to just walk the perimeter of the forest (there are tracks all around it), rather than walk through it.
Continuing foot traffic is compacting the forest floor, causing permanent damage to delicate micro-infrastructure and biodiversity.
Tred lightly, if at all, and help preserve this natural wonder.
Parking solutions and preservation issues are high on the priority list for local and state governments, but in the meantime we can all do our little bit to help protect this place we all love.
We appreciate your visit and invite you to explore more of what the Warburton Valley has to offer. Why not try these:
There are many more secrets to discover!
If you have any questions and want the advice of a local, pop into the Waterwheel Visitor Information Centre on the main street of Warburton.