The You Yangs is a destination to head to if you love the great outdoors. The area is mountainous and the granite peaks can be seen from miles away. The granite ridges are approximately 319m above sea level. The You Yangs rise from the flat volcanic plains. If you climb up to Flinders Peak you will be rewarded with gorgeous 360 degree views of the Melbourne CBD, Avalon and Geelong to name just a few areas.
If you are looking for a place to have a family picnic the You Yangs Regional Park is an awesome place to visit. There are a number of areas designated for picnic goers with some areas having free electric BBQ’s. A lot of the picnic areas are situated where you have scenic views and surrounded by beautiful bushland. At the major picnic areas you’ll find drop toilets. The park is suitable for all ages and offers lots of different bushwalks and mountain bike trails.
7 Things To Do at the You Yangs Regional Park?
- Mountain Bike Rides
- Rock climbing and abseiling
- Drive along the 12km scenic road
- Rock climbing and abseiling
- Bird watching
Our Experience at the You Yangs
It was an overcast Spring day when we headed to the You Yangs. A perfect Spring day at that. We parked at the You Yangs Park Office – MTB car park. The car park is a generous size. Here you will find information on the walks and mountain bike trails available. Public toilets and picnic tables are located.
It was a hard decision to know which walk to take. We decided on the Big Rock Walk which was 3.0 km, approximately 1 hr return. Once we reached the Big Rock we continued onto the Flinders Peak walk. The total walk was 8.7km return. It took us approximately 3 hrs. Within this time we stopped to take in the gorgeous views and take numerous photos.
Note: both walks can be reached by driving closer to the look out points and walking from their car parks/picnic areas.
Big Rock Walk
The Big Rock Walk is quite an easy walk which is graded suitable for most ages with a moderate fitness level. Tracks had some short steep hill sections, a rough surface, some rock hopping and many steps. We found many walkers of all ages some walking their dogs. Note dogs are welcome in the park however are required to be on leads.
As you walk along you go through different terrains. At the beginning you walk through a forest full of small tall gums. When we visited there were a lot of fallen trees and evidence of a bush fire.
You come across a pond covered in duck weed where you can sit and listen to the frogs happily croaking away. It was a lovely sound in such a peaceful setting. Once you walk past the pond you start seeing teepees scattered along the side of the tracks. We are very curious as to whom has built all the teepees. Being Spring there were a lot of bushes out in yellow flower.
When you reach the Big Rock and clamber on top of it you get an awesome view. It’s quite breathtaking. Here people sit to take in the serenity and beauty. As it was Spring you could see the brightly coloured Canola fields in the distance. Yes, it was well worth the walk.
The traditional owners of the Regional Park are the Wadawurrung People who back in the day burnt out and dug holes into rocks around and on top of the Big Rock. This was done to ensure they had a supply of water.
If you are looking for a more relaxed visit to the Big Rock you can drive up to the Big Rock Picnic area where you find a generous size car park within close proximity to the Big Rock. From this car park you can take the 2.8km bushwalk to Flinders Peak.
Facilities at Big Rock
- Car Park
- BBQ facilities
- Picnic Tables
- Walking Tracks
Flinders Peak Walk
From the Big Rock we continued onto Flinders Peak walk which takes you to the highest peak of the You Yangs. This walk is more challenging but as long as you are reasonably fit you will thoroughly enjoy it. There are 450 steps but they are spread out over a good gradient which make 450 steps seem quite friendly!! Going down the Flinders Peak is a lot easier!!
Again on this walk we saw hikers of all ages from toddlers to the elderly. Many dogs accompanied their masters. We even saw a small dog being carried!! Remember if you are going to take your pooch take into consideration their fitness level and if its a hot day take plenty of water for them and yourself.
The track was very scenic offering fantastic distant views of the Melbourne CBD, the bay and towards Geelong. You will find a couple of rest spots along the way. These rest spots are great to get your breath back or just to sit and take in the tranquility.
Once you reach the peak you’ll find a lookout point over a rock which Matthew Flinders stood on back in 1802!!! This is definitely an area to find a special rock to sit on and take in the ambience and the gorgeous views. Don’t forget to take in big deep breaths of the fresh air.
Why is it called Flinders Peak?
The peak which was originally called “Station Peak” and was renamed Flinders Peak after Matthew Finders. I hear you ask who is Matthew Flinders…..Matthew Flinders joined the navy in 1790. In 1795 he met George Bass and they chartered the coastline of Tasmania in 1798-99. With 87 volunteers Matthew Flinders in 1801 set out to chart the Australian coastline. They completed this in 1803 and were the first to accomplish this. He then returned to England in 1820 after being imprisoned on his journey home as he was thought to be a British spy.
Matthew Flinders spotted the You Yangs when they were 60km out to sea. In May 1802 he and 2 others climbed the You Yangs and stood on this very spot!! Imagine how different the scenery would’ve looked back then. Now we can see defined farm land and straight roads. I find myself thinking what did Matthew Flinders see when he looked out, what went through his thoughts?
Why Should I Visit Flinders Peak?
- A piece of Australian history
- Gorgeous scenery
- Fantastic views
- Beautiful bushwalks
- Family friendly place even for your furry family member
Flinders Peak Facilities
- Car park
- Picnic tables
- Free electric BBQ’s
- Drop Toilets
We loved exploring the You Yangs and we’ll definitely return to take on the other bush walks. On this occasion we didn’t pack a picnic but will do so on our return adventure as there are so many different picnic places scattered throughout the You Yangs Regional Park. The free electric BBQ’s were clean and inviting with many people using them. They were positioned near toilet facilities, picnic tables amongst a beautiful setting.
You Yangs Regional Park Location
- Approximately 60km, 53mins from Melbourne CBD
- Approximately 23km, 24mins North of Geelong
You Yangs Regional Park Hours
- Daylight saving hours: 7:00am to 5:00pm
- Outside of Daylight saving hours: 7:00am to 6:00pm
Have you explore any National Parks that you recommend we should explore? If you’ve visited the You Yangs Regional Park we’d love to hear about your experience.