Heathcote–Graytown National Park
Heathcote–Graytown National Park, north of Melbourne, is culturally significant, with evidence of Aboriginal occupation over thousands of years, and many reminders of the gold-rush days. The park encompasses the largest remnant of box and ironbark forest in the state – eucalypt species include red ironbark, yellow gum, river red gum and several types of mallee. Wildflower enthusiasts will find a brilliant display after heavy rains in spring and autumn, with the threatened crimson spider orchid just one of many orchid varieties. Large old trees with hollows provide a perfect environment for many creatures, such as squirrels and sugar gliders and ringtail and brushtail possums. Swamp wallabies, barking geckos and eastern bearded dragons are other commonly sighted animals. Watch for the magnificent wedge-tailed eagle soaring high above the treetops.
For views of the surrounding countryside, strike out for Mount Black (the district’s highest point), Mount Ida or Viewing Rock (on the Mount Ida Range). Melville’s Lookout, another good vantage point, also has picnic facilities. At the old gold settlement of Graytown, traces of streets, building foundations and a cemetery are relics from the gold era. The sturdy Heathcote Powder Magazine, where the explosives for the McIvor Diggings were stored, is still standing. Fossickers and prospectors can try their luck if they have a current Miner’s Right. Bushwalking, cycling, horse riding, orienteering and rogaining are also popular in the park.
Dargile picnic area has basic facilities for camping, and a visitor interpretation centre is located at Whroo in the Rushworth–Heathcote State Forest, to the north, between Graytown and Rushworth.
Campsites available; basic pit toilets; no drinking water supplied
Location and access
110 km north of Melbourne via Hume Hwy then Northern Hwy to Heathcote; or via Calder Hwy to Bendigo then McIvor Hwy to Heathcote; 25 km west of Nagambie
PV 13 1963
12 833 ha
Heathcote (03) 5433 3121
Nagambie 1800 444 647