Kinglake National Park
Surrounding the township of Kinglake, this bush retreat close to Melbourne offers views of the Yarra Valley, the city skyline and Port Phillip beyond. A staggering 98 per cent of Kinglake National Park was burnt in the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, with visitor access slowly returning to normal, although there are significant ongoing recovery works. Some walking tracks and picnic areas remain closed – check with the rangers as to which facilities are available.
Traditionally the Wurundjeri and Taungurung people lived in the area then Europeans came in search of gold and timber. By the 1920s fruit and vegetable farming had developed, but in 1928, before land clearing had totally destroyed the environment, the original Kinglake National Park was declared.
The park is divided into four sections: Wombelano Block in the north-east is a comparatively dry environment, with spreading open forest; Everard Block in the south-east is notable for Jehosaphat Gully with its lush, cool ferns; Sugarloaf Block in the central west includes the cascading Masons Falls; and in the north-west, with no public access, is the Wallaby Creek catchment. Eucalypt forest cloaks most of the park, varying from red stringybark, peppermint and messmate in the drier regions to stately mountain ash and grey gum with an understorey of ferns and banksia in the more moist southern aspects. Correas, everlastings, daisies and other wildﬂowers bloom profusely in spring.
Wallabies, kangaroos and echidnas dwell here but are not usually seen; at night you may see or hear possums, bats, gliders and bandicoots foraging for food. Jehosaphat Gully is the most likely spot to ﬁnd superb lyrebirds. Nature study, cycling and horse riding (check for seasonal closures) are all popular. Anglers will ﬁnd blackﬁsh, trout, spiny freshwater crays and yabbies the main catches. Walks include the Everard Circuit Walk (6–7 hours return) for experienced hikers.
Location and access
65 km north-east of Melbourne via Maroondah Hwy then Melba Hwy; via Whittlesea on Whittlesea–Yea Rd; via Hurstbridge and St Andrews on Heidelberg–St Andrews Rd; 16 km north of Yarra Glen
PV 13 1963
21 600 ha
Healesville/Yarra Glen (03) 5962 2600
Whittlesea (03) 9716 1866