Distance: Km | Duration: 2.5 Hrs | Grade: TBA | Rating: | Style: Circuit
About the Walk
This is a circuit walk that explores the central area of the You Yangs Regional Park. The granite peaks of the You Yangs rise dramatically from the surrounding volcanic plains between Melbourne and Geelong and are clearly visible from as far away as the bay side of Melbourne and beyond.
The Walk in Detail
The name You Yangs comes from the Aboriginal words Wurdi Youang or Ude Youang meaning big mountain in the middle of the plain. Explorer Matthew Flinders and three of his crew were the first Europeans to see the You Yangs. They climbed to the highest point on 1 May 1802. Flinders named it 'Station Peak' but this was later changed to Flinders Peak in his honour. This walk commences at the end of Toynes Road where you can park your car near the first of two locked gates. Once past the first gate, cross over Great Circle Drive, go through the second gate and follow Branding Yard Road for about 1.25 km. Along the way you will pass the Bunjil Geoglyph. This is one of a series of geoglyphs created by artist Andrew Rogers to commemorate the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. This geoglyph depicts Bunjil, the traditional Creator Spirit of the Wada wurrung Aboriginal people. With a wing span of 100 metres, it uses 1500 tonnes of rock and is best viewed later in the walk either from Flinders Peak or from the East Walk. You can walk around the glyph to better appreciate its creation. Not long after the glyph you will pass a small dam (wallabies often seen here) and then reach a track junction with the Branding Yard Trail. Take this clearly sign posted trail which climbs steadily but gradually up the side of Flinders Peak giving good views out over the surrounding volcanic plains. As you near Turntable Carpark (1.5 km) the Trail passes through granite boulders of varying sizes. At this point you have the option to walk up Flinders Peak. This is a 3.2 km return walk (ie you go up and back by the same route) involving 450 steps and some steep sections. There are great views from the top. If doing this option the overall classification for this walk becomes a day walk graded Medium. From the Turntable carpark take the clearly signposted East Walk (will be the right hand track) which skirts around side of Flinders Peak. This track is undulating with some short steep sections and involves some scrambling (for those with shorter legs) through or over stones and boulders along the track. There are great views out over the plains and of the Bunjil Geoglyph. After 1.8km you will reach an open clearing on your right with signposts showing the distance covered and distance back to the Carpark along the West Walk (1.8 km in each direction). At the bottom of the open clearing you will find a sign for Saddleback Track which goes downhill for about 800m until meeting up with the Branding Yard Road near the dam. From here turn left and retrace your steps back along Branding Yard Road to the car.
Take the Princes Highway over West Gate Bridge towards Geelong. Take the Little River exit then turn right to go into Little River village. After 5km continue onto River Street and then after 300m take a slight right onto Edgars Rd, then in 230m take second left onto You Yangs Road. Continue over Farrars Rd/Ripley Rd to end of Toynes Rd, about 4.3 km. Park car here.