Hiking the You Yangs Regional Park
The You Yangs Regional Park rises starkly out of flat farmland. It’s a massive rock formation, Flinders Peak appearing in the distance on the way from Melbourne to Geelong. The You Yangs offers some of the best peak views in Melbourne, and the hike to the top is not difficult for people with a good level of fitness.
I’ve been in training for the Overland Track for the last two months, and the You Yangs was my last brief training hike before heading off to Tassie next week. It seems these training hikes have had a steps theme – gotta practice those uphill climbs for Cradle Mountain.
The hike up Flinders Peak is deceptive, because you drive up the majority of the mountain before getting to the car park. It’s approximately a 3.5 km round trip. The hike is well signposted and the paths are wide, making it a great training area for runners and walkers alike. Plus the occasional kidlet dragged along by parental figures. There are several places to stop along the way including this incredible lookout. The path winds its way around the mountain, through gums straggling sideways from wind exposure.
At the top is a marker showing all the local mountains. It’s a perfect place to stop and sit for a while and watch the world go by.
The Big Rock
From the carpark of Flinders Peak, I walked along a firetrail to go see the Big Rock. It’s exactly what it says on the map: a really big rock. The wind was pretty strong by the time I got there, so I hiked up the top, took a couple of snaps and huddled back down. Didn’t want to lose my hat! Alternatively you can hike to the Big Rock from the entrance car park.
The You Yangs is probably my favourite Melbourne National Park so far, alongside Upper Yarra Reservoir. For more details on the hikes visit Parks Victoria.