I write for Weekend Notes and I take photographs, usually sunsets and sunrises. Occasionally I include my photos in my articles. I like to promote Geelong, and activities around Geelong.
Published April 27th 2016
Mountain Bike Tracks
The You Yangs is a large mountain range just outside my home town of Geelong. It is a huge presence and you will probably see it in many of the photos that I take of Geelong. As you look out over Corio Bay from the Geelong Waterfront, the You Yangs loom in the background. They usually appear as a blueish purple haze in the background of my Waterfront photos. See below:
The You Yangs have always been there, in the background. As much an icon of Geelong as St Mary's Church is. Both these icons of Geelong are visible across the city, and from one side of Corio Bay you can see the spires of St Mary's Church. From the other side of Corio Bay you can see the You Yangs.
When I was little we would often head to the You Yangs for a picnic or barbecue. It is a big park and there are lots of walking tracks in the park. We used to have our picnic or barbecue and then walk up to Flinders Peak. We have lots of photos taken from the top of Flinders Peak. So there are fond memories for me of time spent at the You Yangs. For tourists and visitors to the You Yangs Regional Park, I have added some other information about the park.
You Yangs Regional Park is close to the city of Geelong. It sits on the outskirts of Geelong between Lara and Little River. The Park houses the mountain range of granite that rises from the Werribee Plains ( I always thought the mountains were called the You Yangs, however that is the name of the Park).
You Yangs Regional Park is 60 kilometres from Melbourne. The park is operated and managed by Parks Victoria. The Park is open from 7.00am to 5.00pm during normal daylight hours, and from 7.00am to 6.00pm during daylight saving hours.
The main public entrance is on Branch Road, close to Forest Road North. The main road within the You Yangs Regional Park is the Great Circle Drive. It encircles Flinders Peak and allows drivers, cyclists and walkers to move around the Regional Park, and to gain access to the scenic views. Great Circle Drive leads past many lookouts, rest areas, picnic areas and barbecues.
Visitors, tourists and families from Geelong head to the You Yangs to walk, cycle or mountain bike around the Park. There are many clearly marked walking and riding tracks within the Park. There are lots of walking tracks within the You Yangs Regional Park, and there are lots of picnic areas too, with gas barbecues available. You can picnic at Yellow Gum Picnic Area, Big Rock, Valley, Lower and Turntable Picnic Areas.
You can go for many different walks at You Yangs Regional Park too. Try a walk to Big Rock - this 100 metre walk from the car park takes 10 minutes. From the top of Big Rock you can see the surrounding area towards Geelong. All the walks are clearly marked and signed.
Or you can do the Big Rock Walk - a distance of 3 kilometres which takes 1 hour. Head out from the Park Office car park, and the Big Rock Walk winds around Big Rock and back, following the same path.
Flinders Peak Walk covers a distance of 3.2 kilometres and takes 1 hour. To do the Flinders Peak walk start from the Turntable car park. This walk will take you to the highest point of the You Yangs. This is where we have taken many family snap shots. This walk is very challenging and features 450 steps. The walk rises 200 metres in height.
East West Walk is a challenging loop walk that starts and finishes at the Turntable car park. The walk covers 4.5 kilometres and takes 2 hours. There is some rock scrambling (climbing) and lots of great views of the You Yangs and the surrounding area.
Branding Yard Trail is a gentle walk. You can start at the Turntable car park or at Toynes Road gate. If you start from the Turntable car park, you will walk down a medium gradient path to connect with the trail.
There is a well developed network of mountain bike trails within You Yangs Regional Park. The trails range from easy trails to two downhill trails for expert riders. The mountain bike trails are in two areas of the Park, at Stockyards and at Kurrajong Plantation. The mountain bike trails are managed by volunteers who work with Parks Victoria.
Aboriginal Traditional Owners
Parks Victoria acknowledges the Aboriginal Traditional Owners of Victoria - including its parks and reserves. Through their cultural traditions, Aboriginal people maintain their connection to their ancestral lands and waters.
You Yangs Regional Park is located within the traditional boundaries of the Wathawurrung Aboriginal tribal lands. It was once home to the Yawangi Baluk - a local clan of Aboriginals whose territory extended to Port Phillip Bay. (Another name for the You Yangs is Wurdi-Yawang. The Wathawurrung are also known as Wathaurgon or Wada Wurrung.)
If you're looking for a great day out in Geelong, head to You Yangs Regional Park. Pack a picnic lunch or barbecue lunch. Bring your own drinks, hats and sunscreen. There are no food outlets at the Park. You could head back to Lara to buy food if you want. Hope you have a great day out and I would love it if you shared your photos here.