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Wirrawilla Rainforest Walk, Toolangi State Forest

Home > Melbourne > Environment | Nature | Outdoor | Picnic Spots | Walks
by Lyndsey V (subscribe)
I'm an ecologist and writer based in Melbourne, Australia. Also visit me at www.instagram.com/victoriafloraandfauna/
Published January 10th 2019
Experience the magic of the cool temperate rainforest
It's cool, dark and peaceful under the rainforest canopy. The only sounds are a gentle breeze rustling through the leaves, the trickle of water flowing across the pebbles of Sylvia Creek and the occasional call of black cockatoos overhead. The trunks of the ancient and gnarly Myrtle Beeches are covered in a thick layer of moss, and the scented Southern Sassafras trunks are patchy with lichen. Ferns are everywhere: carpeting the ground, growing as epiphytes on other plants and towering above the track as tree ferns.

Wirrawilla Rainforest, walk, bushwalk, Toolangi State Forest, cool temperate rainforest, Sylvia Creek, boardwalk
Explore the Wirrawilla Rainforest Walk through the tree ferns


This is the magic of the Wirrawilla Rainforest Walk.

Wirrawilla Rainforest, walk, bushwalk, Toolangi State Forest, cool temperate rainforest, Sylvia Creek, boardwalk
The map and information in the main carpark


This short and accessible walk mostly follows a flat and wide boardwalk and is designed to showcase the serenity of a cool temperate rainforest for visitors. It's a tranquil and damp oasis, hidden away in the drier and sclerophyllous eucalypt forest that surrounds it.

Wirrawilla Rainforest, walk, bushwalk, Toolangi State Forest, cool temperate rainforest, Sylvia Creek, boardwalk
The creek flowing underneath the boardwalk


The closest town to the walk is Toolangi, north-east of Melbourne. The walk starts from a small carpark off Sylvia Creek Road, which is unsealed but well maintained and suitable for 2WD (although it might be more difficult after wet weather). The turnoff for Sylvia Creek Road is off Myers Creek Road, just a few kilometres south-east of Toolangi.

Look for the sign to the carpark off Slyvia Creek Road


There's picnic tables, a toilet and an information board in the carpark. This area is also the start for two other, much longer walks: the Myrtle Gully Circuit and the Tanglefoot Loop.

The Wirrawilla Rainforest Walk is approximately 1 km long and, according to the government website, it is also wheelchair accessible. The very first short section from the carpark is downhill and gravel until the boardwalk is reached, after which it's flat boardwalk for the rest of the walk.

Wirrawilla Rainforest, walk, bushwalk, Toolangi State Forest, cool temperate rainforest, Sylvia Creek, boardwalk
The track from the carpark down to the boardwalk


Along the way, there is plenty to see, and it's a walk that is worth taking one's time over. Stop and listen. Could that bird calling actually be a lyrebird? Look up. See if you can spot the towering Mountain Ash trees that emerge up above the rainforest canopy. Look down. Can you spot the 'world's tallest moss', growing to a whopping 8 cm high along the side of the boardwalk? Watch the creek gurgle past and see if you can spot any native fish.

Wirrawilla Rainforest, walk, bushwalk, Toolangi State Forest, cool temperate rainforest, Sylvia Creek, boardwalk
Stop and see if you can spot the world's tallest moss!


There's lots of interpretive signage along the way, with information about the ecology of the rainforest community. There's also several well-placed seats to stop and rest.

Wirrawilla Rainforest, walk, bushwalk, Toolangi State Forest, cool temperate rainforest, Sylvia Creek, boardwalk
Interpretive signs along the walk


At the end of the boardwalk, turn around and head back, and take the opposite side of the loop to return to the gravel path that leads back up to the carpark. Stay for a picnic or explore other walks and drives in the area.

Wirrawilla Rainforest, walk, bushwalk, Toolangi State Forest, cool temperate rainforest, Sylvia Creek, boardwalk
One of the picnic areas in the carpark


A pdf of the walk, along with other walks in the Toolangi State Forest, can be downloaded here.
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Why? An easy and accessible walk through a picturesque rainforest
When: Any time
Phone: 136 186 (DELWP)
Where: Toolangi State Forest
Cost: Free
Your Comment
I see the Wirrawilla walk is stated as 1 km return at the site and 500m return on the pdf. I wonder which one is right, perhaps it has been extended since the pdf was written by the Dept. of changing names anyway I must attempt it.
Bad Knees.
by Clive (score: 1|61) 1 day ago
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