Organ Pipes National Park is close to the Calder Highway, 20 km north-west of Melbourne (Melway ref: 3 D4).
The park is open from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM daily, extending to 6:00 PM on weekends and public holidays during daylight saving.
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The number and variety of native birds recorded has increased greatly since the park was established. Some mammals, such as possums, wallabies and echidnas, can be seen too. Reptiles are abundant. Sugar Gliders were released early in 1989 and other species will be reintroduced as native vegetation develops and the habitat becomes suitable.
The 'organ pipes' were formed about a million years ago when a massive lava flow, about 70 metres thick, spread over the plains from nearby volcanic hills. A surface crust formed and the lava beneath cooled very slowly and contracted. Vertical surface cracks developed, and as the lava continued to harden, the cracks lengthened until the basaltic mass was divided into columns. Over the next million years, Jacksons Creek cut a deep valley through the thick basalt layer to expose the formation known as 'the organ pipes'. The Keilor plains were among the first parts of Victoria to be occupied by settlers when they came north from Tasmania in the 1830s. Aborigines had camped and hunted on the open, grassy plains for thousands of years with little adverse effect on the environment. At this time the plains supported kangaroos, dingoes, tiger cats, bandicoots, gliders and platypuses, but with settlement and the introduction of domestic plants and animals, the number of native animals diminished. After more than a century of settlement, pressure mounted among naturalists to protect the remaining native flora and fauna and unusual basalt formations along Jacksons Creek. However, it was not until 1972 that 65 ha (later increased to 85 ha) were set aside for a national park.
Since 1972, volunteers have spent many thousands of hours removing weeds (mainly thistles and boxthorn), planting and tending trees, searching surrounding areas for seed, and propagating plants to restore the indigenous vegetation. Approximatley 145 species of native plants (and 106 species of weeds) have been recorded in the park.