Bunyip State Park is only 65km east of Melbourne. You can get there via Gembrook, from the Princes Freeway, or from Woori Yallock (Melway ref: 627 K6).
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The Balluk-William clan of the Woiworung (Yarra Yarra) tribe were the first people to live in the area. The miners and prospectors of the mid 1850's were the first Europeans to visit the district, but they soon moved on to more promising goldfields. The Bunyip State Park area has a long history of timber cutting. The Mortimer Mill of 1898, located at the present site of Mortimer Picnic Ground, is thought to be the earliest timber mill in the Park. A narrow-gauge rail line from Ferntree Gully to Gembrook was completed in 1900. Tramways were then used to take timber from the bush sawmills to the Gembrook yard. Throughout the Park are remnants of timber tramways and large sawdust heaps. (A large sawdust heap can be seen opposite Dyers Picnic Ground.) Forest harvesting ceased in 1990 and in September, 1992, the Park was declared. The Bunyip! Beware of the Bunyip, a dark furry animal with a round face, small ears and fiery eyes that glow in the dark! According to Aboriginal mythology, the Bunyip or "Buneep" (the original spelling on early maps showing the river, first cattle run and township) is a spirit that punishes bad people. Local Aboriginal people believed the Bunyip lived in the swamps of the Bunyip River and avoided the area. Many early settlers, believing this story, never pitched their tents near a 'Bunyip hole'. People were also careful not to make ripples when collecting water. This upset the Bunyip.
Looking After the Park
* Take your rubbish with you. * Firearms are prohibited. * Dogs are not permitted, but are allowed on a lead within Kurth Kiln Park. * Do not collect plant or animal specimens as they are protected. * Leave them for others to enjoy. * Light fires in the fireplaces provided in the picnic and camping areas. * Fires must be in properly constructed fireplaces, or in a built up fireplace of stone, or a 30 cm deep trench. * No fires may be lit on Total Fire Ban days. * Camp Sites have to be at least 20 metres from waterways. * Dispose of soap and detergent at least 50 metres from waterways. Bury toilet waste to a depth of 15 cm and at least 100 metres from waterways. * Respect the rights of other visitors. * Avoid driving noisy vehicles in popular areas like picnic grounds. * When driving or riding, keep to the constructed tracks. Observe signs for 'management vehicles only', 'walkers only' and 'horse riders only'. * All roads and tracks in the park are public roads. Vehicles and motorbikes must be road registered and drivers and riders must be licensed. * Vehicles must not drive off formed roads. Roads open to vehicles within the park are public roads, therefore normal road laws apply. * From mid June through to the end of October a number of roads and tracks are subject to seasonal closures. * These roads and tracks are closed to protect road surfaces and the environment and for public safety. * Horse and mountain bike riding is permitted on roads and designated tracks, but is not permitted on 'Walkers Only' tracks or in picnic areas.
Lawson Falls Nature Walk 750m, 30 minutes one-way (Easy) A short walk which takes you to the only falls within the park Mortimer Nature Walk 1.2km, 45 minutes return (Easy) A self-guided nature walk introducing the plants, animals and other features of William Wallace and Diamond Creeks Mortimer Circuit 9.5km, 4 hours return (Moderate) Starting from Mortimer Picnic Ground follow the Mortimer Nature Walk and turn into Steege Road. Tree Fern Track with its tall shady trees, is the next path to follow which crosses Link Road and then joins into Triangle Road. The last leg of your journey is along Ferres Track, and before you know it, you are back at Mortimer Picnic Ground Dyers Circuit and Four Brothers Both walks start from Dyers Picnic Ground. Follow Black Snake Creek Road then turn right into Reids Track and then right into Two Dams Track At Helmet Track you can take the longer Four Brothers walk, 17km, 4 hours return (Moderate/Difficult) via Burgess Road and Rankins Track. For the shorter Dyers Circuit walk, 11.5km, 3 hours return (Moderate), take Pines and Lawless Tracks back to Black Snake Creek Road. Here you can either turn back to Dyers Picnic Ground or continue to Ash Landing Road and Russells Track, which offer a different range of plants Lawson Falls Circuit 5km, 2 hours return (Moderate) Start at Forest Road or Tea Tree Road in the east of the park