Meeting Mr Oak
Adventure in Warburton, Yarra Valley, VIC, AU
Something magical happens when you surround yourself in the silence of a forest - the mind finds complete clarity and the body has an opportunity to reset from the hustle and bustle. Pulling into the wondrous scenes of Warburton, we were greeted with 120km winds. Perched high up on the hill with sweeping views over the valley, Mr Oak was a property with a view like no other. It had everything you need to unwind from city life - with 3 big comfy beds (one with a bath 5 feet away) a well stocked wood fireplace, a bbq on the huge deck with mountain views and even a resident wombat named Tony. All within walking distances of the twisting Yarra River, towering summits and the old growth forests that make up the Yarra Ranges, the adventures at Mr Oak are limitless....
Things We Did
- Food & Drink
Eight kilometres from Mr Oak is one of Melbourne's best-kept mountain secrets. Planted in 1930 as part of a study by the Board of Works there are over 1450 giant Californian Redwoods growing neatly in a grid, which makes it especially pleasing to the eye. Although these giants are almost a hundred years old and range from 20–55 metres in height, they're all still relatively young. They can live for up to 1800 years and reach over 100 metres into the sky....
Considered to be one of the largest living trees in Victoria and the largest known flowering tree in the world, The Ada Tree is estimated to be over 300 years young. A 3km looping trail leads to the tree, which is found halfway along the walking track that weaves through the rainforest and criss-crosses mossy creeks. After standing in awe of its enormous 16 metre base, you can either continue around the loop and ascend into the Eucalyptus via an old timber logging track or turn around and enjoy the rainforest trail again. My pro tip is to take the later. The trail is a stunning 45-minute drive from Warburton, deep into the hills on mostly unsealed but well-maintained roads. There are toilets at the carpark but there's no rubbish collection so make sure you take out everything you take in....
At an elevation of 1245 metres, Donna Buang's summit features a large lookout tower ascending a further 21 metres and offering a 360-degree panoramic view over Melbourne, The Yarra Valley, Mount Baw Baw, The Dandenong’s and Cathedral Ranges. I highly recommend packing a picnic, rugging up in something very warm and climbing to the top at either sunrise or sunset for the best light. The surrounding forest of high alpine snow gums are riddled with epic trails, and the big picnic shelter has a fireplace inside to keep warm if you plan to spend the day. The 30-minute drive up is filled with gorgeous sights and turns through the tall trees, with dozens of local Lyrebirds darting across its sealed roads....
Located halfway up Mount Donna Buang this boardwalk and lookout offers a unique perspective with a 40-metre-long observation platform (one of only three of its kind in Australia). This platform takes you into the rainforest canopy 15 metres above the rainforest floor, where you pass by some magnificent 65-metre old growth Mountain Ash trees, ancient Myrtle Beech trees (many of which are 300 to 400 years old), ferns, mosses and other plants that make up this damp and diverse rainforest walk. The loop is only 350 meters long but has quite a few slippery stairs so I recommend wearing boots....
Located a 15-minute drive from Warburton in the neighbouring township of Wesburn is the kind of patisserie that quickly found its way onto our permanent pitstop list. Their Swiss trained pastry chef/magician makes some of the tastiest treats in the state. If you play your cards right and plan your road-trip pitstops to coincide with their operating hours (6am-2pm, Wednesday to Saturday) then one could theoretically stop on the way there and on the way back, just saying....
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