Millions venture to Redwood National Park in California to see the amazing sequoia trees. But luckily for us Aussies, there are some pretty amazing places in Australia where the same enjoyment can be had – on a much smaller scale of course!
There are a number of forests located in the state of Victoria which long ago had the bright idea to plant these beautiful trees – and now we get to enjoy them in their utmost glory: standing tall and in forests that are right out of a fairy tale.
How did I find out about this place? Recently, a friend posted photos on Facebook about visiting a town within the Yarra Ranges, about 80 kms (90 minutes drive) east of Melbourne’s CBD; in a place called Warburton. I immediately made plans to take a day trip with my friends Adam and Melissa since we lived about an hour or so away from here, in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
It was a stunner of a day, at a beautiful 28 degrees Celsius, so we knew it was going to be an epic adventure when we arrived – and we were not wrong.
The Warburton Redwood Forest
The Warburton Redwood Forest is easily located on Google maps, but when it comes to actually finding it when you’re there – now that is a little trickier. You really need google maps loaded with the location set before you get out of Warburton because a) wifi dips out around here and b) there is no street sign directing you to turn down the road it is actually on. We had to drive through the main street of Warburton because of the direction we came; but we knew that we needed to make a left hand turn shortly after it which ended up being a left turn onto a gravel roadway – making it even harder to spot. So be prepared before you go to know what you’re looking for!
Cement Creek Rd is the road you’ll be on when you make this turn. Parking is easy and you’ll see the forest is in the distance to the right when you’re there. There were about 8-10 cars already there when we arrived around 11am, but there is plenty of parking available in a gravel bay near the fence so you really can’t miss it if no one is there.
Being a Sunday morning, this is the kind of place that should be full of tourists. Or locals. But it really wasn’t so busy…well enough to capture no people in our photos. It felt like a hidden wonderland, even though it is a well known local wonder.
Being in this forest is incredible. The ground is soft and bouncy, the air is clean, and the rays of the sun streaming through the forest only adds to it’s mystical quality. You really felt like you are in your own little world right here; except in our case we didn’t even feel like we were in Australia at all. Having traveled throughout California many times, this wasn’t hard for me to confuse. Australian landscapes are pretty easy to spot, but being here was so “not Australian”. It was an interesting feeling to have.
There was an element of Blair Witch happening here though, with stick formations on the ground in a few places. It kind of freaked me out in all honesty. But, I guess it just added to that other world feeling…more so, of the horror film variety.
The Yarra River
After we toured the forest for about 30 minutes, we headed down a path to the river – which was a very refreshing aspect to our day, given the warmer weather. Listening to the rapids is always nice, but I loved how the trees framed the river in such a picturesque way when standing on the bank. I could have jumped right in!
The best part about this is that this river is the Yarra River – the very river that runs through the city of Melbourne. Knowing that this river continues so far outside is really amazing – and a whole lot cleaner and natural, than what we see of it in Melbourne.
Lunch In Warburton
After our walk, we returned to the car and drove back to the main street of Warburton. We had a nice lunch at a cafe called Three Sugars. The food was quite good and being a nice day, it was lovely to relax for an hour before heading back to drive home.
If you’re heading to Melbourne and able to take a day trip out somewhere, Warburton is well worth a detour – and the Redwood Forest is an Instagram lovers delight as you can see. But for nature lovers, this is one of the best day trips out of Melbourne, for tourists and locals alike.
Do not miss it!