Brisbane Ranges National Park
35 minutes from Geelong and little more than an hour's drive from Melbourne, this park has the state's richest wildflower habitat. Set in a low range of mountains dissected by rocky gullies, the unusual geology of the Brisbane Ranges National Park has preserved plants that have long since vanished from other parts of the region. The Park offers excellent opportunities for bushwalks, camping, picnics, scenic drives, wildflower and bird studies and historical discoveries. The many varieties of wildflowers provide a magnificent display of colour in spring.
Due to the range in altitude in the park, there is a variety of fauna habitats. The foothill forests contain kangaroos, wallabies, and several species of possums and gliders. Smaller mammals such as native rats and mice inhabit the plateau. Wombats occur in all habitats. The Alpine Silver Xenica is a species of butterfly found only on the plateau of Mount Buffalo. Bogong Moths shelter in rock crevices at the Horn and it is common to see birds darting in and out of the cracks to feed on them. Peregrine Falcons sometimes nest in the granite rock faces. Crimson Rosellas are abundant throughout the park.
Brisbane Ranges National Park is 80km west of Melbourne via the Western Highway off Glenmore Road, or Granite Road. Turn onto the Ballan Road from Geelong or take the Western Freeway to Bacchus Marsh and follow the Geelong Road, turning off to Boar Gully.
Relics the old Albion Mine, which closed in 1910
The Brisbane Ranges offers a variety of walking opportunities through a range of habitats. The tracks offer several alternative routes from Anakie Gorge and Stony Creek Picnic Areas. The 3 km Anakie Gorge Walk leads through the gorge between the picnic areas at Anakie Gorge and Stony Creek. Nelsons Track climbs to the ridge top to Nelsons Lookout with views over the gorge and Lower Stony Creek Reservoir. This is a high standard walking track which uses small foot bridges to traverse several creek crossings.
Panoramic views over much of the Stony Creek catchment can be had from the Outlook. An easy 2.5 km return track, the Kurung Walk, climbs steadily from Stony Creek Picnic Area north to join Switch Road from where there are good views over the You Yangs and Anakie Gorge.
A three-day walk through the park has been developed, and notes and a map on this walk can be obtained from the park office.