Bemm River Scenic Reserve

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Bemm River Scenic Reserve

Bemm River Scenic Reserve is part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape. Parks Victoria respects the deep and continuing connection that Traditional Owners have to these lands and waters, and we recognise their ongoing role in caring for Country.

Bemm River Scenic Reserve protects a pocket of warm temperate rainforest, the drier eucalypt forest and other significant plant communities. The paved Rainforest Walk at the junction of the Bemm and McKenzie rivers enables visitors to experience a rainforest river valley, its secrets of survival and the creatures it harbours.

Bemm River Scenic Reserve, or the McKenzie River Rainforest Walk as it is affectionately referred to by locals, offers visitors a stunning rainforest experience. The walk meanders through a spectacular pocket of Warm Temperate Rainforest. The Rainforest Walk is approximately one-kilometre-long and consists of sealed pathways, boardwalks and swing bridges. The walk takes about 45 minutes to complete at a relaxed pace. Information boards along the walk guide visitors through the reserve and highlight the unique and wonderful flora and fauna found within it.

Two swing bridges lead over the picturesque McKenzie River, providing visitors with the opportunity to view the magnificent surrounding riparian forest from within the canopy. As you pass over the bridges, a symphony of frog calls can often be heard echoing from the protected pools along the river.

The McKenzie River Rainforest Walk was constructed in the 1980’s as part of the National Rainforest Conservation Program. The walking track, timber boardwalk and swing bridges were installed by the Army (24th squadron) who worked tirelessly to cart materials into the site.  Labour costs were covered by the Army and materials supplied through funding from the National Rainforest Conservation Program.  The walk was officially opened by Victorian Premier Joan Kirner in 1988.

The walk takes visitors through the Warm Temperate Rainforest, showcasing both the Bemm and McKenzie Rivers. The Warm Temperate Rainforest through which the trail winds is characterised by a closed canopy of Kanooka (Tristania laurina) with various lianas, ferns and epiphytes occurring at all levels through the forest.

This walk is the perfect place for travellers to stop, break their drive and experience one of the treasures of Far East Gippsland. Enjoy a picnic on one of the tables in the reserve after your walk. Parking for caravans and buses is also available at the entrance of the reserve.

Although camping is not permitted in the reserve, camping facilities are located in the nearby townships of Cann River, Orbost and Bemm River and within the Croajingolong National Park.

 

 

Things to do

 

A Sacred Kingfisher sits in a tree in Holey Plains State Park

Birdwatching in the reserve

As you walk along the path, lyrebirds may be seen scratching at the ground surface in search of food. The distinctive call of the Eastern Whip Bird often resounds through the forest canopy, while tiny wrens and flycatchers’ flit amongst the undergrowth.

McKenzie River Rainforest Walk

A one-kilometre-long walking trail consisting of sealed pathways, boardwalks and swing bridges. The walk takes about 45 minutes to complete at a relaxed pace. Wheelchair access is not recommended as there are steps in some sections.
Women from a Turkish community group enjoy a picnic lunch at Lysterfield Park.

Picnics in the reserve

Two picnic tables are available for visitors within the reserve, which can be accessed by a short gravel access drive from the Princes Highway rest stop. The area is sheltered under a canopy of dry eucalyptus forest, with Messmates and River Peppermints being the dominate trees.

Bemm River Scenic Reserve

The warm temperate rainforest through which the trail winds is characterised by a closed canopy of Kanooka (Tristania laurina) with various lianas, ferns and epiphytes occurring at all levels through the forest.

The area is also known for wildlife. Keep an eye out for:

Lyrebirds
Platypus

Tours and adventure experiences in parks

One of the best ways you can get into nature is with a Licensed Tour Operator.

There are more than 400 Licensed Tour Operators across Victoria who are ready and waiting to help you experience and connect with Victoria’s spectacular parks and waterways.

Discover more than 60 different types of nature-based experiences including hiking, mountain biking, boating, four-wheel driving, indigenous culture tours, birdwatching, surfing, diving and so much more. 

Licensed Tour Operators know all the best places to go and will plan and prepare your visit to ensure you are safe and can enjoy your nature-based adventure to the fullest.

Find a Licensed Tour Operator

How to get there

Bemm River Scenic Reserve

The Bemm River Scenic Reserve is located 30km west of Cann River and 45km east of Orbost. Highway signage leads to an all-weather gravel access road from the highway to a car park, picnic area and a short walking track.

When to go

The closed canopy in the picnic area and along the Rainforest Walk offers welcome reprieve from the hot summer sun. The temperature can noticeably drop as you descend along the walking trail towards the river junction.

Need to know

Bemm River Scenic Reserve

Change of Conditions

Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.

  • McKenzie River Rainforest Walk (Bemm, Goolengook, Arte and Errinundra Rivers Heritage River, Bemm River Scenic Reserve)

    McKenzie River Rainforest Walk flood repairs completed - update 15 August 2022

    Damage caused by floods in April this year has been repaired, enabling the reopening of the McKenzie River Rainforest Walk. 

    Visitors are advised to take care crossing bridges due to possible slippery conditions.

    In the next spell of dry weather, non-slip paint will be applied to the timber bridge boards and the walk will be closed for a short period of time for this work to be undertaken. 

    Closure signs at the walk will be in place during the short time it will take to paint the bridge boards, and the web page will be kept updated.


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