Plenty Gorge Parklands


Plenty Gorge Parklands

Plenty Gorge Parklands are part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape in the traditional Country of the Wurundjeri Peoples. Parks Victoria respects the deep and continuing connection that Wurundjeri Traditional Owners have to these lands and waters, and we recognise their ongoing role in caring for Country.

Plenty Gorge Park offers a wide range of natural and cultural experiences only 20 km from Melbourne, where the spectacular gorge sets a backdrop for stunning landscape views and the abundant native wildlife are always on show. Walk the tracks to the beautiful gorge and marvel at the diverse wildlife living within the park. Shaped by volcanic activity, the Plenty River is a dividing line between two distinct geological types.

The basalt on the west and sedimentary rock on the eastern side generate a wonderful diversity of habitats, making the park an important refuge for both threatened and regionally significant species.

Enjoy a picnic or barbecue in the park with a range of recreation and picnic areas to suit everyone.

Family-friendly Red Gum Picnic Area features a children’s adventure playground, picnic tables and toilets with both parenting and disabled facilities. Nearby walking tracks lead to the Morang Wetlands and the Hawkstowe Picnic Area.

With views of the Plenty River, a backdrop of the wooded Plenty Gorge and a historical homestead, the Hawkstowe Picnic Area was once part of the larger Hawkstowe Farm that was established in the 1850's by the Le Page family, and is the perfect spot for a quiet picnic or barbecue.

Middle Gorge features spectacular views of the gorge and river from the viewing platform and walking tracks. Enjoy a secluded picnic in peaceful surroundings with facilities along the river.

There's plenty of wide-open space for playing games and on-lead dog-walking at Yarrambat Picnic Ground, or simply take in the views of Kinglake National Park and Mt Disappointment.

Enjoy bird and wildlife watching, bushwalking, picnicking and barbecuing in the natural surrounds at Yellow Gum Recreation Area. If you have a current Victorian Amateur Fishing Licence, bring your own bait and try your luck at fishing in Blue Lake. As the sun sets, take a moment to admire the pink hues of the cliffs rising above the lake.

If you want to stay a little longer, Nioka Bush Camp is a great place for group camping, with bunkhouse accommodation available.

Plenty Gorge fire recovery

Find out more information about the recovery and rehabilitation of Plenty Gorge Park following the 2019 fire.

Things to do

Two women stop for a chat outside the dorm rooms at Nioka Bush Camp.

Nioka Bush Camp

Available to schools and incorporated community organisations, Nioka Bush Camp is a quiet retreat away from the stresses of city life. Stay overnight in the great outdoors, camping or in bunkhouse accommodation.
Two friends walk through the gardens in to Le Page Homestead

Le Page Homestead

The historic Le Page Homestead and out buildings reflect the prosperous farming times of the 1860’s and 1870’s.
A man skims a rock along the water at Blue Lake at Plenty Gorge Park

Blue Lake

The Blue Lake, named for its turquoise blue colour at certain times of the year, can be seen from the viewing platform along the walking track to the lake.
A ground take a volunteer led tour through the Flying Fox environments on the banks of the Yarra River in Yarra Bend Park

Guided Park Walks

Meet new people and connect with nature on a free guided Park Walk in one of Victoria’s beautiful parks. Walks are led by our trained and friendly volunteers, so you can relax, enjoy the serenity of the bush and chat with other group members. Go on a walk as a once-off to explore somewhere new or become a regular and add it to your wellbeing or fitness routine.
Three friends enjoy a picnic on the grass in front of the historic Wallace Hut.


Head outdoors for lunch in the warmer months and enjoy a picnic in some of nature's most relaxing and inspiring settings.
Two men cook share the cooking of a barbecue.


Fire up the barbecue at your next social gathering with family and friends while you're surrounded by nature.
Father and son bird watching on boardwalk

Bird watching

From bushland to wetlands and everything in between, parks provide habitat to an abundance of common and rare bird species. Go for a wander and see how many you can spot.
A father teaches his young daughter to ride a bike in Braeside Park.


Cycling is a great way to enjoy the beautiful surroundings in parks. Whether you're looking for a leisurely ride or downhill adrenalin rush, Victoria's parks have something for you.
Four friends relax by the edge of the Yarra River as their curly brown dog gets ready to jump in the water.

Dog walking

Round up your dog, grab the lead and visit dog-friendly parks near Melbourne and across Victoria.
A three year old boy leads his mum and younger brother through the forest near Grants Picnic Ground.

Family activities

Stash some supplies into a back pack and take the family out for a day trip and in only a short drive from Melbourne you can be surrounded by nature.
A couple in their thirties take in the view along Dead Timber Track.

Hiking and bushwalking

Witness breathtaking natural scenery at some of Victoria’s most iconic places when you lace up your boots and take to a hiking trail.
A couple looks on at a Wombat on Wilsons Promontory National Park,

Wildlife viewing

Get up close and personal with some of Australia's shy native wildlife or look up to spot tree-dwelling mammals and flocks of colourful birds,


Picnic Area

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

Plenty Gorge Parklands

Need to know

Plenty Gorge Parklands

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.

  • Hawkstowe Picnic Area (Plenty Gorge Parklands)

    Closure of access road and carpark throughout May 2024

    The Hawkstowe Picnic Area access road and car park will be temporarily closed during selected days for road resurfacing works. Please refer to on site signage during your visit.

    Works are dependent on weather conditions and will take place between 7am – 5pm on weekdays. The closure may also remain in place over some weekends in preparation for asphalting works. Gordons Road will remain open at all times. 

    Traffic controllers may be present to manage safe vehicle access during asphalting works.

    During these temporary closures, please follow wayfinding signage on site for alternative parking at Red Gum Picnic Area.

    Attachments: Hawkstowe Picnic Area - Change of Conditions - May 2024 (352KB)

  • Nioka Bush Camp

    Camp Nioka extension of temporary closure

    Camp Nioka is not available for bookings while planning continues for necessary building repairs and interior upgrading.

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Parks

    Plenty Gorge Parklands Deer Control

    Parks Victoria are continuing deer control in the Plenty Gorge Parklands. This program will be taking place between the hours of 5pm and 6am on a number of nights between May 8th 2024 and August 22nd 2024. These control works are being undertaken by accredited and authorised contractors.
    For reasons of public safety, various areas of the park will be inaccessible during the evening throughout this period.
    Signage will be in place at access points when control activities are occurring. For our own safety please observe the signage during this time and do not enter any closed areas.
    For further information please call 131963

    Attachments: Map of control area Feb2024 (546KB)

  • Yan Yean Reservoir Picnic Areas (Yan Yean Reservoir Park)

    Yan Yean Reservoir gates closing time

    The auto gates at Yan Yean Reservoir Park will continue to close at 18:00 while Melbourne Water works are taking place.

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