Healesville and the Black Spur


Healesville and the Black Spur

Yarra Ranges National Park

The Yarra Ranges National Park around Healesville is blessed with tranquil picnic areas adjacent to streams and weirs. This is also the start of the Black Spur Drive, a spectacular scenic car journey. Wind through magnificent Mountain Ash forest on your way deeper into these magical mountains.
Healesville is the start of one of the scenic Black Spur Drive. The road winds through majestic Mountain Ash forest to Narbethong, passing a number of easy and difficult walking trails and pleasant picnic areas.

Enjoy a leisurely picnic at Donnelly’s Weir, Badger Weir, Dom Dom Saddle or Maroondah Reservoir Park. Short walks from the picnic areas into the rainforest will often be rewarded with sightings of charismatic wildlife such as lyrebirds, King Parrots, Crimson Rosellas and wallabies.

Longer and more challenging walks are rewarded with fantastic scenery, stunning views and an even better chance of spotting wildlife. The Mount Juliet summit walk rises from 200m to 1100m and is one of the most difficult in the Yarra Ranges, while the Mount St Leonard Track incorporates part of the National Bicentennial Trail

Extend your scenic drive deeper into the Yarra Ranges by continuing beyond the Black Spur to Marysville and beyond on the Lady Talbot Forest Drive, which leads to the Beeches Walk, Taggerty Cascades and Phantom and Keppel Falls.

Things to do in the area

Everything about this park seems ancient. From the towering Mountain Ash trees to the moss-covered rainforests. This is a heartland for some of our nocturnal possums and gliders. Bring a torch and see if you can spot a Greater Glider or Yellow-bellied Glider in the tall trees but be sure to watch the ground for grumpy wombats.

The forests of the Yarra Ranges are thought to be among the last strongholds of the critically endangered Leadbeater's Possum. This shy animal needs a particular mix of trees of varying ages to thrive and has suffered from habitat loss due to bushfires and logging. You are unlikely to see a Leadbeater's Possum, but it is nice to know that one might be resting in the hollow of a tree as you walk past.

In all, around 40 native mammals are known to occur in the park. The large areas of undisturbed old and mixed-age forests are particularly important for the conservation of hollow-dwelling species including bats, owls, parrots and the Leadbeater's Possum.

The park provides habitat for 120 species of native birds. Hollow-using species found here are the Sooty Owl, Powerful Owl and Barking Owl. Other important species include the Pink Robin, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Australian King-Parrot and Grey Goshawk. Crimson Rosellas are common.

The park features tall Mountain Ash forests, with an understorey of tree ferns, and gullies of cool temperate rainforest. Large pristine areas of these and other vegetation types are of national and state botanical significance. Damp river valleys are home to stands of Myrtle Beech festooned with mosses, ferns and lichens.

The highest elevations, such as Lake Mountain and Mount Donna Buang, are characterised by sub-alpine vegetation, and receive regular snowfalls over the winter months.

Fourteen plant species occurring in the park have been identified as being rare or threatened, including the Slender Tree-fern and Tree Geebung.

Maroondah Reservoir Park in the Yarra Ranges National Park.

Maroondah Reservoir Park

Maroondah features gardens with stands of native and exotic trees, native animals and birds and walking tracks. Its playground, lawns and cool summer shade make it a popular picnic destination in warmer months.
Ferns in the Yarra Ranges National Park.

Badger Weir

Badger Weir Picnic Area is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic or barbecue. Visitors can enjoy fresh mountain air and forest walks passing through ancient fern gullies, across clear mountain streams and meandering among mighty Mountain Ash.
A road winds through a lush temporate rain forest.

Black Spur

Drive the world famous Black Spur between Healesville and Narbethong and see luxuriant rainforest on The Beeches Walk on Lady Talbot Forest Drive near Marysville.
Mountain Ash and ferns create a spectacular backdrop for a picnic in the Yarra Ranges National Park.

Dom Dom Saddle

Dom Dom Saddle Picnic area is located on the Black Spur and is accessible from Maroondah Highway
Donellys Weir in the Yarra Ranges National Park.

Donnelleys Weir

Donnellys Weir forms both the start and finish of the Bicentennial National Trail. A variety of walks from the picnic area cater for both casual and longer distance walkers.

How to get there

Healesville and the Black Spur

Yarra Ranges National Park is approximately 65km east of Melbourne. The visitor sites around Healesville are accessed off the Maroondah Hwy.

When to go

The Yarra Ranges is a little cooler than Melbourne in the summer - particularly in the shaded gullies. Take a day trip to Fernshaw Picnic Area for some relief from the worst of the heat - but always check the bushfire rating before you go.

Need to know

Healesville and the Black Spur

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.

  • Phantom Falls

    Phantom Falls walk closure

    The walking track to Phantom Falls is currently closed due to extensive storm damage. The second bridge and viewing platform are damaged and deemed unsafe. The track is overgrown and has numerous fallen tree obstructions.

    Access beyond the first bridge, overlooking the Taggerty River is not permitted.

    Access to the carpark, picnic area and first bridge is still permitted. 

  • Yarra Ranges National Park

    Temporary closures for southern fall of Mount Donna Buang

    Parks Victoria will be undertaking deer control works on the southern fall of Mt Donna Buang between April 22nd and 30th August 2024. During this time sections of the O'shannassy aqueduct, the Mt Victoria walking track and a number of access points to this area will be closed between the dusk and dawn, approximately 5pm in the evening and 6am in the morning.  Signage will be placed at all access points to the control zone. Please read these signs and for public safety reasons do not enter the site if they state control is taking place. Please refer to the attached map for more information or call 131963.

    Attachments: Site map Donna Buang (637KB)

    O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail - Dee Rd Trestle Bridge Closed

    The Dee Road Trestle Bridge has been closed for public safety
    Subsequently, the O'Shannassy Aqueduct trail now terminates at the bridge near the Dee Road Picnic Ground.  We recommend accessing the western section of the Trail from the Dee Road Picnic Ground in Millgrove and the eastern section from the Yuonga Road Picnic Ground in Warburton. Please plan your visit accordingly.  

    Works to provide continued access to the trail are being investigated.

  • Big Peninsula Picnic Area (Yarra River, Yarra Ranges National Park)

    Big Peninsula Stepping Stones Closed

    Big Peninsula Stepping Stones closed due to flood damage. 

  • Little Peninsula Picnic Area (Yarra River, Yarra Ranges National Park)

    Little Peninsula Bridge Closed

    Little Peninsula Bridge closed due to storm damage. 

  • Cambarville circuit walk

    The lower section of Cumberland walking track at Cambarville is closed until further notice (Cora Lynn falls remains open)

    - The lower section of the Cumberland walking track is closed until further notice, however Cora Lynn falls remains open.
    - The upper section of Cumberland track including the Elephant Tree and the Big Tree are still open.

    Attachments: Cambarville_A4_0412 (1,190KB)

  • Dom Dom Saddle Picnic Area (Yarra Ranges National Park)

    Dom Dom Saddle Picnic Area - Toilet Closure

    Dom Dom Saddle Picnic Area toilets are permanently closed and will be removed in their entirety at a later date.
    The nearest toilets are at Fernshaw Picnic ground.

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