Warburton Donna Buang and the Upper Yarra

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Warburton Donna Buang and the Upper Yarra

Yarra Ranges National Park

The Yarra Ranges National Park is a place of epic views, rainforest scenery and fun-packed snowplay - and the area around Warburton delivers all three. Mount Donna Buang offers panoramas towards Westernport and Port Phillip Bays and tobogganing in the winter, while the Rainforest Gallery will give you a new perspective on the Mountain Ash forests of the region.
Warburton, Donna Buang and the Upper Yarra spans much of the southern part of the Yarra Ranges National Park. The stunning natural beauty, wildlife and plantlife of this region can be enjoyed by all. There are accessible and family friendly walks and picnic areas as well as more challenging summit climbs that will appeal to the more experienced hiker.

Mount Donna Buang is a fantastic all-seasons playground. In spring, summer and autumn, the picnic area is a great base for walks up the mountain and views across to Melbourne and beyond. The Rainforest Gallery has a spectacular observation platform and walkway allowing you to stroll among the treetops.

Rising to 1245m, Mount Donna Buang often receives frequent snowfalls in the winter. Many Melburnians have enjoyed their first taste of snow play and tobogganing here over the years.

On the way up to Donna Buang from Healesville, Ben Cairn is a popular spot for rock climbing and there is also a take-off site for hang gliders.

One of the most popular walks in the Yarra Ranges is the Redwoods. In contrast to the Mountain Ash that are such a feature of the Yarra Ranges, the trees here are introduced from California. Californian Redwoods are a type of conifer and are the tallest of all plant species in the world, while Mountain Ash are the tallest flowering plant in the world.

Warburton is a popular centre for cycling, with the iconic 40km Lilydale-Warburton Rail Trail ending here. The 30km O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail is suitable for cyclists of all ages and can be tackled in shorter sections. More energetic road cyclists like to climb to the summit of Mount Donna Buang.

Things to do in the area

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.

How to get there

Warburton Donna Buang and the Upper Yarra

Yarra Ranges National Park is approximately 65km east of Melbourne. Visitor sites in the Warburton area can be accessed via the Warburton Highway.

When to go

Coolness of the shaded forests, particularly the Redwoods and the Rainforest Gallery. Mt Donna Buang can be up to 10 degrees cooler than in Melbourne. Refreshing mountain streams.

Need to know

Warburton Donna Buang and the Upper Yarra

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.

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

    Little Peninsula Bridge Closed

    Little Peninsula Bridge closed due to storm damage. 

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

    Big Peninsula Stepping Stones Closed

    Big Peninsula Stepping Stones closed due to flood damage. 

  • Phantom Falls (MARYSVILLE STATE FOREST, Yarra Ranges National Park)

    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. 


  • 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.

  • Yarra Ranges National Park

    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.

  • Cambarville circuit walk (Yarra Ranges National Park)

    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)

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