Cement Creek Redwood Forest facility upgrades

Project status

Timeline image of the Cement Creek Redwood Forest upgrades, as at January 2024. Draft designs were shared in mid 2023. Town planning and cultural heritage approvals are expected to be complete in early 2024. Procurement and final designs are expected to be completed in early 2024. construction is expected to start in mid 2024.

 

  • Draft designs for works being delivered by Parks Victoria at the Cement Creek Redwood Forest have been developed. You can view them below or read more about them here.
  • Town planning application has been submitted to Yarra Ranges Council. The application can be viewed on the Yarra Ranges Council website.
  • Cultural heritage approvals are in progress.
  • The main entrance to Cement Creek Redwood Forest via Cement Creek Road is now open, following works completed by Yarra Ranges Council to upgrade the bridge and road. We are expecting large crowds over the coming months. Please visit the park page to  plan your visit.

 

The project timeline is subject to on-ground and construction industry conditions, and environmental, town planning and cultural heritage assessments and approvals. The timeline will be updated as the project progresses.

Last updated: January 2024


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The project

This project is being delivered on Wurundjeri Country. 

The Cement Creek Redwood Forest in the Yarra Ranges National Park has become an increasingly popular site for visitation over the last few years thanks to the enchanting and photogenic Californian Redwood trees.

Visitors to the Yarra Ranges National Park will soon enjoy greater accessibility, new facilities and increased protection of the environment through a new project at the Redwood Forest.

Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water and Yarra Ranges Council are working together to deliver improved visitor facilities to manage increased visitation at the site while ensuring the environment’s natural values are protected. These works will include:

Parks Victoria works:

  • Adding more car parking spaces
  • Constructing an accessible public toilet facility
  • Installing a visitor safety gate
  • Constructing a visitor weather shelter 
  • Formalising sections of the existing trail network

 

Melbourne Water works:

  • Construction of boardwalks, viewing platforms and fencing to support visitor accessibility and additional open space opportunities
  • Re-vegetation along the Cement Creek and the Yarra River to improve river health and provide habitat


Contact Melbourne Water for more information on these works. 

 

Yarra Ranges Council works: 

  • Upgrading the Cement Creek Road Bridge to increase the load limit. Complete.
  • Re-surfacing of Cement Creek Road between the bridge and entrance to Redwood Forest. Complete.


View the Yarra Ranges Council project page for more information. 

 

Environmental, Aboriginal cultural heritage and Heritage Victoria assessments and approvals will inform exactly where, when and how components of the project are delivered.  

 

 

Draft design: Parks Victoria upgrades 

A draft design that outlines plans for Parks Victoria’s portion of works has been developed. It includes new and upgraded facilities including improved car parking, an accessible toilet facility, a visitor safety gate, a visitor wet weather shelter and the formalisation of sections of the existing trail network. You can view the draft design below. 

The draft design is subject to environmental, cultural heritage, Heritage Victoria and Yarra Ranges Council town planning assessments, approvals and permits, and may change as the project progresses.

The design outlines the priority works that are proposed to be delivered as part of this project. Additional trail networks will also be included in the approval process with Heritage Victoria and Yarra Ranges Council, to support future planning and developments should further funding become available. 

If you have questions or would like further information about the designs, contact the project team at engage@parks.vic.gov.au

Parks Victoria will also be hosting pop-ups outside the Warburton Information Centre, where you can stop by for an in-person chat. To be notified of pop-up dates and times, subscribe for updates.

 

A map showing the draft design for upgrades planned at the Cement Creek Redwood Forest in Warburton.

Pictured above: A draft design for Parks Victoria's planned works at the Cement Creek Redwood Forest. It includes new and upgraded facilities including improved car parking, an accessible toilet facility, a visitor safety gate, a visitor wet weather shelter and the formalisation of sections of the existing trail network. Examples of what the toilet facility, visitor shelter and seating could look like is also shown.


Project benefits

Visitors

The improvements delivered through this project will improve access for diverse visitors to experience the Redwood Forest, with a new accessible public toilet and wet weather shelter.

Environment

The project includes environmental protection works from both Parks Victoria and Melbourne Water to minimise the impacts of visitation to the site.

Works delivered by Parks Victoria will include formalising sections of the existing trail network, and closing some informal trails, which will reduce the site's exposure to foot traffic. This will help protect the forest understorey and replenish important habitat that provides a home for plants and wildlife.

Works delivered by Melbourne Water will include the construction of boardwalks, viewing platforms and fencing, as well as re-vegetation, along the Cement Creek and the Yarra River. These improvements will reduce the impacts of foot traffic, improve river health and provide and protect native habitat. 

Community 

The project involves adding more car parking at the site, which will reduce traffic impacts and safety issues on the road for the local community, and also support tourism opportunities in the area.

 

Project funding

Parks Victoria's portion of works is being made possible thanks to the following funding:

  • $2.3 million from the Victorian Government's $46 million Regional Tourism Investment Fund
  • An additional $300,000 from the Victorian Government

Melbourne Water is also investing $400,000 to deliver its portion of works. This project will run concurrently with the project being delivered by Parks Victoria. 

 

Environment and cultural heritage management

A key objective of this project is to complete environmental protection works and to minimise future impacts of visitation. This will be delivered through formalising sections of the existing trail network, re-vegetating the creek and riverbed and closing some informal trails.

We are working with Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation to develop and implement a Cultural Heritage Management Plan for the site, to ensure the cultural values of the site are protected. 


Who we're working with

 

Access changes

Works to upgrade the visitor facilities at the Redwood Forest have not started. Some areas of the park may be closed to the public while we complete the upgrades to ensure the safety of our visitors and staff. For up-to-date information on access changes in the park, please refer to the Redwood Forest park page on the Parks Victoria website.

 

Related information 

 

FAQs

What is being delivered as part of the Warburton Redwood Forest facility upgrades project? 
The project being delivered by Parks Victoria is set to provide additional car parking spaces, accessible toilets, visitor safety gates and shelters, and will also formalise sections of the existing trail network. Melbourne Water is also delivering new boardwalks, viewing platforms, fencing and re-vegetation along Cement Creek and the Yarra River. 

Why are you upgrading the Redwood Forest? 
The Cement Creek Redwood Forest in the Yarra Ranges National Park has become an increasingly popular site over recent years due to the enchanting and photogenic Californian Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) trees. Parks Victoria and Melbourne Water are improving visitor facilities to manage increased visitation at the site while ensuring the environment’s natural, cultural and historical values are protected.

What is included in the draft design?
A draft design that outlines plans for Parks Victoria’s portion of works has been developed. It includes new and upgraded facilities including improved carparking, an accessible toilet facility, a visitor safety gate, a visitor wet weather shelter and the formalisation of sections of the existing trail network. You can view the draft design below. 

The draft design is subject to environmental, cultural heritage, Heritage Victoria and Yarra Ranges Council town planning assessments, approvals and permits, and may change as the project progresses.

The design outlines the priority works that are proposed to be delivered as part of this project. Additional trail networks will also be included in the approval process with Heritage Victoria and Yarra Ranges Council, to support future planning and developments should further funding become available. 

How will formalising the trails assist in protecting the habitats and ecosystems at the Redwoods?
As with many of our special green spaces, the Cement Creek Redwood Forest site is made up of various ecosystems and provides important habitat for local plants and wildlife. Increased visitation means the park’s unique Californian Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) trees and the surrounding habitat are regularly exposed to the impacts of foot traffic, causing damage over time. By formalising the trails through the park, visitors will be able to explore the wonders of the park’s towering forest and bubbling waters of Cement Creek and the Yarra River, while ensuring the surrounding plants and wildlife can not only survive, but flourish.

When will the upgrades be built?
Construction of Parks Victoria's portion of works is expected to start in mid 2024, subject to on-ground and construction industry conditions and environmental, Aboriginal cultural heritage and Heritage Victoria approvals.

How is the project being funded?
Parks Victoria's portion of works is being funded by $2.6 million from the Victorian Government, including $2.3 million from the Regional Tourism Investment Fund. Parks Victoria will deliver additional car parking, an accessible public toilet, a safety gate and wet-weather visitor shelter, and will manage visitor impacts by formalising the existing trail network.

In addition to the project being delivered by Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water is also investing $400,000 to construct boardwalks, viewing platforms and fencing, as well as undertake re-vegetation, along the Cement Creek and the Yarra River. This project will run concurrently with the project being delivered by Parks Victoria. 

What Aboriginal cultural heritage protection is being undertaken?
We are working with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation to develop and implement a Cultural Heritage Management Plan to ensure the cultural values of the site are protected.

Will there be access restrictions to the Redwood Forest while the Parks Victoria upgrades are happening?
Some areas of the park may be closed to the public while we complete the upgrades, to ensure the safety of our visitors and staff. For up-to-date information on access changes in the park, please refer to the Redwood Forest park page on the Parks Victoria website.

When will the access restrictions be in place?
Construction of Parks Victoria's portion of works is expected to commence in mid 2024, subject to on-ground and construction industry conditions and environmental, Aboriginal cultural heritage and Heritage Victoria approvals. For up-to-date information on access changes in the park please refer to the Redwood Forest park page on the Parks Victoria website.

Why has the Redwood Forest been added to the Victorian Heritage Register?
The Cement Creek Plantation in Warburton (which includes the Redwood Forest) has been added to Victorian Heritage Register due to its aesthetic, historic and scientific significance. 

During the 1920s and 1930s, the plantation was a site of the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works’ (MMBW) (Melbourne Water’s predecessor) scientific program to ensure water purity in catchment areas that had been degraded through decades of farming, fires and logging of native forests. Part of an extensive revegetation program, this experimental plantation tested the potential of Conifer species to improve land and water quality, as well as for their commercial timber potential. While it’s now understood that Victoria’s land, water and forest ecology is better served by revegetation with native species, the MMBW’s Conifer experiments represent an evolutionary phase of water and forestry science in Victoria. Comprising of approximately 1,500 trees, it’s one of the largest scientific plantations of the twentieth century in Victoria.

The Cement Creek Plantation is aesthetically significant for its cathedral-like atmosphere created by trees up to 55 metres tall, which are closely-planted in regular formations. The place is noticeably quiet as few native birds or animals are attracted to non-native conifers. The visual and atmospheric aspects of this commanding landscape inspires awe, peace and mystery. The close planting of Coast Redwoods in Plot 1 has particularly unusual sensory qualities, being dark due to its closed canopy and silent as a result of the thick Redwood bark absorbing sound.

How will this impact the upgrades planned for the Redwood Forest? 
In April 2023, the Heritage Council Victoria determined that the Cement Creek Plantation in Warburton (which includes the Redwood Forest) is of state heritage significance under the Heritage Act 2017. This means that while the Cement Creek Plantation has been included on the Yarra Ranges Shire Council heritage overlay for many years, the process to obtain heritage permits will now be run by Heritage Victoria, and it will run in parallel to the Yarra Ranges Shire Council planning permit process.

The draft designs for the upgrades have been developed in consideration of the site’s unique cultural and environmental values and aim to protect what it is that makes the Redwoods so special. Pending the outcomes of the Heritage Victoria permit assessment and the Yarra Ranges Shire Council planning permit assessment, we expect the project scope to deliver improved visitor facilities and formalised trails will not vary significantly.

Where can I find out more information about the Victorian Heritage Register? 
To find out more about the Victoria’s heritage places and assets and how they are protected, visit the Heritage Victoria website and the Heritage Council Victoria website

How can I stay up-to-date with project progress?
For more information about the project and to stay up to date with progress, subscribe to our community newsletter or email us at engage@park.vic.gov.au.

 



 

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