Hiking in the You Yangs – The Big Rock

Just an hour’s drive west of Melbourne, the You Yangs Regional Park is a gem that I highly recommend to anyone for a simple half or full day hiking trip. The You Yangs offers a range of different walks that you can go on, and even mountain biking trails, however the one that we went on were the Big Rock Walk and to the actual Big Rock itself.

Upon entering the park, you will be greeted by the eucalyptus and manna gum trees which are signature to this area. The drive from the gate of the park to the carpark is not long, but can be longer than expected, as you pass multiple signs for different carparks and routes, so be sure to check which carpark is the one you want to park at for which walk you want to go on.

For the Big Rock Walk, it is a fairly easy hike that is about three kilometres long, or about a one hour return from the Park Office Carpark. It is pretty relaxing but I would say it was rather uneventful for us. If you go around the Big Rock and make your way back down the same way, you will complete the walk.

If you do not want to make that hike around the Big Rock, make sure that when you drive in, you follow the signs all the way to where it states “Big Rock Carpark” as it will bring you to the Big Rock which is a whole attraction in itself (without the hike!).

The Big Rock is exactly what its name suggests – a huge rock which, when you are there, not sure where it starts and ends. When I first saw it, it reminded me of images in the Jurassic times when everything was just huge beyond imagination. It is clear that this rock has been here for as long as this park has been, and is an amazing stop to end your visit to the You Yangs with.

The climb up the rock is a little steep, so even though it is only a ten minute return walk from the Big Rock Carpark, when you think you have reached the end of the Big Rock – walk some more where you will then find yourself standing on the extension of what you thought was the Big Rock and find yourself being treated to one of the most stunning and panoramic views of the west.

If you go just before Sunset (which is absolutely when I recommend you to be there), you will realise that this is undoubtedly one of the best places to get sunset views. There is a 360 degree panoramic view all around with brilliant views towards Geelong, and makes you feel like you are on top of the world.

We also found these abseiling hooks that were drilled into the side of the rock – just staring at them gave me the chills thinking how someone could abseil down that way but I am sure this is spot is a hot favourite among the adrenalin junkies.

200 photos and a gorgeous sunset later, we made our way back to the car and drove out of the park.

There is also a picnic area with multiple benches around and an outdoor barbecue provided for use (we tested it and it seems to work), it was also pretty clean, so on a warmer night that would be a perfect spot for a summer picnic.

The beauty of the You Yangs is so understated, which, if I were to be selfish, is good that it is never crowded there, yet a shame that many have yet to experience all it has to offer. With its large range of hikes ranging from easy to high difficulty, it is certainly worth one’s while to make that trip down, which I can assure you won’t regret.


Just when we thought our adventure was over, we spotted some kangaroos and emerging from their daytime hiding spots – no better way to end the day!

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