Are you looking for free activities to do with the kids in Melbourne? Want to enjoy a pleasant walk to get back to nature? Then I
recommend you visiting the Organ Pipes National Park.
The park is located north west of the city, about 38kms from Southern Cross station. It will take you 24-35mins if you take the toll way or if you take the Western Ring Rd, it’ll take you 30-55mins depending on traffic. The opening times are 8.30am-4.30pm.
Public transport can be used as the 483 bus to Sunbury that departs from Essendon station stops out the front of the entrance however your best bet would be to visit the PTV website to confirm times as the busily departs once an hour.
There are no food shops (or any shops) at the park so bring all your own food. Since it is a national park, don’t forget to take all your rubbish with you when you leave.
When you arrive at the carpark there is an information booth and tables and chairs. Gas BBQ’s are permitted but you must bring your own. No open fires allowed. There is also toilet facilities.
When you start the walk you have to walk down into the valley. The path is a fairly steep gradient but shouldn’t be a problem for most people. It is asphalted so it does make it a smooth walk down. Once you are down the rest of the walks are all fairly level.
It’s not a very big park. You could do the whole trip in under an hour if you wanted to but why rush it? Take the time to enjoy the views and scenery. If you are quiet and patient, you may even see wildlife. I only saw birds and a frog but I went in May when
the temperature was below 15 degree Celsius. There was a fair amount of cloud cover as well but no rain. I will be going back in spring when all the flowers come out to have another look and take more photos.
The park is not very old. Only 50 odd years ago it was being used for farming. A group of volunteers came together and started to bring the area back to a more natural environment. It was a long process as they first had to remove or the weeds in the area before planting the native trees but to their credit, the place has turned into a fantastic spot. You could almost forget that you were anywhere near civilisation… except the park is under the fight path of Melbourne airport and there is a highway only 500m away but other then that its a perfectly natural.
All in all I do recommend this park to people. Its a nice place just to unwind and take in the beauty of nature. There are plenty of picnic areas. Near the Organ pipes there are toilet facilities but be warned, they are not your usual flushable toilets. They are a upmarket version of an outhouse. The area was very green when I was there as it has been raining on and off for the past 2 weeks (its autumn). The creek was flowing but wasn’t very high. I’m hoping to go back when it gets a bit fuller.
So pack yourself a little picnic, put on your walking shoes and go out for a bit. Unwind, relax and enjoy what nature has to offer.
If you would like more information you can go to the Parks Victoria website here. Otherwise you can ask me a question in the comments below. I would love to hear your stories if you have visited the park.