The rain was setting in, but I wasn’t going to let it stop us from visiting on of Victoria’s best kept secrets, the magical Redwood Forest in East Warburton. I didn’t know about the forest before I’d booked our impromptu Spring escapade to Warburton, so it was a lovely surprise to discover another reason to visit this underrated little town.
It’s no surprise that this place is a well kept secret, without a sign to indicate it’s presence, most visitors to the region probably just drive right past it. Luckily our motel provided a map with very detailed directions because without it I don’t think we would have found the road to the forest on our own.
“Where are you taking us?” The access road was rough, full of deep ruts, and very soft on the edges. Mr Man was not at all impressed that there could be a chance that the car would get bogged if we had to pull over onto the soft muddy shoulder to let another car pass. Luckily we had no oncoming traffic.
Emma was getting more excited for our adventure with every bump that we bounced over. I’d told her that we were heading to a magical forest with an amazing surprise, and she couldn’t wait to discover what it was all about.
Reminiscent of the woods in fairy tales, the trees reach to the sky letting in only a scattering of light. I imagine on sunnier days the dappled light would throw amazing shadows, but in the rain the effect is moody and mysterious. Our discovery of several ‘dragon’s nests’ (as Emma like to call them), confirmed that this place did indeed have some magical properties. The magic of imagination!
I believe the nests are the remnants of sculptures by David Digapony, who weaves portal like sculptures from fallen branches. We found various nests in different stages of completion around the forest floor and Emma decided she would collect some branches and contribute to the art.
We were hoping to have a picnic there but the weather wasn’t playing nice, although I’m still glad we visited because we had the place almost all to ourselves. We’ll be planning another visit soon when it’s not so damp.
The history of the Warburton Redwood Forest
The Californian Redwood trees were planted by the Board of Works in about 1930 for experimental purposes as part of the Board’s hydrology research program. Trees planted were Bishop Pine, Douglas Fir and Californian Redwood. Further plantings of Radiata Pine, Western Red Cedar and Redwood took place in 1960–63.
There are over 1476 trees ranging from 20 metres to the tallest being 55 metres. The Cement Road Plantation is also now part of the Victorian Heritage Database, and is significant because of its size. It’s Now part of the Yarra Ranges National Park managed by Parks Victoria.
Getting to Warburton Redwood Forest
- Use the address: 25 Cement Creek Rd, East Warburton 3799
- Drive East from Warburton along the Warburton Highway, which soon becomes Woods Point Road. Follow this road about 7km until you see a small street sign for Cement Creek Road on the left. There is no signage for the forest itself.
- Continue on and pass over the narrow wooden bridge.
- Continue down Cement Creek Rd for 500m there is a small carpark on the right hand side.
- Pass through the narrow concrete gate/barrier and into the redwood forest area.
Things to know before you go
- 1 hour and 30 minutes from Melbourne.
- There are no road signs for this location, it’s very hidden.
- Beware of snakes, there are several warning signs posted – most relevant in Summer.
- Cement Creek Road is unsealed and quite rough. Still accessible by regular vehicles but take it slow. The road is not very wide so you’ll have to pull to the side for oncoming traffic. In wet conditions there is a risk of bogging as the shoulder is very muddy.
- The barrier gate adjacent to the carpark is very narrow to enter into the forest area, so this entrance would not be suitable for prams or bikes. I’ve been informed that there is a larger opening about 100m to the right of that gate.
- There are no toilet facilities nearby.
- No dogs allowed – it’s a National Park.
- There are no bins, so take your rubbish when you leave.
- I had no phone/data reception in the area.
PIN FOR LATER
We stayed at Warburton Motel – read our review here. I used Bookings.com to book and pay for my stay at the Warburton Motel. If you’d like to receive a $30 credit off your next stay through Bookings.com use this link, (I get a little bonus as well).