Get Back to Nature in Kinglake National Park

by | Last updated Jul 12, 2023 | Discover Australia Now, Melbourne, Victoria | 12 comments

Kinglake National Park is a national park on the slopes of the Great Dividing Range some 56 kilometres (35 miles) northeast of Melbourne’s CBD. It is known for its hiking tracks, tall trees, creeks, waterfalls and cute little Australian towns. If you are looking for a day out or weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne, Kinglake is a great option. Here’s how to get back to nature in Kinglake National Park. 

 

FAQs about Kinglake National Park

 

Where is Kinglake National Park?

 

Kinglake is situated some 56 kilometres (35 miles) Northeast of Melbourne making a visit to Kinglake National Park an easy day trip from Melbourne. 

Kinglake National Park is located within the traditional land of the Wurundjeri people to the south and the Taungurung people to the north. I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this land and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. 

 

Why Go to Kinglake National Park?

 

Like many national parks in Australia, Kinglake National Park is a nature lovers paradise where you can enjoy the serenity of the forest. Also discover the many hiking tracks, see the waterfalls, have a picnic in the picnic areas, visit the main town or enjoy the distant views over Melbourne. Plenty of reasons to get back to nature and enjoy Kinglake National Park.

 

Does Kinglake have a Lake?

 

No it doesn’t. Kinglake is named after the British travel writer and historian Alexander William Kinglake.

 

What is the history of Kinglake National Park?

 

The Kinglake National Park was established in 1928 to protect the native flora and fauna. It is 23,210 ha and is the largest national park near Melbourne.

 

Best Time to Visit Kinglake National Park

 

You can visit Kinglake National Park anytime however, you may be governed by the weather conditions as to what you can see and do at a particular time. If there has been plenty of rain, the waterfalls will be flowing but the ground will be wet and can be muddy and slippery to walk on. You may discover fungi, mosses and lichens during this time. While in the summer months, temperatures can be very hot and you will need to listen to authorities about bushfires. In spring, keep an eye out for wildflowers.

 

What to Take into Kinglake National Park

 

Kinglake National Park is a beautiful park so what you take in, you must take out. Bring the things you will need to do what you want to do. If you want to mountain bike, bring your bike plus food and water. For hiking, wear walking shoes, a hat and sunscreen, and don’t forget some water. Is a picnic on your agenda? Well there are a number of picnic spots to enjoy, so bring food for your picnic or a BBQ. Planning on visiting and not sure what you will be doing? Then be prepared with good walking shoes, hat and your exploring attitude!

 

How to Get to Kinglake?

 

There is no direct bus from Melbourne to Kinglake. You can catch the 565 bus from Whittlesea that will take you to Kinglake.

The best way to get to Kinglake is by car. With a car you have the freedom to drive through the National Park to get to its best spots. If you don’t have your own car you can rent one. Get availability and pricing here. If you look at a map there are three major roads in to Kinglake.

  • C725 from Whittlesea along the Whittlesea—Yea Road – this is the flattest and straightest route.
  • C724 from Castella on the Melba Highway in the Yarra Valley – very windy road up.
  • C746 from the north eastern suburbs of Melbourne via the Heidelberg—Kinglake Road – very windy road and pass through sleepy towns of Panton Hill and St Andrews.

 

What to See and Do in Kinglake National Park

 

Appreciate Kinglake National Park

 

The first thing to do in Kinglake National Park is to appreciate it. 

  • Beautiful tall Eucalypt trees still regenerating after the fire of 2009. 
  • Local flora and fauna. There are some 600 native plant species, 40 native mammals and around 90 native bird species. I was lucky enough to see a lyrebird darting through the trees the day I was there. 
  • Landscape when walking on the hiking trails or camping overnight in the campgrounds. Don’t forget – take all your rubbish with you, leave only footprints so we can all appreciate Kinglake National Park.
  • Appreciate that Kinglake National Park is the largest national park close to Melbourne that is sharing itself with you.

 

Visit the Township of Kinglake

Main Street Kinglake is a wide street with a few shops.

Main Street of Kinglake

 

Kinglake is home to some 1200 people and the township of Kinglake services them. The town is tiny with a few shops. You can walk the main street within 5-30 minutes – depending on what interests you and how fast you walk! My favourite shop is the bakery where you can buy freshly made pies and cakes. Speaking of food. If you didn’t bring food for a bbq or picnic in the park, consider the bakery or the Kinglake Pub. The pub has both indoor and outdoor spaces including a gorgeous beer garden, plus a kids playground. There is a good selection of food and if there on a Sunday, be treated to music band or two. While in town, pick up a map of the Kinglake National Park. Unfortunately, there isn’t much signage. A map will help you get to the top spots of Kinglake National Park.

 

See the Waterfalls – Mason Falls & Wombelano Falls

 

Kinglake National Park has two waterfalls Wombelano Falls and Mason Falls. Mason Falls is one of the main attractions in Kinglake National Park. It has dedicated parking and a fabulous bbq area where you can enjoy a bbq lunch. From the car park it is any easy stroll, about 700 metres, through the tall trees to the Mason Falls lookout point. Along the way, you can leave the track and dip your toes in the beautiful forest pools that cascade above the falls amongst the rocks. If the water is running, you can race leaves. This is what my kids did and they had so much fun!

To get to Mason Falls, follow Whittlesea-Kinglake Road and you will see the turnoff. Follow National Park Road until the turnoff into the falls. Or keep going along National Park Road and you will arrive at Mt Sugarloaf providing great views over Melbourne.

Walking Track to Mason Falls, Kinglake Walking Path.

Path to Mason Falls – an easy walk along well kept paths

 

Kinglake Rock Pools on the walk to Mason Falls, Kinglake National Park.

Dip your toes in the rockpools on the way to Mason Falls

 

Mason Falls. Water cascading down rocks in Kinglake National Park.

Mason Falls – not much water flowing over the rocks

 

Wombelano Falls is a hidden gem that is tucked away in Kinglake National Park. Just like Mason Falls, you will walk through towering trees along a 1.5km return circuit to the falls viewing platform. Depending on how much rain there has been there may or may not be water cascading down the rock shelves. Wombelano Falls are located off Captains Creek Road.

 

Bring Your Mountain Bike and Ride Bowden Spur Mountain Bike Area

 

If you love riding mountain bikes, bring your mountain bike and ride the tracks at the Bowden Spur Mountain Bike area. Ride to your hearts content along the tracks, trails and over the jumps. Shepherds Trail has the extremely difficult rating of Double Black Diamond. The Bowden Spur Mountain Bike Area is located on Bowden Spur Road, 200m from the intersection of the Kinglake‐Whittlesea Road in Kinglake Central.

 

Kinglake Farmers Markets

 

On the 4th Sunday of every month, barring weather conditions, you will find the Kinglake Farmers Markets. There will be plenty of stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, breads, coffee and sweet and savoury goodies. If you love local produce, Kinglake Farmers Market has some of the best!

 

Kinglake Memorial

 

In 2009 the Kinglake area was decimated by fires. Over 500 houses were burnt to the ground and 173 people were killed, including many people living in Kinglake. So many were lost because the fire came quickly after the wind changed and sent it towards Kinglake. There is a memorial if you would like to pay your respects.

 

Get Great Views Back over Melbourne

 

Mt Sugarloaf, located at the end of Mt Sugarloaf Road, offers spectacular views of Melbourne’s skyline. You can also go on the Sugarloaf Ridge walking track from here. This part of Kinglake National Park is at the highest point of the district between Kinglake Central and Kinglake on the Whittlesea‐Kinglake Road. This is why the views of the Melbourne skyline are so good.

 

Where to Eat in Kinglake National Park

 

 

Kinglake Pub with blue sky looking over it.

Kinglake Pub

 

There are a couple of spots of note. Of course you can eat in Kinglake town at the bakery, coffee shop or Kinglake Pub but why not picnic or BBQ in a bush setting!

Island Creek Picnic Area is located off Eucalyptus Road and is an ideal spot to relax and enjoy a picnic.

The BBQ Area next to the carpark at Mason Falls. There are BBQs, tables, toilets and room to kick a ball amongst the tall Eucalypt Trees.

 

Extend Your Stay in Kinglake – Kinglake Accommodation

 

Kinglake accommodation is limited with just a couple of options, the Gums Camping Area and the Karma Kinglake.

The Gums Camping Area is nestled in a bend of Island Creek and located off Eucalyptus Road. There is room for 18 campsites and 5 caravans. Bookings are required to ensure a spot.

Karma Kinglake is a retreat and function centre accommodating up to 20 guests. To enjoy time in this peaceful setting you can book here.

You can also find accommodation in nearby Whittlesea, in the Yarra Valley or in other close small towns.

 

Are You Ready to Step into Nature at Kinglake National Park?

 

Whether it be a Melbourne day trip or weekend, step back into nature at Kinglake National Park. Have you been to Kinglake? I’d love to hear.

 

Kinglake National Park PIN. Mason Falls and Tall Eucalypt Trees.

12 Comments

  1. Maryanne

    KInglake is not too far from where I live. I live in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. So this is a perfect post for me to read. I haven’t been to Kinglake in a very long time 🙂 I had heard of Mason Falls & Wombelano Falls but never been, so now I have my next day trip planned thanks to you 🙂

    Reply
    • Sharyn McCullum

      I hope you get to go to Kinglake. It’s always the way, we often don’t visit the places close to us.

      Reply
  2. Trisha Velarmino

    Hi Sharyn! Thanks for sharing this guide! Is there a fee to enter or camp and are dogs allowed?

    Reply
    • Sharyn McCullum

      No fee to enter the park, there is a fee if you want to use the camping ground and dogs are allowed in on a leash.

      Reply
  3. Simina

    Such a lovely place to distress and connect to nature!

    Reply
    • Sharyn McCullum

      Nature always helps me de-stress so I look forward to going into nature all the time.

      Reply
  4. Nikki

    Wow, this is such an interesting national park! I love that the name is so deceiving – so funny! Looks like a great way to spend the day

    Reply
    • Sharyn McCullum

      Yeah, I didn’t know that until I went there! It is a lovely place to spend a day.

      Reply
  5. Steph

    Gotta love a national park with waterfalls, so I’ll be sure to check it out if I make my way down to the Melbourne area during my next Australia trip.

    Reply
    • Sharyn McCullum

      It’s always nice to see waterfalls in national parks.

      Reply
  6. Supraja Lakshmi N

    What a wonderful article about Kinglake National Park. You really captured the beauty and diversity of this natural wonder. I enjoyed reading about the different trails and attractions that you can find in the park. I would love to visit Kinglake National Park someday and explore it for myself.

    Reply
    • Sharyn McCullum

      Kinglake National Park is a beautiful part of Australia and I hope you get to visit one day.

      Reply

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About Me

Bells Beach Surfing Recreation Reserve Sign shaped like a big white wave with Sharyn McCullum On the Great Ocean Road.

G’Day! Sharyn here, an Aussie loving discovering Australia. Let me show you around so you can discover Australia too.  Read my story here.

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