The Black Spur is an iconic stretch of road between Healesville and Marysville and one of the best road trips in the state. It cuts a snake-like black path through the fertile green of the Yarra Ranges National Park. The road is hemmed in by majestic Mountain Ash which tower high into the sky and by tree ferns which edge over the side of the road, as if to re-claim territory that is rightfully theirs.

The Yarra Ranges can be discovered on a network of paths that wind their way around the natural features of the land. Head up to Lady Talbot Drive, and you can take the short walk from Taggerty River through ancient rainforest to Phantom Falls, a magical cascade in a most picturesque setting. The falls are particularly spectacular in spring when the melting snow creates a fierce flow over the rocks.

Follow the Taggerty River as it tumbles down to the ‘Meeting of the Waters', the junction of Taggerty River and Whitehouse Creek. It is here under a canopy of tree ferns that the air is always cool and moist, even on a hot day.

The Beeches Picnic Area, located at the top of Lady Talbot Drive, is the ideal place to stop for lunch. In the silence of the bush you can hear the mimicry of the lyrebirds. The Beeches Rainforest Walk leads you through ancient groves of Myrtle Beech trees. It is believed that the largest and most weather-worn are over 300 years old. It is not often you get to be this close to our living heritage.

At Cambarville you can see the evidence of the old mill and town that was constructed to harvest the timber killed by the 1939 bush fire that swept through the area. Deep cuts can be seen in the old stumps where tree-fallers fitted boards to stand on so they could cut above the wide buttresses of the giant Mountain Ash.

A feature of the Cumberland Walk is “The Big Tree,” a Mountain Ash that once stood 92 metres tall but was reduced to 84 metres in a wild storm. The path continues along an old water race constructed by miners around 1870 to provide water to the Sovereign Mine. At Sovereign View there is a spectacular outlook down the Armstrong Creek Valley towards the pretty little town of Warburton.

Lake Mountain is the highest peak in the park at 1432 metres above sea level and is popular for cross country skiing. It has more than 40 kilometres of sub-alpine tracks and ski trails open to walkers through the summer months. Tracks lead on through landscape covered in beautiful, mottled grey Snow Gum and Alpine Heath.

The diverse beauty of this region is outstanding. It will live in your memory, reminding you that years can be measured in the rings of a tree, and that they are precious symbols of where we have come and where we are going.

Image above: 

- Drive carefully on the way to Lake Mountain - it can get snowy!

 

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