One area that I have been wanting to explore for a while now is the You Yangs Regional Park in Victoria. My brother moved to Geelong just over a year ago and I went down to visit him around this time last year. In preparation for my trip I had done a bit of research about places near Geelong to visit and the You Yangs were highly recommended. The You Yangs are located between Melbourne and Geelong, you will likely have seen them off in the distance if you have driven between the two.
I was looking forward to visiting the You Yangs in my trip a year ago, but ultimately I was unable to, thanks to one of their infamous snap lockdowns. Instead I ended up getting to spend much more quality time with my brother and his wife, along with my mum who was also visiting. But then a few weeks ago I visited my brother in Geelong again, this time with my sister as well. We were both hoping to visit the You Yangs and we were able to find a day where the three of us were all free.
There are a number of options for walks to do, so we had a look at them the night before and settled on one that was not too long, but not just a short stroll. The walk that we chose in the end was the Flinders Peak Walk. This walk is 3.2km long and is moderate difficulty. One of the noteworthy things about the walk is that it has a number of stairs (about 450 one way!) along with the fact that the summit provides 360 degree views over the surrounding areas.
The walk starts from the Turntable car park, and it is not long before you start gaining elevation. Although the walk has a lot of stairs, it also has a nice mix of less steep areas where you can catch your breath in between. I still found the need for a number of stops along the way, but it was well worth it as there were a number of places to enjoy the view as you gain elevation. Although it was fairly busy (we picked a lovely sunny day!) we were able to enjoy a few moments to ourselves at the summit before heading back down. I found the return hike much easier and was half running it at points (or towards the very end running full speed) and it wasn’t long before we were back in the car park. We did run into another group on our way back down that had their pet cat on a harness and were taking it for a hike – definitely a new sight for me!
When we reached the car park we took a minute to sit down and enjoy a snack before heading back home. It was a lovely morning and we were definitely glad that we decided to go. If I have another opportunity I would love to go back and explore some of the other ones – I would love to tackle some of the longer ones. But whether you have just a couple of hours or a whole day, I would say that it is well-worth a visit!