Anyone looking out from Geelong over Corio Bay or driving toward the city from Melbourne can't help but notice the peaks that rise from the grassy plains. These are the You Yangs, granite pinnacles that provided noted explorer and navigator Matthew Flinders with a vantage point to survey the area in 1802.
Visitors today can follow his footsteps to the top of the 352-metre Flinders Peak , named in his honour, and enjoy views to Mount Macedon , the Brisbane Ranges , Geelong , Corio Bay and Melbourne .
The You Yangs are more than just a lookout. The regional park has excellent picnic and barbecue facilities, native animals, well-signposted walks and a drive that highlights the park's features.
More than 200 bird species have been identified in the You Yangs, along with kangaroos, koalas, possums and sugar gliders. The vegetation includes a variety of eucalypts such as manna gums, yellow gums and river red gums.
The name 'You Yang' comes from the Aboriginal words 'Wurdi Youang' or 'Ude Youang', meaning 'big mountain in the middle of a plain'. Aboriginal people enlarged natural hollows in the rocks to form wells that held water, even in dry seasons. Visitors can see these rock wells on the Big Rock.
Matthew Flinders was the first European to visit the You Yangs. On 1 May 1802 , he and three of his men climbed to the highest point. He named it ' Station Peak ' but this was later changed to Flinders Peak in his honour.
The You Yangs Regional Park is 55 km south-west of Melbourne and 22 km north of Geelong . Access to the park from the Geelong-Melbourne Freeway is clearly signposted via Little River or Lara. From the park entrance, the sealed Turntable Drive (one-way traffic) leads to many of the main picnic areas.
There are no entry fees.
Parks Victoria manages the park.
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