MANY YOUNG SUBURBAN lads have cut their teeth on the gnarly tracks within the Bunyip State Park. It's one of the closest trail bike and 4WDing destinations to Vic's southeast growth corridor,and only 65km from Melbourne.
Several 4WD tracks weave through the forest under damp canopy, with others opening out to heath land taking in views over the Yarra Valley. The tracks are seasonally maintained, and some are suitable for novices, but the dirt is primarily clay so take care during and after the wet.
Two major roads dissect the 16,600 ha park: Black Snake Creek and Tonimbuk with Link Road connecting the two. Many of the vehicle recreation areas, Dyers picnic ground and the camper-friendly Nash Creek camping ground stem from Black Snake Creek Road, a well packed clay track that's regularly maintained. The turnoff to the Helmet Track trail bike unloading facility is via this road, and leads to extensive network of intimate bush trails.
Bunyip State Park was affected by the Black Saturday fires two years ago, and the regrowth is quite astonishing. You can really appreciate it on some of the excellent hiking tracks. The walks are rugged and undulating but interesting and suitable for fit casual hikers. I've encountered plenty of wildlife here.
Many walks intersect Tonimbuk Road but the fabulous Four Brothers Lookout is accessed via a rough track (suitable for 2WDs at a pinch) off Link Road.
Nash Creek campsite remains partially open after the recent deluges and many of the tracks are closed but well under repair; if you plan to go 4WDing check the Parks Victoria website for track conditions and current closures. There is no mobile phone access within the park, so if you engage in any kind of RV adventuring, go in convoy, take alternative comms and recovery gear.
The Nash Creek camping ground is small but has many sites,separated by bush with enough room to accommodate a trailer and tent, and a small annexe with room for a fire. The Nash Creek camping ground and the walking track to Four Brothers lookout are all accessible via 2WD in good weather if you take care - but a 4WD is highly recommended.
Bunyip State Park is 65km south east of Melbourne, and 1km from Gembrook.
Parks Victoria Office, Beenak East Road, (03) 5967 8000, www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
Source: Camper Trailer Australia #40