Organ Pipes National Park is a fantastic picnic spot that’s located just a 30-minute drive from Melbourne’s CBD. Jacksons creek flows through the deep, rocky gorge that was forged by molten lava over a million years ago. This land is the traditional Country of the Wurundjeri people and is now managed by Parks Victoria. It’s a true local gem for a short hike or a picnic with the family, just a stone’s throw from the city. The Wattle lined trails are bedded deep into the river bed and give a real feel of being away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The park is located just off of the Calder Freeway in Keilor North and is well sign-posted. There is ample parking available at the park although it definitely is a popular spot during the summer months. There are picnic bench and toilet facilities available at the park and gas barbecues are permitted. Although the park boasts really good reviews on Google, some do say that the park closes way too early at 6 pm during the summer months and 4.30 pm during the winter. The park is located the opposite side of the highway to the Calder Park Raceway but your serenity won’t be affected due to being so low down into the gorge.
The park also has a community group called “Friends of Organ Pipes” that has helped restore, replenish and maintain the native flora and fauna since the land was declared a park in 1972. Organ Pipes National Park is protected by the United Nations as a Natural Monument due to its unique Basalt rock formation caused by volcanic lava flow millions of years ago. There’s very little information available in regards to the pre-invasion history of the park which does leave some room for speculation of how this area was used or inhabited by the traditional owners of the land.
Here’s a link to the park map.
What you can expect at Organ Pipes Natural Park.
As national parks go, this one is an incredibly small area but packed full of interesting features. The rock formations are just one of the things that make Organ Pipes such a beautiful place to visit and they are truly stunning. The Organ Pipes Rock Formation, Rosette Rock and the Tessellated Pavement are all located very close together so you don’t have to be an ultra-marathon hiker to enjoy the beauty of this place. There are Kangaroos, Wallabies, Platypus and Echidnas that all inhabit the park and trust us on this as we saw a large Grey Kangaroo and a Wallaby when we visited earlier on in the year. Even on the hottest summer days, it can seem a lot cooler and more pleasant being down in the river valley, you may also be able to have a splash in the creek.
Although there are toilets and picnic benches, there are no shops or food vendors nearby so make sure to pack everything you need. This place is well worth checking out for a quick walk or for a day spent by the creek. Please respect the fact that this land does not belong to us and to treat it with the love and respect it deserves. Take your rubbish home, make some good memories and leave only footprints.