This little gem doesn't look much when you drive past it, but it's well worth visiting. Full of towering old-growth trees, abundant birdlife, plenty of wombats judging by the many burrows and you may even hear or see the odd kangaroo. There are different regions within the park making it a very interesting walk as you move from the darker, damp areas, to the more open drier areas and then down to the fern gully.
Our preferred route by post number is:
1, 13 - Look out for the giant tree and the slippery when wet boardwalk near the very big fallen tree.
14 - Turn right at the T-intersection
17, 16 - Follow the path up the hill and out to the grass with gorgeous views over the fields. Turn left and walk on the grass between the forest and the fields until you see the blue sign marking the point where you go back into the park.
15, 14, 13 - The sword sedge and prickly currant bush can be painful if you get too close, but long pants and sleeves will help. Note: Keep watch for #14 where you will turn right and go down the path you came up earlier, it looks different from this angle.
Turn right down the track running off the path from the car park.
2 through to 8 - There's lots of new things to see here, including plenty of birds, the giant redwoods, fern gully and the bridge to nowhere at #8.
11, 12 - The short path from 8 up to track back is covered with the largest pieces of fallen bark you'll probably ever see, an awesome sight but watch your step. The walk back follows the line of the road to the car park. Checkout the hollow tree with it's window before you head off.
If youd like a little longer walk, it's easy to add in 9 and 10 as well.
The tracks are mostly narrow, dirt trails which can be overgrown and blocked with fallen branches. There are some sections of rough gravel and mown grass about halfway round, a boardwalk or two and the paths can be a bit steep in some parts. Most of the paths are well shaded so it's a nice walk in warm weather (when the bushfire risk isn't too high), but it means the tracks don't dry out quickly and they get very slippery after rain. Good walking shoes are essential and long pants and a hiking/walking stick are very handy.
History: The 29 hectare park was originally part of a 259 hectare reserve founded by the former Zoological and Acclimatisation Society in 1873. In 1906, the land was temporarily reserved after numerous petitions from locals and was gazetted as a permanent reserve 2 years later. The park's native bushland and mountain ash forest show what the area would have looked like before the land was logged and cleared.
The Californian Redwoods in the Park provide evidence of ornamental planting in one of the district's popular resorts and symbolise the development at the time of the park as a recreational centre. Set among mature gums they may represent the society's attempts to naturalise exotic species within the Australian bushland.
Find out more about our Social Walking Group here.
Starting Point: Gembrook Park car park near the toilet block. The unpaved road into the park is opposite 26 Redwood Road, Gembrook. There is also an entrance off Gembrook Rd if you are coming from Pakenham.
Toilets: At the car park
Dogs: Allowed (On Leash Only)
Download: Walking trails information & map
For your GPS: The unpaved road into the park is opposite 26 Redwood Road, Gembrook