I’ve been camping here for over 30 years and not much has changed. Parks Vic (or whatever their name is these days) do a great job of servicing the park by doing tree checks, grading the roads, vegetation management and tree hazard checks, The rest is up to you. If you want to camp somewhere that has everything done for you, this is not the place. Rangers have more important things to do than change the toilet paper rolls so be prepared for a beautiful simple camping experience.
There are a number of campsites in the Farmyard area much of which is shady amongst tall beautiful Peppermint, Blackwood and Red Stringybark gums with the sound of lyrebirds imitating chainsaws in the background.
The splendid, high-peaked ridge of the Cathedral Range offers spectacular walks and rock climbing routes to suit all levels of fitness and ability. The Cathedral Range is recovering from the extensive damage caused by the 2009 Black Saturday fires when 92% of the park was burnt. There is a pleasant old sawmill clearing (partially vegetated) sheltered in a forested valley near the bubbling Little River. This 3577-hectare park offers you a range of activities from relaxed camping by a clear mountain stream to an exciting climb to its high exposed peaks.
To reach the small camping area at the Farmyard, you need to walk in from Jawbone carpark on Cerberus Road along the steep Jawbone Creek Track, which will take you about an hour. The park’s ultimate physical challenge is south of here – the Wells Cave Track is a very difficult and exposed route linking Sugarloaf Saddle with Sugarloaf Peak, the area’s highest point. You can also reach Sugarloaf Peak via the Razorback Ridge Track. Access into the park is easy with a 2wd, albeit a little bumpy on the road in. From Melbourne head east through Healesville and through the mountainous Black Spur. Once you have left the Maroondah Highway and have driven north of Buxton, you will see the signposted turnoff to the Ranges.
No booking or fees. Camping is on a first in, first served basis
There are no toilet facilities. Please dig a 15cm hole, do your business and cover over well so no animals will disturb it. Ideally, you would take out your paper and any feminine hygiene products too.
Nope. None. Nil. Zero. Zip. This is just a campground. No water. No tables. No officially designated campsites.
Fires are not permitted. Use a portable gas stove or similar for cooking.
No drinking water is available – supply your own.
Carry in, carry out. There is no rubbish collection within the park and there are no rubbish bins so you’ll need to take it home
There are limited campsites, so endeavour to get in as early in the day as you can.
I could say prolific but that’s only when I need a goods night sleep. During the day you’ll hear if not see lyrebirds. They’ll often imitate chainsaws from the loggers. Kookaburras, cockatoos, galahs and even the protected peregrine falcon. At night, the wombats come out along with the possums. Beware that the possums will rummage through your food if left outside your tent. Kangaroos and wallabies tend to come out at dusk and dawn but you will often surprise them on walking trails.
Dodgy at the best of times. It’s intermittent and can drop out quickly.
No known swimming spots here. No fishing allowed. No horseriding. No canoeing or kayaking.
Now it’s your turn.
What are your experiences like camping at The Farmyard?
Leave a comment below.