Maybe it’s the bunyips that keep people away, but if you’re game for an (improbable) close encounter then Four Brothers Rocks is a magical spot where — despite its proximity to Melbourne — you can hike, boulder and picnic in absolute peace and tranquility.
- Serene quiet only 1.5 hours’ drive from Melbourne CBD
- Multiple tracks looping through the Bunyip State Park to Four Brothers Rocks
- Large granite boulders hidden among the mountain ash
- Opportunities for bouldering practice
Bunyip State Park
Wanting to try something new in a different part of the wider Melbourne area, we headed out past Gembrook and parked at Mortimer Picnic Ground amongst some stunning old-growth mountain ash.
Within Bunyip State Park there is a dizzying network of service roads and walking tracks that intersect and join together depending on what turn you take. Without bothering too much about a map, we struck out on Triangle Road and decided to see where the journey took us!
Note: If you do want a map, this Parks Victoria one looks pretty good.
The first thing we noticed was how peaceful and quiet Bunyip State Park is. Tucked far away from any major road or town, and not particularly popular among Melbourne day-trippers, we felt like we had the whole 16,655 hectares to ourselves! While a large portion of the park was ravaged by fires in 2009, there’s still a lot of old growth in this area, and it was instantly relaxing to be surrounded by the lush ferns and keep our eyes peeled for bunyips hiding in any swampy spots.
Our goal was the Four Brothers Rocks though, so after passing a few turnoffs we diverted down the narrow and overgrown Tree Fern Track as it seemed to be heading in generally the right direction. The park isn’t always the best signed, but that only added to the fun since it made us feel like real explorers!
We eventually hit Nichols Hut Track which leads up a fairly steep incline to the peak of Black Snake Range, the mountains that form the spine of Bunyip State Park. Another 500m down Burgess Road led us to our goal: Four Brothers Rocks.
Four Brothers Rocks
The Four Brothers Rocks are four huge granite boulders that happen to sit right on the edge of a steep drop and offer a perfect window over the Black Snake Creek Valley towards the Blue Ranges. Hectares of wilderness stretch out to the horizon and we sat in the dappled sunlight with our backs to the granite rocks while we enjoyed our well-deserved lunch!
Next it was time to tackle the rocks themselves, especially as we fancied ourselves to be amateur boulderers! This was harder than we expected, but also good fun, and there was definitely something sacred about standing among the rocks and looking out over the valley.
The calls of kookaburras slowly lured us back out from the rocks and we stayed on the descending Burgess Road back to the Mortimer Picnic Ground, feeling refreshed and back in touch with nature, before we jumped back in the car and headed home.
- Good shoes with plenty of grip
- Food and lots of water
- First aid kit
- An appreciation of the unique Victorian bushland
How To Get There
Head out to Gembrook then continue on down Gembrook-Tonimbuk Rd until you reach Mortimer Picnic Ground. Sometimes people will be camping there, even though they aren’t strictly meant to!
Leave your car there and make use of the only toilet you’ll be seeing for a while. Then set off up Triangle Road to get to Four Brothers Rocks.
Beginner/Intermediate. The trail isn’t ever too difficult except for the final ascent up Nichols Hut Track which is a steep but short full-leg workout. However, navigation through the park can be tricky due to poor signage on trails and roads.
Distance Covered / Elevation Gained / Duration
The walk is approximately 13km in total, depending on what particular tracks you choose to lead you up to the Four Brothers Rocks. The elevation gain is 485m. In total the hiking time is 3-4 hours, plenty of time to add in lunch at the Four Brothers Rocks and even a coffee stop in Gembrook on the way home!
Be a boulder adventurer…