Paddys Ranges State Park absolutely deserves a spot on your itinerary if you’re looking for a straight up bush camping weekender out of Melbourne. No crowds, no fuss, no worries.
The park is located in Victoria’s historic goldfields region, just outside the town of Maryborough and around 170 clicks out of Melbourne’s CBD. You’ll reach the park and its eponymous central campsite in around two hours drive from the city.
The cosy campsite is ensconced in thick glades of box and ironbark forest and the tranquil vibes will zap your worries in an instant. The site is well maintained and provides visitors with toilets, picnic tables, barbeques and fire pits. This is free camping at its best!
Allow at least a full day to get out and explore the park’s walking tracks and to poke around the old mining relics. You can even have a crack at a little fossicking yourself if you’re feeling lucky.
STUFF TO DO
4WDING: The park’s dirt roads and tracks are well graded and suitable for camper trailers and caravans.
WILDLIFE: Home to over 230 species of wildflowers, including over 30 types of orchids and over 140 native bird species, this is a seriously pretty spot and the back-to-nature vibes are virtually unparalleled.
FOSSICKING is allowed in sections of the park, although prospectors must purchase a current Miner’s Right. Head to the Parks Vic site to view and download a prospecting map for Paddys Ranges.
LOCATION: Just outside of Maryborough, Paddys Ranges State Park is 170km northwest of Melbourne with access via the M8.
CAMPING is free and visitors are provided with flat grassy sites, plenty of shade, toilets, picnic tables, barbeques and firepits. Be aware of current fire regulations and remember to carry out all rubbish.
FUEL is available in Maryborough.
MORE INFO is available at www.parkweb.vic.gov.au