Nestled above the floor of the Upper Yarra Valley, O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail follows the historic open channelled O’Shannassy Aqueduct, meandering through pristine forest which has been protected for nearly 100 years for water harvesting. The trail, stretching 30 kilometres in its entirety, passes mature fern gullies, creeks and plantations and offers spectacular views of the valley below.
Step-On Step-Off Walking
The O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail is a long distance walking track passing through the Yarra Ranges National Park from Don Valley to East Warburton.
Opportunities exist to Step-On Step-Off the trail from main visitor areas for a shorter walk. Or if you’re interested in a longer hike, the trail can be linked to the popular Warburton Rail Trail at several locations.
When completed, the trail will link Lilydale to East Warburton via a 70km network of walking and bike trails.
Plan your journey
The trail provides for short, medium and long distance walks and several access points are available. Before you put on your walking boots to explore this outstanding trail, plan ahead and know your entry and exit points.
The trail itself is a gentle grade however access from the valley floor is more challenging and classified as grade 3 (moderate fitness required).
Organising car shuffles can be a useful way to maximise your walking experience. Camping is not permitted along the aqueduct.
Download the map from the ‘Related publications’ section below to plan your route.
What you’re likely to see
The natural state of the forest surrounding the aqueduct provides a haven of homes for many native animals. A keen eye and ear will discover kookaburras, eastern rosellas, lyrebirds, superb fairy-wrens, magnificent Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos, wallabies and echidnas.
The tranquil setting also offers spectacular views across theUpper Yarra Valley.
For those who are more adventurous, take the Mt Victoria trail link to the summit of Mount Donna Buang where an observation tower provides exceptional views of the national park, Alps and the city of Melbourne.
Most of the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail is on a gentle grade but getting onto it from the valley floor can be more challenging. However, there are carparks provided at key access points. There are small sections of the trail that are very steep when it crosses roads and converts to a pipeline. The trail has adopted the old service road to the aqueduct for most of the trail and the trail surface is a combination of compacted small to medium sized crushed rock and patches of grass. Small wheeled strollers or small wheeled wheelchairs are not recommended on the trail.
The most accessible section of the Trail is the trail section between Dee Road, Millgrove and Yuonga Road, Warburton. The Trail remains almost level throughout this section. There are no steep gradients and getting onto the trail is much easier. There is a car park at the Dee Road intersection of the Trail that accommodates approximately 16 vehicles. A path of approximately 120 metres of compacted, small crushed rock leads down from the carpark to the Trail. This path is quite steep and it is not recommended for strollers and wheelchairs to use this path to go back up to the carpark.
Due to the steepness of the path leading down to the aqueduct, it is recommended that users in strollers and wheelchairs commence at the Dee Road carpark end of the trail section and car shuffle to finish at another section. The easiest location for getting off the trail is at Sussex Street, Millgrove (a four kilometre stretch). Vehicles are accessed by a path with a slope of approximately 1:10. There are no designated parking bays at the Sussex Street section of the Trail but users can park their vehicles on the side of the road.
The next Trail exit is at Yuonga Crescent, Warburton (an additional three kilometre stretch). The car park at the Yuonga Road section of the Trail accommodates about nine vehicles and is approximately 20 metres from the Trail. There is a short path leading down from the carpark across a bridge over the aqueduct to the Trail. One section of this path has a gradient of approximately 1:10. There is no designated disabled parking at Yuonga Road carpark.
The carparks at Dee Road and Yuonga Road are not suitable for large buses or coaches. This also applies to the Sussex Street access to the Trail.
Dee Road Facilities
The information shelter is approximately 30 metres from the carpark and the picnic tables are close by. There are three picnic tables located on a level concrete surface and each table has a roll under end feature. The tables and information shelter are connected to a compacted, small crushed rock path leading down below the carpark. Some sections of the path are a little steep with a gradient of approximately 1:10.
Yuonga Road Facilities
There are two picnic tables and an information shelter adjacent to the carpark at Yuonga Road. These picnic tables have the roll under end feature and are on a concrete slab on reasonably level ground. Both the picnic tables and the information shelter are reasonably accessible from the car park.
The start of the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail is around 70 kilometres from Melbourne. Follow the Maroondah Highway through Lilydale and turn onto the Warburton Highway. From Lilydale travel 25 minutes to Woori Yallock, turn left towards Healesville on the Kooweerup-Healesville Road for 5 minutes, turn right into Dalry Road then left onto McMahons Road to Parrot Road.
If you are on foot or bicycle you can take the Lilydale Warburton Rail Trail from Lilydale to Woori Yallock. Alternatively car parking is available at Ewarts Road via Don Road at Launching Place, Dee Road at Millgrove or Yuonga Road via the Doona Buang Road from Warburton.
There are no toilets or barbecues on the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail. The nearest accessible toilet at the Warburton end of the Trail is at Warburton Playground Reserve (just off the main street of Warburton). The closest accessible toilets at the Millgrove section of the O’Shannassy Trail is at the Millgrove Warburton Rail Trail Reserve on Warburton Highway.
Max elevation: 347 m
Min elevation: 168 m
Total climbing: 1547 m
Total descent: -1388 m