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Toolangi - Wirrawilla Rainforest Walk

Discover the secrets of the rainforest on the Wirrawilla Walk. Wirrawilla is Koori for green trees. It reflects the luxuriance of the surrounding plants, like the majestic moss and fern covered Myrtle Beech trees towering overhead. The boardwalk is short and easy (20 minutes), beside the Sylvia Creek, with rest stops and wheelchair access.

Take the Toolangi/Healesville Road off the Melba Highway pass through the township of Toolangi and 6 km on you will come to the Sylvia Creek Road on your left.

Anyone traveling from the eastern side of Melbourne up the Melba Highway, must do this walk it is a little ‘secret gem’ of Victoria that has never been logged or burnt.


This is a wonderful place to experience the wonders of a cool, temperate rainforest within easy reach of Melbourne.

At the parking area is a shelter with table and toilets. Around the corner at the start of the Tanglefoot Loop walk are some more tables.

A number of walks start from this point. The Wirrawilla Rainforest Walk is 1km (45 minutes) return and the Tanglefoot Loop which has short steep hills and a formed track is 10 km (2-3 hours) return. If you start the rainforest walk and cross the first bridge, you will connect to the Myrtle Gully Circuit which has short steep hills and a formed track is 8 km (2-3 hours) return.

The Wirrawilla Rainforest Walk follows a boardwalk for almost it's entire length and follows the Sylvia Creek and Mrytle Creek with a number of bridges to cross the creek. The environment is so lush with tree ferns, lichens, mosses and trees such as Mrytles reaching up to form a canopy. There are a number of information boards covering the flora and fauna of the area.

There are a range of fungi of different shapes and colours to find. Fungi do not contain chlorophyll and instead absorb their nutrients from the substrate that they colonise. There are plenty of rotting trees and stumps for fungi to colonise here.

The dominant trees of the rainforest are Myrtle Beech, Blackwood and Southern Sassafras. The Myrtle Beech has small, glossy, green, serrated leaves. Although the heart-shaped leaves are tiny there are so many of them that they form a closed canopy blocking out most of the sunlight. Blackwood was used by Aboriginal people for making clubs, shields and spear throwers. Bark heated over the fire then infused in bathing water was considered a treatment for rheumatism. Sassafras typically forms a conical shape. Its smooth bark is musk scented and blotched with lichen. The leaves and whitish flowers are also fragrant.

The tallest moss in the world, Dawsonia superba, which is 8cm tall and looks like a miniature pine tree is found in this area.

Platypus and the small native fish Galaxias live here, feeding on the invertebrates that thrive in these pristine conditions. In the summer months you many be lucky enough to spot a cheeky platypus relaxing on a rock along the creek bed.

The water passing under the boardwalk has a long journey to the sea. Just below the Wirrawilla Rainforest the Sylvia Creek joins the Yea River. This water flows north to the Goulburn River then continues along the Murray River eventually meeting the sea near Adelaide in South Australia.

In Wirrawilla you will often hear a lyrebird singing as he displays to attract a mate. He mimics the songs of other birds that share the forest. If you look carefully you can see the scratchings where lyrebirds strong feet have been searching in the leaf litter and rotten wood for worms, beetle grubs and other tasty invertebrates. If you are quiet you may be lucky enough to see a lyrebird crossing the boardwalk!

It's a rainforest so be prepared for the occasional leech. Have a check for any of the blood suckers before you get back into the car. I was driving back home, felt something on my leg, reached down and felt the leech and (slightly) freaked out.

The first time we tried to visit we didn't pay enough attention to the map and casually headed down the Healesville - Kinglake Road from Toolangi and missed the turn-off to Myers Creek Road. The next time we took the Myers Creek Road from Healesville and found the Sylvia Creek Road easily using the GPS. You need to travel 4km along the hard gravel Sylvia Creek Road to reach the Wirrawilla Rainforest Walk parking area. Be careful of logging trucks.

Access for Dogs:

Dogs are allowed but should be kept on-leash.


Address | Contact

Sylvia Creek Road,  Toolangi 3777, Victoria, Australia. View Map Map opens in new browser window
Telephone: (03) 5962 9318
Map: X910 Ref: Q11

Web Links

Link The Tanglefoot Track Information Sheet (PDF)

Link The Best Family Activities in the Yarra Valley

  Reader Feedback  

Lyn      Posted:    5:44 PM November 10, 2015

We couldn't find it. How far do I have to drive into Sylvia Creek Rd? Admin - We haven't been here yet. Did you use the map which is linked to at the bottom of the page?
Jack      Posted:    1:38 AM January 30, 2015

Definitely a must see with some great walks nearby as well. Highly recommended
Darren       Posted:    3:15 PM December 20, 2014

Love the scenery not sure about the leeches or the tiger snake at the toilet block.
BJG      Posted:    6:04 PM February 24, 2014

I went and got BEAUTIFUL photos just with an iPad Air! Amazing place and I recommend visiting!!!
Bruce      Posted:    10:07 PM August 7, 2013

Went on the 'Wirrawilla rainforest walk on this last weekend, wet cold and windy, Just beautiful. Great work on the access. Thanks Bruce

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