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Little Peninsula and Big Peninsula Tunnels (McMahons Creek)

The Little Peninsula and Big Peninsula tunnels are located on the Yarra River, about 14 km east of Warburton.

Directions - Travel east along Warburton-Woods Point Road to McMahons Creek (past Starvation Creek Road) and you get to a signposted turnoff to the Little Peninsula Tunnel Picnic Ground.

There are barbecue facilities and a short walk (about 150m) to the Little Peninsula Tunnel.

The tunnels were created during the Gold Rush when the Yarra River was diverted to make it easier for gold miners to search for gold in the river bed.

The search for gold played an important part in the history of the Upper Yarra Valley. Rich discoveries were made at many sites in the Warburton and Hoddles Creek area and throughout the many tributaries of the upper reaches of the Yarra River. At this site in the late 1860s miners seized upon the idea of diverting the natural course of the Yarra River. The Little Peninsula tunnel is 30m long and was most likely blasted through the rock using dynamite and the rubble removed by horse and cart. This lowered the water level of the old stream-bed and made it easier for the miners to sluice the exposed gold-bearing sediments. The value of the gold recovered from Little Peninsula is unknown.

The Tunnel can also be reached from the upper car park, which is connected by a short track to the picnic ground.

Another tunnel is at the Big Peninsula. This tunnel is about 1 km further along Warburton-Woods Point Road towards McMahons Creek. Tracks lead down from the small car park, to either side of the Tunnel. A small picnic area is at the bottom of the stairway.


Little Peninsula Tunnel - From the car park next to the highway is a downhill gravel path which is a three minute walk to the tunnel. The path splits into two tracks with the signs "Tunnel Viewing" and "Tunnel Entrance Picnic Area". A bridge leads to an open grassy picnic ground with two tables. The bridge was closed when we visited but there is also access with a car to this picnic area from the main road. The bridge should be open again after maintenance work has been completed. Before crossing the bridge you can use some rocks to step across the water and get to an open grassy area on the opposite side of the river to the picnic ground.

Big Peninsula Tunnel - Drive down the gravel road and park about 100m before the swing gates. A few hundred metres from the highway is a set of stairs (47 steps) with wooden hand rails which wind down the hill face. At the bottom the water flows from the tunnel into an open area and then flows over some rocks. You can see the quiet path that the river used to take. This area is lined with tree ferns and has a picnic table.

On the other side of the road steps lead down to thirteen large round steps which cross the river. This would be super fun to cross if the river level is low enough. Unfortunately for us, it had been raining recently and the water was flowing too strongly over the steps to attempt a crossing.


Little Peninsula Tunnel

Big Peninsula Tunnel

Address | Contact

Warburton-Woods Point Road,  McMahons Creek 3799, Victoria, Australia. View Map Map opens in new browser window
Map: 292 Ref: J1

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