By Siya Gauri Singh
The You Yangs Regional Park is an Aboriginal cultural landscape showcasing Victoria’s picturesque and diverse natural beauty.
Situated 50 km southwest of Melbourne this park offers a range of activities suiting all ages and fitness levels, with breathtaking scenery, thrilling outdoor adventures and abundant wildlife.
There are hiking and mountain biking trails, catering to both leisurely strolls and challenging treks, horseback trails, and for those seeking an adrenaline rush, rock climbing and abseiling opportunities abound here.
The park’s rich avian diversity is bound to excite the birdwatchers out there, with more than 200 species spotted to date. If you are not feeling up to a walk, you can enjoy a scenic picnic in one of the nine designated picnic spots, but the walks are worth the effort. They lead to the park’s iconic granite peaks, known as Big Rock and West Rock which provide beautiful panoramic vistas of the surrounding scenery of the You Yangs.
It’s one of my favourite places because it’s always so fun and rewarding to be there! Besides the breathtaking natural beauty of this park, the calming ambience and enjoyable trails always help me boost my mental wellbeing. Between school, work and friends, it gets hard to take time out for myself and just relax. Spending time at the You Yangs always allows me to re-energise myself, and proves to be a fun day out without fail!
It’s been especially good for me during my teenage years. The sheer beauty and size of this area makes everyday stresses seem trivial, and helps me shift my focus towards things that really matter and affect me. Sometimes, a shift of perspective is all you need to keep things moving in the right direction (I know this from experience) and the You Yangs is the perfect place to discover a new perspective. Coming here also helps me keep fit physically and mentally, because spending time in nature is a great way to boost your mood! It also boosts your cognitive function and generates positive emotions such as calmness and joy. Each time I visit I leave with a smile on my face, freshness in my mind and my spirit pumped!
The effect of the You Yangs is real and profound, and I encourage you to experience this natural beauty for yourselves! A lot of us get stuck in making sure every detail in our lives is perfect, but coming to the You Yangs will show you that there is beauty in jagged corners, droopy flowers and cloudy skies. I saw it and I hope you can too.