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Organ Pipes National Park

HOT: Organ Pipes National Park, Keilor North

Organ Pipes National Park is a popular hiking trail and bushwalk for Melbourne families. It's easily accessible and offers spectacular views with not too much effort.

Organ Pipes National Park is significant because it sits on top of one of the world’s largest ancient volcanic lava flows, which stretches 350 kilometres.

Organ Pipes National Park

Organ Pipes National Park

To enter the Organ Pipes Park take the signposted turn off the Calder Freeway at Keilor North. The car park, with the park office, picnic tables and public toilets, is at the top of the hill and you need to walk down from the main entrance into the valley towards Jackson Creek.

The pathway is smooth tarmac but very steep, so hold onto your pram handles!

Organ Pipes Melbourne

Once you're at the bottom of the hill the tarmac ends. There are three main areas to explore – the Organ Pipes, Rosette Rock and Tessellated Pavement.

You can see all the areas on the Organ Pipes National Park map on a large board at the main entrance or within the park office when its open, but everything is well signed and it's hard to get lost.

Organ Pipes National Park Map

The full Organ Pipes Trail covering all three sites is a 3km, grade 2 Circuit hike. The hike should take approximately 1.5hrs to complete. (More info about the Australian walking track grading system).

Find Hotels and Airbnbs near Organ Pipes National Park, Keilor North

Organ Pipes National Park Walking

Your first stop should be the organ pipes which give the national park its name. Why is it called organ pipes? Basalt columns that look like organ pipes were created by the cooling and cracking of lava and they hang dramatically on the cliff face over Jacksons Creek.

There are even signs telling you the best location to snap a photo!

Organ Pipes Park lookout

Jacksons Creek also offers nature play and water play opportunities with shady areas and fossils to be found in the sandstone bedrock.

Jacksons Creek Organ Pipes National Park

There are picnic tables and public toilets near the organ pipes lookout.

Rosette Rock

Approximately 480 metres past the organ pipes is Rosette Rock, which is a large radial array of basalt columns (like those that form the organ pipes). It's not as spectacular as the organ pipes and to be honest, doesn't hold our attention for very long.

Rosette Rock Organ Pipes National Park

Tessellated Pavement Organ Pipes Park

Walk a further 300 metres past the Rosette Rock and you'll find the Tessellated Pavement. The rock structures are formed by the same lava flow as the organ pipes but have been eroded by Jacksons Creek.

Tessellated Pavement Organ Pipes Victoria

The kids enjoy rock-hopping along the Tessellated Pavement!

Tessellated Pavement Organ Pipes

There is significant native fauna at Organ Pipes Victoria. Look out for kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and platypuses! Note that being a national park no dogs are allowed inside Organ Pipes National Park.

Tessellated Pavement Organ Pipes Park

Besides Organ Pipes Melbourne other famous examples of basalt columns around the world include Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, which is across the Atlantic from Fingal’s Cave on the Scottish island of Staffa – both which are included in the legend of Finn McCool. It's one of my bucket list places to visit in the world!

For more hiking trails see Best Bushwalks near Melbourne for Kids

Best short walks in Melbourne for families

Join the Junior Rangers program by Parks Victoria

Tips for Organ Pipes National Park:

  • The full Organ Pipes Trail covering all three sites is a 3km, grade 2 Circuit hike. The hike should take approximately 1.5hrs to complete.
  • Toilets are next to the car park and at the Organ Pipes lookout;
  • Picnic tables near the car park and near the Organ Pipes lookout;
  • Look out for the native flora and fauna!;

I hope this post has helped or inspired you! Get my awesome weekly newsletter in your inbox every week to find out more ways for your family to have fun together!

cropped Kristyna Hess Lockdown Portraits x

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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In the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community.

We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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