The O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail is a 21 mi hiking and mountain biking route that starts at Parrot Road, Launching Place, Victoria, South Australia and ends at the O'Shannassy Weir. It runs through the mountains of the Yarra Ranges National Park following the O'Shannassy Aqueduct – a historical engineering feat.
Designed in 1911 and completed in 1914, the open channelled O'Shannassy Aqueduct met the needs of the growing city of Melbourne, carrying water all the way from the O'Shannassy Reservoir in the Yarra Ranges around 82 km to the Silvan Dam Reservoir.
Today you can walk the undulating trail through fern-covered rainforests and spectacular valleys on a fairly gentle trail, suitable for all abilities and graded as Medium difficulty (for information on how we grade trails, please click here) and usually hiked in 2 days, or cycled in 1 day. (Caution is advised on trail times as this depends on multiple variables. For more info, click here.)
The most accessible and level section of trail for pushchairs or wheelchairs is in-between Dee Road, Millgrove and Yuonga Road in Warburton. This is also the only section of the trail where dogs are allowed but they must be kept on a leash at all times for the protection of the national park, its wildlife, and other hikers and cyclists.
For those looking for a family-friendly trail, this is a gently sloping track, and the route can be shortened if necessary for those walking or riding.
There are no toilets on the trail itself and camping is not permitted along the aqueduct but the campground at Upper Yarra Reservoir Park is a popular stopover and allows further exploration of the national park and the surrounding area. Alternatively, accommodation can be found in nearby towns off the Warburton Highway.