Yarra Ranges National Park
|Yarra Ranges National Park
A waterfall in the national park near Marysville
|Nearest town or city||Melbourne|
|Area||760 km2 (293.4 sq mi)|
|Visitation||800,000 (in 2002)|
|Managing authorities||Parks Victoria|
|Website||Yarra Ranges National Park|
|See also||Protected areas of Victoria|
The Yarra Ranges National Park is a 76,003-hectare (187,810-acre) national park that is located in Victoria, Australia, approximately 92 kilometres (57 mi) east of Melbourne. Within the national park, the southern slopes of the Yarra Ranges form the headwaters of the Yarra River and several water catchments for Melbourne's domestic water supply. The north–western slopes of the Yarra Range, also located within the national park, drain into the Goulburn River. The Park includes Mount Donna Buang, Mount Ritchie, and Lake Mountain.
Whilst the park was established in December 1995, the area has been protected since the late 1880s as a catchment area for Melbourne's water. Almost all of the park is closed to visitors for this reason, however the park is one of the most popular day trip destinations for Melbourne residents attracting approximately 800,000 visitors in 2002.
Logging occurs in much of the forest, including some of the water catchment areas..
Flora and fauna
The park contains approximately 40 different mammal species, including the endangered Leadbeater's possum and 120 species of birds. The bird species include the sooty owl, powerful owl, barking owl, pink robin, yellow-tailed black cockatoo, Australian king-parrot, grey goshawk and crimson rosella. 456 Species of Flora
As the forest is very dense the area was not particularly favoured by the aboriginal people. The European settlers also found it difficult to access the area. It was eventually settled in 1860 and was seen as a valuable area for timber. Soon after, the area was recognised as a good place for water catchments, so the Maroondah and Upper Yarra dams were built.
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