Big Pats to Starling Gap Walk

The Big Pats to Starlings Gap walk is a small section of the longer 'Walk Into History'. The Big Pats to Starlings Gap walk provides  an entertaining  outing along an old tramway encompassing two bush mill sites. Walkers will enjoy the beautiful forest, the picturesque  creeks and the unique creatures of the Yarra State Forest. This is an ideal walk to pack a lunch for.

Location and Access

The Big Pats to Starlings Gap walk  is located between Big Pats Bridge and Starlings Gap. From Warburton drive down Riverside Road and along Big Pats Creek Road. Park at Big Pats Bridge and walk 100m along Smyth Creek Rd to find the walking track to your right. Warburton is located about 80km east of Melbourne and can be accessed through Yarra Junction or East  Warburton.

Alternatively, this walk can be started at Starlings Gap, which is about a 30 minute drive from Powelltown. Powelltown can be easily accessed from either Yarra  Junction or Noojee.

The Walk

This walk follows the Federal tramway, which was constructed in  1933 and used on a daily basis by the timber workers in the area. You will be able to locate lengths of the old tram tracks by the side of the path in some places.  You will also come  across two huge sawdust heaps, which indicate the sites of two old bush mills that operated in this area. The first heap marks the site of Ezards sawmill.  The second  sawmill, which was fully operational until  1942, was located close to Starlings Gap.

The Big Pats to Starlings Gap walk takes around 3.5 hours to complete one way, along a 9km track of moderate grade.  The walk  is slightly challenging at times, but well worth the effort.  The walk can easily be broken into a two day trip by camping at Starlings Gap overnight and making the return trip to Big Pats Bridge the following  day.


This walk is probably the most well facilitated walk within the Yarra  State Forest. The Big Pats Recreation Area is equipped with toilets and plenty of room for camping.  The creek provides a  very pleasant setting for a relaxing stay. At the other end of the walk, Starlings Gap is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Yarra State Forest. Toilets, sheltered picnic tables and fireplaces fitted with cooking stands are all provided.  This is also one of the prettiest camping grounds in the forest, and is very popular with family groups, overnight hikers and international visitors.