Heading east of Melbourne towards the snow fields of Baw Baw National Park, you’ll find the quaint town of Noojee tucked underneath the surrounding canopy of mountain ash trees. The beautiful spot was once an important timber town, but is now known for tumbling waterfalls, lush forest and remnants of its historic past. A day trip to Noojee is the perfect escape into fresh mountain air you didn’t know you needed.
Located on the edge of West Gippsland, you can easily spend a relaxing weekend in Noojee wandering beneath the towering trees and amongst the green ferns. While it’s a very small town, the natural beauty of the area is the real highlight. Noojee is an Aboriginal word for “resting place” which describes perfectly how rejuvenating a visit to the town can be.
Whether you want to camp under the stars or spend a romantic weekend away in accommodation, this guide will provide all the best things to do in Noojee for your visit.
How to Get to Noojee
Melbourne to Noojee: Via M3 to Ringwood, then Canterbury Road and Warburton Highway to Yarra Junction and finally C425 to Noojee, 115 km or 2 hours in total
Noojee is only a couple of hours’ drive east of Melbourne. This makes it perfect for a weekend escape or day trip from the city. The drive from Yarra Junction to Noojee in particular is beautiful, a windy road through mountain ash trees.
Noojee also makes for a great day trip from other popular nearby towns like Warburton (50 minute drive) or Healesville (1 hour drive). It’s also just an hour from Baw Baw Village.
The nearest major town to Noojee is Warragul, which is only 40 minutes to the south.
Note: Phone reception is very limited in Noojee, especially at the locations mentioned below, plan accordingly.
Best Things to Do in Noojee
Whether you’ve got a day or a weekend, there are some lovely spots to check out in Noojee. It’s worth packing your walking shoes, as most of the sights require a bit of walking. But it’s in appreciating the beautiful forest that makes Noojee extra special.
Here are the best things to do on a day trip to Noojee.
Noojee Trestle Bridge and Rail Trail
By far one of the most impressive trestle bridges in Victoria, this beautiful marvel is worth stopping to see. Curving its way through the forest, this old timber rail bridge is one of the iconic things to do on a day trip to Noojee.
It’s been recently upgraded and reinforced, so you can drive right up to the bridge off the Mount Baw Baw Tourist Road before town. You’ll find a gravel car park and some steps leading up to the top of the bridge. You can walk along the bridge and back down the other side in a short loop, or walk or cycle the whole rail trail to Noojee town.
The Noojee Trestle Bridge Rail Trail is 3km one way from the bridge to the town, or 6km return. It finishes at the old station site in Noojee town centre.
Toorongo and Amphitheatre Falls Loop Walk
- Distance: 2.2 km loop
- Time: 40 minutes – 1 hour
- Difficulty: Moderate
Just outside Noojee, you’ll find these popular waterfalls tucked away in the forest on the edge of town. The incredible cascades are joined together by a 2.2 km loop walk from the main carpark and day visitor area.
It’s a stunning walk through the green ferns and tall mountain ash trees of the area. At the top of the first little hill, there is a viewing platform close to Toorongo Falls, a huge waterfall falling over the rocks through the trees.
If you continue around, you’ll come to Amphitheatre Falls, a smaller cascade following over large boulders in the forest. There is a viewing platform for photos or you can brave the scramble up through the trees on the side of the falls to reach the pool at the top. Some locals hop in for a swim in summer.
You can then head back down to the carpark, where there are toilets and picnic tables.
Loch Valley Tramway Walk
- Distance: 5 km return
- Time: 1 hour
- Difficulty: Easy
Another nice walk through the mountain ash is the Loch Valley Tramway Walk. The 5 km return trail follows one of the historic timber tramlines towards Loch Valley.
It’s an easy stroll on a clear trail, so it’s perfect for families to enjoy the fresh air of Noojee. It starts from the carpark and picnic spot on McCarthy Spur Road, which is opposite the DELP Depot. The trail heads down along the fence line beside the depot where it leads into the bush.
There are some historical remnants of the old tramway in the carpark area, with interpretive signs detailing the history of Noojee.
Read next: Ultimate Day Hike Packing List
- Distance: 3.2 km loop
- Time: 1 hour
- Difficulty: Moderate
While not in Noojee itself, this is a really beautiful and unique spot to head if you have the time. Located 26 km away from Noojee, the Ada Tree can be accessed via the Bennie Creek Road (dirt but 2WD accessible), off the Yarra Junction-Noojee Road.
Sitting in the Yarra State Forest, the Ada Tree is considered one of the oldest trees in Victoria, at around 400 years old. The giant mountain ash tree is surrounded by a stunning forest of ferns, beeches, and gums, which have surprisingly protected the Ada Tree from fires, floods and logging over the years.
There is a carpark and picnic area with toilets from where the walk to the tree begins. It’s a 3.2 km loop on a skinny walking trail and boardwalk through the forest to the Ada Tree and back around. A cool place, even on a warm day, the tree is both impressive and majestic.
Toorongo River Chalets | On the road to Toorongo Falls, this is probably the nicest accommodation in Noojee. Located on a 130 acre property, they have three chalets on offer. From a cosy romantic chalet to a larger cabin suitable for a group or family, there are options for everyone. The outdoor spa bath on the back deck overlooking the trees is definitely a highlight! Prices are from $250 per night. Check availability here.
Neerim Country Cottages | Just 15 minutes up the road from Noojee on the way to Warragul, these cottages offer a nice country retreat. With one and two bedroom cottages, there are options for couples and larger families. They also have a heated pool and acres of garden to relax in. Prices are from $140 per night. Check availability here.
Free Camping? If you’re looking to stay for free in Noojee, then the Toorongo Falls Campground is free. Right below the visitor day carpark for the waterfalls, there are two separate areas for camping with fire pits, long drop toilets and picnic tables. It’s a beautiful spot right on the river and is very convenient for visiting the falls. It does get busy on weekends though, so get in early!
Places to Eat in Noojee
Noojee Pub | This iconic pub, Noojee Hotel, is a must visit for anyone looking for a meal in town. It has a nice balcony overlooking the river, which is a great spot on a warm day. Beers are cold and they serve great pub grub, but it gets busy on weekends, so be prepared for a packed atmosphere of locals and visitors alike.
Little Red Duck Cafe | Just down the road from the pub, this cafe is another popular spot. A classic country cafe, you’ll find delicious pies, steak sandwiches, sausage rolls, as well as, a nice brunch menu for those looking for something nicer. Coffee is good, which is probably why there’s always a crowd on weekends.
Toolshed Bar and Restaurant | The other main place you can get a meal in Noojee is the Toolshed. This is an old-school place showcasing country hospitality, with big meals and cold beer. They also have a covered beer garden area for warm days or a rustic indoor bar for a meal.
Where to Next?
If you’re looking for places to visit nearby, check out some of my other posts:
- 10 Best Walks in the Yarra Ranges National Park
- Local’s Guide to Warburton in the Yarra Valley
- Walks and Waterfalls in Tarra-Bulga National Park
- Local’s Guide to Marysville