This region hosts a large number of tourists regularly. This includes regular visitors from overseas countries who appreciate visiting the "real" Aussie bush and its local indigenous wildlife all within an hour of Melbourne - accessibility is a special advantage!
Locals - families and others from around Australia have enjoyed this region for a very long time.
"You Yangs as a Tourist Attraction"
from City of Greater Geelong - Lara Heritage Review, Draft Document, Thematic Environmental History, Volume 2 - February 2013
"Since the beginnings of European settlement in Victoria, the You Yangs has provided interest due to its natural geological formation and the uninterrupted picturesque views gained from Flinders Peak"
In June 1857, the Geelong to Melbourne rail line was opened — the first rail service to be established in country Victoria. When the railway had extended as far as Lara, which was then known as Duck Ponds, excursion trips to the You Yangs were organised to help finance the venture.
The You Yangs has always been a focal point for visitors.
In 1879, the Illustrated Australian News gave the following on the potential of the You Yangs as a holiday resort:
Station Peak, You Yangs
To all lovers of truly wild nature and enjoyers of a good scramble, we recommend this route to enjoy a holiday. The You Yangs are a group of thickly‐wooded volcanic hills between Melbourne and Geelong, about two miles from Little River station, from which township an excellent road runs into the town common at their foot, and such a town common as for picturesque beauty and singularity has not its equal in the colony, perhaps not in the world. …
The highest peak of this group is Station Peak; its height is about 1600 feet, and it is crowned by the wooden erection used by the geodetic survey. It is a favorite [sic.] resort of picnic parties from Geelong, and occasionally, Melbourne …
The only wonder is that the easy distance from Melbourne of the You Yangs has not made them a more popular resort for pleasure‐seekers and sportsmen.
The advent of the motor car in the early 20th century gave greater accessibility to the You Yangs to a larger number of the population. One group of visitors to come by car in 1916 was J.H. Bishop with his father and uncle. In 1925, there was a proposal to ‘beautify’ the drive to the You Yangs for tourists.
It was reported in the Werribee Shire Banner:
With a view to beautifying the drive and surroundings to the “saddle” of the You Yangs, a committee consisting of members of the various councils interested and other bodies has been formed. If £200 is raised in Geelong the Government Tourists Committee will make a donation of £200 towards the scheme, and the work will be started. Geelong has yet to raise £70 by the end of the week to reach its quota.
Climbing to the top of Flinders Park and enjoying the native game sanctuary at the foot of the You Yangs were particular tourist attractions. The Holmes family, for example, enjoyed such an experience in c.1925.