Sunday, August 28, 2011

Darebin Creek Trail - Saturday, 27th August

On another perfect Melbourne's winter day, 11 Walkabouters met at the Darebin Parklands for an enjoyable 15 kilometer walk following the Darebin Creek Trail.

The catchment of the Darebin Creek begins north of Melbourne past the town of Woodstock and flows through the town Wollert and the suburbs of Epping, Bundoora, Ivanhoe and meets up with the Yarra River at Alphington.

 Walking was easy, following the bitumen and concrete track that is shared by cyclist, walkers, runners, dogs walkers and the local snake populations.

The land that now makes up the Darebin Creek Trail and Parklands was the original home of the Wurundjeri clan of the Woiwurrung people.

We headed north, following the Darebin Creek upstream,

in the glorious, morning sunlight.

These Currawongs kept a beading eye on us as we walked on by.

You wouldn't know it, but suburbia is just a stones throw away.

Over the last one hundred years or so, the land surrounding Darebin Creek has had many uses including dairy farming, market gardens and fruit orchards. Agriculture eventually gave way to expanding suburbs and industry.

Geology has also had a major influence on the development of the land. The eastern side of Darebin Creek is dominated by ancient sedimetary sandstone laid down during the Silurian period.

On the western side of the Creek, the land forms are predominately volcanic-based quaternary basalt created from lava flowing from volcanoes to the north of Melbourne about 800, 000 years ago. Hence, quarrying for bluestone was very popular on the western side of Darebin Creek.

Darebin Creek is a natural divider of the two geological areas.

Pooh sticks anyone?

We crossed the creek on several occasions. This bridge provided a great vantage point views, photos and childhood games.

Looking up stream from the bridge

Along the trail, there are notices and signs to keep walkers from getting lost and getting entangled with cyclist. It's important to keep left!

The morning winter light provided some good photo opportunities.


on reflections.

Sunlight through Black Wattle

Along the banks of the Creek we saw the signs of European influences, 

as well as impressions of modern living.

Trollei collectus

Local friends groups and the Council have undertaken lots of regeneration and revegetation along the banks of Darebin Creek and surrounding parklands.

A more natural setting.

We arrived at our morning tea spot and enjoyed the views over the creek towards the west whilst sipping on our water and nibbling our snacks.

Just up from lattes for these intrepid Walkabouters!

After our morning tea,

we headed downstream aiming to return to Darebin Parklands for lunch.

Looking downstream towards Melbourne.

So back down the trail we went,

making sure to keep left,

back over the bridge,

whilst enjoying the views,

and under bridges,

Locally quarried bluestone reinforcing the creek banks.

following the Creek,

Acacia verticillata  Prickly Moses

until we arrived back at Darebin Parklands,

but where is everyone?

lost again?!


there they are!

Thank-you to our intrepid leader for an excellent day's walk.

For more information about Darebin Parklands click on the following links

Walkabouters Club of Victoria Inc.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Walk Notice - Darebin Creek Trail - Saturday, 27th August


Easy walk along a sealed trail – approximately 13km. There is an opportunity for part of the group to walk a shorter distance if desired.

The Walk:

The catchment of the Darebin Creek begins north of Melbourne past the town of Woodstock and meets up with the Yarra River at Alphington. Firstly we will explore the Darebin Parklands and discover the remnants of Melbourne’s early agricultural history. We will then explore the creek upstream returning along the same route after lunch.

Here is a photo that is completely unrelated to the upcoming walk. 
It looks like a nice place for a walk!

So is Darebin Creek.

Looking forward to seeing you on the walk!

If you would like to join us on the walk,
please send an email to the address provided on the side.

Walkabouters Club of Victoria Inc.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Blackburn Lake to Laburnum, Saturday 6th August.

After a week of unseasonably warm weather, we were hoping for another fine and warm day for our 10 km walk through Blackburn Lake and the adjacent Creeklands to Laburnum. Unfortunately, the forecast was for a change of weather with potential thunder storms, high winds and the chance of snow in the Alpine Regions.

Despite the dismal forecast, 12 Walkabouters met in the car park of Blackburn Lake Sanctuary with great enthusiasm, ready for our day's walk.

Ensuring that we had our wet weather gear in our packs and woolly hats and gloves at the ready, we headed off to follow the meandering tracks around the Lake.

Blackburn Lake Sanctuary is nestled in Melbourne's eastern suburb of Blackburn less than 18 kms from the CBD. The Lake was formed by the damning of Gardiner's Creek in 1889. An investment group which owned the land at the time, wished to make a reservoir to supply water to local orchards and to enhance land values in the local area.

In the 1890's, Blackburn Lake was a popular destination for day trips and picnic excursions by a 2 hour steam train ride from Melbourne.

The Lake has a number of wooden landings that provide excellent access to views across the water and duck feeding.

As the day was overcast, photos of views across the Lake did not do it justice today.   

So here is one that was prepared earlier.

The Lake can really look very picturesque and tranquil.

Look! Up in the sky! Is it a it a plane?

We continued along the paths on the lookout for birds, wild life and flowering native plants,

 ...No! It's 2 birds with brightly coloured feathers. (Tourists from Queensland)

 as we crossed some bridges,

and caught some glimpses of the Lake,

and views to the shore on the other side.

We wandered along the footpath next to the Lake's retaining wall for a short distance before entering the Sanctuary again to have morning tea by the southern shore.

A refreshment room and jetty once stood not far from our morning tea spot. 
Row boats were available for hired for adventurous picnickers.  

Watersports including yachting, speed-boating and water-skiing were prevalent right up to the 1960's. The Lake was declared a Sanctuary in 1965 and during the 1970's and 1980'serious plans and efforts were made to repair and regenerate the lake and bushland.

Well known Australian painter, Frederick McCubbin lived in the area in 1893 and painted some of his most well known works including "The Bush Burial" and "Down on His Luck" in the surrounding bushland close to Blackburn Lake. 

Leaving the Lake behind, we crossed briefly into the suburbs that surround the bushland sanctuary and joined the paths that follow Gardiners Creek.

The wattles were flowering gloriously,

 and the air was filled with their perfume 

 and the water glinted with a film of pollen deposited by the wind.

What a fun guy!

Our intrepid leader pointed out some fungi and then lead us to a nearby coffee shop to enjoy cups of tea with our home made sandwiches.

A big oak tree by the oval.

On the way back we walked past some interesting trees,

 and enjoyed the rewards of tree planting and re-vegetation that has been undertaken over the year along the natural waterways.

To finish with, here are a few photo of plants that were flowering
in the bushland around the Lake.

Acacia paradoxa  Kangaroo Thorn

Hardenbergia violacea  Happy Wanderer

Hakea decurrens  Bushy Needlewood

Spyridium parvifolium  Dusty Miller

Clematis microphylla  Small-leafed Clematis

We arrived back at the cars just as the thunder started to rumble, and rain slightly damped our cups of tea. The walk was about 9.5 kms in length and was easy walking with wide, even  paths.  There were many opportunities for botanising and birdwatching and for much of the walk, you wouldn't even know you were walking through a major city!

A great days walk!

Click on the link for more information about
 Blackburn Lake Sanctuary  

Next walk is Saturday 27th August - Darebin Creek Trail

Walkabouters Club of Victoria Inc.

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