Sunday, March 4, 2012

Patterson River - Sunday, 4th March

After record breaking rainfalls throughout much of Victoria during the last few days, the expectation of rain showers in the morning, did not put off 7 Walkabouters from meeting at Bicentennial Park in Chelsea for a 14 kilometer meander along Patterson River and it's surrounds.

Following the path leading south from Bicentennial Park, we walked in the shade of large pine trees and She-oaks that lined border of the local country club and golf course. 
The landscape became more open as we walked through the Wannarkladdin Wetlands, nearer the banks of the Patterson River.

Patterson River was originally a swamp. 

In the 1870's the government decided to drain the Carrum Carrum Swamp, which lay between Mordialloc Creek and Keats Park in Seaford, and turn it into useful farmland. 

The creek known as Carrum Creek, was widened and deepened, allowing the swamp to flow into Port Philip Bay. This 10 meter wide, man-made gash was known as 'Patterson's Cut'. 

The path leads us along the banks of the river,

which was swollen due to heavy rainfall from the previous few days.

The few canoeists braving the conditions,

weren't game enough to challenge the Patterson Rapids.

The extra water in the river did not prove a challenge

for the local birdlife!

The weather provided some very dramatic looking clouds,
that fortunately did not bring any precipitation.

The blustery winds parted the clouds, revealing bright blue skies and sunshine
as we continued on our walk.

 We took in the views of the man-made marina, expensive houses,
boats and barbed wire fences,

and wondered about who they were trying to keep in!

We left the artificial lakes behind us for the more subdued looking
but intriguingly named, Eel Race Creek.

There were plenty of ducks but no eels in sight.

No, this is not a giant eel trap, it is a trap for rubbish that flows down the creek.

These traps are placed in many of Victoria's waterways to prevent rubbish from entering Port Phillip Bay.

We walked down the road that follows the course of Eel Race Creek

to where it flows into Kananook Creek.   

We crossed over Nepean Highway and walked, past the rather surreal looking 
Carrum Bowling Club with it's architecturally designed clubhouse.  

After walking through Keats Park,

we sat on the beach and ate our lunch.

Port Phillip Bay was really choppy and the few boats that were braving the conditions appeared to be struggling.

It wasn't long before we came upon the mouth of Patterson River. 

We stood for a while watching boats leave the quiet waters of the River and get tossed around on the Bay as they struggled to negotiate the rough conditions. One boat returned without getting more the 500 meters away from the river.

We followed the path back along Patterson River,

past the golf course and the wetlands,

and back to Bicentennial Park 
and the Mr Whippy van serving deliciously, refreshing gellati!

This is not Mr Whippy, it is a Marshalite rotary traffic light.

These traffic signals were all the go, or stop, in the 1930's around Victoria. They were also popular in Germany in the 1950's. This set of signals were last in use along Nepean Highway in the 1970's before they were dismantled for a more efficient system. These signals sit at either end of the crossing to the playground in Bicentennial Park.

A very curious attraction at the end of a great walk!

Walkabouters Club of Victoria Inc.


  1. This walk was a fantastic way to start our Walkabouters year- thank you Ian. After spending a few weeks in the desert it was great to stretch my legs near the sea with the moist salty air blowing in my face!
    The clouds were dramatic! HDW

  2. It is actually 'Keast Park' in Seaford.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...