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Updated: 2017-12-11T14:12:41.492+11:00


Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve and Churchill National Park - a Pictorial History - 1837 to 2017


I am pleased to advise that my, free, on-line, Research Project has now been published, titled “A Pictorial History of the Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve and Churchill National Park - 1837 to 2017”, with over 50 Chapters.It contains several hundred images, maps, diagrams, etchings, drawings, linked to detailed descriptive text, videos and audio content. It traces, in detail, the history of the original 1900 hectares region, inclusive of its early settlement, geomorphology, ecology, topography, road history, the Native Police Corps, Westernport/Port Phillip Aboriginal Protectorate, residential development and the Victoria Police Horse Stud Depot.Other major content incudes the Belgrave-Dandenong Pipeline, Rowville Military Camp, Tirhatuan Land, Scoresby Tramway, Golf Clubs of Waverley/Churchill Park/Tirhuatan, Dandenong Aqueduct, Heany Park Lake, Melbourne Water Retarding Basin, and the Narrandjeri-Wurundjeri Aboriginal Reserve.Several Chapters cover the 7th Australian National Scout Jamboree of 1964/65. Other content examines land usage, features, sporting/recreation facilities, walking tracks, and the Narre Narre Warren Picnic area. Many present-day images are from the author, based on Survey visits to the region during 2017. It may be viewed at this URL:Police Paddocks[...]

Jell's Park - Wheeler's Hill


These photos of Dec 10, 2017, show the scenery and environment in the southern section of the Park. Thousands of visitors were arriving for the Monash Carols by Candlelight function, adding to the congestion to the Farmers' Market![...]

Koonung Creek Wetlands - Mont Albert North


Those photos were taken on December 9, 2017, and show the scenery and environment in the wetlands, administered by Whitehorse Council.This was a 2.5 km hike, starting at the car park off Belmore Rd, and included the Boardwalk and part of the Koonung Creek Trail.A Tender has been issued by Council for removal and replacement of the Boardwalk, which is 110 m long and has an area of 260 square metres. [...]

Damper Creek Bushland Reserve - Mt Waverley


Damper Creek Reserve is situated in the South-Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Since the re-vegetation of Damper Creek it has become a popular and peaceful place to visit.The features of the Damper Creek Reserve are a natural bush setting and walking track, playground (at Park Rd), dog off-leash area and an area of 11 hectares.The Friends of Damper Creek Reserve have been restoring the creek environment since 1993.The Damper Creek Trail is an easy 2 km walk through the Damper Creek Reserve. The water flowing here comes from an urban catchment spanning from Burwood to Mount Waverley. Rainwater, surface run-off and storm water from the house and roads within the total catchment area flow inti Damper Creek, then into Gardiners Creek, the Yarra River and ultimately Port Phillip Bay.At the start of the trail in Park Street there is a playground on the slight hill. You then pass along a dirt track with trees and bushes overhanging the path. The creek is initially fenced off from the path except for a defined path down to Damper Creek pond. Large quantities of storm water flow into this pond, particularly after rain. The pond slows down the flow of water and stems flooding by taking up excess water. It also acts as a filter, trapping any sediment and litter. Rocks dam the creek, creating pools and rapids which aerate the water. Reeds and sedges have been planted at the water's edges as well as grasses, shrubs and trees on the creek banks. These plants help to stabilise the creek bed and prevent erosion. The ponds are a safe haven and breeding habitat for insects, native fish and frogs. The abundance of food and shelter create an ideal home for tortoises, native water rats and birds such as the Pacific Black Duck and White Faced Heron.There are paths on both sides of the creek - on the west site it is a wide gravel path and on the east side a bit narrower. I saw some ducks along the creek and there are a few information boards along the way. An interesting time to visit would be after rain when the creek is flowing well. At the northern end the creek disappears into/out of some concrete pipes. At night you might see bats and sugar gliders. Overall the reserve is a pleasant walk in a quiet strip of bush with a little creek for company.A detailed description of the history of the Reserve may be found at [...]

Kelstral Creek Circuit - Westerfolds' 'Park


A 2 km circuit hike in the valley of the Kestral Creek, on December 7, 2017, starting at the Manna Gum car park. Part of the route followed the "Homeshow Trail".[...]

Yarra Flats Bushland - Ivanhoe


A short exploration of the bushland area adjacent to the old (dry) billabong, on December 6, 2017. Millions of biting mosquitos and other mini-beasts forced a hurried retreat from the densely vegetated habitat next to the river!xx[...]

Bolin Bolin Billabong Reserve - Bulleen


A 2 km circuit of the Reserve on Dec 6, 2017, starting at the small car park on Bulleen Rd. Billabong rebabilitation works are in progress, with extensive  cleaing of weeds, overhanging branches and dead timber having been completed. Hundreds of saplings have been planted around the lake, along the main walking track.The series of colored Information Boards along the eastern section of the track have been restored by Parks Victoria - they show beautiful colored drawings describing the culture and traditions of the Wurundjeri ieople, the original inhabitants of  the land.Water levels in the main billabong and lake were very high, due to the recent heavy rains. [...]

Campbell's Croft Reserve - Vermont


Visit of December 4, 2017Campbells Croft, Vermont, managed by Whitehorse City, was originally owned by the Campbell family, early settlers of the Vermont area. Passed down to Bruce Campbell and his sister, Daisy, the small family holding of approximately 30 acres remained undeveloped until the late 1960's despite the encroaching residential development.   Together Abbey Walk and Campbells Croft are approximately 14 hectares of bushland and open space. Dandenong Creek runs along the east with Boronia Road to the South.   Abbey Walk,Northern section of the Reserve, is approximately 4 ha of native vegetation and gently rising grassed areas. Campbells Croft falls into at least five distinctive areas being:  The PinesAbout 2 ha of extensive plantation of Pinus radiata located on the high western slopes.The MeadowLarge grassy open space located centrally within the Croft. Exotic trees including Elms, Poplars, Oaks, Silver Birch gives the park user a relaxing English feel to the Croft.The RidgeNnorthern section of the Croft this area is thickly vegetated with a large variety of both native and exotic plantings, Eucalyptus, Pines, Cotoneaster, Pittosporum etc. This area gives a wilderness feel to the Croft.Remnant Swamp WoodlandA very cherished area of the Croft, consisting of significant areas of high quality remnant vegetation. Much work by the committee volunteers and 'Practical Ecology' has been done within this area, weeding invasive exotic vegetation and replanting with indigenous species.Wetlands Recently upgraded, this magnificent area is a natural overflow for the Dandenong Creek floodings. It is a large area of indigenous vegetation with thriving aquatic and fauna species.   Comprehensive information about the Reserve, and the activities of the Community Advisory Committee, is at[...]

Birrarung Park - Lower Templestowe


Situated at the confluence of the Plenty and Yarra Rivers, this 33 hectare park was an important meeting place for the Wurundjeri people. It's a significant recreation space within the parks along the Yarra River, incorporating two large ephemeral wetlands. Several wood barbecues (wood is provided), picnic tables and shelters are available in the park. Fires are permitted only in the barbecues provided, and you are welcome to bring your own small gas barbecue. The toilet block at Birrarrung Park is wheelchair accessible. An adventure playground is available for children. There are 2.8 km of flat sealed trails are suitable for skating, cycling and walking.My visit was on November 27, 2017, on a 1 km circuit around the dry lake.Access is from the main entry off Templestowe Rd, just past the Heide Museum of Modern Art. [...]

Black's Walk - Blackburn Creeklands


These pictures show the scenery and environment along Black's Walk, on November 25, 2017. This started at the  carpark on Pakenham Rd, next to the Scout Hall, and followed the Gardiner's Creek canyon. Very hot day, 35 degrees![...]

Valley Reserve - Mt Waverley


A 2 km hike on November 22, 2017, starting at the Info Board at Regent St. The route followed the Valley Loop Track, with a side track to the Alf Salkin Landing Platform at the wetland area.   [...]

Tirhatuan Wetland Reserve - Dandenong North


A 2 km circuit on November  19, 2017. The Wetland was once part of the original Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve.[...]

Churchilkl NP - Nature Trail


The Nature Trail starts at the edge of the picnic ground and is a circuit around the former lagoon. Boardwalks remain, but the lagoon has been dry for decades! My visit was on November 18, 2017.[...]

Banksia Park - Bulleen


These photos show the scenery and environment on a circuit hike on November 17, 2017.This started at the Dog Friendly area, then followed the Cherry Tree Trail, and the Heritage Trail. A large section of this route was alongside the Yarra.Photographic Information boards descrbe the history of the area, erected by Manningham Council.   [...]

Parks Victoria - Volunteering


Media News from Parks Victoria - Nov 17 2017   Why volunteer?Volunteering in parks is a great way to contribute to conserving Victoria’s special places. The many personal benefits of volunteering include learning more about plants and wildlife, gaining new skills, being in the outdoors, improving health and wel being and meeting new friends. Time spent in nature also reduces stress and promotes physical wellbeing.How to get involved DiscoverDiscover hundreds of exciting volunteer opportunities around Victoria and learn about groups working in your local area.There are volunteer activities for every age group, skill...JoinRegister to become an official Parks Victoria volunteer by creating a user account and volunteer profile with details about your interests, skills, and contact information.With...Volunteer GroupsA friends’ group is a team of people with an interest in supporting a particular park, conservation reserve or species of native flora or fauna....Other ways to volunteerThere are also many other community groups and organisations that provide opportunities to volunteer and help look after Victoria’s parks and bays.For example, you can volunteer with:CFAConservation Volunteers AustraliaLandcareFor a more detailed listing of volunteer opportunities in Victoria, visit I can do that - Victoria's volunteering portal, an online community and information resource for Victorian volunteers and volunteering organisations.[...]

Witton's Reserve - Wonga Park


Photos of November 15, 2017. The Reserve is at the end of Reserve Rd. Manningham Council has erected photo info boards describing the indigenous heritage of the area. The lower level walking track to Mt Lofty starts here, nextg to the Canoe Launching Ramp.[...]

Hiking and Bushwalking - take care!


 Take care out there: bushwalkers, hikers urged to prepare(Media Release from Parks Victoria, November 8, 2017) With warmer weather and holidays approaching, Parks Victoria is encouraging bushwalkers and hikers to be prepared when out exploring.Parks Victoria manages more than 4 million hectares of the state; a varied landscape of mountains, desert, forests and coastline. This includes more than 70 national and state parks, through which run hundreds of trails, tracks, paths and roads.When out exploring Victoria’s spectacular spots, Parks Victoria recommends some basic preparations to stay cool, stay safe, and have fun.Plan: Choose a track that suits your timeframe, fitness, ability and needs.Check conditions: Visit or call 13 1963 for current park conditions.Stay in touch: Let friends or family know your plans. Avoid walking alone. Remember there may not be phone reception.Prepare for adverse weather: What’s the forecast? Are you weather-ready? Check or download the BoM app for forecasts in your area.Be mindful on hot days: Avoid remote areas, stay hydrated, return before it gets too hot.Be fire aware: Familiarise yourself with bushfire safety information. Check for information on active fires, danger ratings and total fire bans, or download the VicEmergency app to receive customised alerts.Pack the right gear: Protective clothing, appropriate footwear, plenty of water, extra food, wilderness first aid kit, map, compass and GPS.Emergencies: In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000). Be aware you may travel out of phone range.Caring for the environment:Put campfires out cold with water when you are finished and before you leave.Keep wildlife wild: don’t feed native animals.Carry in, carry out: take all rubbish with you when you leave.Respect heritage: both Indigenous and European.Stay on track: don’t widen tracks or take shortcuts.Got to ‘go’? Use a toilet, or take a walk at least 100 paces from water and campsites. Dig a 15cm hole and cover well.[...]

Olinda Creek Trail


A 3 km (return) hike along the Olinda Creek Trail, on November 12, 2017, starting at  the small picnic area off Swansea Rd, and ending at Birmingham Rd. Two seats and an emergency marker. have recently been placed by Yarra Ranges Council along the trail.[...]

Kilsyth Retarding Basin Reserve - Liverpool Rd


A 2 km ciruit of the beautiful wetland area on November 11,  2017.  [...]

Dandenong Police Paddocka - Woodland Walk


A 2 km circuit on November 10, 2017, starting at the junction of Brady Rd and Greenbanks Avenue.[...]

Pound Bend Walk - Warrandyte State Park


A 3 km (return) hike on November 8, 2017, starting at the Pound Bend Picnic Ground, following the riverside track to the Kangaroo Paddock.      [...]

Westerfolds' Park - Bushland Circuit


A 2 km circuit in the southern/central area, on November 7. 2017. Some interesting wildlife encountered![...]

Orchard Grove Bushland Reserve - Blackburn South


Photos on a 2 km circuit, November 6, 2017, starting at the Fulton Rd bridge. This followed the Wurundjeri Walk Trail and returned along the Creek Bushland Trail. [...]

Candlebark Park


A 2.5 km circuit on November , 2017. This started at the car park off Fitzimon's Rd, then followed the River Track to the suspension bridge, then returning along the Main Yarra Trail. [...]

Norton's Park Bushland - Wantirna South


A 2 km hike on November 4, 2017, starting at the main  car park at Norton's Lane, then south to the Shepherd's Bush area and the Dandenong Creek Trail.   [...]