Melbourne Day Walks

Sherbrooke Forest

October 24th, 2010

Length: 6.75 km

Time taken: 2 hours, 30 mins (including breaks to rest, take pictures, and get lost!)

Grade: Moderate

Climb: 290 metres (as measured by RunKeeper)

This walk was easily the most beautiful and challenging i’ve been on so far. It started with a long, steep, slippery walk up the side of a mountain, before heading back down the mountain over what felt like an even longer distance. Both directions hurt my legs a bit and completely tired me out.

The walk felt a lot a longer than the 7 km it was, especially because of how slow the first km was up the mountain. However, the scenery was gorgeous and the weather was perfect and sunny, making the walk quite relaxing despite the physical challenge.

The book’s directions were completely useless on this walk. For starters it wasn’t clear where to start the walk, and I have no idea how anyone could rate this walk as Easy when it is quite difficult in places. We lost the track at one point when the tracks switch over the road. We needed to ask a local for directions on how to get back to the right track.

The photos are a bit overexposed from the light and the limits of the iPhone camera.


On the way up the mountain

Still on the way...

An interesting hanging plant

Mushrooms... Yum Yum!

After climbing the mountain we were greeted by this barrier which made me momentarily think its the end of the walk.



Tall trees!


Sherbrooke Falls

A nice plant along the side of the road.

Another great view of the trees

Elwood Canal and Beach

October 22nd, 2010

Length: 5.2 km

Time taken: 1 hour, 15 mins

Grade: Easy

Climb: 31 metres (as measured by RunKeeper)

This made a great mid-week walk near home. I actually used to cycle this route quite often so am familiar with it, but walking gave me the opportunity to enjoy the scenery more, especially down the canal. The weather was quite warm so there were people lying on the beach, although I have no idea why considering how dirty the sand is.

This walk starts in Elsternwick Park, which is mainly used for sports by the looks of it. It then moves on to Elwood beach for a little while, before heading back towards the park via the Elwood Canal. I took the opportunity to veer slightly off the park to the top of Elwood Hill (if that’s what it’s called) for the great view of the city.

The canal is surrounded by houses for the most part, yet is surprisingly bushy and secluded considering the suburb it is in. I was surprised to see a couple of black swans right up the canal near the beach. I suspect they swam all the way up from Elsternwick Park.

I will most likely walk this route again in summer when I need a walk after work.


Elsternwick Park

Elsternwick Park - Not entirely sure what this is, but it looked like a big drain cover

Elwood Beach

View from Elwood Hill (I think that's what it's called.)

Looking towards the city from Elwood Hill

Near the beginning of the canal

A black swan in the canal

Further down the canal

Along the canal path

The canal narrows as it gets closer to the park

A road that crosses the canal.

Jells Park

October 17th, 2010

Length: 2.9 km (Complete walk is 5.2 km, but I only walked part.)

Time taken: n/a

Grade: Easy

Climb: 17 metres (as measured by RunKeeper)

Jells Park has a surprisingly remote feel considering it is in the middle of the suburbs. The lake circuit is quite pretty (if you ignore the power lines :)) and quite popular with walkers. There were plenty of birds around the lake, and even a bird hide to watch them from.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do the complete walk on the day I went, but I did walk a circuit of the lake which is the main part. I am hoping to go back sometime and walk the complete 5km route.

Overlooking the lake from the southern part of the walk

The water level was quite high, almost above the jetty.

The bird hide

The lake

This bird was happy to walk quite close to me

Some nice flowers I spotted in the car park

Brimbank Park

October 10th, 2010

Length: 5.5 km

Time taken: 1 hr, 55 mins (with breaks for pics and snacks)

Grade: Easy/Moderate

Climb: 84 metres (as measured by RunKeeper)

Not the nicest walk i’ve been on, but not terrible either. It was a lovely sunny day so the park was filled with people having BBQs and generally hanging out. There were kids riding scooters and bikes all over the place which made the first part of the walk much less peaceful.

Most of the walk was quite exposed to the elements, and being such a sunny day meant we were walking in the sun with no relief for quite a while. Part of the walk is at a high elevation with no shelter, and plenty of sun and wind. It would have been more plesant on an overcast day. I am grateful that the last km of the walk was along some peaceful sheltered river flats where we spotted some bunnies and ducks. This was definitely the nicest part of the walk.

The track itself was nice in most places, especially away from the BBQ areas where there were less people and less noise. The park is under the flight path for Melbourne Airport so loud planes were flying quite low overhead every few minutes. Definitely no serenity here!

We couldn’t do the walk exactly as directed in the book as part of the track (I suspect the nice and more remote part of the track) was closed due to recent storm damage. There was evidence of storm damage on other parts of the track as well. A small jetty used for fishing in the Maribyrnong River was completely covered in a thick layer of mud.

There are actually two walks in the book, one on the east side and one on the west side. We were attempting the east side walk, and i’m not in a hurry to attempt the west side.

I have rated the walk as Easy/Moderate due to the long exposed uphill walk (on a sunny day), but it isn’t a difficult walk overall.

Cracked ground. I suspect from the recent storms.

A section near one of the many Ford's across the river

View from near the top

A pretty field of tall flowers (under power lines)

The track near the top

A rock formation on a cliff along the river

Brown river water

The mud covered jetty

A really interesting tree near the end of the walk

Braeside Park

October 3rd, 2010

Length: 6.4 km

Time taken: 1 hr, 45 mins (with breaks for pics and snacks)

Grade: Easy

Climb: 27 metres (as measured by RunKeeper)

Braeside Park feels quite remote even though it is quite close to Moorabin Airport and from some parts of the track you can see houses in the distance. Throughout the park there were all sorts of birds creating a nice soundtrack, although interrupted every few minutes by the small planes flying overhead.The park is quite well popular for bird watching and even has a birdhide and bird houses.

This was the easiest walk i’ve been on so far even though it was a bit longer than some of the others. The track felt completely flat the whole way. I was lucky enough to have perfect sunny weather as well which made the walk really quite nice. This is a great walk if you don’t want to drive too far but want a semi-bushwalk experience.

Cows near the walking track

View from a small bridge over a creek

Electric fences surrounded a lot of the track

An unusual tree that reminded me of a someone bending over

A bird watching platform

A boardwalk through the wetlands and bird watching area

Bird houses in the wetlands

The Bird Hide

A bird near the lake

Plenty Gorge

September 26th, 2010

Length: 3.1 km

Time taken: 1 hr (with lots of breaks for pics)

Grade: Easy / Moderate

Climb: 75 metres (as measured by RunKeeper)

This track is a circuit around the Blue Lake in Plenty Gorge. It was a relatively short walk, but well worth it as the lake and cliffs were absolutely beautiful and the path was quite scenic with plenty of trees and a river flowing below. Unfortunately the book was left behind so I didn’t have the directions for the complete 4.5km walk – of which part is not a real track.

We took a wrong path near the beginning which lengthened the walk a little, but it wasn’t a bad detour. Although we ended up bush bashing between the wrong paths and I nearly slipped on loose rocks down the hill a few times.

The real path to the Blue Lake was quite wide and well maintained. From the car park to the lake it was on a slight decline, and from the lake to the car park on an incline. I rated this path as easy / moderate due to the incline on the way back, but I may have just felt it more because of the strong sun.

I can see why the locals hang around this lake for a drink on a nice day.

The path to the Blue Lake

Further down the path...

Further down the path...

The man made cliffs along the path

The man made cliffs along the path

Looking down on the lake

Looking down on the lake

Danger! 🙂

A great view of the man made cliffs

The cliffs reflecting in the water

Another view

The Domain

September 12th, 2010

Length: 5km

Time taken: 1 hr

Grade: Easy

Climb: 54 metres (as measured by RunKeeper)

While not really a full day walk, the domain – otherwise known as “The Tan” – is quite a nice walk and in the book! The Tan is a great walk if you don’t have time to get out to a more remote area. As a bonus, after walking the circuit you can walk around the Royal Botanic Gardens at a nice leisurely pace.

The 4km track circles around the Royal Botanic Gardens – through Kings Domain, down a South Yarra side street, and along the Yarra River. On this walk there were two things that really surprised me:

1. Along the Yarra side of the track there were numerous different species of succulents planted at the bottom of the cut out cliffs. I don’t think i’ve ever seen so many beautiful succulents in one place.
2. I don’t know why I assumed this track is flat, but it has some decent gradients compared to your average park circuit walk. I took Tyrone’s advice and walked anti-clockwise to get the downhill gradient on Anderson St.

I would walk this track again if I am short of time, or perhaps near the area and it’s a great day.

"The Tan" track along the Yarra River

Cacti in the Botanic Gardens

Mount Lofty

September 5th, 2010

Length: 5km

Time taken: 1 hr, 35 mins (including stops for photos and rain)

Grade: Easy-Medium (listed as Easy in the book, but the steep hills push it to a medium in my opinion)

Climb: 103 metres (as measured by RunKeeper)

Starting at the end of Reserve Rd Wonga Park, this is a gorgeous walk that took us down along the banks of the Yarra River before heading up to the Mt Lofty summit where there are some great views of Lilydale and beyond in the distance.

The track is a quite well maintained gravel foot track along the Yarra, with a number of ups and downs, before changing to a park maintenance road as it winds up to the summit. The section of track up to the summit is steep, but didn’t feel as bad as it looks. However it was steep and long enough for me to consider this an easy-medium grade walk.

After reaching the summit, the track continues along the top for a while before heading around past a farmhouse and down the mountain until it meets back with the river track. This last section of track is quite grassy and unfortunately it started raining heavily when we reached the summit which made this track that descends steeply down the mountain quite muddy and slippery. Luckily there were no slips!

Along the way we spotted a few families of kangaroos dozing and grazing on the slopes of Mt Lofty, and even a couple of rainbows due to the mixed weather.

Overall this was a great walk and a great start to reaching my goal! 1 down, 39 to go!

Beginning of the walk

Yarra River

The river was a bit swollen from heavy rains

Wattle growing along the track

A rainbow in the distance

The view from the near the summit

Interesting tree

This Kangaroo crossed the track in front of us

Another Rainbow

Canoeists in the Yarra River


August 30th, 2010

Welcome to Melbourne Day Walks! I’m going to be walking through the 40 walks described in the book “40 bushland & park walks in metropolitan Melbourne” by Tyrone T. Thomas. My goal is to complete at least one walk a week – time and weather permitting. I might also throw in a few longer walks outside of the metro area.

On each walk I will take some photos and publish them on here with some notes about the track, scenery, difficulty etc.

Most of the walks in the book are reasonably short for day walks, from around 4km-10km, taking 1-3 hours to complete. But considering how large and spread Melbourne is, many of the walks will take a while to drive or public transport to, meaning they will take most of the day.

Spring is about to start… Perfect time to begin! Here’s hoping for good weather this weekend.