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Warrandyte State Park (Warrandyte)




The closest state park to Melbourne, Warrandyte is a haven for picnickers, bushwalkers, canoeists, birdwatchers and those who enjoy peace and solitude.

The lightly wooded landscape is dominated by the Yarra River as it winds through the Warrandyte Gorge. The hills around Warrandyte have a distinctive bluish-green hue, typical of the Red Box foliage common in the area.

Things to do include:

Jumping Creek Reserve
Jumping Creek has a large recreational area with wood barbecues, picnic tables, toilets and an information shelter. Some wood is provided but it is advisable to bring your own. For those who enjoy getting out on the river, there is a canoe launch at this reserve.

Jumping Creek is also a pleasant spot for walking - especially for those interested birds and wildflowers. The Jumping Creek Nature Trail (2km, 30-60 mins return) is an informative walk that provides a good introduction to various flora and fauna in the park.

Whipstick Gully
Several relics of the gold mine boom remain amongst old mines. A poppet head stands near the information shelter. An excellent history of the area is provided on the information shelter. There is a self-guided walk of the area that forms part of the broader Gold Heritage Walk.

Fourth Hill - Gold Memorial
Accessibility to the river from the carpark at Fourth Hill is quite rough. There are two square accessible picnic tables close to the river.

Black Flat
Open woodlands, old mine diggings, a meandering riverside track and varied birdlife are some of the main features of Black Flat.

Pound Bend Reserve
Pound Bend has a delightful picnic area with tables, toilets, a canoe launching ramp and great views of the river. There are easy walks and tracks around this area.

A suggested walk is Pound Bend River Walk (3.5km, 1-1.5hrs return). This short walk leaving from the picnic area will lead you to the historic Pound Bend Tunnel.

In 1870, the Evelyn Tunnelling and Mining Company dug through 145 metres of hard rock at Pound Bend to divert the Yarra through what is now known as the Tunnel. This left five kilometres of old river bed exposed to dredge for gold. Follow the track upstream along the river. Keep a look out for koalas lounging in the tree tops. At the halfway point, the walk leaves the river and loops back towards the road, along the top ridge and back to the carpark.

Canoeing
Canoeing on the Yarra River in Warrandyte State Park is a popular thing to do. Make sure you allow sufficient time for this activity. The journey from the canoe access ramp at Wittons Reserve (Mount Lofty) to Jumping Creek Reserve is about six hours.

Abseiling at Whipstick Gully Quarry
Whipstick Gully Quarry is a good spot for abseiling or rock climbing. Make sure you contact the ranger first on 13 1963.

Horse riding
This is a great park for horse riding. There are several areas in the park where you can go horse riding. Designated horse riding trails or bridle trails are located in the following sections: Whipstick Gully (Mel ref. 23 E12) Fourth Hill (Mel ref 35 E2) Timber Reserve (Mel ref 35 H2)

Review:


We went on the Pound Bend River Walk to see the tunnel. We started at the intersection of Everard Drive and Pound Road in Warrandyte. There are 85 steps down to the area where the tunnel is located. Gold was discovered at Warrandyte in 1851 and mining continued well into the 20th century. The Evelyn Tunnelling and Mining Company constructed the Pound Bend tunnel in 1870 to divert the river enabling the river bed to be dredged for gold. It is possible to see to the other end of the tunnel. Swimming is possible in the area near the tunnel outlet.

It is a short walk along the river bank to the Pound Bend Reserve Canoe Launch ramp. Above the ramp area is a car park, picnic tables and information boards. There are a series of displays about the effect of mining and the influx of miners and new settlers on the traditional life of the Wurundjeri people.

Photos:




You then follow the wide, well formed track along the river before it heads inland and finishes a loop. The last part of the trail is on a gravel road. When the track leaves the river it passes a rock with a memorial which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the YHA in Australia. The first YHA Youth Hostel in Australia was established at that site in 1940.

Make sure you look high in the trees for a (remote) chance to see a koala which live in the riverside Eucalypts. There are plenty of birds to hear and see among the route and a few spots to play along the river bank.

Photos:



Map: 23 Ref: D10

Web Links


Link Warrandyte State Park (Parks Victoria)

Link Warrandyte State Park (Park Notes)

Link Warrandyte Heritage Story

Link Warrandyte State Park (Gold Heritage Walk)

Link Warrandyte State Park (Jumping Creek Nature Trail)



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