Walk along Toorak Road towards the city and turn into the first street on your left – Myrniong Street. Admire the variety of street trees. Manchurian Pears; soft, flaky paperbarks, lilly pillys and even olives (among others) make this a lovely stroll to a large park which we enter beside a big oak tree. In fact, this whole walk features many attractive street trees.
When we last visited this park (Burwood Reserve), it was largely a construction site. Now that all that work is finished, we can stroll straight across past the sheltered seats to the right hand side of the clubrooms to a path which gently climbs the embankment. At the first bend, look for a narrow right-of-way near the cricket practice nets to exit the park. After five minutes, we reach Bath Road, where we turn right (westerly) to another park.
In just 5 to 10 minutes, you will reach Hartwell Sports Ground, where the path diverts around a really large tree. At the south-west corner of the park, you will see Clitus Avenue (near a postbox). Walk south along this street, noting the interesting mix of housing that characterises Burwood. Five minutes later, turn right into Dion Street and cross the Alamein railway, turning left (south), into Prosper Parade.
About 300m along this, at the pedestrian crossing, follow the sign west onto the Ferndale Trail, which starts here in Summerhill Park (Melway 60 D8). This must be one of our finest suburban walks, which we take for 15 to 20 minutes (to the third road crossing). The skate park we pass must get very busy – it has directional arrows!
You have a choice at this third road crossing (Ferndale Road) (Melway 60 B7). If you wish, you can continue down to the picnic/playground (with toilets), then return to this spot (return distance is about 750m).
However, at the Ferndale Road crossing, we will take the right-of-way, beside a house on your left, heading uphill to the south. This route becomes Brownell Road, and at the second roundabout, turn right, then left one block later into Lurnea Road. Just after the top of the rise, you will see a very narrow right-of-way (between 13 and 15 Lurnea Sreet). Take this all the way to Glen Iris Road. I crossed over Glen Iris Road to admire the Primary School and the Wesleyan Chapel, both built in 1856. Continue downhill to the shops, cross High Street Road, turning right towards Eric Raven Reserve, with its prominent entrance arch.
Just inside this reserve, there is an indigenous grass reserve. I walked downhill beside it, past a large basalt rock, an unusual basketball ring and then anticlockwise around the playing field, and through a swamp paperbark woodland beside Gardiners Creek. You will notice that we are walking upstream.
At the end of the carpark, there is a bridge across Gardiners Creek. After crossing this bridge, continue more or less straight ahead (westerly) past Nursery Lake (so named because it used to be a nursery) with two great animal “voices” installations. Keeping west of the lake, soon find our very own pedestrian subway under the freeway(!) (Melway 59 K9). This leads into a very small park (called Allenby Walk). A sign here points to Hedgeley Dene Gardens and Central Park. Turn left along Allenby Street, and look for two unusual stucco houses. At the end of this street, turn right onto a well-defined footpath, heading south-westerly. Carefully cross Malvern Road into Hedgeley Dene Gardens. Wandering is encouraged, as you explore this linear park. The western end of these gardens is hard to describe – just beautiful; picnic spots galore, toilets, bridges to explore, and lots more. At the end of the park, you will exit on Kardella Street, walking westerly to Burke Road. Turn right (north) to Wattletree Road shops. (You will see Central Park, but you do not need to explore it today, because we will look at it in a future walk.)
We are now a fair way from Burwood, but it is quite easy to get back by using three trams. Hop on Route 5 (which starts here), getting off at Glenferrie Road (stop 45 – about 10 minutes), then head north on route 16 to Riversdale Road (stop 70 – about 15 minutes), and finally east on route 75 (not route 70) to Vermont South, which is the tram through Burwood Village (stop 58 – about 15 minutes).