Burwood Walks has proved to be a favourite with readers since its inception in our issue #129 of winter 2013. Each quarter, local Mark Learmonth maps out a new and interesting walk for our readers. He includes rest and coffee stops, points of interest and lots of photos.
Burwood Walks #17: East to Malvern
Our seventeenth walk takes us through no less than ten parks, as we wend our way to Malvern East. The length of this walk is approximately 7km, depending on how much exploration you do. We start the walk in Burwood Village on the corner of Warrigal and Toorak roads. Or you could also easily begin at Ashburton.
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).
Burwood Walks #16: Blackburn Lake
Our sixteenth walk takes us to an area which is quite shady; namely the wonderful Blackburn Lake Sanctuary. The length of this walk lies between 6 and 10km, depending upon how much “exploration” you do within the sanctuary. We start this walk at Laburnum Railway Station and walk through the Blackburn Creeklands to the sanctuary. From Burwood Village, you can catch the SmartBus 903, or the local 766 bus to Box Hill, then take a train just one station to Laburnum (Melway 47H10). This walk is within the City of Whitehorse.
From Laburnum station platform, head easterly down the ramps and then to Laburnum Village, just to the south of the railway. Walk past the shops (if you can!), cross Pakenham Street, and turn left into the next street, Fuchsia Street. Walk just 50m or so, and you will see a corridor of parkland on both sides of this street. Curiously, the section to the north looks promising, but is a dead end. The path south is a lovely walk, and after about five minutes, you cross a street and come to a pebblestone building (a Girl Guides Hall). Turn right just before this building, heading west, and listen for kookaburras and gang gang cockatoos along this bushy winding track. After five minutes you will approach busy Middleborough Road, with the first of several interesting Artists Trail notices. You also see the first (of many) post-and-rail fences. Walk just 50m south along Middleborough Road, then turn left back into the bush along Blacks Walk, staying fairly close to the creek -roughly easterly.
Pass the first footbridge, and at the road bridge (Kalang Park sign and information board), cross to the northern side of the creek, walking for about 15 minutes (including a wetland) to the next road crossing. Cross now to the southern side of the creek again, along a meandering path which, after about five minutes, emerges onto a street (Heath Street). Walk up to, and cross busy Blackburn Road, then walk south for a few minutes to Naughton Grove. Turn left into this tree lined street, past a small playground; and an interesting mix of housing appropriately vegetated for its location so close to the sanctuary. (You will notice that there is a “Below the Lake” Friends Group caring for the creek you have been walking along – thanks!)
When you are 100m from the post-and-rail fence of the sanctuary (still in Naughton Grove), there is a choice. You can walk straight ahead into the north-west section of the Sanctuary and explore this area (finishing at the information centre/toilets); or take a path on your right, which continues along the creek line and emerges directly across Lake Road (from another entrance), to the south-east section of the sanctuary. This is the route I took, crossing Lake Road just opposite Halley Street.
Once inside the sanctuary, you will see that you are on “Lakeside Circuit”. I chose to walk along the south-east leg, then back along the north-west, taking in Pobblebonk Point”, a Boardwalk, and arriving at “The Landing” about 30 minutes later. Enjoy your wandering around! The lake itself gradually comes into view as you walk along the circuit. From “The Landing”, walk along the tracks going uphill (northerly) past the attractive small garden (called “Flowers of the Past”) with its very interesting historical information. The main information building near the toilets is also very good, and recently refurbished. Several brochures are available. Nearby is a huge(!) playground, which also includes a xylophone, and a small analemmatic sunclock.
Once you decide to leave, exit the park by walking northerly from the information centre (under the palms), turning left onto Central Road. (There is also a 736 bus on this road that runs to Blackburn Station).
Just as you start walking westerly, you will see a small native grassland reserve. Cross the road at the school crossing and walk back to Blackburn just inside Morton Park, and then past the well-kept War Memorial Gardens. The walk from the information board to the station takes about 15 minutes. From Blackburn station, catch any city-bound train back to Box Hill, and return to Burwood by the route 766 or 903 bus. It is also only a 10-minute walk along shady Laburnum Street to return you where you began.
Burwood Walks #15: Village to Village
OUR fifteenth walk takes us northerly “from village to village” (about 6km), from Burwood to Mont Albert.
Starting in Burwood Village (Melway 60G6), walk westerly from Warrigal Road to the second street heading north from Toorak Road – Fairview Avenue. It may not have a street sign, but it has large street trees and is almost opposite Queens Parade.
This is an attractive street with many traditional gardens around older homes, and runs gently downhill. At the end of Fairview Avenue, turn left into Oxford Street, then right into Joffre Street. As you pass Thomas Street, you may like to explore the lovely small park, Through Road Reserve, with its playground and great seats. After you do this, continue north along Joffre Street. The next street on the right is Morey Street – turn into it, and after about 100m there is an entrance into a much larger park (Cooper Reserve). Walk through Cooper Reserve on the western side, where there is a popular playground, seats and a toilet. Sitting near the playground gives a good view over the reserve.
Leave Cooper Reserve, turning left along Green Street, and you will reach Through Road in a few minutes, where you turn right, continuing north to the tempting Through Road Shops. Cross Riversdale Road, and continue north between the shops and a small car park for just 30m to a walking track on the left (also more-or-less northerly). A little farther on, keep left of both the kindergarten and the playground, taking in the information signs and still continuing roughly north. This path leads to a wetland area. There are two junctions in the wetland area – take the right fork at both of them. When you reach a road, cross directly into a blocked street (Rose Avenue).
At the end of Rose Avenue, cross busy Warrigal Road and walk along Mathilde Road, then right (south) into Russell Street, left into Scottsdale Street and left again into Royal Lane. At the end of Royal Lane, go right into Belmont Street. (This all sounds complicated, but it looks OK “on the ground”). At the end of Belmont Street, you will see Edyvean Street slightly to your left. At the end of it you will see a very small park entrance (to your north) beside a tennis club. This path winds uphill through Harding Street Reserve, and, yes, you guessed it, we will be going past the Surrey Hills Communication Tower, reviled by many, but recognised as a very important historical structure by others; and certainly seen by possibly millions of motorists. However, there is something else to see prior to reaching the tower. As you ascend this park path, you reach a real highlight, a lookout platform, with a seat and panoramic views of the eastern suburbs and city, as would be expected from this most prominent hill.
Continue north past the tower, cross busy Canterbury Road, walk west (to your left) past the reservoir, admiring more great city views. Turn first right into Benwerrin Road, which is also a 10-minute gentle downhill stroll past many interesting houses. At another very small park there is an interesting heritage sign. Walk westerly from it into Windsor Crescent, then take the first street on your right (Louise Avenue). Five minutes away, cross Mont Albert Road (We have traffic lights here) and wander through Mont Albert towards the railway station. It certainly has a “village” feel, a variety of interesting shops, including coffee shops, seating and a public toilet.
There are two choices for returning to Burwood: just near the corner of Louise Avenue and Mont Albert Road there is a bus stop (on the southern side) for route 766, which is easily the quicker way back – but check its timetable, because it can be “patchy”. Alternatively take any train heading east (Blackburn, Belgrave, Lilydale, etc.) just one stop to Box Hill, then catch SmartBus 903, heading towards Mordialloc.
Burwood Walks #14: Bushy Park Wetlands
Our fourteenth walk is a continuation of the twelfth walk, starting at Tally Ho Business Park, in Burwood East, then walking to Glen Waverley and Vermont South. Catch the 75 tram (the longest tram route in Melbourne) and get off at Lakeside Drive (Stop 72, Melway map 62 C7). This walk is about 6km, plus 2km for the return bird- hide walk.
From the tram stop, cross Burwood Highway to the south side, then enter Lakeside Drive, past the lovely little park and its picnic table near the “palms” and a small lake. At the bridge, continue downstream along a path that starts on the left-hand side then wends its way through this watery park. (If you come on a Sunday, it is hard to imagine that you are actually in a business park.) You will hear busy Springvale Road getting closer. At the end of the lake, just past a landing near a green shed, walk up the grassy slope to Springvale Road, carefully crossing to the grassy sections in the median strip and opposite road verge, to Baranbali Drive (well signposted). Walk easterly along this street, which runs gently downhill, with fine views of the Dandenongs. This is very pleasant strolling, approaching an obvious park.
Enter this park (Billabong Park, but I didn’t see any billabongs). Walk past the baseball ground towards the clubrooms, where you will see a flood retarding embankment that has a path heading east on top. There are some lovely old Australian trees here, and this short path finishes at Weeden Drive. Walk easterly along this gently undulating street for about 20 minutes, again a pleasant stroll. Look for views to the south of the Police Academy, and for several other hills to try and identify. On the corner of Narracan Street, look at the attractive bark on a large, old paperbark.
When you reach the corner of Lascelle Drive (on the right), you will see a gravel path entering the smallish – but very attractive – Tyrol Park. The rustic wooden seat just over the rise is a good spot to take a break. How many sports can you practise here, do you think? This park also features many fine Australian trees. Walk diagonally across the park and exit by another gravel path that will come into view. On exiting, follow Akrana Court, then turn left into another street, cross Salsburg Court and find a short, concrete laneway (with new fences) on your left, which takes you to what becomes Bushy Creek Wetlands. Turn right (south) for 200 metres where there is a post-and-rail fence, Parks Victoria signage and a choice of two tracks (one to the south, one to the east). We can use both of them.
The track to the south goes to the bird hide, well worth the half-hour return walk. Look out for (believe it or not) cattle, and their attendant egrets. Cattle have two roles in this park – they keep the fire risk down, and they provide part of the heritage story of the reserve. You probably won’t need binoculars at the bird hide – the ducks will come to you!
Once back at the junction, take the track to the east. (There are a lot of tracks in this area, but you will reach the finish of the walk if you keep heading northerly.) This track passes a drinking-water tap, then crosses a small bridge. After the bridge it turns right, then at about 50 metres farther on take the left track, which climbs the hill. Where another track (on your left) joins this one a few minutes later, you will see a set of wooden steps ahead. Take these to the top of the hill, turn left, and walk around where until recently the lookout tower used to be. (Locals fervently hope that it will return soon.) You may also be interested to learn that this lovely, bushy “hill” is actually made up of garbage – it used to be a rubbish tip, which was very nicely rehabilitated.
After less than 50 metres you will come to another gravel path. Turn left heading downhill, and after 100 metres you will come to another track (close to the current waste centre), but instead go down the set of wooden steps to your left. At the bottom of the steps, turn right and head for the small bridge (green poles and orange caps) leading into a small, attractively set playground. (From here, there are informal tracks to an entrance into Bunnings carpark, but they can be slippery.) The safe route to follow is to exit at the northwest corner of the playground into Mont Court, first westerly, then northerly to Burwood Highway. Turn right here and walk for about 50 metres to a bus stop between Officeworks and Bunnings. There is a cafe, and public toilets, in Bunnings.
One day the 75 tram route will extend even farther to Knox Shopping Centre, but for now there is a frequent route 732 bus that goes right to the tram terminus outside Vermont South Shopping Centre, for our return to Burwood Village.
BURWOOD WALKS #13: DEAKIN PATHS
By Mark Learmonth
OUR thirteenth walk goes to visit Burwood’s very own university – Deakin. In particular, we will be looking at their most interesting “sculpture walk”, which was set up by the University Art Gallery. We will, of course, include “bush” and parklands to complete our circuit from Burwood Village. Depending on how much “exploring” you do, this walk is approximately 7km.
FIRSTLY, however, a special note is needed. If you, like me, are not familiar with the university campus, you will have a much richer (and more successful) experience if you have a copy of the guide to the sculpture walk. You can collect a copy from their gallery, which we pass on the walk, but it has limited opening hours (10am–4pm Tuesday to Friday). Alternatively, you can easily download the guide by searching for “deakin sculpture walk”. Bring this guide with you.
You start the walk in Burwood Village at the south east corner of Burwood Highway and Warrigal Road (Melway 60 G6). Stroll east down Burwood Highway for five minutes to the entrance to Burwood Cemetery; this cemetery has been here a very long time, since 1857. Browse as you walk through this quiet place, perhaps admiring views over Burwood and Mount Waverley, and the many fine trees, from the western fenceline.
Exit at the south east corner, then turn left into Highbury Road. After 50m, cross Evans Street into Harker Street and walk on the southern side under its large eucalypts. At the end of Harker Street walk almost straight ahead, crossing two streets (Cromwell and Ireland) into Tudor Street, where you will see an unusual sculpture at the far end of this street. It is a geological history of Victoria (more or less) with a large pendulum. There is a plaque to read.
Head north along the Gardiners Creek Trail for ten minutes or so, noting the tree plantings, Koorie carvings and paintings, homage to the drive-in theatre, the orchard heritage, and to some cypress trees whose stumps have been carved. Cross Burwood Highway at the lights and walk east to the second entry heading north, near the Gardiners Creek Reserve sign, where you will have the creek reserve to your left and an oval to your right. After walking for five minutes you will come to a bridge, but do not cross this bridge; instead, head north east past the cricket practice area towards “Building P”. (There are public toilets behind the clubrooms on the main oval.) The Art Gallery is beside Building P. You have now been walking for about an hour.
Using the university’s sculpture walk guide, you can now start wandering around to see how many of the twelve sculptures you can find (I found ten). Nearby Corner Café may be a place for a break. Once you find sculpture 11 “Echidna” (noting its shiny “nose”, perhaps indicating a status similar to lion sculptures in other countries), start walking back towards the point where we came across the oval near the cricket practice area. It is now time for some more “bush”. Again, do not cross the footbridge, but continue north (then east) along the banks of Gardiners Creek. There are two more or less parallel tracks. Either is OK, but do not cross the creek yet. The track beside the creek is more popular, but the “inland” one is shadier.
After about 15 minutes the two tracks do join, near another bridge. Here you will cross the bridge (signed to Wattle Park), walking north past a small playground, then gently uphill through a right of way to a street (Cadorna St). Turn left along this street, and after walking for 10 minutes you reach Elgar Road. Cross this road carefully, and enter Wattle Park.
Once inside Wattle Park, it is best to turn left and then right – away from the traffic and beside the remnant vegetation protected area. There is an informal path bearing north west along the fenceline through a most attractive area. You will pass another crossing, but keep walking roughly north west (although aimless wandering in Wattle Park is encouraged!). There are also playgrounds and picnic facilities available not far uphill from where we are walking. About 20 minutes after entering Wattle Park, you should emerge onto Riversdale Road. To your right (east) lie the Wattle Park shops, and slightly to your left along Riversdale Road there is a smaller group of shops, including a chocolate shop and a milk bar. Either way, you will find a bus stop for the Smartbus 903 (going to Mordialloc) to take you back to the start of our walk.
BURWOOD WALKS #12: SHORT WALK AROUND BURWOOD
By Mark Learmonth
Our twelfth walk goes south from shady Witchwood Gully Park, with its small playground just west of Burwood One Shopping Centre (coffee and toilets), (Melway 61:J7). Depending on how much “exploring” you do, this walk will be 7–9km long.
From Burwood Village, take the 75 tram to stop 69 and walk 100m east to Witchwood Crescent. Walk south along Witchwood Crescent for 10 minutes, winding gently uphill. At the second roundabout turn right into Lindisfarne Drive, continue walking south and, where this road bends to the right, go straight ahead into our second reserve – Highbury Park. This park is really attractive, with an informal sports ground, surrounded by “bush” with the largest section in the western half of the park. (Toilets here are only open on weekends.) Walk westerly through the bush section looking for labelled trees, and listen for birds scruffling amidst the undergrowth. Explore this park and exit by the north-west corner near the playground. Turn right and very soon left into Saxon Street, and left again at the end of this street.
At Highbury Road, look right and you will see “Sienna Mount Waverley”. About 50m west of its entrance there is a good lookout on a large crescent-shaped stone seat. The best vantage point is about 5m further along the fence line, overlooking a very attractive small lake. This estate is now nearly complete, and was once a quarry. Return to the entrance and, just inside, on the right are steps that take you to the lake where you are guaranteed to see at least six herons! There are also other birds, such as plovers and ducks. A sign at the southern end of the lake describes a water-saving initiative – excess water is used to water our next park.
Opposite the sign there is a small tree-lined path leading south up to the next street. At the top, turn left (east) and walk to the end of the street and then climb the “secret steps” into Tally Ho Reserve. This is a more traditional sports reserve, with a great seat under trees (near the tennis courts) to “survey the whole scene” of the very popular circuit walk/jogging track. When you are ready, leave this park by the western path, along the southern edge of the tennis courts. At the road turn left (south), along Lawrence Road.
Soon you will pass Sesame Street, and there are two old local anecdotes about this street you may enjoy. Firstly, locals were suspected of giving a false address when they claimed to live in Sesame Street. Secondly, look at the street sign (on Lawrence Road) – you will see that it is higher above the ground than others in the area. This placement was done by the council as a result of too much “souveniring” of the earlier signs!
At Larch Crescent turn left beside the 138 number. (If you need a drink or ice cream, there is a milk bar 50m further on in Lawrence Road.) Larch Crescent has a large variety of trees – Oak, Lilly Pilly, Spotted Gum, etc. This street winds directly to High Street Road, but I prefer a minor diversion to include one more small park, by turning right into Maple Street, then left into Elm Grove. This reserve appears to be nameless, and I could not find any elms, other than one in the nursery.
Cross High St Road, then walk left to the car park just past the used car dealer. Walk south through the car park to access our next small park. In the park you will soon reach a small playground, turn left and cross Blackburn Road in Syndal at the lights just beside the public toilet. Continue straight ahead along Matthew Street for 100m and, at Pimm Court, you will see a “Pipe Reserve” heading roughly northerly. This is a linear park, sometimes only a few metres wide! It is a direct route to our last parks. Walk along this route for at least 30 minutes, recrossing High St Road, then three more streets, followed by Highbury Road. At the next street crossing, exit turning right into the end of Worthing Avenue. At the end of the road turn left, and in about 100m are the stone entrance pillars into East Burwood Reserve.
This park has rings of eucalypts and pines, so expect aromas as you walk. It even has a mountain bike track and a velodrome. Walk to the east past the toilets (also only open on weekends), passing just to the north of the athletics field. You will see a two storey grey building (actually CFA HQ) with an entry point and a well-defined footpath. We are now in Tally Ho Business Park. If you have only been here to visit VicRoads, you may have missed the delightful “river” walk (which we will explore properly in a future BB walk). It is hard to believe that you can sit here between two small waterfalls under palms eating your lunch in Burwood East, but you can! There is even a cafe nearby.
The nearby tram stop on Burwood Highway will return you to where you started.
BURWOOD WALKS #11: THE ANNIVERSARY TRAIL
By Mark Learmonth
Our first walk this year featured the old Outer Circle Railway, going north from Burwood Railway Station. This walk, our eleventh, goes south from Burwood Station all the way to Hughesdale, where that line joined the Dandenong line. The walk as described is about 8 kilometres, but you can shorten it easily by starting at either Ashburton (saving 1.5km) or Alamein (2.5km) stations. Burwood Station is five minutes from Toorak Road tram stop 53 (Melway 60 D6), walking south along Lithgow Street, then right at the roundabout.
Start on the city side of the station, noting the little old weatherboard station building with its open-fire chimney on the opposite platform. Walk south between the shops and the railway along the Anniversary/Outer Circle Rail Trail; this track is very popular with cyclists too. As the path narrows you walk through a grove of both younger and older oaks, with lots of acorns beside the track. As you can see, this section of the old railway is still in use. After ten minutes, you cross over the curiously named “Dion Rail Link”, passing Summerhill Park on your right. Near Ashburton Station, after the tennis courts, take a right turn along Aitchison Avenue, then walk along either arm of the aptly named Y Street. Just before you reach High Street there is a laneway behind the shops on the right, which leads to a public toilet in the car park.
Return to the rail trail (left at High Street), continuing south. You will notice that the oaks are now replaced by plantings of mostly native trees. At Laurel Street there is an informal track running parallel to the rail trail, but giving a better view of Alamein Station. After that station, return to the trail, which really feels like an old railway embankment (because it is!). The signboard gives great historical information about Alamein, and this is a good rest spot. You cannot miss some of the infrastructure still in place. Keep an eye out too for the pink and yellow rocks, which are common in this area and over 400 million years old.
Twenty minutes from Alamein Station, you reach the end of the Anniversary Trail. Imagine the huge, wooden trestle bridge that once took trains across the valley ahead. Continue across the road, and gradually downhill along Gardiners Creek Trail, crossing Gardiners Creek, going south through the golf course and over the freeway and the railway line. Take care to stay on this route – there are several intersecting trails! Above East Malvern Station (where there are toilets), take the left (east) ramp down to the car park. At the bottom of this ramp, turn right and then left along a grassy strip just before leaving the car park. Walk past the block of units, then along the marked path beside an old tin shed and a humming power substation. Cross Waverley Road at the traffic lights and enter the bushy Urban Forest, and back to the old railway reservation, as referred to in the information panel, and brochures. There are various trails heading south through this linear park, a highlight of this walk. Look for native birds, nesting boxes and wildflowers.
As you approach busy Dandenong Road, you will see the “forest” continuing behind a post-and-rail fence. (There are traffic lights 100 metres to the west.) This last section of the trail has a well-defined concrete path, and the park becomes grassier as it proceeds past picnic facilities. Walk to the left of the playground to the next (much easier) crossing of Neerim Road, after which you will begin to hear the sounds of real trains, and to marvel at the huge eucalypts in Boyd Park. Not long after the mosaic pavement, you can exit onto a short street leading to Hughesdale shops, and to a public toilet in Euston Road.
The return to Burwood is quite easy – bus 767 (the stop on the western side of Poath Road) goes to the Burwood Highway tram at Station Street on its way to Box Hill. Check the timetable, and you may have time for a well-deserved cool drink.
BURWOOD WALKS #10: VALLEY RESERVE
By Mark Learmonth
Our tenth walk features Valley Reserve, a favourite place for many local residents. This 5–6 kilometre walk begins at the main entrance to Mount Waverley railway station (southern side). There is plenty of on-street parking available within a few blocks of the station, but do check for restrictions. Public transport users have two options from Burwood Village: either Smart Bus 903 south along Warrigal Road to Holmesglen Station followed by two stops in a Glen Waverley train, or tram 75 to Burwood Heights Shopping Centre, then the Oakleigh bus 733 to Mount Waverley. There are several coffee shops and tasty bakeries in Mount Waverley Village!
From the station, walk east along the rail trail – rumoured to be the home of several foxes – and under Stephensons Road. You will see Holy Family and Avila schools across the tracks. Just after Avila, there is a small bushland reserve that Monash Council keeps in a natural state rather than encouraging visitors. Shortly after this, you will pass Huntingtower School.
The next underpass is beneath Lawrence Road, and you turn right (south) here. As you emerge from the paperbarks above this service road, look across Lawrence Road to see a small, weatherboard house that recently sold for the first time in over 100 years! Continue south along the left-hand side of Lawrence Road; the newer estate on the other side is on the site of the much-loved Syndal Technical School. Soon you will pass a friendly milk bar (the only shop on this walk). Just after the milk bar, pause beside the Scotchmans Creek Path sign.
The path ahead does not look steep (just a nice, downhill stroll for us), but going uphill it is locally known as “Heart Attack Hill”! In 10 minutes you will reach the Melbourne Water Flood Retarding Basin, which is a haven for water birds. White-faced herons and purple swamp hens – among many others – are often seen. Walk across the bridge to the information board. For an overlook of the reserve, walk behind the Margaret Smith seat and you will see an informal track along the fenceline. In a few minutes you rejoin the main path (looking out for bikes – some mirrors are provided). As you pass the spillway, imagine what this area must look like “in flood”. Cross the next bridge, and follow this path past a small playground, crossing the road to enter Valley Reserve beside an information board.
Valley Reserve is a credit to Monash Council and the loyal band of volunteer “friends”. Look out for wildflowers, and listen for frogs. Follow the path, but do not cross the bridge over the creek, keeping beside the creek as you walk westerly. At this point you will see a sign regarding the fencing of revegetation areas; large parts of the reserve are like this, but the fencing is mostly quite “discreet” to maintain the bushy environment – nicely done!
After 10 minutes in the reserve, go through the pedestrian gate straight ahead. Listen for (and hopefully see) local bush birds. A few minutes later, turn right through another pedestrian gate, and soon you will reach the carpark, picnic areas and toilets. There are now several choices what to do next.
You can relax on a seat in the grassed area. The new adventure playground will probably be finished, with its extensive picnic facilities. Beyond the playground, an aboriginal scar tree trunk has been restored, and may now be in place with informative signage.
Study the map of the reserve near the toilets before wandering the tracks, and after you finish return to this central area.
Your author’s favourite loop starts here. Start along the main west path near the toilets at the information sign “Bringing back the bush”; take the first path on the left, continuing anticlockwise around the perimeter. Look at the “landing” (with a seat dedicated to a highly respected teacher at Mount Waverley High School). A few minutes later you will cross the bridge not crossed earlier; turn left, and at the second pedestrian gate take the quiet track to your left – designed for pedestrians – through the centre of the reserve, amongst habitats of birds and microbats (who roost in tiny tree hollows or even large cracks in tree bark). Turn right at the end of this track.
When you are ready to return to Mount Waverley shopping centre, stay on the main west path (see previous paragraph). After five minutes, you will reach another information board; continue straight ahead, exiting the reserve and walking uphill along aptly named Valley Road. Just before you reach the shops, there is a small public art gallery on your left that is well worth a visit (Wednesday to Sunday afternoons). The station is on the opposite side of the shopping centre.
BURWOOD WALKS #9: WURUNDJERI WALK
By Mark Learmonth
Our ninth route features the Wurundjeri Walk and is approximately 7 kilometres, but there are options to shorten it (see footnote). We begin the walk in Burwood East at tram stop 69 (Melway 61 J6), very close to Burwood One shopping centre. If you drive to the start of the walk, street parking is usually available in Witchwood Drive.
From the tram stop, cross to the south side of Burwood Highway and walk 100 metres east to Witchwood Park with its small playground, large canopy trees and plantings of small shrubs (more about this later). Coffee and cake are available in Burwood One to prepare for the journey, and there are toilets near Coles.
Cross Burwood Highway at the underground carpark entrance and enter Holland Road, heading north along the left footpath. This is a nice, easy stroll along a typical Burwood East street of mostly single-storey brick homes. After just 10 minutes, on your left you will see a walking path through Holland Gully. This is a gentle, downhill stroll, and often popular with friendly locals. Near the end of this 15-minute walk there are several tall she-oaks before you reach Eley Road.
Now look to your right for the entrance to Eley Park, just near a small playground. This is a classic, multi-use park, and it would be interesting to estimate just how many different activities can take place in it – including walking, of course. There are places to sit and a busy community centre (public toilets along the northern wall). Now walk clockwise around the tree-lined main oval, pausing briefly to check the northern outlook near the cricket practice nets.
When you reach another small playground, leave the park and head north into Sylvia Street, another gentle, downhill street, looking for the attractive manicured shrubs in several of the houses. In five minutes you will reach Fulton Road. Cross over into the park, and head west (left) alongside the creek on the well-defined Wurundjeri Walk. This creek has deeply cut banks (up to 5 metres high), and after 10 minutes you will reach an informative noticeboard (with very good photos). And hear lots of birds singing; as we mentioned earlier, there are many plantings of small shrubs, increasing the undergrowth and encouraging small birds. The work here is being done by the Friends Group and Whitehorse Council. There is also a policy of leaving dead logs around to improve the habitat.
Follow the sign leading to Middleborough Road (west). You will walk past a fenced-off revegetation area, then cross Indra R0ad where the trail runs south of a great wetland area. Walk clockwise around this wetland (15 minutes), then – with the small playground on your left – cross Indra Road again and take the path heading east. You are now walking along the northern side of the creek in Orchard Grove Reserve and will pass a post-and-rail fence. After 1o minutes, you reach another small playground where you should take the right fork in the track. In 100 metres turn left along a gravel path near a black wire-mesh fence. Look out for the descriptive plaque for the Wurundjeri Walk Raingarden, an excellent water purifier. This track becomes a concrete path, and you can walk to Holland Road via a small gate. On Holland Road, walk south past a milk bar, where a snack or a drink may be an idea.
Cross to the other (eastern) side of Holland Road to explore two more parklands as you continue south. The first one has yet another small playground (how many of these have there been on this walk?) with shady trees, and 10 minutes farther south is the upper section of Holland Gully, which we did not look at earlier. In another 10 minutes you are back at Burwood One, and at the end of this interesting walk.
Footnote: If you wish to shorten this walk, here are three options to choose from. First, do not walk around the oval in Eley Park. Second, there is a bridge near the noticeboard that will directly connect you to the return track (missing the wetlands section). Third, you could admire the wetlands from Indra Road rather than walk around them.
BURWOOD WALKS #8: THE OUTER CIRCLE
By Mark Learmonth
Our eighth walk will first visit a small section of the Back Creek Trail, then the Outer Circle Railway (the subject of a recent documentary). You can shorten this walk to end at Hartwell (4km walk), Willison (5km) or Riversdale Station (6km), and return to Burwood on the train. The whole walk is 8km (plus a 2km option).
Begin at Burwood Railway Station (Melway 60 D6). Tram travellers walk south from Stop 53 along Lithgow Street, turn right at the first roundabout and cross the tracks at the station.
Burwood Station (previously Hartwell) is part of the old Outer Circle Railway, which at its height ran from Fairfield to Oakleigh; now only the section from Riversdale to Alamein remains.
Walk south past a small group of shops (not along the rail trail) to the end of Bardolph Street. Turn right (west), cross Summerhill Road, then stroll gently downhill all the way to Back Creek, with shady trees and interesting weatherboard houses along the way. Back Creek (now underground) is a lovely, linear park. Turn right (north) through this park.
After crossing the first street, you are in for a surprise – the old creek bed can be seen (one of just two visible sections), and soon you find a concrete path beside the creek. After the path stops, walk south back into the large parkland area; then leave the park beside a red-brick fence, turning right (uphill). At Ruskin Road turn right (east), cross Toorak Road into Eddy Street; walk past a former Presbyterian Church, now a temple, and soon you will reach beautiful Fordham Gardens. Walk north-east through the park, and leave along Tyrone Street, walking gently uphill to Hartwell Hill Station (its old name). The station building actually came from Walhalla when that railway closed.
Cross the line, and turn left onto the rail trail, checking out the excellent information board. You are now on the Anniversary/Outer Circle Rail Trail, heading north. When you reach Frog Hollow Reserve, you will find a rest spot (playground, BBQ, toilets). Leave the rail trail after this spot and walk through the park, nearer to the railway line, to visit the next station, Willison, which is the fourth-quietest station in the whole suburban network! Cross the tracks and stay on the pathway into Stodart Street (the track nearer the railway disappears),then turn right (north) into Westbourne Grove.
After walking beneath the grove of tall cypresses, pause to admire the Riversdale Station signal box, one of just three staffed ones remaining (the others are at Kooyong and Gardiner).
Cross Riversdale Road, the railway and Spencer Road to enter Riversdale Park, another good rest spot (picnic area, playground, toilet).
From here, you can usually walk north through the Camberwell High School sports ground to Prospect Hill Road (if this is not possible, follow trail signs along Spencer Road). Look along this road to find the Anniversary Trail entrance.
Stay on this trail, passing under the Belgrave/Lilydale railway line, then through more leafy parkland and playground areas. Just before Canterbury Road the trail veers left to go beneath it. Canterbury Road has a bend in it at this point, because locals at the time (about 1889) forced the bridge over the Outer Circle Line to be built at that point. The engineer for this very sturdy brick-and-steel bridge was a young (22) John Monash. A seat just beyond this underpass is a good place to finish the walk, with cafés just to the east [see footnote].
To return to Riversdale Station, retrace your steps under Canterbury Road and walk for about five minutes to a right fork beside an old scout hall and a huge railway transformer building.
Use the subway under East Camberwell Station, and walk to the left of The Mews Aged Care. In 100m you will see a small path heading south, which will take you directly to the station; notice the chimney on the small building, which would have been cosy in the times of the Outer Circle Railway.
Footnote If you have time, a 25-minute level return walk will take you under three more bridges, as you proceed along this former railway line. The final bridge (at Barnsbury Road) was built to access just one property.
BURWOOD WALKS #7: UPPER GARDINERS CREEK BECKONS
By Mark Learmonth
Our seventh walk starts at the north-east corner of Burwood Highway and Elgar Road (Melway 61 A6; tram stop 62), then moves upstream along Gardiners Creek Trail (which includes the Whitehorse Heritage and Artists’ trails). However, you could check the Local History Park on the opposite corner, which was the site of the Burwood Drive-in Theatre.
This walk has three stages. Walk easterly just 100m to the clearly marked trail, and the information board telling us John Gardiner’s life story. After about 20m you will notice that the track goes upstream on both sides of Gardiners Creek. (We describe the western side.) Extensive revegetation works are under way. Look for groves of she-oaks, and other older plantings that shield the view of Deakin University. You will pass a community noticeboard, an island, bulrushes and a playground on this enjoyable stroll. After about 30 minutes, you will be 100m from Station Street. Take the right fork in the track, then cross the creek via the bridge in Station Street. You can choose to return along the east bank (a 4km walk) or continue upstream.
For stage 2, cross Station Street and head north past the Box Hill Golf Club, turning right at the top of the rise. You will see the trail restarting in 200m or so and wending its way beside the golf course fence. In about 15 minutes you will cross a bridge. From this bridge, look to your left and you will see two large bollards marking a path to Artists’ Park. If you have time, take 10 minutes to visit this small, quiet park and find out why it is called Artists’ Park on a plaque on its western side. Returning to Gardiners Creek Trail, you may hear frogs in a small “lake” as you leave the golf course and approach a large sports ground.
About 15 minutes later you will reach the Skate Park, and this is a good spot to take a break; there is a public toilet, and shops just across Middleborough Road. You may even have some breathtaking entertainment! Here you could take the 733 Oakleigh bus to Burwood Highway if you wish, having walked 5 kilometres.
The third stage of the walk continues north along Middleborough Road, but walk inside the park on the embankment, parallel to the road, exiting through the post-and-rail fence. Cross over Albion Road and continue north. At quieter Sweetland Road turn first left, then right into Barcelona Street to reach Rutland Road beside the railway line. Here you will pass a stonemason’s workshop.
At William Street you can cross the railway line to the path on the northern side, which leads to an underpass under busy Station Street, taking you straight into Box Hill Central, the end of our 8km walk. From here you can use bus 767, 768 or 281 to return to the start, or 903 to return directly to Burwood Village.
However, if you are doing this walk between 8am and 5pm, at Sweetland Road we recommend walking 200 metres up Middleborough Road, then quietly west through the 1873 Box Hill Cemetery. Just before the offices you will pass the grave of C. J. Dennis (“The Sentimental Bloke”), and there are shady seats and toilets for a break.
When you reach the western end of the cemetery, turn right to find a pedestrian exit gate to Rutland Road (see previous paragraph).
BURWOOD WALKS #6: MAKE FRIENDS WITH DAMPER CREEK RESERVE
By Mark Learmonth
Our sixth walk starts at Burwood Heights Shopping Centre, at tram stop 66 on Burwood Highway (Melway 61 F6), visiting two special Mount Waverley reserves. From the shopping centre carpark, walk towards the right-hand side of Woolworths (public toilets inside) and leave via an obvious gap in the fence. The attractive trees here are ironbarks.
At the end of this street, turn first right, then left into Lenna Street and right into Crow Street, past another small park to bollards indicating a much larger park. Walk clockwise around this park so that you see the tiny information plaque explaining the park’s history, name and current sporting use.
Exit the south side of this park to Highbury Road. Walk west to the traffic lights and cross this intersection diagonally, then walk south. Welcome to Mount Waverley. After 200 metres, enter Damper Creek Reserve. Do look at the information shelter, and a small blue sign just up the hill. There are several more of these interpretative signs.
In 1993, this reserve was a weed-infested mess; it was restored as a joint venture between the Friends of Damper Creek Reserve, Melbourne Water and the City of Monash, and is a great credit to them. It is now one of Mount Waverley’s favourite reserves.
Continue strolling down this track, and you will notice that the creek becomes more “natural”. Listen for bird calls and frogs! Pass the first bridge after 10 minutes, reaching the second one after another five minutes. Cross this second bridge. Here you can decide either to “explore” the rest of this trail and then return to this spot, or to shorten the walk here.
LONGER WALK – After five minutes, you pass the Damper Creek pond and a picture of its froggy resident. Another five minutes takes you to the other information board (on Park Road). There is a bushy section on the other side of the road, and a popular playground (reconstructed in 2013) on the left. Cross busy High Street Road, walk down Alvie Road past Alvie (hard to believe that this was once a petrol station), and take the track about 100 metres to the right, before the road starts to climb. After five minutes the track abruptly ends at Riversdale Golf Course. Now retrace your steps to the bridge we mentioned earlier. Total walking time for this section is about 40 minutes.
COMPLETION OF WALK – At the bridge, climb the steps on the western side and then continue up to the obvious signboard (Bushland Reserve).
Walk west for two blocks to Jubilee Street, turn right and, after about 100 metres turn left into Lewis Street. Shortly, there is an attractive entry track into our other park, Federal Reserve. Veer left, west of the tennis courts, and wander northerly through this lesser known gem in Mount Waverley. Native birds, old trees with hollows, picnic spots, places to explore and almost no road noise make this a special place. Look for views to the north over Box Hill right up to the Kinglake Ranges!
Continuing north, leave this park by Andrew Street (signposted). Along Highbury Road you will see (to your left) yet another playground, and it has a westerly trail. (We are now back in Burwood.) Do not cross Station Street, but walk north to Burwood Highway to finish the walk at Bennettswood shops, whence trams may be taken back to Burwood Village or Burwood Heights Shopping Centre.
The length of this walk ranges from 5.5 kilometres (if you stopped at the second bridge) to 8 kilometres if you walked right to the very end of the trail.
BURWOOD WALKS #5: HIE THEE TO HARTWELL
By Mark Learmonth
Our fifth walk starts on Toorak Road at tram stop 53 (Lithgow St – Melway 60 D6). his time we walk around Hartwell. In 2012 Volkhard Wehner wrote a book titled Old Hartwell: he Life and Times of the Village hat Lost Its Name with a wealth of information about this area, now the “locality” of Hartwell.
Walk north along Highfield Road (an old street, existing before 1872). Our first Hartwell encounter is the Church of Christ. Now a brick building, this was once a small wooden church, built in 1925. After this, at Ruyton Street, walk northeast through Lynden Park. When you reach the first oval, you will see our path directly across it, first near the clubrooms, then under huge cypresses. As you walk through this lovely linear park, you pass Lynden Aged Care (1976); the imposing brick building is Nazareth House (also aged care), set up in 1929. Beyond these buildings you will cross into a natural creek bed which is supported by the Friends of Back Creek. You will also notice the change in the track itself. Which track do you prefer?
Follow Back Creek Trail to Riversdale Road, then walk west towards the city (if you wish, you can catch a tram from stop 54 to stop 49). If you choose to walk, you will see street names (on small tiles) laid into footpaths, an enormous Irish Strawberry Tree (at Moorhead Street), the attractive Highield Park (atop of the rise – a good spot for a rest, and a popular park since 1914), distant views to the south, an old tram shelter, and the imposing St Dominic’s Catholic Church, replacing a wooden building in 1937. This church is often open for a quiet visit inside, but first check that services are not under way. The priory next door – originally Holyrood Mansion, a private house – is also very attractive viewed from Holyrood Street. City views can be seen to the west.
At Glyndon Road turn left, then right into Allambee Avenue, stopping at a very small park that includes a public toilet. You could also buy tasty goodies at the shops! Continue west along Allambee Avenue, and at the end veer slightly left to the very obvious trail through Frog Hollow Reserve, originally called “Frog Holler” because of the frogs calling.
At the next road crossing, turn right (under the railway) and look for an orange gravel path through Willison Park. When this winding path ends, walk south 100 metres until you reach Tyrone Street.
You have now reached the jewel in Hartwell’s crown, the delightful Fordham Gardens (you have probably admired them from the tram or your car). Once you have looked around, you can, if you wish, return to where you entered this park and walk east up to the railway line and Hartwell Station (which retains much of its country style – the building was Walhalla Station until it was dismantled and moved to Hartwell in 1938). There is also a park and shop/cafe nearby.
You can catch the tram back to Burwood from Fordham Gardens, or by walking south from the station to Toorak Road. The length of this walk ranges from 5 kilometres (if you take the tram in Riversdale Road) to 7 kilometres (all walking).
BURWOOD WALKS #4: THE TRAIL TO GARDINERS CREEK
By Mark Learmonth
Our fourth walk starts and finishes at Burwood Railway Station (eastern side) or tram stop 53 (Lithgow Street) on Toorak Road (Melway 60 D6). From the tram, walk south along Lithgow Street. If you come from the train, you will join the walk one block along Lithgow Street. Now, continuing south, take the informal footpath on the railway side of Welfare Parade and discover the indigenous flora reserve right in the heart of Burwood/Ashburton.
You will reach a bridge over the line. Cross it, continue south for 200 metres, and enter Summerhill Park. At the playground you may also enjoy the Aussie animals “puzzle”! Go south (downhill) to join the main Ferndale Trail, which winds down through Hill’n’Dale Park, past trees with varying barks (look for a spotted gum, an ironbark, and paperbarks) and a BMX park. In about 30 minutes, you enter the large Ferndale Park, a good place for a break, with playground, large trees, BBQ, toilet and coffee shop.
Cross Glen Iris Road into Back Creek Reserve, continuing gently downhill. Have you wondered why the Burwood area has so many great linear parks? Many of them were actual creeks, which have been covered over; this is clear when you see the bridge over the path along this section. After about 10 minutes, you will hear the freeway as you enter Nettleton Park. Look for a little notice from the local Friends group. Turn left at the Gardiners Creek Trail (don’t cross this bridge, but take a look). Signage tells you how busy this trail can be!
After another 10 minutes you will reach a second bridge. Cross the creek here, turn hard left, then walk along an informal track behind the guardrail and you will see a small weir (which oxygenates the creek) and revegetation works. After 200 metres, you rejoin the trail. Go under High Street into a big picnic area with toilets and great historical information. Again, you can walk on footpaths parallel with the bike trail, exploring wetlands until, in about 15 minutes, you come to a large duck pond with some friendly “locals”.
Cross Dunlop Street (pedestrian lights), and continue on the trail for about 200 metres to a small pedestrian bridge across the creek. Cross the creek and walk upstream one block to Donald Street. Follow Donald Street away from the creek, crossing Albion Road and continuing along Chamberlain Street. Soon you will reach Watson Park, which has a playground and a slightly hidden public toilet.
Walk diagonally across this park. You now have two choices: you can head north (gently uphill along Munro Avenue) to Ashburton shops for tasty goodies (and then to Ashburton Station), or take the shorter route east along Baird Street, turning Right/Left/Left/Right to Alamein Station, for the train trip back to Burwood. You have walked 6 or 7 kilometres, depending upon how much “exploring” you have done!
BURWOOD WALKS #3: THE WALK THROUGH TO WATTLE PARK
By Mark Learmonth
Our third walk starts at Through Rd (tram stop 55, Melway 60 F6) and goes to Wattle Park Shopping Centre. It is roughly 6km long (1.5 hours), although you can spend several hours in Wattle Park if you choose. Did you know that while we have thousands of “No through Roads” in Melbourne, there are just three named “Through Road”, and our one, linking Toorak and Riversdale roads, is by far the longest.
Take Through Rd north from Toorak Road. It is an attractive, tree-lined street, with mixed-age houses, many in original style. After 10 minutes you reach Through Road Reserve, which has a National Trust registered tree. Walk to the northeast corner, then continue north one block to Morey Street (on the right). About 100m along Morey Street on the left, there is an unnamed park entrance which opens out into a large attractive parkland area with an oval, seating, playground and toilets. Walk north through this park, exiting by the right-of-way beside the playground, and continue up Aminya Place. At the top, turn right towards Warrigal Road. You will soon enter Burwood’s iconic Wattle Park.
Cross Warrigal Road with care (!), then head north-east into the park. There is no real path but it is easy walking with views over the golf course. In a few minutes you pick up the main easterly pathway, just before crossing Hercules Creek. After this bridge, you can stay with the path, or go wandering to explore this wonderful area. Uphill and to the right from the bridge is the lily pond (fenced of), which you can overlook from the east side, listening for the frogs. Heading east, you will pass a cottage and stables. On Wednesdays and Sundays, you can look at the basketry gallery (10am–3pm) in the cottage. Continuing east, you will come to the huge picnic areas, toilets, trams, and the Memorial Clock Tower.
Did you know that Wattle Park is home to 20 butterfly and 60 beetle species? This information (and lots more) is in the Parks Victoria park notes, along with an excellent self-guided nature trail with questions and answers for both young children and adults. Download them from their website (using the “Explore -> Parks By Name” tabs).
You can finish by walking around the oval to the south, taking Parer or Roslyn St to the Burwood Highway tram, or north-east to Wattle Park Shopping Centre and the 903 SmartBus back to Burwood Village (bus stop just uphill in Riversdale Rd, east of the shops).
BURWOOD WALKS #2: SECRETS AMONG THE STREETS
By Mark Learmonth
Our second walk runs roughly parallel to Burwood Highway. he whole walk, about 8km, is from Beryl Street (tram stop 55, Melway 60 F6) to Burwood Heights Shopping Centre (stop 66), but you can shorten it by simply heading north, back to the highway, and catching a tram!
Beryl Street is a typical, tree-lined local street. At the end of it, walk anticlockwise around the park to the southeast corner along the small gravel path with the magpies, eucalypts and paperbarks. Walk east along Bath Road into Loloma Court, and via this court into Burwood Reserve (avoiding current building works) with its birds, older trees, toilet, playground and war memorial. Leave at the north-east corner, cross into Highbury Road and walk downhill on the northern side of this road. You cannot miss Burwood Cemetery, and the sign near the bottom of the hill tells an excellent history of Burwood.
Continue along Highbury Road, but do not cross the Gardiners Creek bridge. Walk into the Local History Park. The geosculpture there represents layers of the earth, while plaques explain Earth’s evolution. Cross the large wooden replica bridge, and turn right to see the Settlers Shelter (with its peppercorn tree) and the community garden. All have information panels. Cross into the “secret” park with its playground, barbecue and shelter.
Cross into Coppard Street, and walk east one block; turn right (south) into Cumming Street, and our “secret trail” starts 100m away. This trail wanders east for about 25 minutes and just stops (!) at Malvina Street. Continue east along Pearce Street, and do two right/left turns back onto Highbury Road. Cross Middleborough Road at the lights and continue to Skene Street, turning right/left into our last park.
Once a brick quarry, then a tip, Ballyshanassy Park is now one of our quieter parks with no roads beside it, giving it a reflective feeling. Leave at the north-east corner, then turn left/left/right/left to enter Burwood Heights shops by a pedestrian access. You deserve a rest, and a tasty treat!
BURWOOD WALKS #1: DISCOVER WONDERS AS YOU WANDER
By Mark Learmonth
Welcome to this new series of articles in the Bulletin. The areas around Burwood have lots of walking tracks and cycle paths to explore, and interesting sights to see. These walks will be short half-day ones, approximately 6km, and may involve public transport for part of the journey. Put on your walking shoes, charge your myki, carry some water and your copy of the Bulletin, dress for the weather on the day and join us for a walk in our local district. Melway map references (in brackets) help you along the way.
Our first walk starts in Burwood Village. Hop onto the tram going to Vermont South, and travel just three stops to the corner of Elgar Rd (60, K6). Walk across the highway and head downhill into the Local History Park. As you walk this section, look for the site and memories (some with information) of the old cypress trees, Burwood Drive-in, the “orchards”, the geology and the old bridge (more about the last two of these in our next walk). After about 0.5km, you reach Highbury Road.
Cross the road at the lights, and the trail continues through Australian trees and wetlands. The “drain” on your right is actually Gardiners Creek. You will cross High Street Road (60, J10) and continue past sporting reserves for hockey and rugby. As you approach Warrigal Road, look for the huge old liquidambar tree on your left, which seems out of place. You now “cross” Warrigal Road without stepping onto it. This section was about 3km.
The next section (about 2km) crosses Markham Reserve, and you can easily leave the busy bicycle trail and walk across the grassland. If you do, look out for the point where Gardiners Creek “escapes” its concrete channel to begin a more natural course.
A surprise, if you don’t already know about it, is the new playground. This is a good place to take a rest stop, admire the design and count just how many activities there are available in it. There is a toilet here too. Continue along the path until you reach an embankment at the end of Markham Parade (60 D12). Turn right, and it will be obvious you are on the old “Outer Circle” railway easement. Continue north to Alamein station.
You have the choice now to continue beside the railway line along the “Anniversary Trail”, or why not catch the train for two stops to Burwood station? (Curiously, Burwood station is not actually in Burwood.) Leave the train and walk north down to Toorak Road (60, C5), and catch the Vermont South tram back to Burwood Village. By now, you have earned a coffee, a tasty cake, an ice-cream or maybe lunch – yum!