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.