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.