Tag Archives: Bushwalks

Dights Falls on the Yarra – Both Sides Now

This is a magic riverside urban bushwalk, just a few km from the City

The forecast was a for a lovely winters day. So I decided this morning to do this as I’d never actually seen Dights Falls on the Yarra River near Collingwood. It’s a natural barrier which stops brackish water from moving further upstream. Anyway, I had a rough route in my head. In fact I had what’s called a map in my hand. 

Turns out I made a wrong assumption – I could pick up the map’s walk from the Studley Park Boathouse – but it ended up meaning I did two excellent walks instead:

a) From the train at Victoria Park station to the Boathouse, then over the footbridge and a walk north of the Yarra up to the Falls.  It was there I realised I was on the wrong side of the river, with no way to cross.  So I just doubled back (see map with log below)

b) I then sat down and worked out where the ‘real’ walk starts from so I did that (see below)


Flickr album is located here


Map with GPS Logs

Here’s the exact GPS logs from the phone, loaded into OziExplorer with Open Street Maps as the base map. Click on the image to enlarge.

1) Red:  From the Victoria Park station to the Boathouse, over Kane’s Bridge and then North of the river to Dights Falls.   Was here I turned around and returned back to the Boathouse

2) Blue: From the Boathouse car park, clockwise to where the ‘real’ walk starts (sort of where the Blue and Green log lines meet). This blue line continues clockwise to Dights Falls (but now from the other side), the Historical Marker, Galatea Point and back to Yarra Boulevard.  BTW the Boulevard is a ghost road; this one-way  loop section of it is closed to cars.

3) Green: For clarity I reset the GPS here to capture the final bit of the ‘real’ walk.  South then West back to the station (with a diversion to Victoria Park footy ground).

I plan to merge these into a single walk with my little side trips and flubs removed.  Total distance today was 12.5km.


Click to make bigger!

Doongalla Walk – Bills Track

A great, energising walk through the Dandenongs.  Magic views of Melbourne (Burkes Lookout) at the top and then it’s down hill. The landscape suddenly changes from dry to temperate rain forest, including ferns.  Our target is the beautiful Doongalla Homestead Site area. Split in two and connected via a road, both have toilets and picnic facilities and are thus ideal for lunch.  It follows it’s up hill for most of the way back, retracing your steps.

Suggested add-on : Bills Track (and more)

In fact , I’ve shown an optional – and recommended – extension as  loop from the ‘lower’ Doongalla site (Stables) along Stables Tk, then up the short but steep Bills Tk (puff puff), then back along Camelia Tk to Doongalla itself.  After that it’s retrace your steps back to the car. 

There’s another steep track to get the heart rate up just a bit further on.  See Rankin Tk, just  North (above) Bills off Camelia Tk?  Go up that, then turn right onto Dalcite Tk, which brings you back to the bottom of that Zig Zag track.


I’d tip about 30 mins to get down to Doongalla and about 45 to get back up. All tracks are well signed.

Some tips (and photos after the map)

  • We meet at The Basin – in the foot hills – about 11am for coffee, usually at Svaks.  We usually leave 1 car there and go up in mine.
  • The little road where you park your car doesn’t have a name. It’s one past Eyre Rd and has an obvious Power Substation. Park there.  It may be marked as the access to the Kyeema Memorial (a sad story of a 1938 plane crash)
  • I’m told the huge metal ‘bed base’ at the (un-signed) Burkes Lookout is actually a launching ramp for hang gliders. But it’s not used as the property owners below got sick of people just flying in. That’s what I was told.
  • Burkes Lookout has a clearing in front it of and excellent views of Melbourne and surrounds for miles.
  • Our usual well-done celebration is off to the cafe near the William Ricketts sanctuary about 5 mins away. Churinga Cafe & Garden  & Garden Restaurant has the best scones with their Devonshire Teas, but they are huge!




These are links to my Flickr album.  Just click on them to see full sized. Burkes Lookout ramp:


Panorama from Burkes:


Ch 10 track. Temperate rain forest:


First (upper) Doongalla site.  On another day we literally huddled under that umbrella-shaped tree in light rain:


Hard to believe we are so close to suburbia:



Near the lower (Doongalla Stables) area. Welcome guest on the lovely Stables Track:


It’s a climb back up, but with views like this you hardly notice:


Kallista (Sherbrooke) Loop walk

Quicknotes and Map of our holiday Monday walk (June 9th 2014). It’s the spontaneous ones that often work out the best. And this was a prime example.

Here’s a map, using OziExplorer with the Open Street Maps (aka “Internet Maps”).   Red outbound, left then clockwise. Blue back to the car, with the dotted line an alternate route back. Click for full size

Screenshot - 11_06_2014 , 6_29_59 PM


1) Start/Finish. The tiny village of Kallista  (coffee!, cake!).  Walk down the hill on the track, past the school to…

2) Grants Picnic Ground.  See the bird feeding, visit the tourist shop and cafe (coffee! et al). Then cross the road, thru the gate and pick up Clematis Track.

Follow this, down and up.  It comes out at the Sherbrooke Lodge Road – turn left (grassy on LHS, walk on that). Continue ‘left’ (west, then north).   You’ll soon come to the entrance to:

3) O’Donohue Picnic Ground.  Lunch/snack here. Toilets.  Then out the ‘back gate’ onto O’Donohue Track. Soon you’ll come to a T-Intersection. Turn right.

After a very short distance you’ll come to another T-Intersection (Sherbrooke Track). Turn left.

Follow Sherbrooke Track through the bush until Wattle Track leads off to your right (over a moss-covered bridge).Take Wattle and cross the bridge

Follow Wattle (approx North) until you come to the main Sherbrooke Road.  Stay on your side of the road and walk a short distance right (east) until you come to the Alfred Nicholas Gardens car park. Cross the road here into…

4) The Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens.  Definitely explore these lovely gardens, built right into a quite steep hill. Descend to a magic quiet spot with an ornamental lake and old boat shed (a must see!)

Climb back out to the entrance gates you entered by. Head left (south east) along Sherbrooke Rd.  You cannot actually follow this all the way to Kallista (too steep/dangerous with no footpath near end) So turn into Braeside Avenue and keep left. You’ll soon see a track entrance which ‘tracks’ beside Sherbrooke rd and soon rejoins it, just near Kallista.  A few mins later you are back where you started.


Alternate return (blue dash). If you want to re-do the ‘up-down’ (muddy?!) tracks, you can go through the “Sherbrook Picnic Ground” car park, pick up Sherbrook Track and turn left onto O’Dononhue Track (you’ve been at this point earlier!), back to O’Donohue Picnic Ground and retrace your steps (red line) back to Kallista

Approximate Times

  • Car to Alfred Nicholas Gardens: about 1 hr .   4km  (main red route above). Plus we stopped for lunch at the O’Donahue Picnic Ground. Not counted in 1 hour
  • About 30-40 mins to explore Gardens
  • Gardens to Car. Only ~ 30 mins, via Sherbrooke Road (main blue route on map)


Click to enlarge.


Only a few minutes from the start/car.  Clematis Track




The ornamental lake, down the hill,  at Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens



The old boatshed on the lake

My Bushwalks

I’ve done a fair few bushwalks, mainly around Victoria and specifically within a few hours of Melbourne.

Overall my favourite areas are:

This here is an earlier list of walks, will update this one day

More details of some of the walks is available in a particular section of my blog. And so to the list…

2008 Walks

  • Mt Macedon (village to summit)
  • Catherdral Ranges (Jawbones)
  • Hepburn Springs
  • Marysville, Falls and De La Rue Lookout
  • Hollow Mountain (Grampians)
  • Sherbrooke Forest (and Alfred Nicholas Gardens)
  • Lake Eildon (Auriferiour Spur and Goschnick’s Lookout)
  • Wilsons Promintory (Little Oberon Bay, Oberon Bay)
  • Warburton (Little Peninsular Tunnel area)

Dandenongs Track Comparison


A quick post which took ages to prepare (the graph bit; just couldn’t get Excel to do it. In the end got it to do most of it, the printed that and did rest by hand!)

Some estimates of a few of the more steep walking tracks in the Dandenongs:

Name Length (m) Height Gain(m) Gradient (h/l) * 100
Bills Track 260 112 43%
Rankin Tk 585 114 19%
1000 Steps 1900 316 17%
Glasgow Tk 1140 367 32%

It seems that 1000 Steps is the ‘most gentle’ at least in terms of average Gradient. But it’s the longest.  I’d suggest that Glasgow is the most difficult (long and steep) and Bills the second most (shortish but very steep).  I did Rankin and Bills yesterday. Both will make you puff.

Here’s the graphs. Hopefully it makes sense. I did it with the same scale for both axes (approx.), so the slopes are realistic. Click on to get larger version:


Here they are on the one Google Earth screen. Closest = 1000 Steps (red), then Bills (green), Rankin (orange) and Glasgow (blue).  Height doubled for effect. Click on to enlarge:


Disclaimer: these are from GPS plots put into Google Earth. I’d estimated where the climbs started and ended.  1000 Steps doesn’t seem quite right to me, but will double check. 

Whilst Height Gain is unambiguous, I’m not so sure about Length.  Too much to go into here#, but I think the discrepancy is (hopefully) small and so my Length and Gradient values are about right.

# Can’t resist wondering? Well: Look at the 1000 Steps blue-triangle above. I think the GPS is saying the total length of the “1000 Steps” blue line should be the 1900m. I’ve plotted the ‘wrong’ value (1900m) In fact you’d need to do some high school trig to work out the ‘correct’ value to graph, being the actual length of the ‘opposite’ side of that blue line, viz. the X (horizontal) axis component of the triangle. Your ‘adjacent’ (316 m) would help with the maths. As I said, the different should hopefully be small.

Kallista (Sherbrooke) walk

Walk done Saturday Jan 12th 2013. Had planned to do Thousand Steps but it was packed out, due to an event.  About 9km in total (excluding exploring Alfred Nicholas Gardens)

Quick notes. Will try and upload a few photos later. Numbers are points on map

  1. Car at Kallista (or you could park at Grants Picnic Ground if it’s not too crowded)
    • (Basically walked in a clockwise direction)
    • Walk down to Grants  then over main road and (west) on Clematis Tk to Sherbrooke Lodge Rd
    • Left (west) along it to…
  2.  O’Donohue Picnic Ground (lunch)
    • Out back (west) gate. Few mins to Link track (not shown, it’s small). Right (North) onto it
    • Left (west) onto Sherbrooke Tk.  Cross bridge and onto Wattle Tk
    • Follow Wattle Tk until it hits made road. Turn right (east) and few mins will see…
  3. Alfred Nicholas Gardens entrance
    • Explore Gardens. They are fantastic. Allow about an hour. Return to front gate
    • At gate, facing car park (on other side of road) turn left (SE) and walk along Sherbrooke Rd to where Sherbrook Lodge Rd veers off. There’s a car park there. Out the back there’s a gate/track. Take it and it hooks up with Link Track in a short while. There’s signs there back to O’Donohue Picnic Ground and from there retrace your steps back to the car
    • Fullscreen capture 13012013 43050 PM

Click on map for full size. Same with images.


(above = Forest at Link Track)


Dense bush!

Why do you ask, 3 Tracks Climbing ?

<updated: all of Glasgow Track now shown, more accurate track lengths and updated both images>

Another great walk around the Doongalla area in the Dandenongs on Sunday. Took some very nice people, including some on their first climb up Bills Track. It was warm and sunny. I think it’s fair to say we were all, umm, refreshed at the top of this Track.

It goes straight up (a part of) Mt Dandenong. No zig zags to ease the gradient.

I was telling the walkers about Glasgow Tk just up the road. Today in looking at the map, I remembered Rankin Tk between Billls and Glasgow. All 3 are No Zig Zag tracks  And what about the relative lengths?  Bit of fun with Oziexplorer and Google Earth shows me:

Track Approx Length (m)
Bills (the bit we did) 220
Rankin 410
Glasgow 870

Here’s a map (thanks to OSM), should be able to click on to engorge:


And here’s the fun one. Google Earth showing them. With the height of the mountains exaggerated. From right to left: Bills, Rankin and Glasgow. Click for biggus pickus.


I actually want to do Glasgow end to end soon. Car at Glasgow road, straight up, then maybe a rest Smile and down the more gentle Zig Zag and Ch 10 tracks and back to car.

1000 Steps Loop walk (Dandenongs)

Sunny day yesterday so went off to the Dandenongs to tackle the 1000 Steps walk again, including the ‘round the back’ extra bits. Total walk is about 11 km and you should allocate 3 to 4 hours.   This walk is not even an hour from my place.

It’s broken up into 4 main bits

  1. The 1000 Steps walk itself, aka Kokoda Memorial aka Tree Fern Gully. Quite steep. Up to the top of One Tree Hill (red, below, click on image to see larger versions at gallery)
  2. From the Hill it’s down then level along the ‘back’ of the mountains (blue)
  3. Up again – sustained up hill on a path – to the top of Chandlers Hill (blue)
  4. Back down and around to the ‘front’, being the start of the walk in the 1000 Steps car park (magenta)

And here’s just a few of the Steps themselves:

A few more photos are available, best to view as a slideshow. 

This is a really good walk particularly on a sunny day. Full details are Walk 22 (Ferntree Gully Forest) in the Day Walks Victoria book. Some tracks have been renamed or merged since this edition was published; but nothing too complicated.

All tracks are in the Melways, starting on Map 74 H4.

The Cathedral – Cathedral Ranges

About 2 hours NE of Melbourne are the rugged Cathedral Ranges. They are between Marysville and Alexandra.  And boy do they offer some great, challenging walks.

I remember being told, as a kid, that some people actually walked up to the very top. I was gob smacked, but believed it when told that they “had to start early in the morning”.  Now that I’ve done it 3 times, I acknowledge it certainly isn’t easy. But not so sure about the early morning start.

It’d suggest it’s a 90 minute minimum ascent. Note ascent, coz it’s almost up hill all the way. It’s my Work-Reward type of walk;  puff, puff, puff (work) then wow! as the stunning views of your rewards kick in. 


More photos available including sweet captions. As usual, best viewed as slide show.

Truth be told this was my 2nd time on this route and I found it slightly more difficult. I’d think part of that was a slight complacency, which you just can’t afford to be on rocky, steep, uneven tracks. Twice I did the old semi-slip-slide. And twice I thought I had pulled a muscle; once in the arm and once in the back. A sit down and rest quickly got rid of the throbbing pain, but not before the heart was ticking that little bit faster.

It may have been the recent rain loosened the surface just that bit more too. 

Falcons Lookout walk at Werribee Gorge State Park

Great walk, starting only about an hour from my place! Spectacular views over the steep Werribee Gorge. The river, of the same name, has cut a massive slice through the country over the millennia.   A relatively easy walk takes you from the car park, along a creek valley and some spurs to the Lookout.

More Pictures: At my PicasaWeb album of this walk.

Listed in: The Parks Victoria free PDF Werribee Gorge State Park – Visitor Guide plus a number of bushwalking books, including Walk 24 in Daywalks Around Melbourne as covered here.

Location: About 15 minutes from Bacchus Marsh (see map below).

Advice:  Books say to wear hiking boots (not runners) and take a walking pole. I agree as the walk, whilst under an hour each way, has parts that are a bit steep and with loose stones. I think it would be slippery after rain too.

Map:  created from my GPS logs and converted to Google Maps format. Note the link to view it in a larger map at the end. From that larger map, you can then view the route in glorious 3D in Google Earth; highly recommended.
View Falcons Lookout walk in a larger map