Billed as the Mornington Peninsula's 'original rain forest' this stunning 27-hectare National Trust property is open to the public and includes a lovely 2km boardwalk loop.
This 27-hectare National Trust property is unique. Located in Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula, the land is 17.5 hectares of remnant rainforest, with the remaining 9.5 hectares being revegetated.
Red Hill Recreation Reserve is a great place to start this walk as there are picnic, recreational and toilet facilities. Some Saturdays the Red Hill Markets are held here too. After following the track to explore the reserve, make your way across Arthurs Seat Road to Endeavour Fern Fully.
There is a two-kilometre walking loop that descends from this revegetated area and winds around old gum trees and through a lush fern gully. You will then find yourself meandering alongside and over the headwaters of Stony Creek.
You are bound to see abundant vegetation and birdlife throughout this walk. This land is a haven for flora and fauna to thrive, as it has remained unspoiled. The bushland consists of one of the last remaining untouched areas of a rich, red basaltic soil, which is rare along the Mornington Peninsula. For this reason amongst others, Endeavour Fern Gully has several rare plant species and is a vital source of habitat and food for a wide array of animals. A variety of fungi are also abundant along this walk.
In this rich habitat there is, unsurprisingly, a significant variety of birdlife. Endeavour is filled with birds humming and whistling everywhere you go. There are crimson rosellas, eastern yellow robins, yellow-tailed black cockatoos, wedge-tailed eagles, and even grey fantails, just to name a few.
As you delve deeper into the Gully, you are immersed amongst tall messmate stringybark and the smooth-barked subspecies of manna gum. Along the trail, you will come across a large and remarkable burnt-out hollow of a messmate stringybark. This is believed to have been a place where Indigenous people smoked animals for food, such as eels.
For plant enthusiasts, there are at least two indigenous vegetation species that are extremely rare in the area: the Hedycarya angustifolia, a rainforest plant also known as the austral mulberry, and Parsonsia brownii, the silk pod. The latter species is also not apparent anywhere else on the Mornington Peninsula!
Once you have completed this walking track in Endeavour Fern Gully, make your way back over the main road to the Red Hill Reserve where you started you adventure.
If you’re looking to be immersed in nature, this tranquil experience is definitely worth a visit!
NOTE: Dogs are not permitted (unless they are an assistance animal). Entry is free but see conditions of entry here.
Total Fire Ban: The walk is closed on days of total fire ban
Thanks to the National Trust for supplying some images for this walk, including banner image by Murray Adams.
A good place to start and end your walking adventure. These facilities are all available to the public.
This is the main entrance to Endeavour Fern Gully and more car-parking spaces are available here if necessary.
Interpretive signage and markers are located along the Endeavour Fern Gully trail. There is also a picnic area, shelter and map as you enter the walking loop.
The 2km loop walk includes this lovely boardwalk (take care in the wet as it can be slippery in parts!)
Have a look around and spot the burnt-out hollow in a large messmate stringybark. This is believed to have been a place where Indigenous people smoked animals for food, such as eels.
This area in the gully boasts some impressive native trees as well as more low-lying flora. Have a look up and see birds fly busily to and from their nests.
The creek is a great place to see a variety of fungi and ferns, amongst the sounds of the water trickling and the birds humming and whistling.
This walk was completed by Wild Melbourne, a not-for-profit specialising in nature engagement and dedicated to connecting people with nature. Please visit our website to find out more
The 27-hectare patch of remnant bushland provides visitors (and fauna!) an opportunity to experience the original natural environment of the Mornington Peninsula.