So close and yet seemingly so far from the city, this walk takes in the urban oasis of Wilson Reserve.
Moving through mostly tall native forest, with the occasional glimpse of golf course, this walk takes you along the Yarra River and adjacent billabongs. At times it's easy to forget you're in the city, as the reserve is buffered by golf courses on both sides. Only when the path gets near to the Eastern Freeway do you hear any traffic noise.
Once home to the local scouts and swimming club, the reserve became known as Wilson Reserve after “Skipper” Wilson, leader of the Sea Scouts in the early 1900s.
Although the area was almost entirely cleared for dairy farming and cropping in the mid-19th Century, the forest along the river and surrounding billabongs has since regrown. Now an important ecological area, 121 species of bird, 7 frog and 6 micro-bat species have been found in the reserve.
With so much natural beauty, so close to the city, it's not wonder that this is a popular area for walking.
- Sorry, no dogs allowed on this one.
- This walk is flat and easy. The path is earth /gravel but generally the surface is good.
The walk begins and ends with this stunning billabong.
As on any walk, keep an eye out for the beauty around you. Here a colourful fungus grows on a fallen log.
Take a detour off the main path along the side of the river, to a point where it surrounds you on all sides.
Take the time to step off the path and check out the wetlands in this area. Beautiful.
This billabong is filled with floodwater from the Yarra about once every two years.
One of the few non-natural features of this walk are these structures which protect the path in places where it is close to the Ivanhoe Golf Course.
Our walk ends (turns around) at this large grassy open space area with BBQs and picnic tables.
As you walk back you get to admire the Yarra where the path runs alongside.
There are some really quite beautiful trees on this walk.
If you have kids, there is a lovely playground in the forest to start or end the walk. Right next to the billabong too, very nice.