Mitchell River loop walk, Bairnsdale

Mitchel Port Road BBQ area, Bairnsdale

Mitchell River loop walk, Bairnsdale

Mitchel Port Road BBQ area, Bairnsdale

Staff Pick
1 h 26 m
5.71 km
Easy

Bairnsdale's 5km riverside loop is great for stretching the legs with interesting stops along the route. Access is easiest at the bridge ends, or from Mitchell Port Road (map Point #1)

Mitchell River loop walk, Bairnsdale

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Summary

Bairnsdale's 5km riverside loop is great for stretching the legs with interesting stops along the route. Access is easiest at the bridge ends, or from Mitchell Port Road (map Point #1)

Description

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Bairnsdale's premier walk is a great way to stretch the legs if passing through town, or the best place to exercise if you're staying longer. The south bank is shadier if you are short on time or energy.

If travelling by car, access is easiest at the bridge ends of this walk.
If heading to the river from Bairnsdale's main shopping area, then head to Mitchell Port Road, as marked at point 1 of this map. Take care crossing Riverine Street to get down to the river (there was no pedestrian crossing at this point when we visited mid-2021).

Bairnsdale's weekly ParkRun begins from the Mitchell Port Road entry, where there is a large picnic and BBQ shelter, some public toilets and a drinking tap (just east of the shelter).

We began our walk by heading west along this southern bank. You are briefly diverted up to road level where a large bat colony has made a home in the poplar trees.

Note: Those with mobility issues be aware that the ramp back down to river level, which begins opposite McCulloch St, is quite long and steep (see photo).

Soon after descending the ramp you'll cross the Lind Bridge at Bullumwaal Road over to the north bank.

The north bank trail is more open as you pass grassy paddocks and agricultural land heading east toward the Howitt Park end of the loop.

For those with children, Howitt Park is home to a BMX track and a great, long, tunnel slide.

Cross the smaller Mitchell River pedestrian bridge and then the larger Highway bridge back over to the southern bank. The final part of the loop walk takes you past the large caravan park.

You can finish the walk as marked on the map (opposite Wood St) or continue back to Michell Port Road BBQ area where we began and take a quick peek at the historic steam powered alternator which used to power a timber mill.

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Points of Interest

1. BBQ area and toilets

This is a good place to start your riverside loop as there are toilets and a water tap (along with sheltered tables for eating if needed). From here, head left following a westerly course.

2. Shady path

This is a nice section of the walk. Please keep dogs on lead! Soon you'll come to a path back up to the road (bypassing a bat colony).

3. Safe haven: Bat colony

Australia's largest fruit bat, the Grey-headed flying fox is an important pollinator with over 100 trees and shrubs reliant on this at-risk species. Numbers swell at this site at warm times of year.

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4. Steep ramp back to river

This ramp zig zags back down to the river.

5. Lind Bridge

This was a drawbridge in the late 1800s. While this more modern bridge (built 1960) marks the west edge of this walk, you could actually continue 1.5km further on the south bank to Picnic Point.

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6. North bank view

The north bank river trail is lined with younger trees and agricultural land.

7. Little swing bridge

Take this narrow pedestrian bridge over the Mitchell Rover backwater.

8. Gardens

You'll see this small botanic garden just over the swing bridge.

9. Howitt Park playground

This will be a popular stop for little people with its great yellow slide and a flying fox. Public toilets and picnic tables are located near the top of the slide, and a BMX track near the bottom.

10. Cross the Princess Highway bridge

Lots of traffic but luckily plenty of space for walking on this bridge, commissioned by Victoria's Country Roads Board!

11. Caravan Park

You'll stroll past this large caravan park along this smaller gravel section of the trail.

12. River gums

The bark of the large river gums you'll see along this section of the walk was often used by the local Gunaikurnai people to make canoes, shields and shelter. Find further information along the path.


Features

Playground Playground
Picnic Spot Picnic Spot
Drinking Water available Drinking Water available
Seating Available Seating Available
Public toilets Public toilets
Pram friendly Pram friendly
Lake, creek, river Lake, creek, river