I have a tale to tell –
While rambling along a trail, carrying a pail. I came across a male quail at his pale mailbox, reading his morning’s mail. “Good Morning! I said, “What do you mean” replied the quail? “Do you wish me a good morning or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on”. Well, I thought to myself this is not something you see every day. A quail with a pale mailbox, usually the mailboxes are red!
Now if you would like to meet a quail reading the morning mail on a trail, you need to get out of your house and find a trail. There are countless trails to be walked on, especially in and around Melbourne. Phil Clarkston and Lyn Carter are avid trail enthusiasts and have compiled a list of walks they have done and give some handy tips.
‘In planning most of these walks we find the old Melways maps are especially good to consult. Once we are walking though, we normally use google maps on our phones if we need to work out just where we have made a wrong turn. or to find the nearest pub.’
Park and Reserves:
Lederberg Gorge. Located at Bacchus Marsh. (Some great climbing tracks which are not too difficult but be careful on the unmade rocky track. No good in the wet.)
Brimbank Park The end of the walking track along the Maribyrnong River.
Werribee Gorge, not to be confused with Werribee Park. Werribee Park is a nice relaxing place with rose garden, and a day spa, Werribee Gorge is the complete opposite. Located just 8k from Bacchus Marsh at Pentland Hills Road. The gorge has quite a few serious trails. Not sure what parks Victoria were thinking when they created this park. The trails are steep and rugged with some parts with bolted in hand holds into the rocks
Lysterfield Park A walk around the lake is good or head towards Belgrave or come the other way which is also a good variation
Jells Park: Located near Wheelers Hill, The park attracts over 900,000 visitors a year, with over nine kilometres of paths and trails, 127 hectares of wide-open space and enough picnic areas for everyone to enjoy”.
Botanical Gardens – Melbourne and Cranbourne
Tracks and Trails – Along waterways:
It is also fun to find where our creeks and rivers end up, most emptying into the Yarra but others into the bay. Finding their source is a bit more difficult for most since many begin on private property or up in the bush in Mt. Macedon, Dandenong, or The Great Dividing Range.’ PC
Westerfield reserve trail. Start at Clifton hill or Yarra Bend (Fairfield). Follow along Merri creek all the way to the Ring Road and continue to Craigieburn.
Koonung Creek For a good part you are following the Eastern Freeway and the hum of the traffic can be annoying. But once past the start of the tunnel, you are walking for quite some time through the bush which is much more enjoyable.
Yarra River Trail. Very long trail, starting at the CBD and ending up at Warburton which is about 85k. About 30 minutes past Westerfolds Park you can call into Petty’s Orchard for a coffee and some wonderful cakes and slices.
Gardiners Creek from its source in Nunawading through to its entry into the Yarra.
Tracking Railway Lines:
Caulfield down to Dandenong on the Pakenham Line (Some of is under the new elevated line.)
Mordialloc through to Seaford on the Frankston line; partly along the line but branching out to walk through the wetlands around the Patterson Lakes (Again can see the community facilities developed under the elevated sections of the line. Some wonderful water birds can be seen.) even a quail or two!
Frankston starts here and follows the Stony Creek line as far as the Freeway.
Box Hill to Ringwood A bit of navigation on roads needed between Laburnum and Blackburn. This is the start of one of the ways we walk out to Lilydale.
Capital City Circuit
Eastlink Trail Although I try to avoid the tracks along freeways since I don’t like the constant hum of traffic we have to walk some of them for some distance since they are colinear with other tracks; e.g. Eastlink and Dandenong Creek tracks are one and the same for some distance.
Road and Bay Walks:
We often taken one of the main roads that cut through Melbourne suburbs and walk its lengths, such as Warrigal Road from Surrey Hills down to the bay in Mordialloc, Waterdale Road starting near the Yarra in Ivanhoe, High Street starting Clifton Hill and heading out to Epping and further. You can also walk various sections around the bay, from Williamstown around through to Frankston. One of the most interesting sections is from the CBD in and out of Docklands and through to Port Melbourne. It’s a great way to see the wonderful variety and history that makes up Melbourne.
One of our favourite walks that we do each year is Surrey Hills to Lilydale. We follow the railway line to Ringwood, where there are two routes you can take. You can either get onto the Mullum Mullum track and then navigate through streets across the Croydon Hills until descending into Lilydale, or walk around the Ringwood Lake, navigating your way to the start of the old aqueduct and taking this in a straight line towards Olinda, but you will need to leave the track and head off through the streets to get into Lilydale. We normally head down near the Lilydale Lake where we enjoy a lunch by the lake or at a local café.
As with any activity plan, be prepared, wear the appropriate shoes and clothing and of course physical fitness is a key to enjoying the great outdoors. And who knows you just meet a quail on the trail reading the mail!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.