Mel 21 G12
Commences from the car-park on the Petty’s Orchard (or south-east) side of the Fitzsimons Lane bridge. If coming from Eltham, to enter the car-park drive across the bridge, and use the first left-turning exit. If coming from Templestowe, drive past Westerfolds Park and use the last left-turning exit before crossing the bridge.
Note: If using the sealed path for most of this walk, a pole will not be needed. However, if the narrow earth paths are used for most of the walk, tree roots that have been exposed by erosion can result in tripping up, in which case a pole would be useful.
Walk west (towards the city) under Fitzsimons Lane bridge. Stay on the sealed pathway, past the toilet block, and past the picnic area on the left. A trail and transmission lines follow the river. Instead of following the main Yarra Trail, take a sealed path that veers left, and walk up the slight rise. At the top, there are more picnic facilities and an information board. Walk across the grass towards a car-park, rather than continuing to follow the sealed path. From this car-park, the trail off to the right, or straight ahead (depending on where you are standing in the car-park) leads to the so-called ‘Home Show’ – a series of stopping points with descriptive boards indicating where animals resident in the park have their burrows and nests. Follow the ‘Home Show’ trail for about 10 minutes of walking. Along the way, you will cross a small creek (Kestrel Creek), and pass a number of information boards on the animals in the area. At a slight rise and a T junction, join a path that is coming up from a car-park. Turn right here, and follow a gradually rising path to a large red-brick building which used to be the Mia Mia Gallery and café. Walk around this, such that the building with fence and garden remains on your left. At the top (and alongside the rear of the building) veer slightly (not acutely) right, and head downhill, initially alongside the sealed roadway, then across grass to exit the park at Porter Street. Turn right here, and walk along Porter St, with houses on your left, and the park on your right. After 300m, use the gate to re-enter Westerfolds Park. Follow the narrow earth track for about 1km. The path eventually heads steeply down to re-join the main Yarra Trail, and close-by on the left a bridge over the Yarra R. This is a good point at which to pause, and perhaps have a drink.
Retrace your steps to walk off the bridge, and then look for a narrow earth path on the left and off the main Yarra Trail. You now have a choice either to continue on the main Yarra Trail (immediately ahead), or to follow the earth path. If the latter, walk about 1km to a viewing platform. Continue on the earth path for a further 1.2km, before re-joining the main sealed trail.
Walk under the Fitzsimons Lane Bridge to return to the cars (immediately on your right).