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Thread: New to Melbourne, where to go?

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    New to Melbourne, where to go?

    Hi there!

    I'm after some urban and bush landscapes in and around Melbourne! I've just moved here from Canberra without actually visiting beforehand... apart from one weekend spent at Harbour Town including one brief trip to the CBD and aquarium... (I know, that sounds really weird, but it's just how it happened...) So I am a complete noob when it comes to Melbourne!! I haven't brought a car with me, so I'm limited to trains and other public transport, and if I'm lucky, a friends vehicle, so I am wondering if anyone has some suggestions for where I can go to get some awesome urban and bush landscapes?

    FYI for orientation purposes, I am living in the inner West, and work in the inner East of the city, and I'm happy to take some day trips

    Thanks in advance, I'm really looking forward to getting out there!!
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    Definitely interested in finding a lovely non urban bushwalking track within half a day's travel from melbourne!

    Thanks for your help

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    Member TraamisVOS's Avatar
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    The easiest and most accessible bush landscape (that I know of, I'm sure there are plenty more) is Westerfolds Park. On a good day you'll find a whole bunch of wild kangaroos just loafing around. If you're really lucky, you'll catch a koala or a wombat or an echidna wandering about. I've personally seen them before but very very rare and only if you know where to look.

    Or there is the more obvious Botanic Gardens I suppose, but that's more of an artificial (but beautiful) setting I suppose.

    There are some awesome beautiful country in the Dandenongs. If you want a great introduction to this region, catch the Puffing Billy train, put a day aside and catch the train from where it starts all the way through to the end of the line, and then catch it back. It's a very nice trip with lots of photo opportunities.

    Also, check out the wineries in Yarra Valley, like for example Domaine Chandon. Beautiful winery region over there and only a couple of hours away depending on where you're starting from.
    Last edited by TraamisVOS; 04-04-2011 at 8:43pm.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Westerfolds is nice.


    (note: car required!!)
    Another park to check out and is probably the closest to 'real Aussie' bushland that is easily and quickly accessible(from the inner West), is Woodlands Park up near the airport.
    You catch the freeway up to the airport, staying on the Tullamarine freeway(not the Calder!!) and go past the airport up towards Sunbury.
    Once past the airport and on the Sunbury section of the Tullamarine fwy, you then hit a roundabout at the northern end of the airport perimeter.
    The airport is on your left, as you drive up the freeway, Woodlands Park is the fenced off bushy looking block of land on your right. Turn right at the roundabout and the park is still on your right. about a klm of two further past the roundabout you turn right again and will be on a road called.

    Slightly further out and in a more Westerly direction is the best bushland park 'near Melbourne'. It's called the YouYangs, and is basically a small mountain range with more tracks and walks than you could do in a day anyhow. That is, if you're fit enough, it will probably leave you wanting to go back for more. Again, a very Aussie bushland bush land type.. not the more green lush fern forests typical of the Dandenongs.
    From inner West, along the Princess Fwy towards Geelong.. I reckon about an hour(if you take it easy and enjoy the ride that is).
    Heading South West towards Geelong, you turn off the freeway at Little River. Very well marked and sign posted.. so you won't get lost getting there! Note tho the YouYangs closes it's gates at about 4PM or so, but despite this you can still 'stay in there' after closing time.. as long as you enter the park before closing time. The gate to enter is locked, but there is an open gate/grid to get out basically at any time you like. Great clear vistas at the top of the peaks and so forth.
    The latest I've staggered out of the park has been at about 7-8PM(was there rather late and then did a few late moon type shots).

    Another easily accessible(by train) park to the 'inner west' is the largish wetlands/lake at Altona called Cherry Lake. I don't see it as much of a 'bushland' myself, but there is some, and the creative photographer will always make something out of nothing. Train ride to get there is the Werribee line, where you get off at Altona(stn) and walk about 5-10mins north to the civic centre and slightly beyond into the park. Downside is that the background may be filled with large industrial strength oil refinery blurriness dreadful location for a nice shallow waterbird filled /lake/swamp/wetlands.

    Just to be sure.. when you say within half a days travel ... do you mean half a day travel for each way, or in total(return trip?)
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I moved your thread, The state based member meets forums are for arranging meets between AP members only. Your post is not arranging a member meet.
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    Member cfm's Avatar
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    How fit are you? Most of these would need a car.
    Churchill and Lysterfield park are ok, but fringed by the suburbs.
    Catch a train to Ferntree Gully, walk the 1000 steps.
    Catch a train to Belgrave, then walk up through Grants Picnic Ground or up one of the ridge walks to Sherbrooke falls.
    Head up to Olinda or Sassafras on Mt Dandenong, lots of isolated tracks in there off the east side of the mountain.
    More wilderness? Head up to Marysville, and look at the bushfire recovery.
    To the west, places around Bacchus Marsh have some isolated pockets of true bush. Lerderderg Gorge also.

    See if you can find the book "Bushwalking in Melbourne by Public Transport", a few decades old but might help.
    Last edited by cfm; 05-04-2011 at 1:44pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    There's a good walking track that leads from williamstown along the Yarra, then along the Maribyrnong through footscray and out past Avondale heights. The train will get you to Wiliamstown, Newport or Footscray at one end and trams/buses at the Avondale Heights end. Or start at Avondale Heights and head north through Brimbank park, etc:

    In the other direction, whilst you wont see much wildlife, Studley park in Kew should be pretty at this time of year, particularly around the studley park boathouse
    Last edited by Boo53; 05-04-2011 at 3:33pm. Reason: typo

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    You guys are legends!!
    Thank you so much, I am going to make all of these ideas into a list and tick them off! Have heard about the Dandenongs, and even the name of Ferntree Gully lures me in.... Looking forward to the Puffing Billy train ride, and I'm actually located near Footscray at the moment so I think my first trip will be heading down to Williamstown!! (thanks John R!)

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Williamstown is great for architectural stuff(lots of historic buildings and so forth), not much in the way of bushland tho. Your car will rust to pieces if you live there for more than 20 years too!
    It's a very 'seaside' suburb and there are some very nice vantage points for seascaping here and there, but most of the shoreline is ruined by the industrial mayhem of petrochemical refineries and the massive logistics and docklands hub if you are looking back towards the city.

    Depending on exactly which part of Footscray you are located in, there is a nice easy bushy(fair stretch of the term bush, mind you!) walk along the Maribyrnong river from the parklands along Ballarat road at the junction with Geelong rd.(Victoria University is the major landmark there!!) This is only 5-10mins walk from the heart of the main shopping district in Footscray, and all you need do is to walk down to the river(Flemington racecourse is on the opposite river bank).
    From there you walk north-west.. away from the city(skyline) along the riverbank. I wouldn't say that there's much in the way of a day or half day trip there, but there is a wetland, some trees(that could be mistaken for a bit of bush) and a very nice boardwalk/biketrack. This track goes for miles, and as one other person posted, if you are fit and game will end up about 15-20klms out at Brimbank Park(if my failing, non parky, non bike riding, arthritic memory serves me well). Brimbank Park(again from memory.. is a bushy park, but more of a picnic ground.)

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    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    Arthur

    The path along the Maribyrnong is the same one I described, but you can actually start it Williamstown

    emzlouise

    You could also join a walking club to see some of these areas, and more.

    My wife & I occasionally walk with a club that "specialises" in day walks of 10-14km. They walk each Sunday from Feb to November, sometimes in the City & sometimes in the Bush. Membership isn't much and you could generally get a lift

    Whilst the club we walk with (Ramblers) has a fairly old membership (average age in 50's, some in their 70's & 80's) I'm sure there would be others with a younger age range.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boo53 View Post
    Arthur

    The path along the Maribyrnong is the same one I described, but you can actually start it Williamstown

    ....
    Aha!
    (I know the path(s), but never really use a lot of it/them.. only in bits and pieces)

    Even tho the path may begin in Willy, the sections that run through the industrialised areas may not really appeal all that much.
    Alternatively you could use the industrialised areas(power facilities, oil refineries, and other general industrial wastelands) as contrasting backdrops I suppose, but having been to many of these areas, I personally don't find them appealing or useful all that much.
    The walk from Willy to Footscray would take a good three hours(??) and even a ride on the bike would take at least an hour I reckon.

    There are many (historic) architectural sites to be found along the walk tho and even the odd tourist attraction with a hint of architectural interest in the form of the artist's centre along the Maribyrnong river in Footscray, just before you reach Dynon Road.

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    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    I've walked from the Canning Street reserve in Avondale heights to the Artists collective in Footscay, took about 4 hours including a stop for lunch, from memory. Lots of Parkland and playing fields along the river. As the track goes under the western railway line there is a Budhist temple (sort of) that is quite interesting as well.

    From the Ferguson St Pier (Williamstown) to scraga (Footscrays polite nickname from the 50's) is a 2 hour walk, any longer and its not a walk, just an amble

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    I see that urban landscapes are part of your query as well, so keep the CBD in mind, along with Southbank and Docklands. You'll get your share of old shops (CBD) as well as contemporary architecture on the latter (newer) areas. Take some short lenses.

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    Site Rules Breach - Permanent Ban Tatts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Another park to check out and is probably the closest to 'real Aussie' bushland that is easily and quickly accessible(from the inner West), is Woodlands Park up near the airport.
    I only live about 15-20 minutes from here and didn't even know about it. Will have to head down and check it out, thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Slightly further out and in a more Westerly direction is the best bushland park 'near Melbourne'. It's called the YouYangs, and is basically a small mountain range with more tracks and walks than you could do in a day anyhow.
    A guy i work with loves the YouYangs, he seems to go down there almost every weekend to go mountainbike riding. I was speaking to him on Friday and he told me that after the rains earlier in the year some old drainage pipes on the fire tracks (something along those lines) had been exposed and contained asbestos, so the park, at least the parts he goes to, is closed until repairs can be made. If you are planning on heading down there check out to make sure that they are open.

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    Thanks for that one, Arthurking! I actually go to Vic Uni and live along Geelong road, I should check out the surrounding area one day when I'm procrastinating about attending lectures haha... That is very handy!!
    Last edited by emzlouise; 27-04-2011 at 8:58pm.

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