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Thursday, September 07, 2006

O'Shannassy Aqueduct Track - Cement Creek to Warburton Section

The O'Shannassy Aqueduct was built in the period 1911-1915, for supplying water to Melbourne from the O'Shannassy Dam along a 78 km route to the Surrey Hills Reservoir.

It included some 37 km of open channel, as well as pipelines, syphons and tunnels, and transported some 20 million gallons daily.

It was decomissioned in the late 1990s.

The 18 km open channel sector between the Cement Creek Rd (east of Warburton), and the Don Rd point (north of Launching Place), was transferred from Melbourne Water to Parks Victoria in August 2006.

That sector is now officially available for recreational use by walkers and horseriders, even though it had been used for those purposes for some months prior to the formal transfer of management responsibility.

It is popularly known as the "O'Shannassy Aqueduct Track", and generally follows the 280m contour. Many interesting artefacts of the installation remain, including the unique Trestle Bridge, Caretaker's Cottages, control machinery, bluestone walls, bridges to former timber mills, large plantations of pines, and syphons.

The views across the Upper Yarra Valley are superb, as the track winds its way along the flanks of Mts Victoria, Boobyalla, Donna Buang, and Ben Cairn.

The pictures were taken on September 5, 2006, on a 4 km (8 km return) hike from the Cement Creek access gate to a point near the junction with the Donna Buang Rd.

I have now completed the entire public-access 18 km track (36 km return), which took me six trips, spread over several weeks.

Please see the Photo Album at

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