Now part of the Yarra Ranges National Park, the O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail is a long, step-on, step-off 27 km walking/cycling/horse route starting at Don Rd, Launching Place, and ending at the O'Shannassy Reservoir, about 80 km east of Melbourne, past the town of Warburton.
The Aqueduct was constructed between 1911 and 1915, and decommissioned in 1997. The maintenance track, known as Road 18, has been opened up progressively for walkers, horse-riders and cyclists, following transfer of land ownership from Melbourne Water to Parks Victoria.
The Trail passes through magnificent Mountain Ash forest, past fern gullies, with excellent views across the Yarra Valley towards Mt Little Joe and the mountains near Big Pats Creek. It winds its way around the base of Mt Donna Buang, Mt Victoria and Ben Cairn, passing many aqueduct engineering works, bridges, syphons, huts, distance marker posts and old maintenance sheds.
New access gates for management vehicles and walkers have been built at various locations along the route.
Sadly, there has been massive encroachment of vegetation, fallen trees, branches, and weeds in sections of the Aqueduct.
I have completed 23 km of the Trail - 46 km return, over several trips!
On Wednesday afternoon September 2, 2009, I reviewed a section of the Trail, starting at the access point at the newly constructed gate at the crossing on the Acheron Way.
I hiked about 2 km to the east, my turnaround point, 4 km in all.
See all of the Photos of my visit!
A comprehensive set of Trail Notes, and detailed maps, may be downloaded from the Parks Victoria Web site:
The history and development of the aqueduct may be viewed at