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Sunday, April 01, 2012

Exploring the Currawong Bush Park, Doncaster East

These pix were taken on March 31, 2012, in the Currawong Bush Park.

It's an important riparian bushland park, located in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne on the borders of Doncaster East, Warrandyte and Donvale, on the eastern bank of the Mullum Mullum Creek.

The park is important for a number of reasons, it comprises 59 hectares of remnant bushland and hosts many archaeological sites concerning the pre-European inhabitants of the area.

The major threats to the park's ecology are introduced species of flora and fauna such as foxes, rabbits, dogs and cats.

It is a popular destination for school and community groups and is frequented by local bush walkers. It once housed a group of kangaroos in its wildlife enclosure, however due to funding cuts, the park can no longer be managed full time by a park ranger and the enclosure was closed.

An archaeological survey of aboriginal sites within City of Manningham by Ellender in 1991, discovered evidence of the presence of the Wurundjeri people in the park, in the form of four scarred trees. Scarred trees are trees from which bark or heartwood has been removed to make a wooden artefact such as a shield, canoe or container.

An aboriginal stone artefact was also found along the Mullum Mullum Creek. The Wurundjeri were part of the Kulin nation, comprising the main tribes living within about a 150 km radius of Melbourne. The Wurundjeri are of the Woiworung tribe, one of five Kulin tribes, each of whom had their own land and language.

More recent history shows the building housing the Ranger's Residence, Park Office and Conference Room as a building of State historical significance. It is a fine example of the innovative and influential design work of the distinguished Victorian architect Geoffrey Trewenack. It has sometimes mistakenly been attributed to the Victorian Architect, Kevin Borland. The house was built by Robin and Bunty Elder, in 1959. They resided there until approx 1969, when the property was acquired as a public park.

The park sits on the eastern bank of the Mullum Mullum Creek, from the creek itself along the flat banks and up the hillside. The hillside is faulted by two gullies that flow into the Mullum Mullum; Go-betweens Gully and Amersham Gully. The Mullum Mullum Creek Linear Park sits on the opposite bank of the Mullum Mullum Creek to the west.

My visit was a 3 km circuit hike, starting at the main car park, down to Miller's Pond, up the very steep management track under the main transmission lines to the hilltop, then down the fire management track to Killjoy's Track, and back to home base.

There are good views across the valley from the hilltop.

The Sanctuary area and kangaroo enclosure have become derelict, and the former stockyard fencing has deteriorated.

The information boards and rustic bench-seats remain intact.

See the complete set of Photos of my visit and my YouTube video.

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