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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Crooked Creek Walking Track, East Warburton

These pix were taken on September 2, 2012.

They show the scenery and environment along a 2 km (return) section of the Crooked Creek Walking Track, East Warburton, about 70 km east of Melbourne.

Bill Downey's Mill

The Crooked Creek Track is the alignment of the timber tramway carrying timber using a horse-team from Bill Downey's Mill, some 3 km upstream from the Woods Point Rd. Road trucks then took the timber to Warburton.

The 1939 fires destroyed much of the forest above the Mill, which was forced to close.

The old tramway alignment is now a walking track, known as the Crooked Creek Fireline, following the creek gully - it is accessed by a gate at the Woods Point Rd, about 1 km east of the O'Shannassy Lodge Rd.

The Yarra-Silvan Conduit crosses the Track.


When most of the accessable timber was being quickly removed from the forests near to Warburton by the mid-1920s, timber cutting atttention was then being given to the areas further to the east, beyond East Warburton.

In the Upper Yarra area, from as early as 1902, many mills operated along Braham's Creek, Crooked Creek, Starvation Creek and McMahon 's Creek, which are on the south side of the present-day Warburton to Woods Point Rd.

Mills also operated along on the north side of the Woods Point Rd. including the Cement Creek East and West Branches, and in the area which was later absorbed by the O'Shannassy Reservoir.

However, much of the timber in those regions had been cut out by the late 1920s, with some mills having been destroyed in the fires of 1925/1926.

A few mills still operated to the late 1930s, but the 1939 fires ravaged the area and were lost.

Timber from these mills was usually transported along tramways, to link with the main tramway along the Woods Point Rd. This operated until the late 1920s, and extended from the junction of the Warburton Steam Railway to Braham's Creek.

Many of these tramways ultimately became part of present-day Melbourne Water's network of management roads, with no public vehicle access.

In 1967, the water catchment areas in the region were closed to public access, to improve flow into the O'Shannassy Aqueduct, augmenting Melbourne's main supply.

In the decades since, there has been extensive regrowth, which is apparent on the northern side of the Aqueduct Trail, between the Cement Creek Rd entry point, all the way to the O'Shannassy Weir.

See all of the Photos of my visit!

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