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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Churchill Natioal Park - the Lagoon

Old stone pathway to the lagoon and swimming area

 My visit on June 6. 2017.

It is not commonly knokwn, but a lagoon once exlsted in the Churchill National Park, adjacent to the present-day picnic area. The Lagoon is now totally dry - water entered it via an open channel originating from a long-gone storage dam high up in the hill near North Boundary Track. The channel crossed the disused Dandenong Aqueduct in a 9" pipe -  a section of the pipe survives and passes under the Aqueduct  Walking Track. The lower end of the channel passes beneath Link Track in a cement pipe, near the HV power line towers.

The Lagoon was once used for swimming on the 1940s  -  a circuit walking track of about 350 m (Nature Walk) now passes through past of the lagoon site - this starts at the main car-park, and includes three short boardwalks. Remains of the stone pathway to the Lagoon survive, behind the toilet block.

Overflow from the Lagoon was via a watercourse (creek) which starts near the present-day toilet block -  this passed under Army Track through a 19" cement pipe, and continued as open channel through the Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve to the Dandenong Creek at Brady Rd. The Army Track crossing is easily located, immediately adjacent to the barrier gate at the end of the carpark.

After leaving Army Track, the channel passes under Churchill Park Drive.

The Channel passed through the site of the 7th Australian Scout Jamboree, held for nine days in 1964-65 in Police Paddocks Reserve, attended by some 16,000 scouts. Waste water from the campsites entered the channel.

The original site layout plan for the Jamboree shows a temporary "Jamboree Pump House" located next to the Army Track undercrossing - this is now in thick bushland. and is unreachable! It is thought that this contained some form of mechanical pump to increase the flow from the lagoon, as it is known that the channel silted up on its way through the Jamboree area.

Channel Crossing under Army Rd
Remains of fence around Jamboree Pump Hut site
Army Rd, channel crossing just past the gate
Remains of old fence in Lagoon area
Lagoon site
Lagoon site
Lagoon site
Lagoon site
Car park on Army Rd
Lagoon site (yellow outline)
Lagoon site, looking from the north

Old pipe which fed water to Lagoon, crossing the disused Dandenong Aqueduct

1 comment:

  1. Howdy Bob, very interesting article and quite amazing, great set of photos too and thanks for sharing! Best regards! Michael