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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Exploring Yarran Dheran

Yarran Dheran is a reserve situated on the southern bank of the Mullum Mullum Creek in the north eastern corner of the City of Whitehorse, about 18 km east from the Melbourne CBD

The western end of the Reserve was a quarry and then the local tip and the vegetation has almost all been planted since 1970. Much is indigenous to the area, but non-indigenous plants have also been used. The area further east is mainly natural bush, although some non-indigenous native species have been planted.

Pre white settlement of Victoria, the Mullum Mullum Creek would certainly have been occupied by aborigines of the Wurundjeri tribe. Until recently there has been no direct evidence in the area of Yarran Dheran, but during the construction of the new Deep Creek Road bridge over the Mullum Mullum Creek in 2001 a greenstone aboriginal axehead was found. There is now a designated aboriginal site between 2 piers of the bridge.

One of the earliest white settlers in the area was August Schwerkolt, who built the still existing Schwerkolt Cottage to the east of Yarran Dheran in 1863. The Cottage was built of local stone, quarried from small quarries along the Mullum Mullum Creek. About this time, a larger quarry began to operate in what is now the eastern part of Yarran Dheran, although this was probably not the quarry used by Schwerkolt. The quarry seems to have begun operations in 1934 and may have been used until about 1955. The old quarry site was used as a municipal land fill from 1955 Its use for this purpose continued until approximately 1963.

In 1969 the City of Nunawading asked the Blackburn and District Tree Preservation Society to look for a site within the municipality which could be used as a botanic garden for Australian plants, similar to the Maranoa Gardens in Balwyn.

The Society chose the old tip site and adjacent land and recommended that the name of the reserve be Yarran Dheran, the aboriginal words for Wattle Valley, the name of the adjacent road. The Council accepted these recommendations.

For further information about the Park, please see

I visited this interesting Park on November 7, 2007, exploring 4 km of the various tracks and the Scherkolt Cottage Historical Reserve.

My photos of the trip are at Yarran Dheran Album

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