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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Visit to Historical Pound Bend, Warrandyte State Park

Yarra River Rapids

The Tunnel

Warrandyte, 20km east of the Melbourne CBD, is the site of Victoria's first gold discovery. The find at Anderson's Creek by Louis Michel in 1851, marked the start of the Victorian gold rush and an influx of people into the area.

The approximate location of the site is marked by a cairn on Fourth Hill in the Warrandyte State Park.

Another major location of gold in Warrandyte and Melbourne was the Yarra River. All through Warrandyte the river shows signs of being exploited, a classic example is the tunnel at Pound Bend.

The Pound Bend Tunnel was created in 1870 by a goldmining company in order to divert the course of the Yarra River, thereby enabling the exploitation of the old riverbed. It is now a popular swimming spot.

The river was partially dammed at Pound Bend near Norman's Reserve at its eastern entrance and near Bob's wetlands at its western exit. Miners then blasted a 300m long tunnel through solid rock. The river was then fully dammed at the entrance and exit to the tunnel and water was diverted through 300m and out the other side leaving an astonishing 3.85km of riverbed around Pound Bend exposed to the sun and the miners picks.

The Pound Bend Reserve is popular in summer. There are grassy areas for picnicking, a walking track along the river which supplies access to koalas and a variety of flora, toilets (including disabled facilities), information boards, canoeing, swimming and horseriding opportunities and a nature walk.

I visited this interesting historical place on November 23, 2007, completing a 3km hike along the river bank.

The full set of photos is at Pound Bend Hike

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