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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Orchard Track, Pound Bend,Warrandyte State Park

On Saturday afternoon June 27, 2009, I went over to the Pound Bend Section of the Warrandyte State park, 25 km east of the Melbourne CBD.

My task was to investigate and explore the site of the former large farm and orchard, which occupies the extreme easterly end of the Pound Bend Peninsula, adjacent to the Yarra River.

Parks Victoria owns and manages this area, and their depot, workshops, stores, and buildings are located there.

Two interesting walking tracks were explored - the Orchard West Track, and the Farm Circuit Track.

Access to these Tracks is from a small car park at the start of unsigned Tank Track, opposite the main gate of the Parks Victoria facility, at the end of sealed Pound Bend Rd.

Orchard West Track leads down to the river, and then westerly through the site of the former orchard, ending at high impassable cliffs near the Pound Bend Tunnel.

Directly opposite is the Norman's Bushland Reserve, and the Rapids.

Many of the original orchard plantings have survived, but are being overgrown by weeds.

Gold mining at Pound Bend ceased in 1909, agriculture stopped in 1985, and grazing ceased in 1996.

The Farm Circuit Track leads off from the Orchard West Track, and follows the perimeter of the old farm around a large cleared area, next to the river. This track ultimately ends at a small gate at the junction of the Pound Bend Walking Track, which is followed up the hill to the YHA cairn. From there it is a short distance do the car park.

Large mobs of Eastern Grey Kangaroos reside in this area!

The first Youth Hostel in Australia was at this location, built in 1940, but no trace remains.

The total walking distance was about 4 km, through this section of the Park which is not often visited by hikers.

There are no signs, but the tracks are shown in the Parks Vic Management Plan. The Plan states that it is not intended to develop the orchard site for day visitors.

See the full set of Photos of my visit.

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