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Saturday, April 03, 2010

A hike into Bob's Wetlands, Warrandyte State Park

Yarra cliffs

The old farm

The Wetlands
Bob's Wetlands is in the Warrandyte State Park, adjacent to the north bank of the Yarra River, about 30 km from Melbourne town.

It is one of several river locations in the Park, and is located on the site of a former large farming property, acquired by Parks Victoria.

The property occupies about 36 Ha (100 acres).

It extends from opposite the Pound Bend Canoe Launching Ramp and Pound Bend Tunnel, to a point opposite the Longridge Camping Farm.

It is reached from the end of unsealed Gwynn's Rd, North Warrandyte, where there is a "Parks Victoria - Management Vehicles Only" sign across a locked gate.

It is necessary to climb over the gate or go through a broken fence.

Gwynn's Rd becomes a 4WD track past the gate.

Immediately adjacent to the gate, on the top of the hill, are the remains of an old house - an elaborate stonework fence remains along what was once a driveway. The remnants of a wooden staircase are nearby, which may have led down from a verandah.

The 4WD track winds its way down the hill, to the site of the former farm.

The foundations of the farmhouse are visible on the left.

The track continues past the old farm, reaching the Yarra, and follows the river.

Bob's Wetlands are soon reached, with the sounds of frogs singing in pools and surrounded by green reeds.

The track continues to an old windmill, about 20 metres tall, originally used to pump water from the Yarra to the farm, up on the hill. Broken wooden boardwalks lead from the 4WD track to the windwmill.

The track vanishes past the windmill, my turnaround point - it might be posssible to scrub-bash past that point along the the river, which could eventually lead to the end of Laughing Waters Rd, Eltham South, still in the Park.

I returned the same way, inspecting the abandoned out-buildings and other structures, which included a large storage shed, a derelict workshop, a concrete water tank, an old water pump, junked electrical cables, piles of bluestone rocks, and a cattle loading ramp.

At one time, the property was connected to the commercial electricity supply, via an underground cable starting at the end of Gwynn's Rd.

In the workshop were many old wooden military-type boxes, with stencilled lables of what they had once contained. One contained "11,275 annealed 9 mm brass cups - 55 kg"!

Writing on a wall-board in the garage listed an inventory of farm supplies, such as 16 50 kg bags of super lime, gum arabic, bags of seeds and 16 3 kg bags of seed inoculate.

Further research is needed to determine the history of this property!

Broken old bricks at the site have markings on them, which I will try to decipher to establish a timeline!

My hike was about 6 km in total, in a section of the Park which is seldom visited. Access from the river by canoe would be easier!

The track is not shown in Melway's or Parks Vic maps, and little is known about it.

See all of the Photos of my visit!

To se a Location Map - click the link at the bottm of this article!

1 comment:

  1. Its Glynns Road North Warrandyte, not "Gwynn's Road.