8 April 2009


So, before we set off on our third attempt to walk to Gellibrand Hill, I thought I’d post a few pictures of the last time we were in Woodlands Historic Park. First, a map:

We had originally planned to come back from the Port Fairy Folk Festival on the Monday, but E was ill, so we came home on Sunday night, thus leaving us with a spare day. So SJ, D and I drove up to Woodlands for a shorter walk – we had a time constraint.

the usual 'before' picture

We first headed in a bit of a roundabout way to Woodlands Historic Homestead, where they keep old champion racehorses, I guess so they (the horses) don’t get sent off to be made into glue/dogfood.

woodlands homestead: please shut gate

At the homestead they also have a little coffee-spot, which was a welcome surprise to us, and is worth keeping in mind for longer walks. The homestead isn’t far from the major carparks, however, so it would probably not work so well as a lunch spot, unless you were lunching before going on an afternoon walk, or at the end of a morning walk. The grounds are quite nice, there are toilets (including an accessible toilet), and friendly magpies to keep you company.

magpie at woodlands homestead 2

We also did a bit of an off-path wander to get to the top of the rock at the top of the hill behind the homestead, which afforded us views of the sweeping horizon, particularly to the north and west.

we left the city behind

on this loveliest day of days

Once again, our Melways map didn’t quite match up to the maps beside the trail, and neither of them quite matched up with what was on the ground. Nevertheless, we found the wildlife fence without too much angst, and once inside we saw a mob of kangaroos grazing close to the path! No Eastern Barred Bandicoots, though.

any damage will reduce its effectiveness

We wandered down towards Gellibrand Hill, getting ever closer to the runways of Tullamarine (Melbourne) Airport. It was quite bizarre to be wandering through this peaceful bushland, then look up and see a jet coming in to land!

smell the serenity: woodlands vs tullamarine

In the end, due to time restrictions, we gave Gellibrand Hill a miss, opting to have a leisurely lunch, then walking quite speedily alongside the fence most of the way back.

d & sj, rehydrating in the blazing sun

We did pause, though, when we saw a pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles right beside the path. THOSE THINGS ARE BLOODY BIG!!! It was quite exciting to see them both perching (roosting? sitting?) in a tree/on the fence, then watch as they took off. We were close enough to see the size of their legs, too. I don’t have pictures, because I was too busy looking!

We also passed a horse and rider – the horse being extremely jumpy and shy, we gave them a wide berth, then took a short cut that actually worked (!) back to the carpark. It was a good day.

More photos can be found by clicking here!


You might also notice that we have a new recruit to walking in our sidebar: Nicholas (who I visited in Italy), and his blog Ambulation of Mind.

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