27 September 2010


Tuesday 27 July 2010
Lilydale to Woori Yallock
26km / Approx 7 hours
My photos

Dear Diary,

Today we walked out of the city.

This is the entry I jokingly suggested I should write after the fifth day of our walk, which took us from Lilydale station through outer suburbia and remnants of bushland, over a filled-in aqueduct, past the place my mum went to school as a kid, around the other side of Mt Dandenong, along great stretches of rail trail, through a tunnel of early-spring wattle blossoms, squeezed us down the valley at the foot of the Warramate Hills, and then spat us out into the fertile river flats and gently rolling vineyards of the Yarra Valley near Woori Yallock. After all of my philosophising about what 'the city' might mean or be, it seemed clear enough (as the honey light from the setting sun warmed our backs, and a gentle breeze wafted the fresh smells of damp earth and cow shit around us) that we were no longer in it.

before picture with pie!

Because it was going to be a long walk (the longest day on our walk out of the city), and because there was a lot of transport to coordinate (especially on the return journey), D, M and I took the train out to Lilydale early-ish in the morning. We started walking at about 10am after finding some coffee and pastries (including an ENORMOUS custard tart). The plan was to follow the Lilydale-Warburton Rail Trail most of the day, with one detour around a small section of the Mount Evelyn Aqueduct Walk, and to arrive in Woori Yallock before sunset!

d & j near the start of the warburton trail
D and J at the start of the rail trail at the end of Lilydale Station carpark

mount dandenong from the side!
As we approached Mount Evelyn, Mount Dandenong was in full view - odd to see it from the 'side' rather than the 'front'!

Walking the rail trail was a very informative experience. Most (if not all) of the old stations exist as the outlines of platforms, grass overrunning them, with a large sign proclaiming the station name, and often a few picnic benches nearby. There are many information points along the way, too, telling you about the history of particular areas and buildings.

Mount Evelyn station
Mount Evelyn Station has a great display of historical information.

first aid post reserve
First Aid Post Reserve - they used to have first aid 'competitions' here!

One of the personally significant aspects of this walk for me was getting the chance to explore the area where my mum lived as a kid (after her family migrated from the Netherlands). I remember hearing stories about her childhood, and walking through the area gave me more of an appreciation of that family history. For one thing, since I grew up in the bush, I've always thought of Mount Evelyn as being suburban - and it is, but barely! It is on the very outskirts of town, backing onto farmland. I wonder if it felt more isolated in the 1950s and 1960s, or if there is a feeling of community there that is not possible to observe when you're just passing through.

Mount Evelyn aquaduct
Mount Evelyn Aqueduct Walk: the aqueduct has been filled in, but this is still a lovely tunnel of tranquillity!

morning tea, mount evelyn
Morning tea, just the other side of Mount Evelyn.

From here, the trail runs to Wandin North, hemmed in on both sides with rural acreages, scraps of bushland, and hillside paddocks.

wattle tunnel


At Wandin North we stopped for a small break and to use the toilets at the cafe. We would pass back through here on the bus later in the evening and decide that this might be a good spot to bring visitors for a nice walk - Wandin North to Woori Yallock is around 12km. Not only would it be an easy walk that takes in some of the most contrasting bits of the trail, you would also get to see the pigs outside the hardware store at WN and visit Carriage Cafe in Seville.

pigs going shopping

Carriage Cafe, Seville

i love this picture

seville song and dance 1

Despite the fact we had our lunch with us, we had to pop in to Carriage Cafe for a hot chocolate. It is exactly my sort of thing - seemingly randomly situated next to the rail trail, and obviously catering for trail users. There's even a place to tether your horse!

It was after Seville that we walked out of the valley and into the wide expanse of the Yarra River flats. The following few pictures give an idea of the contrast:

d & m & a stripy track

the long straight path: ahead

impressionists, eat your hearts out

d & m near killara

the view opening up

We definitely felt as though we'd left the city, and a sign for the RURAL code of conduct proved us right! Apart from the obvious visuals, the scents and sounds seemed to provide the different atmosphere - grass and farm smells, the sounds of breezes across the valley and of cattle in the distance. We admired the vineyards, the Yarra Ranges in the background, the sunlight streaming past us, the horses crossing the long bridge, the creek burbling alongside us. . .

Rural Code of Conduct.

like an ad for the yarra valley, really

we three shadows

sunset bridge and tree

Woori Yallock Creek, possibly.

. . . and trudged onwards to Woori Yallock, to collapse in the bus shelter and wait to be taken back to Lilydale Station. Apparently, there had been chaos on Melbourne public transport that day, but we had missed it all. We felt a little smug about that!

Woori Yallock station

after pic 2: somewhat refreshed

Today we totally did walk out of the city!


  1. Wow, nice, I should visit Australia sometime. I love hiking so much. I wonder if all the trails over there are flat like that?

    Here is my post about the last trail I walked :)

  2. Thanks for the comment! There is plenty of amazing walking to be done here, and not a lot of it is flat at all! This particular trail is flat because it's an old railway line.