This was our first outing to stretch our legs having just arrived in Melbourne. It was only a short walk from O'Grady Street over NE towards The Esplanade. The streets here are lined with shady Gum Trees and and the gardens are overflowing with bright flowers. At The Esplanade cross over into the park, across the grass, until you come to the track. The track is like a mini-road with left and right lanes! Cyclists are very good in warning you of their approach from behind with a tingle of their bell and should you be interested in cycling, you must wear a helmet if cycling in Australia.
We ventured SE along the creek side where there are several old Aboriginal settlements. In those early days it was an excellent creek for fishing and it was able to support quite a community, but now much of the water has been used further up for irrigation. However, following rain the water level can rise dramatically and sections of the track may be closed off until it recedes.
Along the track there is a little labyrinth for children to use. Along side there is an ancient Wish Tree festooned with a myriad of wishes. There is even a box there complete with string tags and pens with which you can make your wish and then tie it to the tree. We only went to the next track junction and headed north up on to the higher ground and detoured SW towards a BMX park. From the height there you get a nice view of the city in the western distance. We then retraced our tracks and continued NE along the path. There is virtually no sense that you are in the middle of a large city.
We made our way back along paths through the lovely parkland until we reached the point where we had entered the park. One of the gum trees here is lemon scented and we scrunched the leaves in our hands to retain the smell. In the 39 degree heat if you pass near this tree you can smell the lovely scent. All in all, a lovely introduction to Australian sounds, smells and temperature! It takes a while to get used to how loud the local birds can screech. As you will see from the map, there are miles of possible walks and tracks in this area alone, without having to move further away.
The suburb of Clifton Hill is a lovely relaxed area that lies to the east of Melbourne city centre. Nearby there are numerous fantastic trails, either along Merri Creek or the Yarra River. Melbourne has a superb series of shared cycle/walk tracks which are perfectly maintained and signed. These cycle trails are very well used on a daily basis as a commuter route into, out of and around the city.
(Due to the dates and times on the Satmap GPS still being set to Irish time, the start and end date and times look a little odd!).