Just past Yering Station right before you get into Yarra Glen there is an area we always wanted to investigate. It’s called the Yarra Flats Billabongs, which has been curated back to life after it was almost overrun with noxious weeds and was left to dry up over many years. Now it is full of native plants, some still on the younger side, but it is already a nice little bushland walk area with of course some billabongs scattered throughout.
One of the first things we noticed though was not the bushland or billabongs, but the blocked off section of old bitumen road that wraps around the reserve. We regretted not bringing Fletch’s bike as it would be the perfect practice ground for a ride. Its pretty hard to find a decent spot for him to practice riding thanks to all the hills in our area, so I can see us coming back to this spot a lot over the next couple of years.
At a couple of points you can leave the bitumen road and head onto the walking track that take you into the billabongs, through the native bush and past the open grass areas. One of these seemed to be a viewing platform that I assumed looked out over a large waterhole, but it was full of tall yellowed reeds (pictured), which still captivated the kids. They were certain there were lions and tigers in there. With Immy “Rarring” like the tigers, Fletch thought she might have scared them away, but it was hard to tell “because of the camouflage”. Pretty awesome to stand back as the kids let their imagination expand past the place they’re in, but it couldn’t last as we had to run away because the lions were coming!
There is heaps of open grass areas, which on a nice day would be great for a picnic with room for the kids to run around. Apparently there is a good population of birdlife , frogs and lizards, which could keep the kids occupied more so in the Spring time. However, we did see a massive wombat burrow, which Fletch wanted to crawl in to see if he could spot the wombat. But it was a freezing cold day so we were the only living things silly enough to be out in the elements!
I’m a bit of a sucker for anything historical and can’t resist reading any plaque with a story on it. Amongst the signs and plaques that speak of the billabong and the work that has been done to bring it back to life there is one that tells the story of a battle that took place in the area back in 1840. The battle between the local Wurundjeri people and the city troopers, which [spoiler alert] the Wurundjeri won.
The weather turned super cold so we headed back to the Oaks on Melba for some hot chocolates and scones, to the kids delight. The owners there are great, even giving the kids a free Nutella scone for being so polite. I was super impressed with Fletch wanting to go up to the lady after, which we did and he said “thanks for the scone it was yummy” in his quiet mousey voice. Pretty big deal for our shy lad who is coming out of his shell more and more these days. The other nice surprise is the new kids play area with climbing and balancing equipment that the kids were all over!
I look forward to adventuring back to the billabongs as the season turns for the better.
The best place to follow Josh’s adventures with his family is on his Instagram site @josh.duthie. You can see this post and more Adventures of Duth by clicking the link below.