Saturday, July 09, 2005

Lysterfield and Churchill Parks

Photo: Kangaroos and joey

Walk overview

Length: 21.6km km
Time: 7 hours
Grade: Medium to hard
Ascent: 480m
Maximum height: 225m
Region: Dandenong Ranges, Victoria
Map: Melways 82, 83, 108

"Lysterfield Lake Park and adjoining Churchill National Park form a valuable walking area close to Melbourne. Due to its importance as a water catchment, the lake environs were protected from development and remain in their natural state. Churchill National Park came into existence in the 1930s. Both parks retain a precious example of natural forest and bushland and are an important refuge for much native wildlife including kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, possums, black swans, grebes and pelicans."

Source: Day Walks Victoria

My comments

My usual walking partner went skiing this weekend, so I was fortunate enough to have Mark and his daughter Claudine come along for company. I'm not too sure I'd want to do much bushwalking on my own.

The forecast was for showers, and it was raining as we drove to Lysterfield to start the walk. Unfortunately, the rain didn't let up all day. As a result, there was no stopping to take photos and only the shortest break for lunch because we couldn't find any cover.

While being a good length, the walk was rather pedestrian (pardon the pun). Many of the tracks were vehicle maintenance tracks rather than walking tracks, there was little walking uphill, and the scenery wasn't anything spectacular (a few too many glimpes of suburbia for my liking). Perhaps Lysterfield Lake would have more appeal when it isn't so wet and cold.

The main attraction was the wildlife. There were dozens of kangaroos and wallabies, many with young in their pouches. The photo above shows a little joey just poking out of the pouch of the kangaroo in the foreground.

According to our guide book, the park is usually so popular that the carpark fills up early. We were the first to arrive today, and there were only 3 or 4 cars there when we left. However, we did encounter several groups of mountain bike riders and a couple of joggers, despite the poor conditions.

My rating

OK. A little mundane to warrant another visit any time soon. We did the walk in 6 hours, and I'd rate it medium because of the length, but easy otherwise.

Photos from this walk

I didn't take any photos apart from a couple of very quick snaps of some kangaroos. It was just too wet to keep pulling out the camera.