Tag Archives: Mountain Ash

Fernshaw to Dom Dom Saddle return walk

For a great day walk with ups and downs to stretch the legs, about an hour out of Melbourne, the walk from Fernshaw to Dom Dom Saddle and back in the Yarra Ranges is well worth a look.

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Starting at the Fernshaw picnic ground beside the Watts River just outside Healesville on the way to Marysville, the track is well trodden and easy to follow. Although in some places large trees have come down across it after what must have been a massive blow so there’s a bit of scrambling required to get over them and through tangles of smashed limbs and branches.

The first part of the walk is pretty flat and winds through tree ferns and tall, straight mountain ash. You can hear the river somewhere amongst the trees. You then climb up and down a couple of steep, forested ridges to reach Dom Dom Saddle, another nice picnic area on the way to Marysville.

At about 20km long, the walk is a decent one for some huffing and puffing exercise and time out among the trees.

And we made it back to the car in time to stop off at Tarra Warra winery for some wine tasting on the way home. That’s one of the best bits about walking in the Yarra Ranges, the cellar doors to visit in the Yarra Valley on the way home.

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Sherbrooke Forest

I’m slowly ticking off walks in the Dandenong Ranges. Fringing Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs, the Dandenongs are a nice range of forested hills dotted with pretty towns and criss-crossed by a network of trails.

The other weekend I went for a look at the Sherbrooke area. It’s a little patch of tall forest, creeks and gullies filled with tree ferns. There’s nothing particularly spectacular about the scenery other than it’s just a nice place to be out and about in.

It’s a very family friendly spot. The car park area is at Grants Picnic Ground where there’s a café and gift shop and a feeding area for parrots and cockatoos. It’s extremely popular with tourists and kids. And the cockatoos seem to appreciate the free feed.

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Anyway, this day I decided on doing a loop walk that was a reasonably easy two hour wander, linking up a number of tracks. The tracks went from being narrow and muddy to broad and gravelled. One of the most impressive things about the walk are the Mountain Ash trees that are high and grow perfectly straight. They’re as if ships’ masts have been stuck in the ground. And for that reason they were cut down by early settlers for masts, railways, piers and bridges.

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A ferny gully

A ferny gully

I did a loop walk that started with the Lyrebird Walk, then Hall Track, Foden Track, Paddy Track, Welch Track, and finally Coles Ridge Track back to the car and carpark. That’s a lot of tracks for not much distance. Paddy Track is interesting in that, in the direction I took it, is a long, steep descent into a gully. The climb up out wasn’t too bad. Not as steep.

Anyway, there’s not really a lot more to say about this walk, other than it was a nice couple of hours out. I drove home a less direct way and passed a café that looked quite cute and that I’m looking forward to trying the next time I’m in the area.