Walk Category: Short
Getting There: Car, Tram
Walk Area: Melbourne - North
Distance from Melbourne GPO: 16 km
Mobile Phone Coverage: Yes
Walk Details Collated: 2009
Walk Details Provided By: Bushwalking Victoria
The Darebin City Council describes this park as 'Melbourne's most diverse park'. The park features natural habitat, a golf course, many picnic areas and a tourist attraction known as Cooper's Settlement. The walk is a little more challenging in parts, involving some walking on uneven and uphill paths. There are optional walks in Red Gum enclosure and a visit to Cooper's Settlement for those who want a longer walk.
Best season: Spring, Winter and Autumn. There is limited shade in Summer.
1. Cross Plenty Road from tram stop 61 at pedestrian crossing lights. At the park entrance, commence walking along Bramham Drive (formerly Fairway Drive). Shortly, on your left you will see the gate leading into the River Red Gum preservation enclosure where you can take a detour to visit the red gums on a short circuit walk. There are benches and a water fountain along this walk.
2. Continue walking along Bramham Drive until you reach Waters Way (formerly Grasslands Road) on your left. As you approach this road junction you can see the 'Scar Tree', surrounded by a fence, on your right. This tree appears to have been used by indigenous people to make a canoe. Turn left into Waters Way and walk to the Cain Court car park that marks the end of the road.
3. At the car park, find two grass tracks veering off to the right and take the track that heads towards the creek. Continue walking on the track until you reach the golf course on your right.
4. Keep walking on the track which winds between the golf course on your right and the Darebin Creek on your left. You are now on the Darebin Creek Bushland Track. As you walk, you will observe a paved cement bicycle path on the opposite side of the creek, along with many grand houses.
5. After some time you will arrive at two large pylons carrying overhead electricity cables. At this point veer to your right and continue uphill, walking directly below the overhead power lines across open grasslands until you reach a road which is the lower section of the Mt Cooper Scenic Drive (a one-way loop road). At this point the energetic may wish to continue uphill to the next set of pylons for a panoramic view of Melbourne's skyline.
6. At the road turn right and follow the road to the start of the loop. Do not turn left. Instead continue along the road that is now called River Red Gum Avenue.
7. When you reach the Visitors Centre on the right you may wish to visit the toilets, café or Coopers Settlement.
8. Leaving the centre, walk to the white sculpture near the car park entrance and turn right on to the gravel path. Following the path you will pass a small lake on the right and a road to your left. Cross the road at the pedestrian crossing and follow the Homestead Trail to the Bundoora Homestead. On your way you will cross another road known as Playground Drive. This area is ideal for a picnic; it has good facilities.
9. Bundoora Homestead (1899) is a magnificent Queen Anne Federation style home, surrounded by homes built much more recently. The homestead is now used as an arts centre and there is free admission to its occasional exhibitions. Its opening hours are: Wednesday-Friday 11am-4pm; Saturday-Sunday 12noon-5pm. On leaving the Homestead, return to the Homestead Trail and walk to the first road, which is Playground Drive. Turn left on Playground Drive until you reach River Red Gum Avenue.
10. Turn left at River Red Gum Avenue and follow this road to return to the park entrance.
At the Grasslands Road car park, walkers may turn left and walk to meet the Darebin Creek. Follow the creek on a good quality path to Plenty Road for a return tram. This extension adds about 3km.
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Melways: 19 F4
Car: Bundoora Park is adjacent to La Trobe University. Access is from Plenty Road and the walk starts from near the entrance.
Tram: Tram route 86 from Bourke Street - get off at stop 61.
Car parking: Good parking in designated areas within the park
Coopers Settlement: Open 10am to 4.30 pm daily. Entry fees applicable. Attractions include Urban Farm, Heritage Village and Wildlife Reserve. Visit www.bundoorapark.com.au
Dogs: Allowed on-leash, with selected off-leash areas.
Café at the Visitor Information Centre (open 8:30 am to 5.00pm daily).