(Walk notes by DWP)
Westerfolds park is one of an impressive series of Melbourne metropolitan parks all based around the Yarra River that extend from the city out to Eltham This short but enjoyable walk commences from the front of the manor house, now the MIA MIA Gallery and Café.
Walk up from any of the car parks to the native garden in front of the manor house. From here there is an extensive view of the park towards the river and beyond. Head down the grassy hill keeping the BBQ on the left towards a grassy path that cuts through the scrub avoiding a similar path that cuts right. Depending on weather and time of day a group of trees over to the left sometimes have eastern grey kangaroos resting in their shade. Follow the path towards a wooden bench at the first track junction and then continue straight ahead along the path as it meanders through trees crossing other trails along the way. Eventually the path veers towards the right through a treed area, again depending on time of day kangaroos or wallabies can often be observed in the open on the grassy paddocks well over on the left, then join the main trail again just before the observation deck for the river rapids at Kestrel Creek.
Follow the main trail for a short distance then after viewing the river from the observation deck take the path that cuts down to the right from the main path and meanders alongside the river through the bush area, rather than staying on the main trail. Eventually one emerges at a junction with the main trail descending rather steeply from the left. Do not follow the main path either left or right but cut across the trail and pick up a grassy track which heads slightly uphill for a short distance with the river down the steep slope to the right. Follow this path until it merges with a wide gravel track coming in from the left. Turn left and follow this gravel path until after a about a hundred metres or so it crosses the main trail once again. From the junction one can see the manor house up on the hill. Take the path across the paddock immediately opposite and head in a slightly uphill direction keeping the trees mentioned at the start of the walk on your right. Back at the wooden bench turn right and walk uphill to the starting point of the walk in front of the manor house.
A visit to the gallery and/or café is well worthwhile.
Distance about 3.6km
Time, with a dog, about 50 mins no breaks
Dogs to be retained on leash
Keep a sharp look out for snakes, which may pose a danger under certain conditions
Excellent chance of observing kangaroos.
Further information: Parks Victoria park notes
Access: Enter the park via the entrance in Fitzsimons Lane (Melway ref: 33 G2) just after entering there is a sharp turn to the left, which leads uphill to a number of car parking areas and trails.
Westerfolds Park is open every day, including weekends and public holidays, from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. During daylight saving the park is open from 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM every day, extending to 9:00 PM in the peak summer period.