Hidden Gems – Studley Park Boathouse

I live on the outskirts of a big city, but I am lucky enough to live close to some pretty terrific bushland and rainforests (temperate) nearby. They are lush and green and beautiful, but sometimes you can find the most gorgeous of places in some very unexpected spots; one such place I visited recently is Studley Park Boathouse, Yarra Bend Park.

In the heart of Melbourne, on the Yarra River you will find this idyllic piece of serenity. Yarra Bend Park is a 260 hectare (642 acre) park in the Melbourne suburb of Kew. Located 4 km northeast of Melbourne’s CBD, it is the largest area of natural bushland left in inner Melbourne. The most notable feature of the park is the Yarra River which flows for 12 km through it, the historic Studley Park Boathouse

There is of course the old Boathouse and Cafe, where you can sit by the river and watch the world float by, hire a rowboat, a picnic area (with BBQs) there is a trestle bridge (Kane’s Bridge), a  850 metre loop walk, beginning on the Studley Park picnic area side of the river at Kane’s Bridge, is accessible for most strollers and wheelchairs. It is also a dog friendly park, we saw lots of dogs during our visit.

The park’s best known geological feature is Dights Falls. Dights Falls is an artificial weir built on a natural rock bar across the Yarra. The weir was built in the 1840s to provide water to the ‘Ceres’ flour mill, one of the first in Victoria. The falls were later to become known as Dights Falls after the owners of the mill. It is not far away and you can walk there from Studley Park (2.2kms), however I think you miss the great views from the other side of the river, so perhaps consider driving around there. If you do take the walk, you will walk past the former site of the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum, the first established in Victoria in 1845. The track and surrounds s a great place for birdwatching with Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos, Sacred Kingfishers and Rainbow Lorikeets in the area. It is also home to a colony of federally and state listed vulnerable grey-headed flying foxes (bats).

To believe how close this is the the CDB is incredible, it is so quiet, so peaceful, a few minutes walk from the weir is some fairly major roads and quite a lot of traffic.

Til next time, happy snapping………

-Julz