A walk from the Eltham Environs Walking Group.
From the Eltham Environs Walking Group, walk 5L
This walk takes in the Northern and Western areas of Woodlands Park. Commences at the car park immediately South of the Woodlands Homestead. To reach this, turn off Sunbury Rd at the Oaklands Rd roundabout. This is close to the North-South runway of Melbourne Airport. The entry point to the park (the notice board says ‘Living Legends’ – a reference to the former race horses stabled here) is 100m along Oaklands Rd on the right, and the car park a further 800m inside the park, just to the right of the homestead (not in front of the homestead).
From the car park, walk so that Oaklands Rd is behind you. Go through the small gate, and turn right along a well-defined track for 400m. At the first intersection of tracks, turn left and head up a slight rise for 300m, past a track coming in from the right, and continuing on for a further 200m. This will bring you to a eucalyptus plantation that is fenced off. Turn left here, and walk along the fence line due N. After 400m, the Parks Victoria Depot is on the right. Veer left here, using the road for 200m. Continue straight ahead at a crossroads. After a further 350m, a path comes in from the left and right.
Continue straight ahead along the track, which is a short distance from the Moonee Ponds Creek on your right. The track wends its way for about 1.3km, initially through scrubby bushland and particularly fine specimens of eucalyptus trees, and then through prickly acacia.
At the end of this narrow track, with a fence in front of you, and Moonee Ponds Creek on your right, there are two options:
i) Turn left here, and after 500m, veer right, and work your way around the homestead to return to the cars. Total length of walk about 4.7km
ii) Turn left and almost immediately turn right along what appears to be a fenced easement. After 350m, you have reached the road that brought you into the park. Turn right to cross the creek (100m), then take a track that heads off to the left. Note that if there is water over the ford, it is best not to proceed further with this alternative, as it will be difficult to cross the creek further on. Follow this track for 200m. A left turn takes you back across Moonee Ponds Creek once more. A further 800m brings you to a track coming in from the left and right. Turn left here, and a further 400m brings you back to the cars. Total length of walk about 6.3km.
Note that as of 2011, coffee is available inside the Woodlands homestead. Having a drink here is also an opportunity to look around the 1843 homestead. Toilets are adjacent to the car park, as is a shelter with tables.