Published September 16th 2014
Take a Walk on the Wild Side in Alphington
The dogs of Melbourne's North are good at keeping a secret. Behind a row of innocuous looking houses at the end of Separation Street in Alphington lies an expanse of unspoilt countryside. Walk down past the local pooch's off lead area and you'll reach a small winding path on the edge of the Darebin Creek.
You'll find wild rocky cliff faces, benches to sit and ponder in shady spots and dog friendly lagoons to give your four legged friend a swimming lesson and cool off on a hot day. Keep following the creek and you'll walk through glorious wooded thickets – look up and you might see a couple of owls huddled close and enjoying a daytime nap. There are hidden nooks, secret paths and plenty of secluded spots for you to enjoy your own little piece of peace.
Climb Mount Puffalo Viewing Hill and you'll be rewarded with views of the parklands and one of several inspirational plaques dotted around the parklands. Exercise for the body and the spirit!
There's also bike and running paths skirting along the edge of the parklands which will lead you up towards Bundoora Park or down towards the city and the Yarra trail.
If exertion isn't your thing or you're looking to relax in botanic garden style settings, bring a picnic and hang out on one of the lush grassy areas where there are barbecues, toilets and a children's play area. With spring upon us and summer around the corner, now is the time to check out Darebin Parklands - a magical combination of wild countryside and tended gardens right on your doorstep.
Where: Separation St, Alphington VIC 3078
Darebin Parklands has a natural bush and country feel that is unique given it is only 7km from the Melbourne CBD. There are hidden treasures within the park including remnant orchards and crops that were grown on the fringe of a growing city during the mid-1800s. A dairy farm, vineyard, quarry and tip site were all at times active industries within the bounds of the park, and clues of this can still be found if one knows where to look.
The Parklands houses staff of the DCMC, in the aptly named Darebin Creek Environment Centre. The Environment Centre is the working hub of environmental education in the Darebin Creek Catchment, where school, TAFE and university students, along with community groups and interested people can utilise the skills and facilities on offer.
For picnickers and visitors the Darebin Parklands have toilets and free electric BBQs and plenty of open grassy areas to kick back and relax.
Access to the park is either via Separation St, Alphington, or from Rockbeare Grove, Ivanhoe. Arrive via public transport from Alphington or Darebin Station or from the 508 Bus on Separation Street.