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Alto Avenue, Croydon

Home > Melbourne > Free | Outdoor | Walks
by Neil Follett (subscribe)
I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
Published March 2nd 2021
A walk back in time, if you can see the houses
Alto Avenue is almost a heritage walk. It is a well-established avenue with extra-large blocks and well-established gardens.

flowering bush

The trend with large blocks was to site houses well back leaving a large garden area which hides the houses from view. Sometimes the only indication of habitation is a lych gate opening through a verdant flora experience.

lych gate
Lych gate entrance.

The vast gardens in the front of houses display a multitude of flowering bushes. The red berries on a Cotoneaster bush were eye-catching.

Cotoneaster tree
Cotoneaster tree.

Another unusual plant growing on the street side of a fence was the tall Common Mullein.

common Mullein
The not so common Common Mullein.

An Abelia bush was another beautiful flowering bush with its pink and white trumpet-like blooms.

abelia bush
Abelia bush.

Alto Avenue is also an avenue of weatherboard houses, picket fences and lych gates.

lych gate
Another lych gate in a picket fence.

Picket fences on established properties usually mean escaped plants. Two Lily leaves were noticed on their attempt for freedom.

lily leaves
An escape attempt.

One lych gate and picket fence with a flowering Crepe Myrtle looked particularly attractive.

Crepe Myrtle
Crepe Myrtle tree behind lych gate.

What also looks attractive is a single bloom against dark foliage, such as the Anemone flower, which is a native of Asia and a single Geranium stem.

Anemone flower.

Geranium stem.

Among the very full front gardens, many individual flowers were very noticeable. One of the Hibiscus genus stood out as did a red stem with hanging blooms.

Hibiscus flower.

red flowers
Red always stands out.

Alto Avenue is 1.2 kms in length, running from Maroondah Highway down to Wicklow Avenue. It is a narrow, tree-lined, steep in parts, thoroughfare.

street scene
It is narrow and tree lined.

Along the avenue is Alto Reserve, a one-hectare Indigenous Flora & Fauna reserve, well worth a diversion for a short bushwalk.

Alto reserve.
Alto Reserve entrance.

Fortunately, footpaths are provided for foot traffic. In the mid-section, in a particular steep section, an elevated walkway has been built on the high side of the avenue which gives a tunnel appearance with overhanging vegetation. It is 400 metres in length and could be considered a walk within a walk.

tree tunnel
In the tree tunnel.

A three lamp, lamp post was in one front garden which would look nice at night.

three lamp post.
A three headed light pole.

Many of the more common flowers were seen, such as two varieties of the Oleander plant and a Hydrangea bush.

oleander bush
Oleander bush.

oleander flowers
Another of the Oleander genus.

hydrangea bush
Hydrangea bush

Several Bottlebrush and Plumbago bushes were in flower, adding to the floral enjoyment.

bottle brush
Red Bottlebrush.

Plumbago bush.

Only two birds were seen. The proverbial fossicking Magpie and a Crow seemingly hiding in the fork of a tree.

Fossicking magpie.

The shy crow.

At ground level, a barking dog appeared a few metres away. It would look at me, bark a few times then run forward a few metres and repeat the process. A rare occurrence these days seeing an unaccompanied dog on the street.

The dog between barks.

Mass displays of low growing ground cover plants look like a Technicolor carpet in appearance.

red flowering bush.
A carpet of red.

I encountered only three examples of pedestrian traffic. Two were walking through the elevated walkway and one gentleman appeared to be on an uphill power walk.
On the walkway.
At the end of the elevated walkway.

power walker
The power walker.

With such large suburban blocks, it was pleasing to note that there was no inappropriate development. No multi-unit structures.

Street sign
Where you have been.

Alto Avenue is built on the side of a hill, so the houses are either on a high side or low side, giving a different visual experience on both sides of the avenue.
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Why? It's an unique experience
When: anytime
Where: Alto Avenue, Croydon. Melways map: 50. G.1 - H.3.
Cost: Free
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