Not far off the Main Yarra trail lies the Banyule Flats Reserve in Viewbank, only 14km from the CBD. During the drought, this area was totally barren and most of the wetlands and had wildlife disappeared. However, the heavy rains in Melbourne during the last few years has revived this area, If you follow the outskirts of the Banyule Swamp and Silt Pond, there's a number of smaller unofficial tracks leading off to Banyule Creek, stockyards, Banyule Swamp, and down to the Yarra River in the 'back paddocks'.
This area is great to explore by bike or if your prefer walking, wear appropriate clothing and shoes, as snake season usually starts in mid-October. But with warmer temperatures and increased rainfall, this can draw snakes out of hibernation. Dogs are restricted from some parts of the park, so please check the signs.
The Wurundjeri tribe occupied the land around Banyule Swamp and the Yarra River, with scar trees found not very far from the Reserve. This area was once part of the Woods Station, a large sheep farm comprising many hundreds of hectares straddling both sides of the Yarra River.
Settlers bought the land as quickly as it was cleared, with the rich soils supporting agricultural and pastoral uses, including substantial market gardens, orchards and vineyards.