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Damper Creek Reserve

Home > Melbourne > Dog Friendly | 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 June 6th 2020
This walk won't dampen your spirit
I knew this going to be an interesting walk before I got out of the car. Entering the small off-road car park on Stephenson's Road, opposite Eton Street and looking down the entrance path, a large white bird was sitting upon on a low branch as if to welcome visitors to his domain.


A quick exit of the car with my camera recorded a Kookaburra, head-on, just showing its white breast. There was no need to hurry as he sat there unconcerned about who passed beneath him.

A very close encounter.

Returning to the car to lock it, a noisy minor was fluttering around a rearview mirror, on the bonnet and looking through the glass. I assume it had seen another noisy minor reflected in the mirror and windows.

noisy miner on car.
I see you.

Damper Creek Reserve covers 11 hectares of bushland in a 1.5 km. narrow strip in a valley. My walk was on a cold winter's afternoon, but I was not alone as many people and dogs were also out and about enjoying this unique suburban reserve.

Entrance sign
Entrance sign.

The many paths are compacted sand. The main ones, either side of the creek, are wide and not unduly steep but would be marginal for wheelchairs. Many narrow paths lead off the main ones, and these are steep as they ascend the valley.

Walkers sans dog.

man with dog
Man with dog.

There are several bridges which cross the creek and several sets of steps allowing access to the rim of the valley where there are more paths.

Creek bridge
One of the creek bridges.

Creek bridge & steps
Another bridge leading to steps up to the rim path.

It is a dog off-leash area, and many were taking advantage of their freedom. They seemed to enjoy the bush environment, a respite from chasing frisbees on large grassed areas.

dog sign
Doggie house rules.

dog walkers
Two people and a Collie.

The dominant species of birds seen were Currawongs, followed by Noisy Minors. A few Magpies and two Kookaburras were also seen.

One of the many Currawongs.

Several detailed interpretive signs are along the paths. The most interesting one lists other species of birdlife and other fauna which inhabit the reserve.

interpretive sign
One of the signs.

Southern Bell Frog, the Grey-headed Flying Fox, Peregrine Falcon, Gang Gang Cockatoo, Sugar Glider, and the Striped Marsh Frog are some of the reserve's other inhabitants or visitors.

Walkers with dog.
Nice to be free.

It was pleasing to see, high up upon a tree trunk a nesting box, giving safety to the inhabitants.

nesting box on tree
The high nesting box.

It is also pleasing to see that fallen trees are left in-situ, providing future refuge for small critters and insects.

fallen tree
Left as is.

old tree
Old trees have character.

Some wattle trees looked ready to burst into flower and one small bush had.

wattle buds
Wattle ready to bloom.

flowering bush
Flowering bush.

flowering bush
A little colour.

Native grasses were in abundance, having been planted along the creek banks, together with shrubs to stabilise the creek bed and prevent erosion.

creek plants
Creek bank grasses.

A small cluster of creek side ferns.

Houses border the reserve on both sides but very few are visible and certainly don't generate any noise. As with most suburban parks access is available from several side streets. At the Park Road end of the reserve is a small playground, no doubt for the benefit of local children.

The small playground.

This is definitely a reserve to seek out and see. Your dog will also appreciate a different environment.

two walkers
Two sedate walkers.

man walking.
On a mission.

After a pleasant hour enjoying my photographic journey around this reserve, I arrived back to my car to see the Noisy Miner still at it, or at least his twin brother was.
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Why? It's an unique suburban experience
When: anytime
Where: Stephenson's Road, Mt. Waverley. Melways map: 61. E.9.
Cost: Free
Your Comment
This looks awesome, I love the kookaburras :)
by Meg Forbes (score: 2|129) 416 days ago
Thanks Neil. Great photos with lots of good information for all sorts of walkers. And soooooo great to know dogs are not only allowed but off-lead. We will be going for a visit asap! Thank you so much!
by Chantelle (score: 1|41) 415 days ago
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