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Kyeema Track

Home > Melbourne > Memorials | 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 8th 2020
Walking this walk will not lead to tragedy
The Kyeema Track is named after the Australian National Airways Douglas DC-2 airliner that crashed into Mt. Dandenong on 25 October 1938.

kyeema track sign
The sign at the end of Osprey Road.

The aircraft, named "Kyeema", was on a flight from Adelaide to Melbourne in bad weather when it overshot Essendon Aerodrome and descended into Mt Dandenong whilst still flying in cloud, killing the 18 people on board.

Douglas DC-2 "Kyeema."

A memorial cairn was unveiled by the Mt. Dandenong Historical Society on 25 October 1978 to mark the 40th anniversary of the disaster. In January 2003, another plaque was added, naming all those who perished.

Memorial cairn
The memorial cairn.

The Kyeema Track itself is only about 1.5 kms in length, and is quite steep in parts. It is a wide track of compacted gravel which would make it an all-weather path. Totally unsuitable for wheelchairs.

The jogger commeth.

Beautiful setting and steep path.

It follows the contours of the ridge, not far below its summit. It is a quiet and peaceful walk, passing between tall mountain ash, gum trees and gullies of tree ferns.

tree fern
Nicely placed tree fern.

burnt trees
Evidence of a past fire.

No birds were observed, but many heard in the distance. The only other sounds were my own footsteps and occasionally those of other walkers and joggers.

Two walkers.

A few cyclists were also seen carefully negotiating the ups and downs of the track.

Very easy downhill.

The best place to enter the track is from the small car park at the end of Osprey Road, which is close to the memorial cairn.

Memorial cairn
Near the memorial is an illustrated history of the tragedy.

Take the right part of the track which ends at the Trigg Track. While walking this track we tend to look up and admire the tall timbers and the verdant tree ferns.

tree ferns
A splendid display of tree ferns.

Junior ferns.

Looking down to ground level many surprises manifest themselves in the shape of small colourful flowers, adding to the enjoyment of this walk.

Some colourful flora.

yellow flowers
There were a few of these.

More colour.

Between the trees was lots of undergrowth and bushes, some of which were in flower.

flowering bush
A yellow flowering bush.

orange flower
These stood out against the dark background.

Being a relatively short walk it would be popular with family groups to introduce young ones to the great outdoors, which is Australia.

family walking group.
A family walk.

From the memorial, taking the left track is only about 200 metres to Burkes Lookout at 628 metres above sea level.

Nearing Burkes Lookout.

There are magnificent views as you look almost vertically down over the flat area, to the distant skyline of Melbourne.

View from Burkes Lookout
The view from Burkes Lookout.

The first part of this section is steep, but with a strong pusher, it should be attempted by the wheelchair-bound as it would be a tragedy to deny them the views from Burkes Lookout.

As I stood at the memorial cairn looking downwards towards the actual crash site the distant drone of an approaching aircraft was heard. Was history about to repeat itself? It was slightly overcast, but as the sun broke through offering unlimited visibility, something denied the pilots of Kyeema, those thoughts vanished.

Standing at the memorial it is sad to think that a disaster happened at a place of such beauty.

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Why? It's an unique experience - a short walk and a bit of history.
When: anytime
Where: Ridge Road, Mt. Dandenong.
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Well done, once again. Neil a DC3 also crushed into Mt Macedon, Vic.
I guess you are aware of that as I know you past interest in aircraft.
Keep up the excellent reports. David
by johns (score: 2|105) 146 days ago
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