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Liverpool Road Retarding Basin

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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 September 13th 2019
Enjoyment is not retarded in this Basin
The Liverpool Road Retarding Basin is one of more than 200 flood retaining basins throughout Melbourne. Apart from their main purpose of reducing the local effect of heavy rainfall, many of them offer recreational facilities to the local population.

Basin entrance
The entrance from the Liverpool Road car park.

The Liverpool retarding basin is one of those. It is of a reasonable size with its dominant feature being a large lake. The basin also has a wooded area and some open grassy area for dogs to run free as the whole basin is an off-leash area.

Dog in grass
The grass is smellier on the other side.

It is extremely popular as the off-road car park was almost full with the many vehicles disgorging both man, dog, women, and children. No houses back onto the area so it is a specific go-to location to let your dog run free.

Walking dogs
Along the wall.

My walk was on a sunny Saturday morning and dogs clearly outnumbered humans. There is a gravel path around the lake and the wheelchair-bound would find it easy going. At the western side of the lake, there is an elevated dam wall, from which magnificent views can be had to the Dandenong Ranges. If you are in a wheelchair you will love the elevated viewpoint.

Mountain view
A magnificent view.

As I neared the lake, a distant vista excited me. On the other side of the lake were three large blackbirds and one much larger white one, all perched upon a long-dead tree branch protruding from the water. Closer inspection revealed three little black cormorants and a sleeping pelican.

Four birds
Let sleeping pelicans lie.

Sleeping pelican

Surprisingly I saw very few ducks, although two coots were swimming around looking for lunch.

A swimming coot.

It is not a quick walk as you are almost continually passing dog owners who are always good for a chat about their canine charges. I met two breeds that were new to me. A Hungarian Vizla and several Murray River Retrievers.
Dog owners
Canine chatter.

Hungarian Vizla
The Hungarian Vizla, a beautiful dog.

Apart from the large lake, there were two small ponds, one of which was the home of many frogs, confirmed by the cacophony of croaking. A lone white-necked heron was standing very still in the pond where the frogs were, perhaps also waiting for lunch.

The home of many frogs.

A hungry heron?

At the eastern end of the large lake, a bridge crosses a small stream which leads to an open wooded area and some tall grassy open space.

Crossing the bridge.

Grass walk
Walking through the grass.

Several dogs thought it was a good day for a swim and took the plunge. Lesson learnt – don't stand near them when they emerge to shake the water out of their fur.

Dog in water
A dog thinking he's a duck.

I was pleased to see about nine waterbirds, but disappointed to see no birds in the many trees in the basin.

Couple sitting
No dog? Just sit and enjoy.

If your dog, or dogs, like to interact with other dogs this is the place to go. If you are not a dog owner it is the place to have an easy walk and watch the canines cavort.
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Where: Liverpool Road Flood Retarding Basin. Liverpool Road, Kilsyth South. Melways Map 65 G.5.
Cost: free
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by Tamara Spargo on 26/09/2015
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