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Merri Creek Trail

Home > Victoria > Health and Fitness | Family | Nature | Escape the City | Cycling | Outdoor | Parks | Picnic Spots | Walks
by Sue Williams (subscribe)
Writer, bushwalker, dessert enthusiast. Author of the Rusty Bore Mysteries. More info here:
Published June 7th 2012
Footbridge over Merri Creek
Footbridge over Merri Creek

The 21km Merri Creek Trail (also called the Merri Creek Path)
is a pleasant bushland path only a stone's throw from Melbourne's city centre.

Umm, where'd the city go?
Umm, where'd the city go?

OK, I see it now
OK, I see it now

This sealed trail, shared by pedestrians and cyclists, follows Merri Creek as it winds through the northern suburbs. Starting at Dights Falls in Abbotsford where Merri Creek meets the Yarra River, the trail follows the creek all the way to the Western Ring Road Trail in Fawkner.

The path can be walked, run or cycled in entirety, as a car shuffle (park a car at either end), or by using the train service (start from Victoria Park train station and end at Gowrie) or you can just do a section of the trail. There's a detailed and informative map of the route here.

There are lots of peaceful views of the creek and surrounding bushland along the way, occasional glimpses of the city towers, along with many points of special interest.

Eucalypt blossom on Merri Creek Trail
Eucalypt blossom on Merri Creek Trail

Near the Abbotsford end, there's the site of the Merri Creek Aboriginal School, established in 1846

There's also Merri Park Wetland, a 1.4 hectare area of restored wetland created by several environmental groups including Friends of Merri Creek , Conservation Volunteers and the Darebin Bushland Management Team.

And the path goes by CERES Community Environment Park

This four hectare park is dedicated to sustainable living and organic gardening, and has a cafe featuring their produce.

Chooks at CERES
Chooks at CERES

At the northern end of the trail in Fawkner, there's Bababi Djinanang, a wonderful native grassland reserve. You can see some great photos of it here.

Native grasslands are extremely rare in Victoria today, with only one thousandth of the state's original grasslands still in existence.

There's limited shade along the way so a hat and sunscreen is useful. Take plenty of drinking water in summer too, especially if you're doing the whole trail.

There are lots of places along the way suitable for picnics, and several reserves where barbeques are available (location of barbeques is shown on the map).

It's an excellent trail, and offers instant respite from the city.
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Why? Where else can you find bushland within cooee of the city?
When: Anytime
Where: Abbotsford
Cost: Free
It is lovely down there and Ceres is a firm family fave.
By Anna Bourozikas - senior reviewer
Wednesday, 17th of August @ 09:48 am
Yes - CERES is brilliant - it's great to see farming going on so close to the city. I must check out their cafe next time I'm there.
By Sue Williams - senior reviewer
Wednesday, 17th of August @ 11:56 pm
Last time I was on the trail I saw a daughter and her Dad visiting a low-branched gum-tree. There was a structure beneath it, like a little cubby-house, assembled out of sticks and bark. So successful was the camouflage, I wouldn't have even noticed if I hadn't seen the pair heading in its direction. Then I was charmed to realise that the cubby must have been a local secret. A special place just for the kids and parents who lived in the street bordering that part of the trail. Charming!
By Melody Clifford - senior reviewer
Friday, 16th of September @ 11:29 am
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