Gayle is a retired accountant and a photography enthusiast living on Victoria's beautiful Bass Coast. Gayle is passionate about writing and keen to showcase Aussie culture to a global audience. Gayle loves her family, dogs, sunsets, and chocolate.
Published September 24th 2016
First A Quarry, Then a Tip, Now A Recreation Reserve
Equestrian activities are well represented in the City of Casey with over 80 kilometres of trails which includes a 2km shared loop trail through the old Narre Warren North Landfill. The area was originally a basalt mine which Boral operated until 1983. The old quarry was then used as a garbage tip until that was capped in 1996 and the rehabilitation of the land commenced.
Much of the land is sloping (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
The trail can be entered from the corner of Robinson and King Roads or from Brundrett Road where information boards display a map and a brief history of the area. I entered on foot from the Kurll Park car park on Robinson Road.
A field of daisies along the trail (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
Here I followed the first of the directional markers, against which someone had made a small rock column. The directional markers lead the way around the trail but I recommend you pay attention to the map before beginning. At times the distance between the markers and the overgrown nature of some of the trail made it challenging to follow.
A graffiti covered structure near the power plant (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
This part of the trail is wide. In Spring snowdrops grow in rows along one side and a paddock of daisies paints the hill gold and green on the other. At the next marker I turned left and walked uphill towards a circle of black vertical pipes in a cage. This pipe circle is just one of the many gas production wells on the site which are joined by a network of pipes and a gas collection field feeding the Narre Warren Gas Fuelled Power Plant.
A gas production well (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
The thumping of the plant's engines drew me from the trail to see the power station for myself. This short detour towards Quarry Road took me past a telephone tower and a graffitied structure which looked somewhat like a tank. The gas-fuelled plant opened in 1992 to convert gases emitted from the old garbage landfill into power. Excess heat from the power plant is used to heat around 2,000 square metres of greenhouses which are visible from the trail.
The Narre Warren Landfill Gas Fuelled Power Station (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
Back on track I followed a horseshoe loop before a long straight stretch skirted the edge of the old landfill, alongside residential streets. Spectacular views across the suburbs can be seen from here and from a number of other vantage points along the trail. A word of caution for springtime visitors, magpies live here and are prone to swooping during nesting season.
Follow the markers (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
Recent rains had left this part of the trail wet and boggy. Although vehicle access to the trail is not permitted there were significant wheel ruts filled with water. Much of this was overgrown with grasses and made for difficult walking. As the trail in general is a little uneven I recommend a good pair of hiking boots with solid ankle support.
Wildflowers were growing throughout the open area and butterflies were plentiful. Keep an eye out for rabbits, there are a few about. Apart from the magpies I also spotted a white faced heron, a butcherbird, an eastern rosella and a nankeen kestrel.
The views are spectacular (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
The trail finally turns and you can follow the marker to the right to continue the loop or proceed forward to exit at Brundrett Road. I followed the loop up a gentle mowed slope to a steeper incline which circled around to an open area with another electricity tower. A final left turn and it's a short walk downhill back to the beginning.
The Robinson Road entrance (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
The shared equestrian and walking trail is in the old Narre Warren Landfill. Entrances are at the corner of Robinson and King Roads at the Kurll Park car park or from Brundrett Road, in Narre Warren North. Float parking is available at Ivens Reserve on the corner of Narre Warren North and Crawley Roads. Ivens reserve is 850 meters from the Brundrett Road entrance and is reached on horseback via offroad trails in open space and an unconstructed roadside trail along Brundrett Road. For more information contact the City of Casey Sports and Leisure Department on (03) 9705 5200.