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This is a local walking track for me, however it's the first time I have ever been down to the O.T Dam. I think when something is within easy reach it looses the appeal, you know you can do it any time and it's not going anywhere, so it gets pushed down the list of priority.
Though lately I have noticed so many people raving about the natural beauty of the O.T Dam and the amazing colour of the water (including The Age) that I thought I better finally go and have a look.
The main walking track to the dam is an open fire trail and not all that scenic, however we walked along part of the mountain bike track ( something not recommended on weekends as it's very popular). The view from here is very nice as it extends past the trees and towards the bay, and to the left you can see Hillview Quarries.
Continuing down the track the trees and grasses change to provide a lovely contrast to the woodland area above. I must say I was a little disappointed when we got to the dam, I was expecting beautiful coloured water as I have seen in other photos of the dam and to find a normal coloured brown dam was not what I was expecting. It's possibly due to a large amount of rain we have had lately and the fact it was overcast probably not helping. In saying the dam lacked colour, the native flowers made up for it with many pink and white flowers on show.
A board-walk continues the walk around the dam, then a few steps go above the bank and leads you to a small bridge that goes over the concrete dam overflow wall, from here you can see down into the fern covered gully.
From here continue the loop of the dam and return on the same track you came down on, about half way up is a sign for the Friends Track which follows the fence line of Hillwiew Quarries and brings you out close to Arthurs Seat summit, at this point turn left and follow the horse trails on the side of the road back to your car.
After looking for more information on the history of the O.T Dam, I discovered an interesting blog that suggests it was constructed for Cottee's cordial after World War 2 to provide water for growing passion fruit for their Passiona soft drink, though they ran out of money before much else happened.
Although I enjoyed the walk, it's perhaps one that I wouldn't travel too far to do, maybe that's just because I take it for granted being local. It certainly isn't up there with some of the other walks we have done recently.
After the O.T Dam we drove a few kilometres to Eatons Cutting Lookout Hill circuit walk, located at the end of Lookout Hill Rd which is accessed by Eatons Rd from Arthurs Seat Rd in Red Hill and is sign posted as a 30 minute walk, however it only took about half the time to complete.
The O.T Dam and Eatons cutting are also surrounded in controversy at the moment, with a proposed landfill in the old quarry going between the two. Many locals are outraged at the proposal as they are concerned about water run off as the old quarry is on a hillside and the run off would go into residential areas and also into Sheep Wash creek, which eventually comes out at Port Phillip Bay. The extra smells and road traffic associated with landfills would also contribute a loss of amenity for the area. The first stage of the proposal has been passed.