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Pound Bend Reserve, Warrandyte State Park

Home > Melbourne > Nature | Outdoor | Parks | Picnic Spots | Walks
by Lyndsey V (subscribe)
I'm an ecologist and writer based in Melbourne, Australia. Also visit me at www.instagram.com/victoriafloraandfauna/
Published November 11th 2018
Picnic, hike, canoe and swim at a bushland park on the Yarra
Pound Bend Reserve is a bushland park located on the Yarra River in Warrandyte. The reserve is almost completely encircled by the Yarra River, which is so windy at this point that it just about double backs on itself. With riverside walking tracks, a huge picnic area, swimming and canoeing spots, the Wurundjeri Stories Interpretive Trail, and even a fascinating historical link to the gold mining era, Pound Bend Reserve has something for everyone.

Pound Bend Reserve, Warrandyte State Park, Yarra River, bushwalk, picnic, swimming, swim, history, walks, trails
The picturesque Pound Bend Reserve with the Yarra River in the background


On the flats down by the river, is a huge shady picnic area, dotted with picnic tables.

Pound Bend Reserve, Warrandyte State Park, Yarra River, bushwalk, picnic, swimming, swim, history, walks, trails
The shady picnic area


Right nearby are steps leading down to the Yarra River, where there's a canoe launching area and a swimming spot. Pound Bend Park is a great place to visit and cool off in summer. Take care when swimming as there can be strong currents and submerged objects such as branches.

Pound Bend Reserve, Warrandyte State Park, Yarra River, bushwalk, picnic, swimming, swim, history, walks, trails
The swimming area and canoe launch


Pound Bend also has some great short bushwalking options. From the carpark, a very short walk to the left (i.e. heading downstream along the Yarra) takes visitors to one of the reserve's strangest and most fascinating attractions: the Pound Bend Tunnel.

Pound Bend Reserve, Warrandyte State Park, Yarra River, bushwalk, picnic, swimming, swim, history, walks, trails
Interpretive signs about the Pound Bend Tunnel


This tunnel was built in 1870 by the Evelyn Tunnel Mining Company at the point where the Yarra River forms such a large bend that it almost winds back to itself. The aim of the tunnel was to divert the Yarra River, leaving a five kilometre stretch of the original riverbed exposed so that it could be mined for gold. The tunnel took three and a half months to build, requiring digging though 145 metres of hard rock. The tunnel itself is 196 metres long, six metres wide and four metres deep. Unfortunately for the Evelyn Tunnel Mining Company, it was liquidated not long after in 1872 as expenses were too high and profits were too poor. There are steps up to the left which give a good view from the top of the tunnel.

Pound Bend Reserve, Warrandyte State Park, Yarra River, bushwalk, picnic, swimming, swim, history, walks, trails
The view across where the Yarra River flows out from the man-made Pound Bend Tunnel


In the other direction heading right from the carpark (i.e. upstream along the Yarra) is a delightful walking track that follows the banks of the river. It's well marked and fairly flat, crossing over a number of boardwalks.

Pound Bend Reserve, Warrandyte State Park, Yarra River, bushwalk, picnic, swimming, swim, history, walks, trails
A boardwalk next to the Yarra River


Along this section is the Wurundjeri Stories Interpretive Trail, which has excellent interpretive signage about the Wurundjeri people, whose traditional lands include Pound Bend. There's lots of information about the Wurundjeri peoples' history, stories, traditions, way of life, and use of local flora and fauna. Manningham Council also have an accompanying PDF that can be downloaded.

Pound Bend Reserve, Warrandyte State Park, Yarra River, bushwalk, picnic, swimming, swim, history, walks, trails
Signs along the Wurundjeri Stories Interpretive Trail


Towards the end of this riverside walk is a sign that indicates it's 1.2 kilometres from the picnic area and carpark. You can either turn back here for a return walk back along the river or turn right to follow the track away from the river uphill.

Pound Bend Reserve, Warrandyte State Park, Yarra River, bushwalk, picnic, swimming, swim, history, walks, trails
Turn back here or head away from the river uphill


This longer walk creates a loop with a bit of a climb up the hill towards Pound Bend Road. From here, you can loop back to the carpark along the ridge top via either the fire trail (called Tank Track) or a more narrow walking track along the side of Pound Bend Road. These trails converge back at the main road entrance to Pound Bend Reserve. From here, follow the steep steps back down the hill to the Pound Bend Tunnel and then return to the carpark.

Pound Bend Reserve, Warrandyte State Park, Yarra River, bushwalk, picnic, swimming, swim, history, walks, trails
Walking along the fire trail


The walking tracks pass through native bushland dominated by Red Box (Eucalyptus polyanthemos), which is recognisable from its rounded leaves and rough bark.

Pound Bend Reserve, Warrandyte State Park, Yarra River, bushwalk, picnic, swimming, swim, history, walks, trails
The main entrance of the driveway down to the main carpark


Facilities at Pound Bend Reserve include a large unsealed carpark, toilets and plenty of picnic tables. There are no bins, so take your rubbish away with you, and dogs are not allowed.

Pound Bend is part of Warrandyte State Park, which has plenty more places to explore and enjoy.
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Why? Picnic, hike, canoe, swim and see a historic tunnel at a bushland park on the Yarra
When: Anytime, although gates to the carpark close overnight
Phone: 131963 (Parks Victoria)
Where: Warrandyte
Cost: Free
Your Comment
It looks so peaceful!
by Amanda I (score: 2|819) 327 days ago
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