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Richards Reserve

Home > Melbourne > Walks
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 August 17th 2019
A short sharp scenic walk
This reasonably sized reserve has a variety of landscapes within it. There are open grassy areas and treed areas with some dense undergrowth.

Reserve sign
The reserve sign in Swansea Road.

The only facilities are one picnic table and seats and a park bench, all in the open grassed area.

The southern grassy area is designated an off-leash area for dogs, while the bush walks are an on-lead area. A rubbish bin at the western entrance would be for the convenience of dog owners.

Definitely off-leash.

The main gravel path circumnavigates the wooded area. It is quite wide, but steep in parts, so would not be wheelchair friendly.

A walker enjoying the wide path.

Apart from the main paths, there are several narrow paths wending their way through the trees and undergrowth. It would be these areas where one could expect wildflowers in spring.

Bush pathway
One of the narrow paths.

Over the years, the local council have removed over 500 pine trees from the area, although several are still evident. This has enabled 6000 native indigenous plants to be planted in the reserve to allow it to return to its natural state.

Splashes of colourful flowers were noticed, but close inspection revealed they were 'domestic' type flowers, seeded from houses that surround the reserve.

Non-indigenous flowers

Another non-native.

I made two visits to the reserve and on the second one, in August, many wattle trees were flowering, offering a delightful splash of yellow among the greenery.

Wattle blooms
The yellow wattle blooms stand out.

Spring was getting closer, but I only observed one species of wildflower.

Wild flower
The only native flower sighted.

My first walk saw no birdlife, but the second walk made up for it. There are a few dead trees along one path, which is ideal for photographing birds if they perch there. A wattlebird was the first one sighted and photographed.


The laugh of a kookaburra rung out as one appeared and alighted in the same tree as the wattle bird.

Kookaburra sitting in the dead gum tree.

In the densely treed area, several parrots were seen. One crimson rosella kindly landed in a nearby tree and proceeded to feed. Although constantly moving it paused occasionally for a few seconds. A few magpies were also seen.

Crimson Rosella
Crimson Rosella feeding.

On both my visits, I encountered lone walkers and dog owners walking their family pet.

Walking dogs
Two dogs and a lady.

Man walking dog.
Man and his best friend.

A vision unexpected was two young lads furiously peddling along one the paths towards me. They both said hello and I was pleased that they were wearing helmets.

Boys on bikes.
The boy racers.

From the entrance in Swansea Road and the walk around the woods and return is about 1.3 kms. With the steep parts, it would make an ideal short workout for the not so fit with some nice bush scenery and the sighting of some birds.
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Where: Richards Reserve. Swansea Road, Montrose. Melways Map: 52. E. 7.
Cost: free
Your Comment
Another great outdoors article Neil. Nice to see the native birds about.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|8059) 611 days ago
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