Council supports new 200km Birrarung Valley Walk

Published on 09 July 2024

This is a photograph of the Yarra River at Eltham South.

A continuous 200km walking trail running along the Birrarung Valley from the mouth of the Yarra River in Port Phillip Bay to the Upper Yarra Reservoir has received the support of Nillumbik Shire Council.

The Birrarung Valley Walk is proposed to link mainly existing walking tracks and paths on public land, providing a multi-day continuous walk with the aim of protecting, enhancing and promoting the natural environment and First Nations culture of the Birrarung.

The project has been proposed by the Birrarung Valley Walk Inc and is an outcome of the Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo, Yarra Strategic Plan, endorsed by Council in 2021. The 10-year strategy led by Melbourne Water seeks to protect and enhance the Yarra River, Birrarung, and its parklands.

Members of the Yarra Collaboration Committee, of which Nillumbik is one of 15 government and agency stakeholders, have been asked to sign a Memorandum of Understanding in support of the project building towards a sense of collective responsibility for care and stewardship of the Birrarung. This was endorsed at the June Council meeting.

Consultation will be programmed in the future on the recommended alignment of the walk which will include First Nations cultural mapping. Examples of sites of interest within Nillumbik Shire include Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung cultural landscape including eel traps, Garambi Baanj (viewed from opposite side of the river), Bend of Islands (viewed from the opposite side of the river), and Sugarloaf Reservoir Park.

Mayor Ben Ramcharan said he was impressed with the project, which is still in its early stages.

“This is something that has come from some of the objectives of the Yarra Strategic Plan, and so aligns with the direction we want to take for our river,” Cr Ramcharan said.

“Most of the trails for this walk are already there, it’s just about giving people access to them and letting them know they are there so more people can enjoy our incredibly precious Yarra River.

“It will be a low-impact way to tread lightly on the land and experience the unique environment of Nillumbik and the Birrarung Valley.

“It will also provide the opportunity to promote other Nillumbik experiences including arts and culture, tourism and recreation.”

Read more about the Yarra Strategic Plan.