In 1915 Brownhill Creek was proclaimed a “National Pleasure Resort”, these days that would probably mean luxurious suites available in fancy hotels, classy restaurants, spas and at least one heated swimming pool. Expectations were a little different in 1915 and it’s difficult to find a trace of what was on offer apart from the creek and views. Prior to European settlement in the 1840s it was an important gathering place for Kuarna people who named the place “Wirraparinga” which means, place of scrub and creek.
You can find detailed information in the brochure available from Mitcham Council Office or online via their site.
There are carparks at several spots along Brownhill Creek Rd. The park itself is 3.5 kms long and straddles the creek.
Log seating at the Kuarna Meeting Tree.
Possum carving from one of the log seats.
Mitcham Council now is now responsible for the reserve.
The first Plane Tree was planted in 1907
There are two marked trails along the creek, the Wirraparinga Trail and the Yurrabilla Trail in some places you need to cross the creek walking on flat rocks and near the far end of the valley, walk on the road.
Maybe the mown path leads to the top of the hill.
Steps to somewhere.
Narrow dead end road.
Lovely old Oak Tree
Native and introduced trees line the paths.
Dogs allowed if on leads.
Flat stepping stones over the creek.
Not so subtle suggestion to follow the small arrow.
This trail is mostly on the southern side of the creek.
Some amenities have been built but there are no toilets for walkers, those in the Caravan Park are for patrons only.
Shady sites and cabins at the “Tourist Park”
High in the background is the road into Belair.
Plane Tree avenue.
Self sufficient campers have plenty of space.
“The Monarch of the Glen” sheltered Kuarna people and early settlers.
Marker for “The Monarch of the Glen” placed in 1874.
Apparently a great place to sit and read.
Big old Oak Tree provides shade at this picnic spot.
There are relics of the early days at various spots along the tracks.
Remains of the loading bay for Mundy’s rock crushing plant.
Somewhere there’s a cast iron Drinking Fountain, this is the closest we found to such a thing!
Fig Tree, relic of the Market Gardens which used to be in the area.
Wheel from an old pump.
Remains of an old shed at the end of Brownhill Creek Rd.
Lovely old farmhouse.
“The Walnuts” a variety of fruit trees are still growing around the property.
Old Manure Pits designed to stop fouling of the creek.
Remains of an old ford
Damming the creek caused controversy, swimmers v farmers.
Telephone booth – on it’s way to being a relic!
There are many weeds in the Park but some add beauty.
Even some “natives” are probably introduced to the area.
Native grass – I think
Not many birds were close to the tracks.
What’s up, Doug?
I’ve never walked to this park before but to reach it I started at the old Blackwood Experimental Orchard.
Orchard Manager’s Office
Click on any image to see a full sized version.
The track towards the forest is lined by old fruit trees.
Beyond the Office…
past the fruit trees….
beside the Blackberries…
alongside the fort ….
through the trees….
into the pines ….
At the eastern end of the forest is a road.
walk through the gap in the fence…..
follow the mowed bit….
wander through the grass….
check out the playground ….
and the swings……
trudge up the path….
stop at the road…..
look at the properties across the road then it’s time to head back.
Don’t forget to stop on the way to smell the Roses at the site of the Orchard Manager’s home which was unfortunately destroyed by fire in 2008.
Information on the home.
Twin Oak Trees near an old entrance
Ruins of a wall and steps.
Another beautiful Rose.
Rose in the front garden
Old fashioned Rose
View from the “front yard”.
We started our walk opposite the Blackwood Experimental Orchard where Minno Creek passes under a bridge on Main Road.
The track continues on to Blackwood Experimental Orchard and Blackwood Forest across the road.
Most paths are sealed but some sections need extra care.
Under Nana’s Oak Tree, beside Main Road
Some paths lead to private homes.
Stop, you’re going into someone’s place.
The creek is down below this path.
In places the path crosses the river.
Aah, a convenient log
This section is paved
As well as native plants there are many introduced species.
A stand of young Eucalypts
Ash Trees are tenacious and difficult to eradicate.
In 1837 a ship called the “Coromandel” sailed into Port Adelaide, apparently 10 crew members deserted the ship and eventually found their way to this place, naming it, “Coromandel Valley”. Some old structures remain in the area and you can see them as well as some new ones as you walk along the path.
Old ford and replacement bridge
Old shed at Watchman House
Winns Road ford a popular crossing – most of the year
Old stone wall
New wall – concrete bags
Biscuit and Jam Factory
Site of the old Biscuit and Jam Factory, now a private home
Institute Hall now a pottery studio
Stabilizing the river bank is difficult.
Currawong sabotaging erosion control measures.
A picnic shelter used often
Not old but definitely a place to visit.