An Oasis in the Middle of a Concrete Jungle – A Day Walk through Yarra Bend Park

The top of Dights Falls, it is long weir and you can see the metal viewing platform barrier on the right side of the photo.

First, I would like to acknowledge the traditional land owners of Yarra Bend Park, the Wurundjeri peoples. I would like to pay my respects to the past, present and any Indigenous people among us today. I also want to acknowledge that I have profited and benefited from stolen land and that Indigenous people were never ceded sovereignty. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri peoples of, Naarm, where I sit and write this blog and would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the many lands my readers come from.

I visited Yarra Bend Park many times during the Covid lockdowns for my 1hr of exercise. I found it a beautiful, peaceful place to experience nature in the middle of the city of Naarm. There are many trails to discover and I walk on a different one in different directions every time. This Sunday, I walked to Dights Falls with my partner along the Dights Falls Trail via Kane’s Bridge, Galatea Point Lookout, Deep Rock and the Main Yarra Trail bridge over Merri Creek. We then turned back from Dights Falls and stopped at Deep Rock Rd so my partner could pick me up in a car due to my current injury. This has been my first nature walk since I broke my foot in April. Unfortunately, the entire loop was too much for me to handle yet I was extremely happy to just be able to enjoy a walk again. I would recommend continuing on from Dights Falls and walking along the river until you get to Johnston Street Bridge, past Studley Park Picnic Area and over Kane’s Bridge as Trail Navigator Victoria suggests.

Kane's Bridge on the Yarra Road Side. Its a beautiful wooden bridge with faded red and white paint.
Kane’s Bridge is the starting point of the walk to Dights Falls

This trail begins at the loop of Yarra Bend Rd where there is plenty of parking and flat grassy areas. We walked from our car towards Kane’s Bridge and found the concrete path. We continued along in a westerly direction and the path changed to a wide-gravel trail. On the opposite side of the river is the Studley Park Boathouse which is currently under construction but a great option when open to get a coffee. This time my partner and I brought a picnic and we stopped along the river and enjoyed the rare sunny Sunday afternoon. There are so many spots to stop and enjoy a park bench along this route.

The walk is relatively easy, more muddy at this time of year which is to be expected in Victoria but definitely manageable. Be careful to follow the signs pointing to Dights Falls and you can’t go wrong. There are various put-ins for kayaks, canoes and swimmers. They make it easily accessible by car so you do not need to carry your watercraft far. Just before the Galatea Point Lookout beware as the trail has a few different detours if you want an easy stroll that is less muddy take the higher path, if you’re ready for a muddy scramble and adventure take the lower paths. Past the lookout, before Deep Rock Canoe Ramp, you can see across the ovals where a lot of dogs exercise and socialise. There are toilets at the end of Deep Rock Rd and they are easily accessible from the trails if needed.

Following the signs we arrived at the Merri Creek crossing along the Main Yarra Trail, this is quite spectacular because you get your first glimpse of the big deep waterhole before Dights Falls. We walked 110 metres towards Dight Falls and unfortunately, the viewing platform was barricaded due to construction. But that did not stop us from admiring the view of the cascades. Occasionally paddlers use the lower part of the weir as slalom and this is exhilarating to watch.

As explained above this is where my partner and I turned around, walked back to Deep Rock Rd and ended our walk. But I look forward to continuing the rest of this section at a later date and maybe you will get to explore it shortly. That is what is perfect about Yarra Bend Park, its choose-your-own-adventure trails.

Trail NameDight Falls Trail and Yarra Main Trail
Estimated Time1 hr 30mins
ParkYarra Bend Park
Access2WD, Dog Friendly
Source of map

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