Yarra Flats Park
Yarra Flats Park features 85 hectares of pastoral and heritage landscapes, natural bushland, wetlands, abundant birdlife and a number of informal picnic areas.
Access to the park
Pedestrian and cyclist access is available from various points in the park at all times. Vehicle entry is available from The Boulevard, East Ivanhoe (Melway 32 B6). Car park gates are open 6am to 6pm, extending to 9pm during daylight savings.
Dogs are permitted in the park but must remain on a leash at all times. Dogs are not permitted within the (fenced) Annulus Billabong Wildlife Sanctuary.
Facilities and Activities
There is a wood barbecue, picnic tables and shelters located near the car park. Fires are permitted only in the barbecue provided, and you are welcome to bring your own small gas barbecue.
The toilet block at Yarra Flats Park is wheelchair accessible.
Along the Main Yarra Trail is the Heidelberg School Artists Trail, which illustrates how artists a century ago (such as Condor, McCubbin and Streeton) interpreted the landscape. Many of these works are now recognised as National Treasures.
The Yarra Flats areas was a popular site for Aboriginal gatherings of the Wurundjeri people up until the 1950’s. From the 1830s the land was claimed by the state and sold as prime agricultural land. The fertile soils provided excellent conditions for growing wheat and barley.
Droughts and floods in the 1860s forced many farmers off the land and dairy farms were then established. Yarra Flats Park comprised land that was originally the properties of the Charterisville and Hartlands estate, built in the 1800s. A hawthorn hedgerow planted to define the common boundary remains today. Chinese market gardeners built bluestone walls to divert river water into their gardens. In 1934, floods wiped out the gardens, but the walls remain as reminders of this land practice. The last dairy farmers were the Flemming brothers who sold their land to the state government in the 1970s. Yarra Flats Park was officially opened in 1984 and is now a significant part of the open space network of interconnecting linear parks, trails, wetlands and waterways throughout the metropolitan area.
Flora and Fauna
Most of the Yarra Flats area is classed as ‘Riparian Floodplain Woodland’ particularly featuring River Red Gum and wetlands. At the billabong in the Annulus Wildlife Sanctuary, a chorus of local frog
species can be heard. Billabongs dry out occasionally as part of their natural cycle. Native birds such as the Azure Kingfisher have been sighted
here and play a crucial role controlling native insect populations in the trees. Keep a sharp eye out at dusk and you may get a glimpse of our local bat species. After dark, keep a watch out for possums and owls.
Organised events or groups of 100 people or more require a permit from Parks Victoria. Permits detail park regulations and guide appropriate activities.
Updated May 2011
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For further information
Parks Victoria Information Centre
Call 13 1963
or visit the Parks Victoria website www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
Caring for the
environment Help us look after your park by following these guidelines: Please take rubbish away with you for recycling & disposal All native plants & animals
are protected by law.
LOCALITY MAP YARRA VALLEY PARKLANDS
0 1.5 3
Please do not disturb them
in any way Dogs are permitted in the park (except the Annulus Wildlife Sanctuary), but must be kept on
a leash at all times Portable gas barbeques are
allowed No fires, including barbeques, may be lit on a day of Total Fire
Main Yarra Trail to Westerfolds Park
Entrance (Banksia Park)
Annulus Wildlife Sanctuary
Major Road Minor Road
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Main Yarra Trail to the City
Chinese bluestone walls used for damming Yarra to irrigate crops.
Bolin Bolin Billabong
Multi-Purpose Track Park Boundary
Car Park Water Body Picnic Area Barbecues Shelter Information
Disabled Toilets Toilets
Bird Watching Cycling Track Walking Track No Dogs Allowed
Cartography by Parks Victoria Mapping Systems, March 2000 J:/Mapping/Parknotes/Yarra/ YarraFlats/YarraFlats.wor