Dight’s Falls to be rebuilt

Update, 18 November: Here’s an article from The Age which suggests that the Channel Deepening Project may see toxic sludge disturbed by the dredging wash back up the 22 km long tidal estuary of the Yarra all the way up to Dight’s Falls, bringing foul smells with it.

Original article: Well, it’s not the most interesting news in the world, but apparently Dight’s Falls is to be rebuilt so that it looks just the same. Apparently they’re going to have a public consulation. They’re going to make an even better fish ladder to help little fishies, and eels to get over the big bump. Did you know that the eels that live in the Yarra can actually get out, walk around the falls, and get back in? That’s what the web says. What I’d like are some stepping stones across the top so you can walk over it safely. Anyone else?

Best new website this century? Melbourne bike paths plotted on Google world

Now this is what I call a great inovation: Bikely.  It plots bike paths, and users’ favourite on-road bike routes, on a street directory, and lets you look at the map in three views: standard street directory, Google world satellite imagery, or the latter with key roads superimposed (‘hybrid view’). Check out the 10 km loop taking in the Yarra Boulevard here, for example, and the instructions here.  All Abbotsford routes here.  The first hyperlink in this post are to all Victorian routes — 1616 of them. It also has running routes, which must also be walking routes.  It will be interesting to see whether it is possible to put links to Flickr images in the instructions. Maybe one day I’ll finish this blog’s first ever post, and plot the King Walk from the Carringbush to Dights Falls on the site as a running route. The beautiful photo is courtesy of A J Shcroetlin of Colorado.  Leave a comment if you think this site is as great as I do.

Oil slick on Yarra

There’s an oil slick on the Yarra River, from Abbotsford’s Johnston St bridge to Kew’s Fairfield Boat House, about 8 km. No one knows how it got there, but it is thought to result from more than 100 litres of lube oil entering the river. Read The Age here, News.com.au here, ABC here. How a journalist could possibly write with confidence that no wildlife has been injured so far is beyond me. The other report, that there was no evidence of any birds being affected was a much more sensible choice of words.

Tattooed lady corpse floating at Dights Falls

Did you hear? At 2 p.m. yesterday, a walker found a woman’s corpse wrapped in a blue sheet, weighed down by a large backpack full of weights. It was resting against the concrete barrier over which Dights Falls flow. We will know who it was soon enough: she had “Reggie” and “Elsie” tatts adorning her two wrists, and a gold navel stud, but the body has been in the water long enough for police to venture only that it appears to be a caucasian corpse. Keep you posted.

Update: the woman was 27 year old Balaclava woman Lynette Phillips. Her family is from the country. According to Sky News Online, she was a former heroin addict studying drug counselling at Swinburne University, and last seen in her flat on Monday. She is pictured in this Age article. Something I read suggested that the corpse is thought to have been dumped in the Merri Creek at Northcote.

But who was the walker? Abbotsford Blog wants to hear from you.

The other way Dights Falls have been making the news recently is in the government’s contemplation of the possibility of diverting “after-storms water” at Dights Falls and storing it in underground acquifers or in Yan Yean or Sugarloaf Reservoirs. By the end of the year, we will know whether Melbournians are set to drink Yarra River water from close to the centre of the city.

Riding on a car-free Yarra Boulevard

With thousands of lycra clad fittos (and some notsofittos), I twirled through a few laps of Yarra Boulevard on 12 March when Bicycle Victoria blocked it off to cars (the next “cyclovia” is on 28 May 2006: 4 km of Sydney Road in Brunswick for 6 hours). It is one of the world’s few events where the coffee is free but water costs. It was all good. There were free muffins, and an Oxfam stall where these wonderful bags made fruit juice packs were for sale. I wonder if everyone else was as ignorant as me about Yarra Boulevard. Did you know that by going to the river end of Gipps St, following the bridge across the Yarra, and continuing up the path straight ahead, you reach Yarra Boulevard, and can then ride along an undulating and winding riverside bushland boulevard which starts nowhere in particular, ends nowhere, and is seemingly only used by late model Mercedes? Continue reading “Riding on a car-free Yarra Boulevard”

I went for a walk to Galatea Point

I took Miss K down to Galatea Point in Yarra Bend Park, just off Studley Park Road, a great little 20 minute walk you can drive to and be guaranteed a park (directions below). This is one of the beautiful views of the Yarra a great loop of which makes the Point feel like a promontory. Across the way is green lawn, and autumnal European trees (in the general vicinity of the Studley Park Boathouse). The combination of the bush and the park separated by the river is particularly pleasant, the best of both worlds, and I daydreamed of installing a kangaroo on the point, but have since confirmed my suspicion that kangaroos are excellent swimmers.

Along with nesting rainbow lorikeets, three eastern rosellas, and grey fantails, we saw, without even looking, one of the most splendid Australian birds, a flame robin, hopping around nonchalantly in front of us for as long as we cared to take in his scarlet beauty. My camera’s batteries had by then given out. Happily, I was able to borrow this photo from Julian Robinson of Flickr.
Continue reading “I went for a walk to Galatea Point”