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.

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.

Walkin’ in the Valley of Death: Victoria St

Pays to be careful as a pedestrian in Abbotsford. This poor bugger was knocked down dead by a van back in May and died, and at 2.25 a.m. yesterday, some bloke standing near the corner of Nicholson and Victoria Sts gets dead after being hit by a white van. It’s an event a minute on Victoria St: someone was pulled over at 2.30 a.m. on 6 June 2006 with a vial of GBH. Of course he was not a local, but a burgher of that disreputable part of town on the other side of the river, Kew. There they found the big stash. And now it seems a Hoddle St servo got visited by those kids on the security video on tonight’s news, as recently as 23 June 2006. And these guys are like serial armed robbers man. You can rely on hearing it second on this blog.

Gipps St Steps to Go

Only one flight of the forty-one Gipps St steps, which are to be replaced with a ramp are pictured. For many Abbotrigines, they are the starting point for any trip on the main Yarra bike path away from the city. No doubt many trips to the Collingwood Children’s Farm or the Abbotsford Convent, or Dight’s Falls which would otherwise be made along the safety of the trail are not made because of the stairs.

Having just spent a few days in Amsterdam, I con confirm the truth of the descriptions of the place in this treatment of the announcement in The Age. There are multistorey bike parks like Melbourne car parks there. The dedicated bike lanes means no one has to wear helmets. There are many bicycles designed for carrying substantial loads, what one might call bike utes, and kids ride regularly in their wheelbarrow like trays.

How the replacement of the stps can possibly cost $1.5 million is something I would be very interested to know. Another fascinating question is how it could have been considered a good idea for the teachers’ union’s Mary Bluett and the Police Union’s Paul Mullett to come out with the public criticism that the money could be better put towards (gosh what could it be?), yep, teachers, and police. Links: Continue reading “Gipps St Steps to Go”

I went for a walk to the brewery

I decided yesterday to stroll down to the CUB brewery and take some photos. I discovered the following things:

  • the Nash Hotel, one block west along Victoria St from Church St (on the corner of Lambert St) looks like a good if slightly sterile hotel with a spic’n’span dining room; I had written it off without ever having peered through its windows: can anyone speak of it from experience?
  • at the end of Church St opposite the back end of the brewery, and near this sign, is what appears to be a hidden residence with spectacular views;
  • there is a warehouse down this driveway off Victoria Crescent which seems to have some lucky folk living in it, luxuriating in views like this and this and this and this;
  • another warehouse is said to be the Victorian government’s secret art storage facility;
  • I rediscovered the hidden park Flockhart Reserve, down the end of Flockhart St, which has The Terminus on its corner, on the other side of the river from the path which leads from the Gipps St bridge to the Walmer St bridge (Victoria Gardens);
  • there is a massive prop and scenery building enterprise down there;
  • there are two horses on a vacant block which must be worth a fortune, adjoining the hidden park, on which is also to be found two antique horse-drawn carriages and the frame only of what must once have been a home — unfortunately it was at this point that my camera batteries ran out.

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”