Posted by: Lisa Hill | January 22, 2021

Melbourne’s Best River, Bay & Lakeside Walks (2018), by Julie Mundy and Debra Heyes

While travel is off the agenda and state borders are opening and closing at the drop of a hat, we’re adapting to local leisure activities.  So I was immediately interested when I saw the Facebook page of Ulysses Bookstore promoting Melbourne’s Best River, Bay and Lakeside Walks. (Not that I need much of an excuse to pay them a visit!)

It’s terrific.  Melbourne is blessed with countless parks and gardens, rivers, creeks, lakes and wetlands, but this book has introduced me to some I didn’t know about.

The book divides Melbourne into seven regions, offering walks graded from easy to medium, none of them longer than about four hours:


Albert Park Lake (Wikipedia)

  • Federation Square and Southbank
  • Melbourne’s Icons by the Yarra
  • Merri Creek Trail South
  • Docklands and the Wharves
  • Como House and Herring Island
  • Albert Park Lake


Cherry Lake Altona (Wikipedia)

  • Williamstown Maritime History
  • Altona Coastal Park & Cherry Lake
  • Werribee River Central Walk
  • Werribee River Park
  • Point Cook Coastal Park and Cheetham Wetlands
  • Tarneit & Skeleton Creek Wetlands

Melbourne’s West

Organ Pipes National Park (Wikipedia)

  • Maribyrnong River Walk
  • Spiritual creek Walk
  • Maribyrnong Creek
  • Solomons Ford Walk and Maribyrnong River
  • Organ Pipes National Park

Melbourne’s North

Dights Falls (Wikipedia)

  • Yarra Bend Park & Dights Falls
  • Edwardes Lake Park
  • Yellowgum Park, Plenty River
  • Coburg Lake Reserve
  • Darebin Creek Parklands

Melbourne’s East

Heide I (Wikipedia)

  • Gardiners Creek  & Glen Iris Wetlands
  • Heide & Banksia Park
  • Sugarloaf Reservoir
  • Cockatoo Creek to Emerald Hill Lake
  • Lilydale Lake
  • Ruffey Lake Park

The Southeast

Anniversary Lake at Wilson Botanic Park (Wikipedia)

  • Lysterfield Lake
  • Cardinia Reservoir
  • Wilson Botanic Park
  • Jells Park
  • Cardinia Aqueduct Trail

Southeast Bayside

Brighton Beach Boxes (Wikipedia)

  • Station Pier to Webb Dock
  • St Kilda to Station Pier
  • St Kilda Pier and Penguins
  • Elwood Canal and Foreshore
  • Brighton Beach Boxes
  • Red Bluff Sea Cliffs
  • Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary.

Each walk has its own map/s, and advice includes suitability for dogs, prams and wheelchairs; whether there is cover or not; and how to get there by car or public transport.  It’s profusely illustrated with photos of the features you can expect to see: which include public art, museums, sculpture trails, boats and boat houses, heritage buildings, industrial history, a racecourse, Indigenous heritage, a city farm, and volcanic rock formations.  Not to mention congenial places for a restorative coffee or lunch.

Directions are clear, and very enticing.

Highly recommended as much for Melburnians as for visitors to our city.

Image credits:

Authors: Julie Mundy & Debra Heyes
Title: Melbourne’s Best River, Bay & Lakeside Walks
Publisher: Woodslane Press, 2018
ISBN: 9781921874420, pbk., 218 pages
Source: personal library, purchased from Ulysses Bookstore, $29.99

Available at good bookshops or contact the distributor at Woodslane Press.


  1. Well, it looks stunning – rather wish I lived in Melbourne (apart from the insects….!) :D


    • #Confession: I chose the photos to entice visitors to come here. I do love my city:)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like books such as this. Tasmania has a few. The information is so motivating to get out and walk. I have been doing some walks around Hobart neighbourhoods lately with my camera and find little hidden parks and various spots that cause me to stop and explore. One thing the pandemic has been good for, discovering more in our backyard. 🐧📷


    • I do too. Last time I was in Hobart our B&B lent me a small book of historic walks, and I did a couple while The Spouse was at his conference.
      Since the 5k limit was lifted my walking friend and I have been exploring walks that are local to me, and she’s loving it because she loves the wildlife. Braeside Park is especially good for birds, and there is a hide where you can get up close without scaring them away.


  3. great find some new walks i brought
    of short walks in peaks but it so busy everyone seems to walk in lockdown


    • Yes, that was true here too. In fact, we avoided walking at our beautiful beach because everyone was there and we had plenty of other places to go. There are good things about lockdown, and a new appreciation of the local area is one of them.


  4. Surely this book has not missed Seaford Wetlands Park track, Seaford Kanannok Creek track, Seaford Beach track?🤔😬😥


    • It has, and it missed some wonderful parks near me: Karkarook and Braeside as well. However, while I can’t speak for Seaford, I think that Karkarook and Braeside were left out because there isn’t somewhere nearby for coffee or a meal, & there’s no proximity to public transport.

      So thank you for your comment, it means that those walks are on my readers’ radar too!


      • 👍🥰

        Liked by 1 person

  5. One day … I’ll spend a couple of weeks in Melbourne and walk until my heart is content and my feet are tired. One day …


    • I reckon you could write a book yourself about the lovely walks you do around Canberra. Your photos on FB make me downright envious.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Lisa, there are many wonderful walks within Melbourne’s radius of 20 k. I know, I did a lock of them in lock down. Within 500 metres of me I saw nature at its best which I appreciated. Most of these walks were along the Moonee Valley creek. I took note of Native grasses and flowers, assorted bird life including yellow tailed black cockatoos, tawny owls, kangaroos, blue tongues. one echinda; and fortunately so far I have not seen any snakes! I was at Mariah Island on the east coast of Tasmania, over Christmas and did some wonderful walks, but I did see snakes!


    • Of all the places in the world to be in lockdown, I think Melbourne would be the best.
      Before we rationalised having two residences (i.e. commitment!) The Spouse and I spent the weekends at his flat in Hawthorn, which was on the river. Sunday morning walks were just sublime, no matter what the weather was.


  7. I’ve been slowly making my way through the Sydney versions of this book – the best harbour & coastal walks AND best beach and rock baths book. I haven’t done one for ages, hopefully this will inspire me to leave my suburb again!


  8. Melbourne not so much blessed as lucky in its old politicians. Now that we really need them parks seem to be missing from new developments, and then there is the Liberals’ ongoing plan to turn the wonderful Royal Park into a freeway interchange.
    My to-do walk is Lederderg Gorge because a) I haven’t been there; and b) I love the name.


    • You are right that the inner city is blessed with the wisdom of long-dead politicians, but there is still a well-established enthusiasm for green spaces in this city. In my suburb, even back in the unenlightened 1950s, which persisted with stone age troglodytes on council till the 1970s, there was a policy of setting one house block aside for a neighbourhood park with playground equipment. The idea was that every kid should be able to walk to a local park, just as they were in those days before helicopter parents able to walk to their local school.
      Old school Liberals like Dick Hamer were in power then and they did a lot for the environment and a green amenity in the city.
      Within a very short walking distance of my house, there are three of these neighbourhood parks, one of which was expanded to include an exercise park and a dog park when old factories were pulled down and replaced by apartments. When the old Mentone Racecourse went in the 1980s, a beautiful big park with a lake was created along with the housing. Further afield (10 minutes drive) larger parks like Karkarook Park were created in the 1990s? 2000? from a gravel quarry, and Braeside Park replaced the sewage works. Both of these are huge treed parks and are major sites for birdwatching and dusk nature walks, and they are part of a chain of parks which form a wildlife corridor across the city.
      I get tired of people complaining about development. The world has a refugee problem, and while there are many things the world could and should be doing to prevent that, in the meantime there are people needing to be settled and they have to live somewhere. As one of the most fortunate countries in the world, we need to make space for refugees and displaced persons, and we can do it without losing green spaces if we can just get the NIMBYs to share.


  9. I can’t tell you how many times Robert and I have talked about doing the Werribee river walk. One day we will actually do it.

    We watched Coast Australia last night and found out a couple of things that I never knew about. It would be the same with this book I suspect!


    • I know what you mean… our own city is often the one we neglect to explore.


  10. […] Melbourne’s Best River, Bay & Lakeside Walks, by Julie Mundy and Debra Heyes […]


  11. Hi Lisa,
    I’m a little late to the party but thanks so much for this review of our book. We’ve had a lot of fun researching, walking and writing our books and love it when people enjoy them and find them useful.


    • Hello Debra, and thank you for writing such a wonderful book!
      Now that Lockdowns seem to be over, I am just waiting for summer to go away so that I can go exploring, book in hand!


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