Walk Warburton and see the sights
|Trail||Warburton Township Loop|
|Grade (if available)||Easy|
|Start||Warburton Main Street|
|Finish||Warburton Main Street|
|Distance||5km (short) / 16km (long)|
|Max Elevation||187 m|
|Features||Warburton Village, historic swing bridge, Yarra River|
|Facilities||Toilets: Warburton township
Car parking: Warburton township
|Notes||Can be done any time of the year|
The Warburton River Walk is a beautiful, gentle 5km walk that is easy and accessible. If you want to stretch your legs a bit more it can easily be turned into a substantially longer 16km circuit.
The Yarra River is the lifeblood of Melbourne and it is no more beautiful than in its upper reaches here in the Warburton Valley where the water runs clear before it crosses the clay flats further downstream. Depending on the time of the year, the river can boast a series of swift rapids or just be bubbling along gently – either way it’s always idyllic.
With the walk being right in the middle of Warburton village, experiencing the Yarra couldn’t be easier. You can start at any of the four bridges that cross the river behind the township but we recommend you head for the iconic Swing Bridge, one of the few examples of this type of bridge in Victoria.
Once on the northern bank the route tracks the contours of the river as it snakes along the valley floor in the shadow of Mt Donna Buang – a spectacular site and one of the few mountains in Australia that stands right above a town. Information boards dotting the walk provide deeper insight into the river and surrounds and there are seats, BBQs and picnic spots along the banks that encourage a slow pace. Crossing to the southern bank brings you back to where you began.
No matter if you had your arms swinging in a brisk, pulse-raising walk or simply strolled along the picturesque river stopping frequently, there is no better way to finish than taking advantage of coffee and cake.
- You can begin the Riverside Walk from anywhere in Warburton, but our recommendation is to fuel up at a café on main street and then drop down the alley opposite the police station. Turn left at the river to head west (downstream) towards Story Reserve.
- This will get you to the iconic and very photogenic Swing Bridge. Cross it, enjoying the unique feeling of bouncing as you walk.
- Turn right over the bridge and pick up the trail to the right (heading east) that skirts the bank of the river.
- Take your time to enjoy the trail as it undulates with the land between trees and around rocks, passing convoys of ducks playing follow the leader on the water. There are several seats that make good places to stop and take it all in.
- Follow this trail for 2.2km then cross the river over a footbridge.
- Turn left and follow the river’s sweeping bend. Shortly thereafter the trail meets the Warburton Hwy, turn around here.
- Follow your track back, only this time stay on the southern bank of the river as you walk downstream. Pass behind the sports complex and continue on the trail until you get back to where you started.
ALTERNATIVE: For a longer option, follow the Walk It guide until you get to Warburton Hwy but instead of doubling back turn left onto the bridge to cross the river again and sweep around onto the underpass that crosses below the Highway to pick up the trail on the other side. Follow this behind the caravan park and in and out of bushland beside the river for 2km before exiting to the left. Cross Woods Point Rd with care and turn right onto the footpath. Follow this path for 1.3km until you cross a bridge over the Yarra and arrive at the intersection with Riverside Dr. Turn right onto Riverside Dr and follow that for 3.3km until it becomes Kellys Rd. 850m later cross the Warburton Hwy with care and re-join the Walk It guide at Point 7.
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