Monthly Archives: February 2015

Rabbits on the hop

BRADLEYS Lane residents have launched a campaign to rid their street of rabbits, saying they are destroying gardens, causing erosion along the banks of the Yarra River and competing with native wildlife for food and habitat.

A group of residents have held a meeting with Nillumbik council hoping to mobilise local support for a pest controller to come out in March or April to bait the rabbits with Pindone, a poison commonly used to control rabbits in Victoria.

Their proposed baiting program would require around 20 days, with the poison generally taking six to 10 days to work, affecting the rabbits’ livers and causing them to die from internal bleeding.

One of the residents leading the campaign, Janice Davies, says 20 people in her street have expressed their concerns about the damage caused by rabbits.

“Over the last year we have noticed a lot more rabbit droppings across our property,” Mrs Davies said.

“I also planted a whole lot of native grass one day and I thought I’d put barriers around them in the morning but by the time I went out the next morning the rabbits had already eaten the grass down to ground level.

“This campaign is about getting as many people in the street involved as possible. We’re taking people’s concerns on board and we’re finding out how to do it without harming pets.”

Another Bradleys Lane resident, Paul Fitzsimons, noticed rabbit numbers increasing when they started destroying his garden last year.

“We plant native vegetation to attract wildlife so when rabbits come along and eat it all, it’s very costly and very frustrating,” Paul said.

Mrs Davies says Nillumbik council has offered to pay for half of the associated costs for hiring a pest controller, bringing the cost to $60 per household.

Nillumbik mayor Helen Coleman says council regularly offers subsidies when residents form a local rabbit action group.

However, the Diary didn’t receive confirmation that council would provide assistance for Bradleys Lane residents at the time of publication.

The anti-rabbit proposal comes as Melbourne Water and Parks Victoria

plan to launch their own rabbit-baiting programs along the Yarra River and through the state park.

Janice says while Melbourne Water and Parks Victoria support the plan, they cannot provide financial assistance.

The Diar y understands residents would have a greater chance of drastically reducing the rabbit population around Bradleys Lane if they start their program around the same time that Melbourne Water and Parks Victoria commence their rabbit control program this year.

A rabbit baiting program involving the Osborne Peninsula Landcare Group about four years ago inspired

the group of Bradleys Lane residents to start informing neighbours about the issue and gauging support for a unified pest control plan.

It’s estimated about 80 percent of residents in Osborne Rd, Hamilton Rd and Koornong Cres were involved in the Osborne Peninsula Landcare Group program.

Ann Penrose, who is part of the Osborne Peninsula Landcare Group, says the high number of households involved made the program successful at reducing rabbit numbers.

“We have baited every year, usually around February or March,” Mrs Penrose said.

“For the first three years we baited the whole peninsula but eventually we managed to get the rabbit numbers down so low that we didn’t have to do all of the area.”

However, rabbits have few natural predators and with females known to have up to 14 babies per litter several times a year, Ann warns that rabbit populations can quickly become out of control.

“We have noticed there’s an increasing number of rabbits recently and we can never eliminate rabbits – only control them. That’s where educating the community comes in,” Mrs Penrose said.

“Controlling rabbit populations is on-going and it’s the residents’ responsibility to keep their properties clear of rabbits.”

Nationally, rabbits are estimated to cost more than $200 million a year in control measures and lost productivity, and as Bradleys Lane resident Cameron Bailey knows, rabbits can affect one neighbour but not the next.

“I’ve only seen one rabbit on my property in the two and a half years that I’ve been living here,” Cameron said.

“They’re not a problem on our property but I would probably support the plan because we’re all for removing non-native wildlife.”

Some have expressed reservations about the plan.

“I’d be happy to get on board if there’s enough residents on board and it’s likely to be effective,” Paul Fitzsimons said.

“In the meantime, we’ve taken our own immediate steps to address the measure. Since we put in fences everything has been fine and our chocolate lilies are starting to come up again but if you fence all of your property then there’s the issue of limiting the movement of animals.”

Others say rabbits are causing problems across Warrandyte, including Mitchell Ave, Gold Memorial Rd, West End Rd and along the Mullum Trail.

One Warrandyte resident commented on the Diary’s Facebook page that she rolled her ankle while playing cricket in her backyard in a rabbit hole that appeared overnight.

Elizabeth Wood, who lives in Stiggants St, says she has been baiting her property for years, yet rabbits are still eating away at her garden.

“I have been killing the rabbits but as I get rid of one lot a new lot move in,” Elizabeth said.

“The rabbits live in Stiggants Reserve and the church yard where there is an area of undergrowth. We have asked for it to be cleaned up to no avail at this stage.”

Campaigners hope baiting will begin in March or April, with Mrs Davies indicating the plan could still go ahead with 20 participants.

“Even with 20 residents we would still have a really good chance of reducing the damage that rabbits are causing to vegetation around our street, but of course, the more people involved the more success you’re likely to have,” she said.

Local lad bags a world title

WARRANDYTE’S dual Olympian snowboarder Scotty James has finally cracked a world title at the tender age of 20 after winning the World Championship Snowboard Halfpipe at the FIS Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding championship in Austria.

“It was a pretty amazing experience to win,” Scotty told the Diary on Sunday. “It’s super, actually, obviously something I’ve wanted to do from a very young age. One of the really cool things about it is that snowboarding’s a very individual sport, so I’m obviously out there doing it for myself but when you’re out there for the world champs you’re also out there doing it for Australia as well. There really was a great camaraderie between us in the team all week and then just to win it made me feel very patriotic.”

Scotty is the second Aussie man to win the title in the half-pipe after nailing 91.50 points in his first run of the final. He says he was in tip-top shape going into the championships, despite being nervous.

ScottyJames1“It’s a rollercoaster of emotions you go through when you’re competing at that level, so you obviously think about what they’re going to do,” Scotty says.

“But at the end of the day I just had to worry about what I was doing. I’d talked to my coach and we talked about having the same game plan that I had for qualification. I was definitely nervous, and knowing I could potentially come away with the win meant you have to sort of calm yourself down because it can have an impact on you mentally.

“So it was a case of settling down and getting the job done, and hopefully be standing on top later and it all worked out for me fortunately. It clicked.”

With his loyal best front, Ghost the Husky, Scotty caught up with the Diary on the river behind the Warrandyte Bakery on Sunday, and the born and bred Warrandytian described the moment when he knew he’d bagged the title as a “crazy experience that was exhilarating”.

“To be honest, I didn’t really know what to do with myself,” he says, laughing.

“I’ve always dreamt of doing a victory lap and it happened at world champs. I was sitting at the top and said to my brother, ‘If I win before I’m on the podium can you tell me before I go?’ So I was sitting there and trying to block out all the noise and Tim came up to me and he did this thing (signaled No.1) to me.

“And I just jumped out of my seat and gave him a hug and I said to my coach, ‘I’ve always dreamt of doing a victory lap but I never thought it would actually happen’. He said, ‘Hey, do whatever you want!’ So I just did one air on the half-pipe and jumped out onto the deck and went down and gave everyone a big high five.

“I think it’s really cool when people come out and cheer us on, so for me to give the spectators a high five was easy.”

Scotty says although he’s based in Colorado and often travelling the globe, he says Warrandyte will always be home.

“What is there not to love about Warrandyte, I’ve lived here my whole life, so 20 years now,” Scotty told the Diary.

scotty James1“It’s an amazing little spot and every time I get a chance I tell people that . One thing I really love about it is that it has a very good family orientated feel about it – obviously I’ve lived here my whole life with my family – and being right here on the river it’s just an awesome spot.

“It’s so easy to wake up in the morning and whip down my street, go grab a great breakfast and enjoy the place, and I don’t plan on leaving any time soon, so you’ve got to deal with me a bit longer Warrandyte.”

Scotty is kicking back at home in Warrandyte this week before heading to Japan.

“I’ll head to Japan and get some snowboarding in, get some photos,” he says. “That really is a culture I want to check out. Then there’s the US Open coming up at the start of March. After that I’ll either come back here for F1 or stay over there and do this new event called Red Bull Double Pipe in Aspen.

“My calendar is all over the shop at the moment,” he says laughing.

Check out more at www.scottyjames.com.au

ENTER: Mural competition and short story

Grand Wall Entry Form

Calling all

budding

artists

THE concrete wall alongside the drive-through at the Grand Hotel Warrandyte may be looking a bit bare at the moment, but it won’t be for much longer when a grand design appears there in the near future.

All budding artists in Warrandyte are invited to design a mural to be painted on the wall, with prizes offered to the best five designs and a major prize for the winning entry.

Entries for the competition will close on March 10 and winners will be announced on stage at the Warrandyte Festival on Saturday March 21.

See more details in the advertisement on Page 28 and entry forms and conditions are available at www.warrandytediary.com.au and from www.grandhotelwarrandyte.com.au

50 great reasons to visit Warrandyte

NOTICE: This post has been updated since its original posting in 2015

 WARRANDYTE is a great place to live or visit.

In 2015, the Diary published a piece 50 great things to do in Warrandyte and even today, this is still one of our most popular pages on our website.

A lot changed in three years, a lot is still the same too.

So, for your reading pleasure, here is the 2018 version of 50 great things to do in Warrandyte.

STAY THE NIGHT

Accommodation isn’t in ample supply in Warrandyte, but that’s not to say there aren’t some great options.

Warrandyte Goldfields Bed and Breakfast, located opposite the Stonehouse Gallery at Whipstick Gully Road.

With four star RACV rating, this B&B offers a self-contained two bedroom apartment which can sleep up to five people.

Situated within the heart of the old township, guests are minutes away from Warrandyte’s history, nature, art or the towns many eating establishments.

Alternatively, Crystal Brook Tourist Park is another excellent option for those looking for something a bit more versatile and spacious.

Whether you’re keen to camp, caravan or reside in a deluxe creek-side villa, Crystal Brook Tourist Park caters for all your needs and desires — minus the expensive price tag!

And it’s on the fringe of Warrandyte in Doncaster East on Warrandyte-Heidelberg Road opposite Beasley’s Nursery.

The popularity of sites like Airbnb have not gone unnoticed with Warrandyte homeowners and a quick search of Warrandyte reveals more than 20 options for the traveller who prefers a more homely vacation experience.

PARTY TIME

Sporting a number of café/bar/pub options and with many of these holding regular “special events” or even live music, a night out is becoming increasingly more popular.

In the centre of Warrandyte there there is The Grand Hotel and its new sister establishment Next Door — which you will find next door, are great options for listening to live music or for bit of a pre-event tipple before heading off to the Mechanic’s Hall the latest offerings be that theatre or music.

At the Goldfields Plaza end of town, check out It’s 12 o’clock Somewhere, or perhaps visit The White Owl for one of their summer evening events when it transforms into The Night Owl

Don’t forget the good old Warrandyte RSL, a favourite for many thanks to its laid back atmosphere up high on the hill in Brackenbury St.

A beaut spot for a game of pool, a drink and a barbecue on the balcony, it’s also a top live entertainment venue the entire family can enjoy with acts on every second Friday night and the last Sunday of every month. 

BEST FOR FOOD & COFFEE

There is no denying that Warrandyte offers a feast for all the senses, especially your taste buds.

From excellent rustic bakeries to exquisite fine dining, Warrandyte has something to satisfy your hunger for every occasion when it comes to food.

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, Warrandyte has it covered.

Find yourself in Warrandyte on a weekday morning? Popular options include The RiverView Café, Cocoa Moon and The Warrandyte Café and The White Owl.

If you are after a quick pick-me-up, all these café’s make a great cup of coffee too.

For lunch, Warrandyte has two bakeries, The Warrandyte Bakery on Yarra Street, or Leos Bakery at Goldfields Plaza.

Want dinner? We’ve got it covered.

Indian — Nardee or Indian Affair.

Thai — Vanilla Orchid

Chinese — Mings

The Grand Hotel does some great pub grub with a good selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options, or if you are after something more pizza shaped, why not try Bubbas Pizza, Zest — on the site of Red Fox Restaurant or why not head out to It’s 12 o’clock Somewhere.

Warrandyte is also home to two Fish and Chip shops — West End Fish & Chips and Seafood by the Yarra.

For the ultimate fine dining experience, why not book a table at Altair on Yarra Street.

GREAT WALKS & BIKE TRAILS

When surrounded by the beautiful bushland and scenic views that Warrandyte has to offer, the desire to go for a walk or bike ride is almost second nature.

Additionally, the hill-filled and vast landscape of our town also makes for great exercise.

So where do you start?

The tranquil walk along the Yarra River is probably the most loved and frequently used track that Warrandyte contains.

Another family-friendly track is the scenic and isolated Main Yarra Trail, where you can begin your journey from Beasley’s Teahouse and ride or walk your way towards the city.

For keen mountain bike riders however, the fire trails of fourth hill present a greater challenge.

There are some great walking trails to be found the The Pound and there is a very scenic walk from Black Flats to Jumping Creek Reserve, which can be accessed from Tills Drive.

North of the river, the Koornong Linear Reserve, off of Osbourne Road is a hidden gem as well as some nice walking an swimming spots at the end of Bradley’s Lane and The Boulevard.

Parks website is a good place to start, but also check out the Runners of Warrandyte Facebook group for advice and inspiration.

MUSEUMS & GALLERIES & INFORMATION

Warrandyte is famous for its rich history of gold mining, Indigenous roots and influential art culture.

Thus, our town has many attractions and places of interest that truly make it a special place to live and visit. For those with an interest in Warrandyte’s history, it is imperative that you visit the Warrandyte Historical Society — a small gallery that aims to preserve and celebrate the town’s past.

Follow your historical lesson with a venture down Whipstick Gully, the home to the gold mines in their original form.

Whilst you’re at it, be sure to be on the lookout for the distinctive Warrandyte listening poles. With a push of a button, listeners are taken back in time through story and song.

In addition, Warrandyte’s secondhand bookshop, Yarra Cottage Books, offers a unique, cultural experience as it showcases rare texts and first editions of books — what you might find will surprise you.

If arts and crafts are what you seek, check the Stonehouse Gallery.

Of course, we can’t have a Warrandyte and surrounds travel guide without mentioning the Information Warrandyte in Yarra Street to find out so much more on what to do and where to go.

FISHING & SWIMMING

Swimming, fishing and kayaking are the ideal outdoor recreational activities in Warrandyte, given that the Yarra River is practically on our doorstep.

The trick is to know the best spots to do so to ensure your safety.

In terms of swimming, Pound Bend is a location loves by locals who enjoy a splash.

Don’t forget your inflatable tyre and picnic — why not make a day of it?

Great fishing spots on the other hand require a bit of insider info.

Try your luck at the end of Alexander Road as there are a plenty of good spots along the river there.

Alternatively, you might find success along the river behind Stiggants Reserve, or behind the bakery where the rapids are.

If you’re lucky, you can catch Macquarie Perch, Murray Cod, eels and carp — sometimes sized 60 – 70cm believe it or not!

Be careful to remember your crocs (not the reptile variety) or water shoes though, as rocks in these areas can be sharp.

ONCE A YEAR

Warrandyte’s annual festivities present the perfect opportunity for locals to unite and for visitors to get a taste for our town’s contagious community spirit.

To get the ball rolling, the annual Warrandyte Pottery Expo celebrates and exhibits the best pottery and craft from the greatest Australian and international ceramic artists.

The expo takes place on the last weekend of February along the banks of the Yarra River.

Arguably the biggest event of the year, the Warrandyte Festival in March, is always a hit and arguably the best community festival in Australia.

Don’t miss the extravagant parade on Yarra Street, the much-loved duck race along the river and the tension-filled billy cart derby.

Not to mention great quality stalls and excellent live, local music all weekend long.

The Run Warrandyte Fun Run in the first weekend in March is a great family event from run/walkers to serious runners and the new “bushy” course is not to be missed.

Why not check out the The Stonehouse Gallery’s Teapot exhibition in August, run for its second time in 2018, this is fast becoming a regular artistic event on the town’s calendar.

DAY TRIPS WITHIN HALF AN HOUR

Warrandyte is central enough that a multitude of great day trips to nearby suburbs are reachable within half an hour. In fact, Melbourne’s CBD itself is only 40 minutes away straight down the Eastern Freeway.

For a more local adventure, however, take a drive to Eltham which is only 10 minutes northwest of Warrandyte.

Check out the Eltham War Memorial Park, which commemorates Australians involved in conflict.

It is certainly worth a visit to grasp a bit of history, pay your respects and admire the superb views.

Along similar lines, Montsalvat of Eltham is a beautiful artist colony where you can take a walk through the scenic gardens, capture some photographs of historic buildings and follow up with lunch at their own café/restaurant.

A trip out to the Yarra Valley is also a must, landing right on the half hour mark from Warrandyte.

Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or a chocoholic, the Yarra Valley has something for everyone.

The wine region is exceptional, with plenty of outstanding wineries waiting to be discovered.

The immensely popular Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice-Creamery is also recommended, and serves as the ideal location for the kids. Not to forget other commendable nearby wineries, including Rob Dolan Wines. Excellent food and exquisite wines – what more could you ask for?

MARKETS

To the delight of avid market-goers, there is no shortage of vibrant, atmospheric markets within the area.

Naturally, the crowd favourite of our Facebook community is naturally the one and only Warrandyte Market, which takes place on the first Saturday of every month.

Check it out for amazing local produce, arts and crafts, plant life, homewares and excellent food and drink.

When the Warrandyte Market isn’t on, there are still plenty of options nearby including the monthly Park Orchards Farmers Market on the third Saturday each month. Popping up every Saturday, the St Andrews Market is certainly worth a visit for its cool, hippy vibes and unique buys.

Thank you to the following people who made suggestions as well as those who contributed anonymously:

Ashlee Hughes, Cara Harwood, Karin Walford, John Luttick, Angela Davies, Debbie Hodgson, Peta Ann Dibb, Grant Egan, Kaz Meady, Danae Barnes, David Schwarzer, PeteandMel Mac and Wendy Snowball.