Featured

Break-ins on the rise

WARRANDYTE police and Manningham Crime Investigation Unit (CIU) are urging residents to be on the lookout for suspicious activity after several houses in Warrandyte were been broken into last month.

Detective senior sergeant Matt Volk from Manningham CIU says thieves from a specific crime syndicate have made off with $4 million worth of goods from 28 burglaries and there has been a huge spike in burglaries in the area over the past few months.

The break-ins generally happened during evenings between Thursdays and Sundays from 5pm-10pm. Houses in St Muir Drive, Oakland Drive and Pamela Court were targeted and significant amounts of cash and jewellery were stolen. The Warrandyte Cafe was reportedly broken into over the Queen’s Birthday Weekend as the Diary went to print.

These burglaries form part of a larger series with houses in Donvale also being targeted by thieves. Affluent properties are the specific focus of the thieves and in at least one particular case a resident was downstairs in her house while the intruders ransacked upstairs, making off with jewellery and irreplaceable family heirlooms.

A common tactic of the thieves is to come knocking on the door and asking for a stranger who does not live at the residence.

Recording descriptions of these people, including vehicle types and registrations, is helpful to police, and of most benefit when the information is reported at the time.

At a press conference held on May 26, Det Snr Sgt Matt Volk said “we’re urging the community to come forward if you see anything suspicious call 000 immediately”.

Police have stepped up patrols in the areas but need the residents of Warrandyte to be alert to any suspicious activity.

Police urge all residents to communicate with their neighbours and start a dialogue so that anything out of the ordinary can be quickly identified and the police called in for suspicious circumstances.

Police say many people are concerned about interfering or wrongly accusing people of a crime, however, the spate of burglaries has proven residents can never be too vigilant, so residents are asked to not hesitate in calling the police if something’s not quite right.

Meanwhile, some time overnight on May 28, a vehicle in Fossickers Way and another on Harris Gully Road had their side windows smashed and personal items, loose change and personal belongings were stolen.

Also, on at least three separate occasions in May, a red and black laundry bag containing soiled linen has been stolen from outside the medical centre on Yarra and Trezise streets.

Anyone with any information
on these incidents is urged to call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or Warrandyte Police on 9844 3231.

Olivigna applies for helipad in Warrandyte

AN application for a proposed helipad at Olivigna in South Warrandyte is being considered by Manningham council.

The helipad will enable emergency services to have easier and more immediate access to the estate’s surrounding area.

Olivigna property manager John Di Pietro said the threat of bushfires prompted the business to apply for the helipad permit.

“During the height of a particularly hot and threatening summer we thought about our estate and its positioning and realised that if local emergency services could fly in and out of here it would really help them, which is essentially protect and help our community,” Mr Di Pietro said.

Although the proposal has been welcomed by emergency services, including the police and the local CFAs, it has received about 60 objections. Nonetheless, Olivigna management maintain that the helipad will not be used often and, when it is, will create minimal disturbance.

The number of flights will be limited to two arrivals and two departures per month and the size and type of helicopter will be restricted according to the acoustic report. As per Clause 52.15 of the Manningham Planning Scheme, flights will not take place before 7am (8am on weekends or holidays) or after sunset on weekdays.

Mr Di Pietro said that two acoustic reports indicate that the noise generated by the helicopters is well below the Environment Protection Authority 1254 Noise Control Guidelines. He also reiterated that the proposed flight path will not impact on the neighbourhood as the helicopters will only cross the Olivigna properties.

 

Traffic gridlock

THE traffic congestion at Warrandyte Bridge has been a growing point of contention for Warrandyte locals with queues of cars often backed up for a few kilometres during peak hours.

The daily commute is becoming unbearable for many, causing frus- tration and concerns over residents’ safety in emergency situations.

The increasing outrage prompted North Warrandyte resident Jennie Hill to create the Fix the Warrandyte Bottleneck Facebook group in April last year. The page aims to encourage discussion about the congestion on the bridge, which continues on Yarra St, and find solutions. At this stage, reaching consensus is proving difficult.

“We can’t agree with the community on exactly what should be done to solve the problem so we can’t find a solution,” Ms Hill said.

With much discussion unfolding on the Fix the Warrandyte Bottleneck and Warrandyte Diary Facebook pages, residents are determined to find a solution. Suggestions include the installation of traffic lights (operating at peak times) at the roundabout of the bridge intersection, encouraging use of public buses, and widening of the bridge and/or building another bridge.

While many solutions seem plausible, opinion is divided. Some residents believe installing traffic lights is logical while others believe that common courtesy and giving way is more efficient. Construction of another bridge along the Yarra River in Warrandyte also seems a solution for some, but others may view it as an eyesore, not only damaging the character of Warrandyte but encouraging more traffic to pass through the quaint suburb.

Many locals are especially upset the traffic is not Warrandyte residents but from those living in surrounding suburbs. There is speculation the development of housing estates in areas such as South Morang, Epping and Whittlesea has created more traffic moving towards the city or down south.

“The traffic is not all local. I believe it’s from the growth areas around Doreen and Yan Yean looking for a way to go south without using the toll road. I also believe it is getting worse!” Lisa Upson commented on the Diary’s Facebook page.

The City of Whittlesea, which includes the suburbs of South Morang, Epping and Whittlesea, is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Australia.

According to population experts, forecast.id, the population of the City of Whittlesea is set to increase by almost 40,000 by 2020, indicating congestion is unlikely to ease in the future.

Snail’s pace: Jennie Hill stands near the Warrandyte bridge bottleneck during the school drop-off peak. “You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. We can’t go back to ‘old’ Warrandyte. The traffic is here and it’s only going to get worse. We need to stop complaining and find a solution.”

Resident Dori Jennings said her son had missed his connecting bus to school on several occasions because the first bus takes almost half an hour just to travel from Pigeon Bank Road to the IGA on Warrandyte Road about 4km.

Although the excessive traffic con- gestion is inconvenient and causing patience to wear thin, concerns sur- rounding emergency management are not being dismissed. Warrandyte is listed as one of 52 high fire risk locations in Victoria, according to the CFA. Along with narrow roads and numerous dead ends, the bridge congestion is another factor contrib- uting to Warrandyte’s access issues.

In the event of a bushfire, a mass evacuation may become a critical problem as the bridge is the only one out of Warrandyte.

“It’s only a matter of time before it’s a matter of life and death. How

do emergency vehicles get through traffic congestion in an emergency let alone bushfire situations?” Jade Shoppee commented on the Diary’s Facebook page.

Ms Hall acknowledges opinions are varied because of residents’ needs and proximity to the bridge, however, she maintains the foremost issue for everyone should be the preservation of life in the event of an emergency.

“The argument has to be turned around. People cannot look at it from the perspective of what is going to benefit them most but instead look at what’s important and what can potentially save lives… it’s about preserving lives and not just a matter of personal preferences.”

Member for Warrandyte Ryan Smith has been seeking action on the matter from the Andrews gov- ernment for some time.

After Mr Smith took Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley to see the congestion, Mr Lapsley immediately initiated discus- sions with VicRoads and local councils to install Disaster Plan (Displan) boxes at both ends of the bridge. The Displan boxes were installed in late 2014 and contain emergency equipment to assist with traffic in the event of an emergency.

“Our No.1 concern during an emer- gency is the safe evacuation of people,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said he contacted the Minister for Roads and Road Safety in December last year but there has not been any more progress on the matter; the minister has reiterated that VicRoads would continue to work with the Warrandyte commu- nity on local traffic management issues.

According to VicRoads metro north-west regional director Adam Maguire, VicRoads is working with the CFA and Melbourne Water to look at water access and supply for fire brigades and is also investigating a range of options for this Yarra River crossing, including the construction of a second bridge or the widening of the existing bridge.

Mr Maguire said funding for these activities would be considered.

Although no plans are final, Mr Smith is determined to find a resolution for the community.

“I will continue to hold the Andrews government to account on this matter and to push for the study that was started last year to continue so that a workable solution can be found.”

To have your say or to read more about it, join the Fix the Warrandyte Bottleneck page on Facebook and keep an eye on the Diary Facebook page for more updates.

What’s on in Warrandyte – Five for Friday

Warrandyte is getting a taste of wintry weather – 16-degrees four days in a row and rain forecast. What to do aside from snuggling up with a loved one in front of fire? Try these:

1. Mother’s Day is Sunday and the Warrandyte Business Association will be having some musos doing the rounds at local cafes including Caz Nickson and her band A Country Practice outside the Stonehouse Gallery.

2. Peter Grant is rocking up a storm at the Grand Hotel Warrandyte tonight. Be There.

3. Ona & Syd have their open studios over the weekend at the corner of Henley and Oxley roads, Bend of Islands. Celebrating their joint 100 years of art making. Enjoy a cuppa in front of the fire and admire some beautiful pieces of art.

4. Venom’s Youth League women will be tearing up the court against Corio Bay Stingrays from 7pm tomorrow night at Warrandyte stadium. Be sure to cheer the girls on and watch some first class basketball action.

5. Remember to give your Mum a big cuddle and tell her you love her!

Diggers, we remember you – a beautiful ANZAC Day march and service

AN enormous turnout of locals paid their respects to our fallen with a special Centenary Dawn Service at Stiggants Reserve in Warrandyte this morning after the march.

The scene couldn’t have been more Warrandytian – more than a thousand residents lined Yarra St for the early morning march before walking to Stiggants Reserve for a moving service.Anzac Ben copy A mild, calm morning set the scene and towering gum trees on the banks of the Yarra provided a backdrop with branches clearly the best seats in the house for the vocal resident kookaburras and other birdlife.

From babies, children and pets to families, our senior citizens, dignitaries and particularly our 93-year-old last surviving digger, Ben Jones (pictured with his daughter Helen), the atmosphere was emotion-charged and everyone united as one to pay their respects.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary, the special service by the RSL Warrandyte Sub-Branch was headed up by immediate past president Henk Van Der Helm and included a Catafalque Party, bagpipers, singing by the Bellbird Singers, and a rousing rendition of Eric Bogle’s  The Band Played Walzting Matilda by Barry Carrozi.

That was followed by a touching poem and prayer, the wreath laying ceremony, The Ode by Robin Batty, Lament, a heart-warming Last Post and minute’s silence as rain started to fall and the sun started to rise. After the service, hundreds converged on the RSL Clubrooms for a Gunfire Breakfast hosted by the Lions Club.

Diggers, we remember you.

(More in the May edition of the Diary)

Pictures: BILL MCAULEY

 

What’s on in Warrandyte – Five For Friday

Another home game for the Bloods, ANZAC Day activities and some rip-roaring entertainment. Why wouldn’t you wanna be in Warrandyte in the coming days …

1. Warrandyte RSL dawn service, Stiggants Reserve at 6.15am. It’s 100 Years of ANZAC, the spirit lives 2014-2018. The march will commence at 6am from the car park opposite the pub and end at Stiggants where the service will take place. After the service, everyone is invited back to the RSL for a Gunfire Breakfast hosted by the Lions Club.

2. That’s not all that’s happening at the RSL. Book in Sunday for Bands By The Bridge, and it’s a beauty! Greg Champion and The Useful Members of Society is on from 4pm-8pm. BYO food platter welcome, band donations appreciated. Inquiries 9844 3567.  113 Brackenbury St, enter via Mitchell Ave.

3. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, then rock on to the Grand Hotel Warrandyte for entertainment all weekend, including Electric Intent tonight and then the very talented Madison performing from 3.30pm on Sunday.

3. Peace Labyrinth Opening, Warrandyte Uniting Church,  Taroona Avenue, 10.15am Sunday April 26.

4. Bloods are back – two wins on the trot and looking menacing in the 4th Division of the EFL. Tomorrow they’re home again, this time up against the visiting Kilsyth. Who’s going to kick a bag this weekend? Dunny? Or Froudy?

5. Nillumbik Artists Open Studios is unmissable from between 11am to 5pm on May 2-3. The studios of over 30 artists will provide an intimate and privileged insight into their works. Inquiries: 1300 660 072.

 

Five For Friday (April 17) in Warrandyte

What’s happening in Warrandyte and surrounds? Here’s five things to stir the senses and your interest …

1. Bloods’ first home game for the season at our beautiful Warrandyte Reserve and the sensational new facilities. Get up in the grand stand, buy a beer and a Bloods burger from Bucky and his team and enjoy a great game as the Red & White do battle with Ferntree Gully all day in the U19s, Reserves and seniors

2. Nillumbik Youth Festival will be a hive of activity on Sunday from 11am to 4pm at Edendale Farm on Gaston Rd in Eltham. Let’s party, kids!

3.  Free plants – Stoney Creek and Yarra Restoration Group ask you to join them at a free BBQ to hear their plans and help them restore the reserve at the Boulevard in North Warrandyte. Saturday (tomorrow) at 4pm. Contact Gill on 0403 051 766

4. Don’t forget your copy of the latest edition of the Warrandyte Diary, it’s a corker, 40 pages packed with fun stuff, news, around the home page, travel stories, sport, food, school, community issues and loads more. Available at various pick up points, mainly Quinton’s IGA.

5. Give Sue a hug at Quinton’s IGA in the coming week and say congratulations on 20 years of great work and for her big friendly smile at our local supermarket. She’s a little ripper!

Fire strikes our local

A SMALL fire at the Grand Hotel resulted in the evacuation of patrons and structural damage before being brought under control by the CFA.

Flames were localised to a section of the balcony bar, which was hosting a function at the time. According to manager Peter Appleby the origin of the fire hasn’t yet been determined.

Although the lives of patrons were not threatened, a level of panic was reached when flames and smoke became visible.

After the duty manager was informed of the smoke, the Warrandyte CFA swiftly arrived on the scene and were backed up by units from South and North Warrandyte.

Evacuation of the function was a well coordinated by the authorities in front of a curious crowd of locals who gathered to witness proceedings.

Staff member on the scene Nick Schlueter described the day as a “rapid change of events”.

“Despite a fire breaking loose and the whole venue evacuated, I was confident we would still continue to serve customers, which we did,” Schlueter said.

Damage to the premise was limited by an excellent effort by the CFA.

“Minor repairs are required to the balcony section and the carpet needs to be replaced in the public bar due to water damage,” Appleby said.

Valiant efforts by the chefs and staff had the pub looking presentable enough to open the bistro, which was undamaged, for dinner at 7pm on the night of the disaster.

The public bar re-opened on Monday and all resumed as normal Wednesday afternoon.

Staff, patrons and owners are all relieved that the danger was so swiftly controlled and are well aware things could have been much worse, especially Appleby.

“We are extremely grateful that all of our wonderful staff and customers are safe, and that this beautiful 120-year-old building, is still standing to continue to serve the community proudly.”

 

 

 

Five For Friday – what’s on in Warrandyte

The weekend’s here and that means it’s Five For Friday time for all that’s happening in Warrandyte ….

1. Local footy is back, junior and senior. The Bloods senior football club is off to Glen Waverley Hawks territory tomorrow while the Bloods juniors are at home and everywhere else on Sunday. Park Orchards takes on Ringwood at Domeney Reserve for their first taste of Divvy 3 action and the Donvale lads are back taking on Nunawading in Division 4 at home tomorrow.

2. Tomorrow’s forecast in Warrandyte? 23 and sunny. A river walk perhaps? Check out this awesome photo (above) by Bill McAuley. Coffee outdoors at one of our fabo coffee shops? Maybe a sausage at Quinton’s IGA?

3. Threezacrowd will be rockin’ up a storm at the Grand Hotel tonight.

4. Blatant plug for a loyal advertiser: TV problems, want to set up your DVD, digital television etc? Tom Kerkhof Television is the answer. Call him on 0408 175 274.

5. The April edition of the Diary is out on Tuesday.

Five For Friday – what’s happening in Warrandyte (March 27)

1. Attack of the Bloods! Footy’s back, well, not the real stuff, but practice matches kicking off all weekend for the Warrandyte Footbal Club (at Panton Hill on Saturday) and the Warrandyte Junior Football Club this Sunday (29th March) against Whitehorse Colts. The schedule is as follows: Main Oval and Small Oval: 08:30am – u12s u8s/u9s, 10am – u13s, u10s, 11:30am – u14s, u11s, 1:30pm – u15s, 3:30pm – Colts. Get on down and support the mighty Bloods!

2. Penny For Your Follies at the Mechanics Institute hall in Yarra Street. Seriously, who needs to go to the city for the theatre? We’ve got the best out here! March 28, April 9-10-11. Get your tickets, it’s a fun-filled show.

3. Blatant plug for an advertiser No.1 – Had a tasting yet at Warrandyte Cellars at the Bridge Arcade Shops? Get there tonight from 5pm-8pm and check out their range.

4. Blatant plug for an advertiser No.2 – Our beautiful Altair Restaurant is having a corker of a Good Friday special:  open for dinner on Friday 3rd April serving a Seafood Tasting Menu of 6 courses for $90p.p. Matching wine additional $46p.p.
7pm arrival for a 7:30pm start. (closed Easter Sunday and Easter Monday).

5. Rock on at the Warrandyte RSL on Sunday from 4pm-8pm. Paulie Bignell and the Thornbury Two, rock n’ blues. BYO food platter welcome.

Five For Friday (festival weekend)

1. Is there anything else to do but rock up to the annual Warrandyte Festival starting tonight and running all weekend? No, indeed not. Let’s party and soak up the wonderful atmosphere! Weather gods are smiling too. Tomorrow: 23 and sunshine. Sunday: 27 and sunshine. Check it out online

2. The Grand Read is back. Tuesday March 24 is the night as a line-up of award-winning poets and writers read their works upstairs at the Grand Hotel Warrandyte from 7.15pm (for a 7.30pm start). Presented by Warrandyte Neighbourhood House.

3. Warrandyte Theatre Company presents Penny For Your Follies, rip-roaring fun at the Warrandyte Mechanics Institute from March 19-20-21-26-27-28 and April 9-10-11. For more visit here

4. Ready for Prep? Wednesday from 7pm-8pm, it’s Anderson’s Creek Primary School’s information evening for Foundation (Preps) 2016. We love our schools, and newcomers we promise you’ll love ACPS.

5. The 31st Rotary Warrandyte Art Show is on all weekend at the Warrandyte Community Church in Yarra Street. Check out some beautiful paintings.

 

Five For Friday (March 13)

1. For goodness sake don’t walk under a ladder and trip over a black cat! It’s Friday the 13th! But Saturday offers a much sweeter proposition with the Strawberry Fair at St Anne’s in Park Orchards, so grab your slap bands and dive into the giant superslide, trackless train, cha cha and more. Oh yeah, and there’ll be strawberry treats galore.

2. Warrandyte RSL is rocking up a storm tonight from 8pm with Rodeo Clowns, while the Grand Hotel will be pumping to the tunes of Peter Grant.

3. Warranwood Art Show is on all weekend at Oak Hall at the Melbourne Rudolph Steiner School in Wonga Rd from 10am-4pm – unmissable. Some fantastic art on display and for sale, visit www.warrandwoodartshow.com.au for more info.

4. BLATANT PLUG for a loyal Diary advertiser – Billanook College is offering student led tour of the campus on Thursday from 10.30am, so RSVP by contacting the registrar on 9724 1179.

5. The flags are up, the program is in the Diary available online and at Quinton’s IGA, and excitement is at bursting point. Yes, save your money, your appetite and your energy for the greatest annual festival on the planet next weekend – the Warrandyte Festival!

Wildlife slaughter: Roo killers could face up to two years in jail

WARRANDYTE car wash workers hope CCTV footage will help police catch the person or group of people who dumped 11 dead kangaroos outside their workplace last month.

Six kangaroos were mysteriously dumped in an industrial bin outside the carwash near Goldfields Plaza in late February.

George Vattakuzhy discovered another five dead kangaroos in the same spot while working just one week later.

The carwash’s manager, Samantha O’Brien, said the business had never encountered such “worrying” behaviour before.

“They dumped the kangaroos in an area where it’s built up – there’s a shopping centre next door and there are always kids and families around. It’s frightening,” Samantha said.

“People live in Warrandyte because they like native wildlife and the environment but even if somebody does view kangaroos as pests it doesn’t give them the right to basically slaughter them.”

Workers say warm weather caused the bin to develop a strong, disgusting odour, which was unsettling for those who were left to remove the kangaroos and clean the bin after the shocking discovery.

“You just don’t go to work expect- ing to see and deal with something so horrible,” Samantha said.

“It’s a slow process but we’re reviewing the footage carefully with the hope that police will be able to identify whoever did this.”

Warrandyte Police senior constable Daniel Logan said the carcasses were so badly decomposed that police couldn’t determine how the kangaroos had been killed.

He said half of the kangaroos found were juveniles.

“This is a really nice area, this sort of activity is very disturbing and we’re very anxious to catch the people or the person doing this,” he said.

“We have to assume that it’s someone around this area, because you wouldn’t really travel long distances in a car with several dead kangaroos.”

Just one day after the five kangaroos were dumped in the industrial bin at the carwash, a council worker discovered the headless body of an adult female kangaroo on Brysons Rd, Wonga Park.

“The council worker who saw the kangaroo said it wasn’t an animal – animals tear and rip,” senior constable Logan said.

“A clean and sharp object had removed the kangaroo’s head.”

These recent incidents come after two kangaroos were shot in the head and neck with arrows in Templestowe in recent times.

Police are investigating whether the deaths are connected, with senior constable Logan saying it’s possible someone chopped off the kangaroo’s head to disguise the fact that it had been injured with an arrow.

Kangaroos are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975.

Anyone found guilty of killing or seriously disabling protected wildlife faces a possible jail sentence of up to two years.

News of the dumped bodies has spread on social media, with Diary readers labelling the incidents as “disgusting” and “horrible”.

Wildlife Victoria CEO Karen Masson was “sickened” to hear the reports about the kangaroos.

“We have an amazing team of volunteers who work extremely hard to assist sick and injured kangaroos reported to our Emergency Response Service every day, so it’s heartbreaking to hear that someone in the community would treat native wildlife in such an horrific manner,” Ms Masson said.

“We sincerely hope the culprits are found and held accountable.”

Police have urged residents to be aware of suspicious activity around Warrandyte and the state parks.

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000.

The Warrandyte Diary will keep readers updated through our website.

Warrandyte crash leaves truck in bushes

A truck had to be pulled from the roadside after a two-vehicle collision today in South Warrandyte.

The incident involving a truck and a utility vehicle happened on the corner of Falconer and Warrandyte roads at about 7.30am today.

The driver of the utility vehicle has been issued with an infringement notice for failing to give way.

Warrandyte police said there were no injuries.

Five for Friday (Feb 27)

1. Time to grab hold of those furry balls and have a hit at the Warrandyte Tennis Club for its open day on Sunday at the clubrooms in Taroona Avenue. From 9am – 12 noon with Bar & One Pablo Tapas & Paella truck. FREE fun activities for all ages and experience. FAST4, Hot Shots, Social Play, Cardio Tennis, Targets & more.

2. Also on Sunday is the mighty Run Warrandyte at Warrandyte Reserve, with races beginning at 8am. Races include: Quinton’s SUPA IGA 2.25km; Ruby Tuesday Jewellery 4km; Harding’s Swift Caravan Services 8km; Warran Glen Garden Centre and Cafe 12km; and the Crystal Brook Tourist Park Under 8’s Oval Dash.

3. Grand Hotel Warrandyte tonight. Peter Grant’s rockin’ out, great food, cold beer, great wine, top people. Let’s go!

4. Blatant Plug for an advertiser. Warran Glen Garden Centre & Cafe – grab some plants, have a browse in the gorgeous shop and chow down in the beautiful cafe out the back where there are all sorts of goodies.

5. Diary deadline is today! All advertising and editorial copy closes as we put together another beast of an edition next week.

 

Wham, bam … Bloods smash 584!

WARRANDYTE Cricket Club’s Fourth XI smashed a new club record at home yesterday by amassing 9 for 584 in Round 14 of the Ringwood & District Cricket Association.

Scoresby Ferndale were left standing shell-shocked after the Bloods went on a rampage with Jimmy Weatherley leading the charge with 190 (22 fours and 7 sixes), and he was ably supported by fellow smashing machines Dylan Burns 75, Aaron Closs 58 and Brandon Stafford 50.

Ben Sproat must have given his crystal ball a good rub early in the day when he posted a note to the club’s Facebook page, tipping: “Expecting the 4s to make at least 400.”

Find out more in the next edition of the Warrandyte Diary when Ryan Hoiberg delivers his monthly report.

 

Five For Friday (February 20, 2015)

1. The French return and so does Warrandyte’s annual Pottery Expo on the riverbank all weekend, Saturday and Sunday, as eight French and 50 of Australia’s finest ceramic artists present and sell their work. For more visit www.potteryexpo.com

2. The Junior Bloods are back! Official season launch for the Warrandyte Junior Football Club as they get down and dirty at Clifford Park on Sunday at the Challenge Valley adventure obstacle course.

3. The Warrandyte Uniting Church are whipping up a storm in the pancakes department, out the front of Quinton’s IGA tomorrow (Saturday).

4. The Grand Hotel Warrandyte will be rockin’ again tonight with the Long Gone Daddys. Be there.

5. Blatant plug for one of our loyal advertisers – how’s your mouth health, Ralph? Keep Smiling can sort you out for natural looking dentures, relines and repairs, laminated mouthguards (footy season is starting, after all!), and all with on the spot health claims. Call Jacqueline Bell on 9844 4321.

 

 

Drivers ignore “no U-turn” sign near Anderson’s Creek Primary School

PARENTS of students at Anderson’s Creek Primary School have raised concerns about drivers not paying attention to the new “No U-turn” sign at the intersection of Colin Ave and Drysdale Road in Warrandyte.

One mum said: “Obviously people are not so observant as they are still completing their U-turns even with the new sign there. We’re hoping to get the police to enfore it as drivers are just totally ignoring it. A child is going to get seriously hurt or worse if people don’t stop doing the U-turns.”

The no U-turn sign applies to all times, day and night, and not just during school hours.

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.