A family-friendly, accessible walk just an hour outside the city.
Considering that it’s tucked away in a valley just a 10-minute drive off the Eastern Freeway, you’ll be surprised just how big Lysterfield Lake is. On a Saturday afternoon the park is bursting with families enjoying a barbecue in the picnic area, sailing lessons and swimmers in the water, and mountain bikers making the most of the range of tracks. Although it’s a lovely atmosphere on a sunny afternoon, if you’re looking for some more solitude, the lake circuit is surprisingly peaceful.
At 5.5 kilometres long, the circuit track taking only about an hour and a half to walk at a gentle pace. The gravel path is wide and relatively flat, making it a fairly easy way to get a pram or a wheelchair out into nature. The amount of signage makes it very difficult to get lost, so this is a great one for a family outing; if in doubt, just follow the lake! Roughly a third of the walk is along the lake shore and the dam wall and the rest is forested, though you’re never too far from the water.
There are plenty of opportunities to extend your walk along the network of trails branching off from the lake if you’re after more than a couple of hours’ walking. The main track is so spacious and well-maintained that you may feel more immersed when following the offshoots into the trees. If you don’t feel like going on foot and have access to a mountain bike or a horse, there are a number of horse-friendly trails and more than 20 kilometres of mountain bike tracks in the forest surrounding the lake.
Lysterfield Park has several mobs of kangaroos and wallabies that can be spotted from time to time, but are most active in the early morning and at dusk – though bear in mind that the park closes later in the evening. There are a number of fenced conservation areas, some of which have walking tracks to allow you to stroll right in amongst the trees. When you return to the picnic area, take a moment to admire the colours and patterns of the beautiful spotted gum stands.
PARK AT LYSTERFIELD PICNIC AREA AND FOLLOW THE PATH IN EITHER DIRECTION
WIDE, FLAT TRACK FOR PRAMS OR WHEELCHAIRS
MOUNTAIN BIKING AND HORSE RIDING OPPORTUNITIES
ON A BEAUTIFUL DAY, DON'T FORGET YOUR BATHERS!
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
EASE OF ACCESSIBILITY
All images courtesy of Alex Mullarky.