UPDATE 14 July 2020 COVID-19: For the latest information, please see https://www.manningham.vic.gov.au/changes-to-our-facilities-covid-19
Black Flat Walk is a fully developed nature walk with picnic areas, car park and signposts to the gold mining history of the area.
The entrance to Black Flat Reserve, Warrandyte State Park, is situated park way along Tills drive, which leaves Ringwood Road close by the Stonehouse craft shop. There are car parks and a picnic area at the reserve. This is a fully developed nature walk, with the route marked by signs and arrows, and will take about 1 hour to cover.
Black Flat is covered by open forest, dominated by eucalyptus - mostly red box - and it is one of the most scenically attractive areas of Warrandyte. One is constantly reminded of the part this area played during the gold mining era.
In 1904, Warrandyte's oldest mine - the Calendonian - commenced operations here. One of the boilers that provided steam power for these extenisve workings can be seen on the left, not far from the entrance to the reserve. Also to be seen is a circular depression in the ground, marking the remains of a puddling machine, powered by horses walking in a circle and used to crush quartz from which gold was extracted.
Reminders of the agricultural history of the area include a grand old red box tree used as a fence post by the Mullens family as well as a breacher dam wall. Part way along the nature trail is a sign indicating the track to Jumping Creek Reserve. (not shown the map). Spectacular views of the meandering river are a feature of this longer walk.
Wombats have burrowed into the soft soil beside the narrow track, creating a maze of holes and tunnels. A grassy area by the river, near the start of the track, marks the site of one of the old orchards. Close by is a pleasant swimming spot and a delightful picnic area under the shade of a huge manna gum.