UPDATE 14 July 2020 COVID-19: For the latest information, please see https://www.manningham.vic.gov.au/changes-to-our-facilities-covid-19
From 20 minutes to one hour, Pound Bend Walk features: historic tunnel, picnic ground, wallabies, birds, signage re Aboriginal tribe, early settlers and gold discovery.
Drive to the end of Everard Drive to find Pound Bend, which is situated in a large, narrow-necked loop of the Yarra River. In the early years, the land was used as a pound for cattle, hence its present name. With luck, you may spot a koala high in one of the smooth-barked manna gums.
The picnic area attracts many birds, including colourful parrots, honeyeaters, kookaburras and noisy mynahs. A short walk from the picnic area leads to the unique Pound Bend Tunnel. This amazing venture was carried out by David Mitchell, father of singer Dame Nellie Melba, in 1870. The tunnel - measuring 6 metres wide and almost 5 metres high - was dug through 145 metres of solid rock at the neck of the loop. A dam was built across the river and the water was diverted through the tunnel, leaving exposed a 5 kilometre stretch of river bed, which was dredged for gold. While no remains of the dam can be seen today, the tunnel (in which a colony of bats live) looks as if it was carved through only yesterday.
A walking track along the Yarra River, to the north of Pound Reserve, crosses various gullies by wooden bridges and ends at a large, open area. The track continues to the south-east past the plaque dedicated to the site of the first Youth Hostel in Victoria, then joins the entry road to the Park Office and, turning south, continues to Pound Bend Road. For an alternative, walk along the ridge top, return to the tunnel site above the Pound Bend Reserve car park.