Tikalara Park is located at the confluence of Mullum Mullum Creek and Yarra River at Templestowe and forms part of the Yarra Valley Parklands. The Wurundjeri word, ‘Tikalara’ means the ‘spirit of the place’.
The Yarra Valley Parklands comprise a series of parks and reserves along Yarra River for approximately 16 km from Ivanhoe to Warrandyte and covers an area of over 1500 hectares. The The Main Yarra Trail traverses the parklands for 18 kilometres from Burke Road in Ivanhoe to the confluence of the Mullum Mullum Creek at Tikalara Park.
The 11km Mullum Mullum Trail, which was completed in 2018, links Koonung Trail and the Main Yarra Trail at Templestowe to create a longer circuit. It also joins East Link Trail which takes to Frankston. Now Cyclists/walkers can take East Link Trail all the way to Frankston and the Koonung Trail all the way into the City.
Mullum Mullum Creek flows 22km through the suburbs of Croydon, Ringwood, Mitcham, Donvale, East Doncaster, western Warrandyte and Templestowe to join with the Yarra River at Tikalara Park.
The park is home to Pontville Homestead which was constructed in the 1840’s by Pastoralist Major Charles Newman. Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works acquired the building in 1978. The building now is managed by Melbourne Parks and Waterways. Public access is not allowed to the homestead, that is one reason we could not get a proper photo of the homestead. There is a viewing platform near the Mullum Mullum creek confluence from where the image of homestead could be captured with a zoom lens camera.
Charles Newman, a former British Army officer in India was one of the earliest pastoralists of the area. Pontville, which was built in Indian Bungalow style is one of the oldest surviving cottages in Melbourne. The land here was rich in food sources and was a permanent camping site of native Wurundjeri people, at the time when it was claimed for the homestead. This used to be a very important recreational, hunting and fishing area for the natives. In 1837, Charles Newman first cleared the area for grazing cattle, after violently dislocating the Wurundjeri people from their permanent campsite. The bricks for the homestead were quarried from nearby.
Along the Southern banks of the Yarra river, a travel route was maintained by the aborigines by regular burning. This marked a dreamtime pathway extending from Melbourne through the Black’s spur to the Goulburn river.
The park is good for bushwalking and birdwatching and mobs of Kangaroos are spotted here.
Address: Websters Road, Templestowe VIC 3106
What you can do at the park?
Walking, Cycling, Jogging, bird watching
Visit this link for Mountain biking trails at Tikalara Park – https://www.trailforks.com/region/tikalara-park-21824/