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Werribee Gorge – Halfway a Park

View from Needles Ridge. Everything on this side of the river is private property.

Greg and I took advantage of a perfect mid-winter Saturday and descended into Werribee Gorge via Western Bluff and Needles Ridge, one of my favourite daywalks close to Melbourne. This excellent walking trail into the gorge is arguably the most spectacular in the park. I use the word ‘arguably’ since this ridge is in fact on private property, outside of the official Werribee Gorge State Park boundary. In fact most of this side of the gorge is privately owned. At the bottom of Needles Ridge, Greg and I waded across the Werribee River, which was fairly deep due to the recent rains. We then walked 250m along the river bank (now within the Werribee Gorge State Park), before recrossing the river and entering back onto private land. We then followed Falcons Ridge, a narrow spur leading directly up to Falcons Lookout. Like Needles Ridge, Falcons Ridge has been used as an access route into the gorge for generations. Once again this entire ridge is situated on privately owned land. At Falcons Lookout we re-entered the park and continued on to Ironbark carpark and back up to Western Bluff carpark at where we had left our car.

Crossing the Werribee River. This is the maximum depth I would ever cross a river without a fixed line.

Unless you pay close attention to the map, I would say that the vast majority of visitors to the park  have no idea that a large and significant section of the Werribee Gorge region is privately owned. The current landowner appears to allow walkers access to the park (unofficially) and for this we have to be very thankful. But it does raise an interesting question, which is what happens if a less understanding owner decides that walkers and sightseers should no longer have access? There are also other issues. In effect Werribee Gorge State Park only covers half of the gorge and Parks Victoria must be severely compromised when attempting to plan and effect its conservation management policies (the intrusion of weeds and feral animals immediately spring to mind). Walking trails, even on private land, also need to be maintained and marked, something land managers such as Parks Victoria are best able to do. Werribee Gorge State Park is one of Melbourne’s most valuable and spectacular wild locations and the fact that half of it is without any form of conservation protection is disappointing to say the least. Surely it is time that the state government and Parks Victoria take steps to purchase this land and create a Werribee Gorge State Park that is worthy of the title.

The Needles from the entrance to Ironbark Gorge. The Needles are privately owned.

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Goldfield Chimneys

Over the last few months I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in the bush checking details for our forthcoming walking guide, The Goldfields. Having now walked several hundred kilometres of trails I’ve become increasingly fascinated by the 150-year-old stone chimneys which litter much of the region. These crumbling structures appear in the most unlikely places, often a couple of hours walk from the nearest road. I’ve come to value sitting next to these chimneys and letting myself wonder as to those who long ago sat in this very place, warming themselves by the flames, perhaps cooking a kangaroo or mutton stew. In most cases these chimneys had been constructed by gold miners and perhaps much of their talk had centred around the hope that tomorrow would be the day that they would finally strike it rich. And maybe these fireplaces had also seen the reflections of gold nuggets, caressed by the calloused hands of happy diggers. The original timber buildings that enveloped these chimneys long ago vanished, having almost certainly fallen victim to the periodical bushfires that swept the area. Or maybe they just collapsed and were swallowed up by the forest from where they had originated. But the chimneys, constructed from local sandstone, still stand, defiant against the unfolding years and with only the memories of the dead to keep them company.

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Bike Rides Around Melbourne 3 Updates 16/5/13

These updates are available to download as a pdf BRAM 3 Updates 16 May 2013

Updates to BRAM3 April 2013

Various recent developments have opened up opportunities both for new rides and for improvements to old rides. Construction of new trails continues. The Peninsula Link Trail is not yet completely open but quite extensive sections can now be ridden. New housing developments with new shared paths have opened up new cycling routes. The opening of two new stations, South Morang and Williams Landing also increases the options for cyclists exploring Melbourne by bike and train.
The inclusion of Sunbury in the Met system, meaning easy transport of bikes, opens up a number of ride options. One is a scenic ride around Sunbury taking in the sights such as Rupertswood and the old Sunbury Asylum. There are a few off-road paths but unfortunately their connectivity is not great at present. Another is a ride from Sunbury across country to Watergardens. Yet another is to take a V/Line train to Woodend and to ride from there to Sunbury, with a few ups but lots more downs. Watch this space for more details.

Here are some variations and improvements to the old rides:

Ride 10 Federation Trail

The opening of Williams Landing Station provides another bail out option for those riding the Federation Trail. The station is less than 2km to the south down Palmers Rd from where the trail crosses Sayers Rd. It’s also possible to cross the Princes Fwy safely here, and to join the Skeleton Creek Path 200m to the south and head downstream to connect up with Bay West Ride One.

Ride 11 Bay West Ride One

At the start of this ride it’s now possible to get from Werribee to Werribee South by a safer and much more attractive route via the river. From the south exit of the Station head west along Comben Dr for about 100m, then head down onto the path beside the river on your R. Follow the Werribee River Trail for about 3km until it brings you up to the start of the Federation Trail. Turn R and cross the river on the wide new footbridge, then loop round to the R following a rather rough gravel track to pass down under the bridge. You’ll shortly move onto a very nice concrete path that heads up a series of ramps then south through the Werribee River Park. Follow this for about 2km, then turn L at the ramp, follow the path down and across the footbridge, back to the left bank of the river. Keeping R wend your way through to the rear of the Werribee Mansion, then take the road on the R that heads southeast, past the Shadowfax Winery, to reach K Road. Turn R and you are now on the route as before.
Point Cook Homestead Road is now sealed, although the driveway into the Homestead is still unsealed. Point Cook Homestead has a café as well as outdoor picnic facilities and toilets. This makes it a good alternative lunch stop to Point Cook Coastal Park, which can be rather mosquito infested. Returning along Point Cook Homestead Rd it’s now possible to cut through the new estate on the north side of the road to Sanctuary Lakes, thus avoiding a section of Point Cook Rd which is becoming very busy. Turn R at Mirka Av, L at Saltwater Prm, then R into Point Cook Reserve and wend your way up to the northeastern corner of the park and onto to Orpheus St. Turn R and continue until you reach a footbridge. Cross this and turn L up the path beside Skyward Dr. Turn right into Sanctuary Lakes South Bvd and follow this for about 1½ km, then move onto the shared path on the R. This will take you to the bridge across Skeleton Creek.

Ride 12 Bay West Ride Two

Access to the Bike Punt from Beacon Cove has re-opened. The punt is currently operating week day peak periods as well as weekends and public holidays. However it’s always worth checking by ringing 0419 999 458, especially in bad weather.
If you do the ‘Variation Avoiding the Punt’ you now have a choice of two quite satisfactory paths heading south from Shepherd Bridge, the more direct route alongside the Docklands Hwy or the scenic route alongside the river. They meet up at Lyons St.

Ride 13 Maribyrnong River

The Maribyrnong Trail between Canning Reserve and Brimbank is open once again after its extended closure.
If you follow the Ring Rd and Kororoit Creek Trails to Sunshine there is now the option to continue along the Kororoit Creek Trail to connect up with the Federation Trail. You could then ride to Millers Rd and on to Newport or the CBD – see September 21, 2009 update

Ride 16 Mt Ridley Ride

There are still no picnic facilities at Mt Ridley Conservation Reserve.
A number of new paths have been built in the Craigieburn area opening up alternative, somewhat less demanding routes in this area. When you reach Amaroo Rd there is the option to head south down the new path alongside the Hume Hwy, deviating right briefly along Malcolm Creek., to Craigieburn Rd. You can then cut through to the path alongside Aitken Creek and follow this west, through the Craigieburn Public Golf Course (yes, I do mean through!) to Waterview, where there’s a very nice lakeside café. The last section to get to the café is currently a bit of a scramble but is sure to improve very soon. You’ll need to head back east along Aitken Creek to rejoin the route south detailed in the book.

Ride 21 Plenty River

Rather than start this ride at Epping Station, necessitating a road ride to both morning coffee and to the Darebin Creek Path, you can now catch the train out to the end of the recently extended line to South Morang. Coffee is available in the Plenty Valley Town Centre a short distance along a ramp and path to the south of the station. Then you can ride about 2½ km along the new path on the south side of the rail line and turn left onto the Darebin Creek Path. Don’t turn down the first path on the left which is the Hendersons Rd Drain Path and even rougher than the Darebin Creek Path in places.

Ride 25 Two Reservoirs Ride

Sadly the Toorourrong Reservoir Park was badly burnt in the Black Saturday bushfires and remains closed at present. It is scheduled to re-open early 2014.
It’s now possible to finish this ride at South Morang rather than Epping if desired. Ride there via either Ferres Bvd or Civic Dr. Alternatively you can ride to South Morang Station then follow the path along the south side of the rail line to Epping. You’ll have to move onto Cooper St for the last 400m.

Ride 28 Healesville Overnight Tour

There have been a number of recent improvements to the first section of the Lilydale Rail Trail used in this tour. There’s now a bridge over the Maroondah Hwy. You’ll need to follow the trail from Lilydale Station across Anderson St and round the school, which unfortunately involves a rather steep up and down. But from there on it only gets better. Sail across the highway on a trendy, rusty iron bridge and it’s all gradual grades up to Mt Evelyn. At Mt Evelyn cross both York and Monbulk Rds via new signalised crossings. With these much needed improvements this trail is finally safe for young children.

Ride 29 Eastlink Ride
The completion of the Dingley Arterial Rd opens up yet another way of finishing this ride. Continue along the Dandenong Bypass Trail to Springvale Rd, cross and turn L down the shared path beside the road. Turn R at Lower Dandenong Rd and ride along the shared path for 800m crossing Centre Dandenong Rd at the lights. Cross Lower Dandenong Rd with care and enter Braeside Park by the narrow pedestrian entrance. Head south along the track and at the T-junction turn left and continue heading south until you reach the main entrance from Governor Rd. Cross Governor Rd and enter the Waterways Estate to continue as in the May 13, 2010 update.

Ride 33 Mountains to the Plain

Take advantage of the recently opened Cardinia Road Station for a more relaxing finish to this ride. When you reach the Princes Hwy towards the end of the ride, instead of turning left along the service road towards Pakenham, cross the highway with care. Take the shared path on the east side of Toomuc Creek and follow this for 1km then cross the creek on the footbridge. When you reach the first street veer left and follow a series of streets linked by short path sections westward for 1½km, until you reach Cardinia Road Station. Cross to the southern platform via the spacious underpass.

June 19, 2012

MAPS (p13)

New TravelSmart maps: Knox, Stonnington, Brimbank, Dandenong, Frankston, Hobson’s Bay and Hume

The maps for the outer suburban areas are particularly useful as they cover large areas.

Clarendon St Connections

The route from the Clarendon St end of Melbourne Exhibition Centre (2F B9) through to Webb Bridge is now open again. Continue along the path on the south side of the river in front of Jeff’s Shed, past the ‘Polly Woodside’ and the Seafarers Bridge and follow the signage past the newly opened Melbourne Convention and Entertainment Centre (MCEC) and the new Hilton South Wharf Hotel. As you approach the Charles Grimes Bridge turn right between the buildings to follow the path right alongside the river and pass under the Charles Grimes Bridge and onto Webb Bridge.

1 Anglesea Overnight Tour

Due to construction of the new Geelong Ring Road a slight change of route is needed on the last stage of the return journey to Geelong. Rather than following Anglesea Rd to Burgundy St just before the Princes Hwy, turn right at Whites Rd and then left at Gazepore Rd and right at Burgundy St to access the Waurn Ponds Creek Path.

3 You Yangs Ride

The You Yangs Regional Park is currently closed due to flood damage and resultant problems. It is expected to re-open mid July 2011.

Variations: The alternative route suggested from Little River to Werribee via the Melbourne Water Western Treatment Plant is no longer viable due to closure of the entrance to South Rd to the public. Another option is to ride along the Princes Fwy, M1, to the start of the Federation Trail and then follow the Werribee River Path back to Werribee Station. The Freeway is of course very busy but it has a wide shoulder/emergency stopping lane where cycling is permitted as far as the Federation Trail turnoff.

11 Bay West Ride One

To get from Sanctuary Lakes to Altona Meadows it is no longer necessary to loop up the Skeleton Creek to the north. Continue clockwise around Sanctuary Lakes North Boulevard past Rosebank Dr for another 1.5km, then turn left into Beach Walk and cross Skeleton Creek using the fabulous new bridge. At the next path intersection turn right and you’re back on the route described in the book. The path on the west side of the bridge will eventually link to the Point Cook Coastal Park and form part of a projected trail right around Port Phillip Bay.

12 Bay West Ride Two

Due to work on strengthening Westgate Bridge it is not currently possible to reach the bike punt easily from Beacon Cove, though there is a route via Lorimer St, which has a shared path alongside it for most of the distance.

The route for the ‘Variation avoiding the punt’ is now simpler. After crossing Shepherd Bridge, rather than turning left to follow the riverside path just continue straight ahead along the new shared path alongside the Docklands Hwy. The path is now of much improved standard right down to the Westgate Bridge.

13 Maribyrnong River Trail

The trail is currently closed between Canning Reserve and Brimbank Park. However this doesn’t mean cyclists must forgo the pleasure of visiting the Park. With the opening of the Buckley St underpass it is now possible to follow another route which is mostly off-road and very pleasant. It even takes you past a vineyard and olive grove – the Rose Creek Estate. Heading upstream along the Maribyrnong through Essendon and into Essendon West, as you complete the zigzag section of the descent from the Lily Street lookout, instead of turning left and continuing downhill, go straight ahead through the underpass and turn left. Shortly, at the next track intersection turn right onto the Steeles Creek Path. Follow this for about 2km to Valley Lake, a converted quarry. You’ll know it by the figure up the ladder! Turn left here and follow Valley Lake Bvd round a loop to a roundabout. Turn left into Rachelle Rd and then right into Noga Av. Follow this to the end then cross Milleara Rd at the lights. Follow the path on the right side of Keilor Park Dr across the rail line and the Western Ring Rd, then cross at the lights to the path alongside Dodds Rd. Turn right onto this to reach the main road and bike track down into the park.

16 Mt Ridley Ride

The Mt Ridley Reserve has gone extensive landscaping and unfortunately as yet this does not include the provision of any picnic facilities. Currently the best lunch spot on this ride is the DS Aitken Reserve at Craigieburn, which has undercover seating as well as toilets.

17 Merri Creek Path

The path between Coburg Lake and the Ring Road has now been sealed all the way and the outer section re-routed to a higher level above the creek so that flooding is now unlikely.

The underpass to the Jack Roper Reserve is currently closed due to work on the Western Ring Road, but access to the park is available via the footbridge about 500m to the west of this.

20 Bundoora Park Circuit

Approaching Bundoora Park a new section of sealed path now links Tee St to Waters Way.

The historic Bundoora Homestead at 7-27 Snake Gully Drive, Bundoora is very close to Bundoora Park and accessible from it, and is well worth a visit. It includes a gallery and café. Opening hours are Wednesday-Friday 11am-4pm; Saturday-Sunday 12noon-5pm free admission.

24 Blackburn Lake

There is now a new off-road route from Alamein Station to the upper Gardiners Creek Trail. Just past Alamein Station, as the Anniversary Trail crosses the road, veer left onto the new path that runs down alongside Ashburn Gv, then crosses it to continue alongside Markham Av. Continue through Markham Reserve, under Warrigal Rd and loop around over the new footbridge to connect with the upper Gardiners Creek Path on the other side.

29 Eastlink Ride

There’s another alternative route from the Dandenong Southern Bypass to Waterways that involves riding a shorter distance on busy Cheltenham Rd. As the Dandenong Southern Bypass path swings north towards Cheltenham Rd, look for a path on the left and cross to this with care. Follow a series of paths in a westerly direction until you swing right and meet Cheltenham Rd. Use the on-road bike lane to ride until you reach a shared path heading south through Tatterson Park. This will eventually swing right and bring you to Springvale Rd. Cross with care and turn left along the path beside this and follow this round the corner alongside Governor Rd. This will take you to the southern entrance of Braeside Park. You could enter the park and do a circuit of it, a distance of about 6km. Or you can just proceed to Waterways.

31 Four Trails Ride

New Variation

There’s now an alternative route between Upper Ferntree Gully and Jells Park that works well. For a change from using the Blind Creek Path you can use the Ferny Creek Path. As you pass under the rail line approaching Upper Ferntree Gully continue straight ahead down Talaskia Rd and after 300m turn right onto the shared path. Follow this as it winds along, soon coming alongside Ferny Creek, for about 8km until you reach Stud Rd. Turn right and follow the shared path to the intersection with Ferntree Gully Rd. Cross to the diagonally opposite corner and head west along the shared path beside Ferntree Gully Rd. Follow this for about 2km, passing under Eastlink to join the Eastlink Trail, which will take you across Dandenong Creek to the southern end of Jells Park.

39 Two Bays Ride

There has been a change to the train used on the Stony Point line. The new one unfortunately has an even smaller capacity for bikes than the old one. A phone call in advance may ensure at least having a two-carriage train which is better than a one-carriage train.

May 13, 2010

Ride 17 (Merri Creek Circuit)

The new concrete path, higher above the creek, has now been completed between Coburg Lake and the Ring Road.

May 13, 2010

Ride 15 (Greenvale Circuit)

The route alongside Yuroke Creek to Greenvale Park entrance (see ‘Possible future bike path route’ on map p8) is now navigable, though not formally complete. This eliminates a dangerous and unpleasant stretch on Sommerton Rd.

May 13, 2010

Ride 16 (Mt Ridley Ride)

Mt Ridley Conservation Reserve is currently undergoing a major makeover. The old picnic facilities have been removed and while new ones are planned there is nothing at all at present. There are undercover seats as well as toilets at the DS Aitken Reserve a few km further along the ride – see map p90. A footpath is also planned alongside Mt Ridley Rd but is not intended as a shared path and will only be 1.5m wide.

May 13, 2010

Ride 29 (Eastlink Ride)

The bridges over the Maroondah and Burwood Hwys are now open and they are excellent! There is also now a much better route from Braeside Park to Mordialloc Station. This involves riding south through Braeside Park along Red Gum Trail, exiting though southern entrance, turning very briefly R along Governor Rd, then L into Burdekin Bvd. This takes you into the new Waterways Estate where there’s an off-road path right around the lake that connects to the track along the south side of Mordialloc Creek. There’s also a lovely café called ‘Nest’ overlooking the lake, phone 9798 5352

May 13, 2010

Ride 32 (Lysterfield Lake)

There’s now a café cum bike shop at Lysterfield Lake Park

September 21, 2009

Ride 2 (Geelong Circuit)

New Variation: There’s now a lovely new 12km path alongside the recently constructed Geelong Ring Rd that can be used instead of the rail trail for the north-western leg of the circuit. The new path can be accessed from Corio Station via School Rd, then the service road alongside the Princes Hwy, then the somewhat patchy path alongside Broderick Rd. It finishes at Church St. From there you can turn right into McCurdy St and then right onto the path alongside Hyland St to rejoin the circuit as described in the book.

For those riding from Lara to reach the trail there’s now an off-road path all the way from Lara Station to Hovell Creek Reserve. Just head south to McClelland St, cross, and follow the path, first alongside the rail line, then alongside Hovell Creek, for about 2km to the underpass that takes you under the M1. follow the path through the reserve to Corio Bay and continue beside the water passing Geelong Grammar on your right. As you approach the Shell Refinery, turn sharp right into Shell Pde, then left into School Rd to join the route described in the first paragraph.

September 21, 2009

Ride 10 (Federation Trail)

New Variation: At the end of the Federation Trail, instead of riding south to Altona you could ride east via Newport Lakes to Newport Station. Head briefly south along Millers Rd then cross it at the third set of lights and head along Marigold St to Kyle Rd. Turn R and ride 1.4km to Mason St. Turn L and ride 2.5km to Newport Station. Newport Lakes, just up Lakes Dr on your left 1.5km along Mason St, offers excellent picnic facilities. You can use the underpass at Newport Station to access North Rd a little to the south which takes you straight to the Strand, across which is the Bayside Path, linking to Bay West Ride Two.

September 21, 2009

Ride 12 (Bay West Ride Two)

Detour: Works are currently underway at the Southbank Tram Depot, meaning a detour on the Sandridge Trail linking Southbank to Beacon Cove. There’s a sign directing you to the north of the depot and along Normanby Rd. Continue across Montague and Boundary Sts to Ingles St before turning left to rejoin the off-road path.

September 21, 2009

Ride 23 (Eltham Circuit)

There’s now an 800m extension of the Aqueduct Trail to the north of Allendale Rd returning to the path alongside Allendale Rd via Godber Rd. So there’s now no need to ride on Allendale Rd at all.

A new bridge at Diamond Creek means there’s now no need to use the narrow path alongside road bridge. However if you use the new section of path you’ll need to make a detour to visit the toilet block on Main Rd.

There’s now a section of the Heidelberg Artists Trail along Main Rd Eltham, featuring six works of Walter Withers.

September 21, 2009

Ride 28 (Four Trails Ride)

New Variation: Instead of using the Blind Creek Path between the Belgrave Rail Trail and Jells Park you can use the Ferny Creek Trail and a section of the Eastlink Trail. You can pick up the Ferny Creek Trail at Talaskia St, Upper Ferntree Gully and follow it to Stud Rd. Turn north along Stud Rd, using the path on the east side then crossing at Ferntree Gully Rd to use service roads on the west side to reach George St. Follow this to its end then cross the bridge and turn left onto the Eastlink Trail. This will take you to the south end of Jells Park.

In the near future work should be completed on both an off-road path and a bike lane along Ferntree Gully Rd between Stud Rd and Eastlink, thus eliminating the need to head north to George St.

September 21, 2009

TAKING BIKES ON TRAINS (back cover gatefold)

Metlink have recently updated this information. This page provides information to help you get around safely and easily when combining bike riding with public transport travel:


Deer Park Bypass Wellness Trail. This starts near the intersection of Fitzgerald Rd and the Ring Rd Path. You can start at Newport Station and ride to the Federation Trail and from there onto the Ring Rd Path. The trail finishes at Christies Rd, Caroline Springs, and you can continue off-road to Lake Caroline, a good lunch spot. From there you could ride, mostly on-road to Watergardens Station. Alternatively you could follow Kororoit Creek downstream to Sunshine Station. There are some rough sections, and some places where you’ll need to take to the streets, but it’s doable.

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Three Lost Children Walk

One of the walks we are writing up for our forthcoming walking guide to the Goldfields is the route followed by three children that went missing from Daylesford on the on the last day of June in 1867. William Graham (6), his brother Thomas (4) and Alfred Burman (5) decided to look for wild goats in the forest beyond Wombat Creek. Despite a massive search of the area their bodies were not found until three months later. The two younger boys were huddled together inside the hollow of a large tree and the remains of the older boy were just outside. For the people of Daylesford it was a heart rending-tragedy, one that still sears into the consciousness of the town.

The walk leaves from Table Hill just west of the town centre and finishes at Wombat Creek just underneath Wheelers Hill where the children were later found. The walk is 15.5km long and is marked with distinctive Three Lost Children Walk marker posts. The distance travelled by the children will never be accurately measured but, considering their age and circumstance, it is amazing they walked as far as they did.

Here is a newspaper report from Perth Gazette and W.A. Times, dated August 16th, 1867. The children had still not been found and their mysterious disappearance was still being reported in the national newspapers.

Late on Sunday night, the 30th of last June, the Daylesford police were told a sad story of missing children. At 10 o’clock that morning three boys, William Graham, aged 7; Thomas Graham, aged 4; and Arthur (sic) Burman, aged 5 years, the sons of respectable persons, started from their homes, in Connell’s Gully, to search for wild goats. They did not come back to dinner, and the fathers, somewhat alarmed, started with some neighbours to look for them. By some means or other it was ascertained that they had gone towards the junction of two creeks, but all traces were lost on the ranges between Sailor’s Creek and Blanket-flat. Night set in, and the anxious fathers spoke to the police, three of whom turned out at once and joined the parents and Blanket-flat police in a search which lasted till one o’clock in the morning. The night was cold and dark, and as no good could be done by looking, further operations were suspended till the morning. Then further inquiries elicited that a storekeeper named Mutch had seen the children four miles on the Ballan-road, and had directed them to follow the telegraph wires back to Daylesford. They must have been afterwards led astray by the beaten track to Specimen-hill, on which, about dusk, they met a boy named Quinn, who told them that they were going from Connell’s Gully instead of to it. The eldest boy did not seem at all alarmed; but since Quinn left them they have been lost. This information was the result of Monday’s search, in which they were joined by the men on the Corinella mine, the Telegraph saw-mills, and Clarke’s mills, and nearly all the splitters in the terrible forest. The weather was boisterously wet and cold, but though it obliterated tracks it did not deter the zealous searchers, who at last found impressions of two different-sized children’s shoes, two miles from Specimen-hill, and in the direction of the source of the Werribee River. This is all Bullarook forest, and a nearly impenetrable region, the scrub growing high and abundantly, so that a man might securely hide from his pursuers a very few feet from them. Even the searchers themselves got bewildered, and when night set in the task was abandoned in despair. The party returned to Daylesford on Tuesday evening; but so violent was the ebullition of public feeling at this want of success, that a public meeting at Bleackley’s Hotel was called that very night. The town crier went round, the fire-bell rung, and at eight p.m. the large room of the inn was filled to suffocation. The mayor presided, and with one voice it was agreed that business should be utterly suspended next day, that the search might be prosecuted by the inhabitants and the police, who had obtained the service of black trackers. The rendezvous was fixed at the specimen-hill works, the manager of which kept the whistle, which could be heard two miles, sounding till nightfall. The fire-bell was also rung at given hours, and all day long the work continued under the guidance of experienced bushmen, who carried bread and wine for the revival of the lost ones if found. Altogether, 600 or 700 persons joined in the search. Though all was in vain, the labor of love was not suspended. Next day the shops were still kept shut, 500 persons went out, and in the evening £70 was collected and offered as a reward for the recovery of the lost children. The reward was subsequently increased to £200; and the Government offered a reward of £100 more, but this was for the encouragement of bushmen and others, not the people of Daylesford and neighbourhood, who continued their exertions all through the week with such utter selfishness that it was only to remove a great public inconvenience that shops were partially opened on Friday. All was still in vain, however, and a month has elapsed without furnishing the faintest clue to the fate of these poor children. The two fathers, Graham and Burnan, have written to a local paper to express their sincere and heart-felt thanks to the inhabitants of Daylesford, and their satisfaction that all that human aid could do has been done. The children cannot possibly have survived, although they were accustomed to travel about the ranges, were familiar with their father’s stores of camping in the bush when he was a trader among the Caffres, and the eldest one had often talked of what he would do if benighted in the bush. The pecuniary sacrifice made by the people of Daylesford, beside their offer of reward, cannot be less than £2,500. Melancholy as this story is, it has a bright side in its exhibition of an unselfish public spirit, which we are convinced is not confined to Daylesford, and of which we as Victorians have good reason to be proud.