Hike in the Woods @ Donnelly Weir

IMG_3705aThese last few weeks have been crazy busy due to finishing up placement, handing in assignments and preparing for exam season. I have been hitting the books 24/7 for the last 3 weeks *bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean* My final exam is this Thursday and then I have a 3 day break (yes only a 3 day break) before I start a 4 week block of placement. Despite the busy cramming, revision and studying, I like to balance hard work with fun, so last week I went with some friends to do the Donnelly Weir Hike at Maroondah Reservoir. The last time I was at Maroondah Reservoir, it was during the summer (photos here ).

The hike began at Maroondah Reservoir, where we walked up the Rose Staircase, and crossed the dam wall. It was a cold, cloudy day. It’s amazing how the weather could change the entire mood of the landscape. Compared to the blue skies and bright sunlight of last summer, the view of the reservoir park was very mysterious this time around, with low thunder clouds near the horizon, and smoke and mist settling around the mountain peaks as can be seen in the photos below.

That being said, the reservoir park was still very beautiful with autumn refusing to give way to  winter that easily. The trees were a beautiful orange, red, and yellow. Perhaps the most beautiful part of the park was near the entrance, where both sides of the driveway was a large field of grass completely blanketed by a sea of yellow leaves. It was an enchanting sight so that in itself deserves it’s own post so stay tuned for that 😀

Photo: Walking up the slippery rose staircase to the dam wall.


Photo: The view from atop the dam wall – low clouds, grey skies, mist and smoke all add to the mysterious, moody landscape.


IMG_3463aThe Donnelly Weir hike is about 4km walk one way, so 8km return.The hike, overall, is fairly easy though there are parts that are uphill. The track follows along the side of the Maroondah aqueduct which  carries outflow from Maroondah Reservoir to Echo Tunnel (ie. a spillway).

Following the aqueduct,  the trail extends out of the Maroondah Reservoir precinct into the Yarra Ranges national park where the Donnelly Weir picnic area is located at the end. The weir is part of a water-system that diverts water from Donnelly Creek into the Maroondah Aqueduct, to from part of the city’s water supplies.

Photo: The Maroondah Aqueduct leading to Echo Tunnel
Photo: Eerily beautiful forests where the red leaves dusting the grass make it that much more magical and enchanting.

IMG_3567aWhen we reached Donnelly Weir picnic area (the end of our hike), we noticed this was in fact the starting point for many other walking tracks, including the 25 km hike up to St Leonards. Given that we didn’t have time and the weather wasn’t holding up too well, we had a quick lunch at the picnic area before taking the same route back to where our cars where parked in Maroondah Reservoir. Mid walk, we were greeted by hail and heavy rain #YOLO haha.

Photo: Map of Donnelly Weir and the surrounding walking tracks.
Photo: Welcome to Donnelly Weir!
Photo: Nothing beats a lunch in the woods.


Want to see more?

Checkout my other blog post about Maroondah Reservoir (including the rain-forest walk and Selover’s Lookout here)


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Miriam says:

    I have lots of memories of picnics with my kids here when they were younger. A beautiful spot. Love your photos, they make it look like an enchanted forest!


    1. flabnbone says:

      thankyou 😊 I think of all the reservoir parks, maroondah is my favorite

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Miriam says:

        It’s pretty isn’t it.


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