Yarran Dheran Nature Reserve
Time Out says
Surrounded by towering eucalypts and listening to cheerful birdsong, you'll hardly know you're in the shadow of EastLink
Strolling along a wooded path, with gum trees reaching for the sky on either side of a burbling creek, you might hear a gentle whooshing sound in Yarran Dheran. Is it another creek, somewhere nearby? The ocean? Improbable, given the landlocked location. Then you pick it: it's traffic on the Eastern Freeway, just a few hundred metres away.
Yarran Dheran connects to Mullum Mullum Creek Reserve and the EastLink Trail, which is adjacent to its eponymous freeway. Yet Yarran Dheran and its adjoining parklands feel more like a stroll in the peaceful Dandenongs than Melbourne's busy eastern suburbs. Clever noise-dampening walls insulate the parks from the sound of nearby traffic, and all you can see in any direction are trees, gently rolling hills and the Mullum Mullum Creek.
There are more than 85 species of birds that make the 7.5 hectares of Yarran Dheran their home, and you'll hear plenty of evidence of their presence. Koalas have also been spotted in the park, as have snakes, so keep a sharp eye out. Wide, paved paths make the park popular with cyclists, walkers and runners, with plenty of space for everyone to explore.
The park includes a visitors' centre and toilets, as well as Schwerkolt Cottage, now a museum dedicated to the early colonial history of Whitehorse.