Brimbank Park, Melbourne

Brimbank Park is situated in the northern Melbourne suburb of Keilor East, Victoria, Australia. (Melway ref: 15 A10). Entry is via Keilor Park Drive which is off the Western Ring Road.

In 1976 Brimbank Park was opened as part of the Maribyrnong Valley Park, combined with the adjacent Horseshoe Bend Children's farm and Greenvale Reservoir Park. The Maribyrnong River has hollowed out a valley some 55 metres below the Keilor Plain, with a steep bank on the northern side and gentle terraces on the southern side forming a huge amphitheatre.

The park has several sheltered picnic areas, gas barbecues, picnic tables, and playgrounds. For those who forget their picnic basket, there is the Leaping Lizard Cafe in the visitors centre. A network of cycling and walking tracks cross the park, as well as self guided walking trails. For the adventurous, the Maribyrnong River Trail starts at the park and follows the tree lined river 25 km to Footscray.

A wetlands area has been extensively revegetated. Birds commonly seen in the park include blue wrens, yellow-tailed thornbills, flame robins, parrots and galahs, and a variety of water birds. Residing in the River Red Gums are Brush-tailed and Ring-tailed possums. You may see a Blue-tongued lizard sunbaking, or catch sight of some swamp wallabies.

History

* 400 million years ago: Sedimentary rock and fossils found in the Organ Pipes National Park indicates the area was once a sea.

* One million years ago: A flood basalt erupting lava, in some parts up to 70 metres deep, from surrounding volcanoes, creates the Keilor Plain.

* Maribyrnong River and its tributaries: Jacksons Creek and Deep Creek create deep valleys in the basaltic plain.

* About 40,000 years ago: first signs of possible human habitation along the river. The Keilor Cranium and femur of an aboriginal person, found in 1940 in a sand bank, has been carbon dated at about 12,000 years. The area is home to the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation.

* Late 1830s Europeans first settled the area, and used the fertile river valley as stock runs. They often drove stock "around the brim of the bank", thus the park's name, Brimbank.

* 1880s land used for dairy farms and apricot orchards.

* 1975 Parks Victoria started operating the adjacent Horshoe Bend 26 acre (105,000 m²) farm.

* 1976 Brimbank Park opened by Parks Victoria.

References

* [http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/1park_display.cfm?park=72 Parks Victoria - Brimbank Park]
* [http://www-personal.une.edu.au/~pbrown3/Keilor.html Paleoanthropology - Keilor Cranium]


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