This is a pleasant and relaxing walk. Usually I don’t go as far as I did on this occasion but cross over the creek at one of the earlier bridges. This time, however, I had some time to spare and I was interested to see what was further along the path. I was tempted to go even further but already the walk was starting to tire me and I still had to walk some distance to get home.
One of the things I find interesting about many of the walks around East Ballarat is the juxtaposition of the natural and built environments, and the changes evident in the buildings in different parts of the town. It seems that the walk up Stawell Street to the creek is mainly through an area built from the 1960s with a few buildings from earlier years dotted among the newer houses. Coming back from the creek along Princess Street we pass through some of the earlier working class areas to reach and cross over the railway line. I have no idea what the big new building is that has recently been opened in Gent Street, a school and apartments perhaps, but it juxtaposes the older weather board buildings on the other side of the street. Dyte Parade runs along side the railway line on the opposite side from Scott Parade and has an interesting mix of houses. The old public school and the community garden on the corner of Queen Street are a nice touch of variety, and then it’s on to the Bunny Track and home.
I’ve recently been reading a new book on Ballarat and goldfields history which includes a chapter on the way in which the city’s natural environment was destroyed in the 1850s by alluvial gold mining on the surface which turned Ballarat into a moonscape. After the surface gold had been mined and deep leed mining began, turning Ballarat into a permanent city, the people began replanting the city. This means that almost all of the natural environment dates from the 1860s and later. It is very enjoyable to walk through all the same.