Find local natural treasures

Portion of an illustration of things to spot on a nature treasure hunt, along side a paint brush and paint pallet.

Birdlife, secret paths, old orchards and more! Use colourful, easy to follow illustrated treasure maps of local trails in our community to highlight points of interest.

Everyone can use these treasure maps and explore the trails over and over, as there is always something new to discover in nature.

View the images on screen, save them to your device or print your own copies.

If you don't have access to a printer, though still prefer a physical map, email us us with your name and address at and we will post them out.

Designed and drawn by local artists Lou Endicott and Jodi Wiley.

Banyule Flats, Heidelberg / Viewbank

Walk the entire trail or choose any part of it.

Southern trail

Start at Possum Hollow and take a leisurely stroll down the Sills Bend trail to the Yarra River (note: trail is unsealed). Read about the history of this location and spot the old fruit trees. Photograph the giant oak trees on Sills Bend (photo challenge: can you fit a whole tree in with a person underneath in 1 photo?) Next, travel up to the Magic Wishing Gum Tree to make a wish while placing your hand on the trunk of the tree. Look for the organic hand-created wishes around the tree and take a photo of your favourite pebble.

Approximate duration of trail - 30 minutes

Middle loop

Start at Possum Hollow and travel north east along the Main Yarra Trail. Visit the Magic Wishing Gum Tree to make a wish while placing your hand on the trunk of the tree. Look for the organic hand-created wishes around the tree and take a photo of your favourite pebble. Next visit the Banyule Cattle Yard to look at old farming equipment and take a picture of yourself at the Welcome sign on the gate. On your loop back, listen to the chatter of colourful lorikeets under the flowering gums (can you spot any?) and then listen out for the sound of croaking frogs as you make your way along Beverley Road past the Wetlands to Possum Hollow Playground.

Approximate duration of trail - 45 minutes

Northern trail

Enter via Plymouth St, Banyule Rd, Scarborough Dr or Somerset Drive. Travel around the Banyule Swamp for picturesque vistas of the reserve and learn about the indigenous history of this location. Can you spot the local mob of Eastern grey kangaroos? Read about the artist trail on the northern end of the swamp and then take a scenic picture of the swamp as you look south. On the southern eastern end, visit the 200-year-old Eucalyptus studleyensis gum tree that has lovely new plantings growing all around the base to help protect the tree from bugs. Next, try finding the secret path to the swamp through the bushes. Here you will find a beautiful spot for a panoramic photo of the swamp as well as have the opportunity to learn about local bird life.

Approximate duration of trail - 45 minutes

Lou Endicott is an illustrator and designer who draws much inspiration for her work from the natural world. An avid birder and urban hiker, Lou is a huge fan of Banyule's bushlands and local reserves, and spends much of her free time exploring these green corridors around her local neighbourhood as well as further afield.

Plenty River Trail, Yallambie / Montmorency

To explore this map, enter at any of these point in the circuit:

  • Simms Road
  • Dobson road
  • Park Lane
  • Lowan Ave
  • Elder Street
  • Nepean Ave
  • Beatrix street

This scenic trail runs alongside the Plenty River, passing local landmarks such as Montmorency Park, Montmorency Secondary College and Willinda Park. It can be accessed by Bus Routes 517 and 293. It’s only 1km from Montmorency Train Station and Monty Village, and there is accessible parking at Willinda Park.

The 3.5km circuit includes crossing bridges and some steep paths on the western side. The entire circuit is a 1 hour leisurely stroll if completed on foot. Bikes, scooters, prams, and dogs on leads are all welcome on the shared path.

There are several playgrounds and basketball hoops along the trail as well as toilet facilities at the Montmorency football ground and Willinda Park.

Explore the many natural and fixed features on the circuit with this treasure hunt. Locate the permanent mosaic artwork, rock wall and a variety of signage. Seasonal wildflowers can be found along the way and birdlife is abundant. Spot the fallen tree which acts as a bridge across the river for wildlife and look skyward to see nest boxes high in the trees. Take a rest on the many benches along the way and listen to the peaceful sound of the river rapids. Have fun deciding which is the most interesting tree and beautiful scene.

This picturesque trail rewards return visits as there is always something new in nature to discover.

Jodi Wiley works out of her home studio and exhibits regularly. Her paintings are held in many private collections as well as several local councils including the City of Melbourne. Jodi loves drawing on location and has enjoyed walking this trail many times with her children, who helped select the items to be found in the treasure hunt.