Birdsland Reserve, Belgrave Heights

Only 50 minutes southeast of Melbourne is a little known 185 acre (75 hectare) avian paradise called Birdsland.

Birdsland Lake

I grew up in Mount Dandenong, and even then I hadn’t heard of this place till I went on an internet hunt for a new walking spot recently. There wasn’t a whole heap online about it, but it was only a 20 minute drive from where the horses live, so if it turned out to be a dud spot, no harm done. And worse case scenario, I knew a great little cafe close by that I could pop in to so the drive wasn’t a complete waste of petrol if it was average.

I’m a sucker for knowing exactly where I’m going so I don’t waste time being lost (although, I admit, I’ve had some fabulous adventures being lost), but I struggled to find accurate directions online for the best parking spot for the Birdsland Reserve – The best I came up with was “off Mt Morton Rd”, which wasn’t all that helpful, as the Mt Morton Rd I went to was nearly 5km long and joins up (without signage to announce you’re on a new road) to Ryans Rd, which then loops back to Wellington Rd. And I have to avoid that part of Wellington Rd on weekends, as there’s a little hot jam doughnut caravan I just can’t seem to drive past without stopping at…

After a few U-turns (and successfully avoiding the doughnut caravan), I realised that there were two Mt Morton Roads; one in Belgrave South (where I was), and another just next door in Belgrave Heights. It was only 5 minutes to the proper road, and once there I found the driveway that leads to the car park quite easily. I’ve pinned the address for the Birdsland Reserve car park here so you can hopefully just click and go using Google Maps. Alternatively, the location is 37°55’23.9″S 145°20’12.8″E.

Birdsland Map


On the drive up there I had stopped by Holy Bowly on Hampton St in Hampton to pick up one of their amazing Chia Seeds Bowls, which tends to give me enough energy to get through the majority of my day without upsetting my guts, which when going on a remote walk away from toilet facilities is a fantastic combination!

It was about 11 degrees C when I got there, so rugged up with by new puffer jacket & scarf, and before heading off I had a bit of a wander around the car park area to scope it out, and was surprised by how good the facilities were:

  • Undercover (and clean!) toilets
  • 6 picnic tables scattered around a lovely flat area
  • A large undercover area with additional seating and 2 BBQ’s
  • Right next to a sweet bubbling creek, overlooking the adjoining farmland

Birdsland picnic ground and creek

This would be an amazing spot to have a BBQ lunch one day with some mate when the weather get a bit toastier, so I’ve put this on on the list of new ‘Summer Spots’ to head to in the coming months!


The weather held out really well, and although it was quite overcast, I only copped a tiny light shower. As I started walking away from the car park, I was surprised by the variety of people there. There were kids on bikes, Mums with dogs, and a nice mix of groups and solo adventurers, but overall there weren’t all that many human sightings!

Birdsland fairy tree
There’s this gorgeous tree surrounded by boulders you walk past early on in the walk, and as silly as it may sound, it sort of looked like what I imagine a natural memorial would look like.


I ended up having to can my plans to go on the longer walk as something popped up that I had to head to in the afternoon in the city, so I decided to just loop around the lake, eat my tasty, tasty snack, and head back. Overall, that’s about a 3km flat and level walk. I was a bit disappointed I couldn’t head out for longer, but at least I have another adventure to go on shortly!

The walk towards the make lake takes you past a decent sized creek, which seems to follow you like a playful entity playing tag, winding in an out of the trees.

Birdsland Creek

A little further up you pass the first large body of water which has the rather odd name of ‘Monbulk Creek Retarding Basin’. I know what it means, but it’s just that pretty that they should really think about making the name just a tad more internet search friendly 😛

Birdsland Lake

As you reach the main lake area, it opens out to a huge body of water with birds scattered around, going about their daily business. There’s something so simply entertain about watching birds. I can see why some people make a lifelong hobby out of it!

Birdsland Lake

Birdsland Bench
There are benches scattered here and there, which when not surrounded by water would be a great place to just sit and read in the sunshine.
Birdsland Echidna Sign
I spotted this sign which gives you some information on the Short-Beaked Echidna. I didn’t spot any today, but we get them in the paddock at home all the time, and they’re bloody gorgeous.



As you pass the main lake and walk towards the back of this section of the property, you can see where the reserve backs on to the surrounding farmland, and the juxtaposition is actually quite pretty.




While I was sitting at a recycled plastic bench, eating my delish chia pudding  & listening intently to the silence cut only by the call of a lonely (or more likely horny, I’m guessing) bird, I heard the raucous yelling of a hoard of kids in the distance. Out of the bushes they came, a group of at least 30. I tried to ignore their yelling that was ruining the serenity, and just waiting out their passing. Just as the last 2 kids were walking by with one of their careers, and I audibly created a sigh of relief, the younger girl started to walk towards me. I thought she was going to be a smart ass about me sitting here solo, and her carer called out to her to leave me alone. She looked me dead in the eyes and smiled, so I smiled back. She broke into a huge grin, and ran back to her carer saying “I was just checking if she was ok. She smiled at me so she is”. That gave me the warm fuzzier something chronic! Serves me right for thinking all kids are terrors.

My ass hurts in multiple ways

What an opening line!

Getting back into exercise after some time off is never easy, and the fact that bikini season is looming here in Australia means I have to get my ass into gear and stop making excuses (and hurting myself in weird and unusual ways).

I haven’t been truly fit since I fluked my way into 1st’s rowing in Year 11 and somehow found myself with abs.

Yes, abs. Actual, hard, proper, useful abs.

Since then I’ve been floundering my way around the gym and the trails, making very irregular progress to some sort of wishy-washy level of fitness. Since my rowing days I have also discovered a love of a good pinot noir and French food, which probably hasn’t helped. On top of this I tend to hurt myself more frequently than most; ranging from infrapatellar fat pad impingements to broken backs. Yes, you read that plural correctly; backs. I’ve broken my back twice now, and it’s not something I recommend you try! But that’s a story for another time. Trying to work out in between injuries is a pain in the butt, both figuratively and literally.

Recently, I realised what my ultimate mistake was – my planing & motivation was shit.

Although I had a goal weight, a solid knowledge of nutrition & exercise, and what I thought was an achievable fitness goal, these magical numbers didn’t have a solid plan leading up to them, and my motivation was all over the shop. I also come from a woggy background, so food is life.

I quit smoking just over a year ago, after having smoked for a decade. Yes, a full decade. My motivation for that was that if I hit 30 still smoking, I would smoke for the rest of my life, so it was now or never. And you know what? It worked! I quit! And I haven’t had a cigarette for over 15 months now. But for some reason, I haven’t applied that same theory to getting fit.

I’m 28, so still have a chance to get fit before I turn 30. So, here goes! Time to spell out my motivations and plans, and get stuck into it.

The initial plan is:

  • 1 hour weights session 4 times a week. Key is to ease into it, and listen to your body. If you go full force straight away, you’ll end up just hurting yourself or worse… Completely scaring yourself off exercise. I’m currently using the BodySpace app by, available on Android & Apple for freesies. And don’t let the mention of bodybuilding scare you off! It is a great introduction to safely adding weights to your workout. I have found the Jamie Easton’s Livefit Trainer program to be the most helpful & user friendly, but you should pick the program that suit your needs best.
    • For me, Monday = Chest/Triceps, Tuesday = Back/Biceps, Thursday = Shoulders/Abs & Friday or Saturday = Legs/Calves. The reason I leave Legs till later in the week is that I get DOMS really bad, and am a wreck for 2 days after I do leg day, for at least 3 solid (and painful) days). Because I go for a hike on the weekend and I can’t do that with DOMS, so I have to plan for DOMS to happen during the work week when I’m not as active.
  • Working up to a 30 min/5km jog 6 days a week. I have found the C25K app from Zen Labs to be a winner for ‘learning’ how to run. And the bonus is it’s free and available on both Android & Apple devices. I used this last year, and went from being able to jog 2-3 mins max and being completely knackered, to jogging 5km without a break! For someone as unfit as me, that was a huge achievement, and actually convinced me that me getting fit was possible again. So you go Zen Labs! Thanks 😉
  • Yoga and/or pilates (matt or reformer) 1-2 times a week. I only recently got into yoga, and am quickly developing an adorable crush on it. Reformer pilates… Not so much. I’m joking, I love it, but I dieeee afterwards. And my wrists hurt really bad when I need to balance on them! Does anyone else suffer from that?
  • Bush walk/short hike once a weekend. I use these to explore new areas, or to just get out into nature to clear my head. They are usually only 1-3 hours, as I have super busy weekends, and can’t afford to spend any more time out and about these days unless I plan weeks in advance. I try to sty within an hour of Melbourne and generally do this solo, but if I find a new spot I really want to check out a bit further out, my lovely friends are always up for an adventure 🙂

Once daylight savings starts up again on October 2nd (only 24 days to go!), I’ll also be adding an hour of horse riding to the above, building up to 6 days a week once Spaz (my darling of a horse) puts some muscle on. At the moment he looks like a fat, hairy yak wandering the muddy plains.

As you will start to see, my schedule gets pretty full, but I make it work! I like to get the most out of every day, and am addicted to being productive (much to the chagrin of my very chilled out boyfriend). And that is really what von kita is all about – being productive, getting the most out of life, and helping others to do so! Feel free to get in touch any time via the Contact section, I’d love to hear from you.


Much love,



P.S. In case you’re still think about my ass (😜), it’s from going on a run for the first time in donkeys ears AND from accidentally eating gluten. Yeah, get your head around that visual. Double whammy.