A Sunday wander to Maroondah Reservoir Park started off like many other weekend walks. Fuel for the wander was topped up by a scheduled brunch at a nearby café, then a short drive to a secluded spot before peaceful wanders and a reconnection with nature ensued. The café at Alchemy Yarra Valley set our course as planned with a freshly packed “green bowl” of organic brown rice, sprouts, and bright slices of avocado, braised leaves and crispy sweet peas. The bowl itself was as lush and seasonal as Alchemy strives towards; organically pure and fresh as an early autumn allows. Yet, the weekender vibe within the café brought the day’s wander a little closer to home.
One way to define the word “alchemy” is along the lines of a ‘magical process of transformation, creation or combination’. In a café space such as Alchemy, this definition tends to hit the mark. The walls are whitewashed and concrete, the chairs are minimalist and sleek. Though, the accents that bring Alchemy to life are hanging pots of plants draping from mesh-style rafters above and bold block paintings leaning on walls. Light-shades are bronzed and leaf-like, as if re-enacting the autumnal changes happening among trees lining the streets of Healesville outside. Defined lines are subtly re-directed around the café by carefree contours of shrubbery. This neutral space allows nature to run its course indoors; a co-existence that stemmed to my wander through Maroondah Reservoir Park.
What I discovered once I arrived at Maroondah Reservoir Park were natural catchments co-existing with this man-made reservoir. Much of the city of Melbourne depends on this water supply, as too native birdlife, mammals and reptiles.
After a wander of Maroondah Reservoir's rim stories above, I began to understand that most of Melbourne’s water originates from these protected catchments; one of the few protected water catchments in the world. Within it, a bustling ecosystem, home to koalas, ibis, wedge-tailed eagles and lyrebirds, call this area home. A quieter forest walk brought me further afoot yet closer to the natural personality of Maroondah Reservoir; within easy reach just by following the signs from the upper reservoir rim.
How grateful to feel, as a Melburnian and as a traveller, that Melbourne is supplied with such a valuable, pure and protected resource. As a human, there’s s a duty to live as fresh, protected and sustainable as this for generations to come.
Spend some time this autumn to explore Maroondah Reservoir Park, entry via Maroondah Highway, Healesville Victoria, Australia 3777
Vegan-option eats and treats can be found in the café arm of Alchemy Yarra Valley before heading to the Park. 242 Maroondah Highway, Healesville Victoria, Australia 3777