Growing up in Victoria we would spend lots of time outdoors in the bush. Camping, bushwalking, weekly Girl Guides and Brownie camps. We haven’t done much bush walking with our kids as honestly the bush track and terrain and a wheelchair are really hard work and not exactly enjoyable for all involved. We have usually been beach goers but decided to head bush.
We all agreed to give it another go after we got an extra wheel attachment for Coopers manual chair ( this terrain would also be great use for the Hippocampe beach wheelchair) and headed to explore the Briars in Mt Martha on the Mornington Peninsula. The Briars is made up of 230 hectares including an old homestead. They host tours here, garden classes and free access to lots of walking tracks discovering native flora and fauna.
The Briars Visitor Centre is a great first stop where you can pick up a map and get some local knowledge to help plan your walk. I say this in hindsight as we decided just to head out and should have definitely chatted with a ranger first but you live and learn! The visitors centre is fantastic to extend the kids learning after a walk too. They got to read some books about the different animals and even see the skeletons of some. The Ranger on duty gave us some great information and was extremely knowledgeable and patient with all the kids questions.
We started off exploring the Woodland walk which is not wheelchair accessible but we were up for a challenge and enjoyed some amazing views from the paths across the property. We heard kookaburras in the trees and saw lots of birds.
The best wheelchair accessible walk to take is the Wetland walk which takes you across boardwalks with stops along the way at bird hides. The kids loved looking at the posters on the walls and then out to the water to name some of the bird life.
We rekindled our love of bushwalking and are keen to try out the Balcombe Creek walkway next.
The other wheelchair accessible areas are:
- Balcombe Creek Walkway (800m to Nepean Highway)
- Visitors Centre (disabled toilet inside)
- Historic Homestead, Angus & Rose Café and Josephine’s Restaurant
- Eco Living Display Centre
Remember your good walking shoes, hats, sunscreen and water bottles too.