Monday, 15 August 2016

Victors Garden

Monday 15th August 2016

Part of rock wall at Victors Garden
I wanted to walk some of the tracks and trails in the Glenorchy Water Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary and decided to make Victors Garden the destination to make the walk a reasonable distance. Of course, Victors Garden can be reached via a shorter route from the end of Lenah Valley Road.
I parked outside of The Riding for Disabled establishment on Kalang Avenue, crossed the road and walked up a track beside Barossa Creek and then came to a cleared area. Motor bikes have been extremely active in this area even though the signs say it is not allowed and have used the cleared area for a hill climb.
Track beside Barossa Creek

Motor bike tracks

Wattle trees in bloom

Cleared area
Once I reached the top of the hill I was on the Priest Fire Trail and followed this until it met the Merton Fire Trail. I walked this trail around the side of the ridge before I came to and old overgrown track that headed up to the top of the ridge. It started out okay but nearer the top it became nothing more than a goat track but still easy to follow. I eventually met the Priest Fire Trail again where there was a structure used by cyclists, I think.
Limekiln Gully and Lower Glenorchy Reservoirs

I continued on down the Kangaroo Fire Trail and somehow ended up on the North South Track. I must have been daydreaming at this stage because this was not where I wanted to go. After walking about 500 metres down this track, I realised the error of my ways and backtracked to a point where I could access the trail I wanted. Once on the right track I carried on up hill until the old track ended.

North South Track

Old track heading up to Victors Garden
The foot track to Victors Garden headed up a couple of hundred metres to where Victors Garden and Hut once stood. All that remains now are a large expanse of walls and terraces, a little of a hut and some exotic plants including large pine trees. I spent some time looking around.

Rock wall

Rock wall

Some relics

Possible hut remains

Stone steps

Exotic plant

Exotic plant

Exotic plant
After getting a little wet from the drizzly rain I head back down and once I hit the Priest Fire Trail I followed this around to where it met the Merton Trail. I was going to walk downhill through the scrub but spotted a well used walking/bike track that appeared to head in about the right direction. It went around the contour before meeting an old track which headed down to Barossa Creek and the Kalang Fire Trail. I followed this for a while and then diverted off on another track which eventually came out on Kalang Avenue and the car.
This was a good easy walk mostly on fire trails and old tracks.
Distance: 12.2 kms.
Time: 4'09"
Ascent: 730 metres
Click here to download GPX file.

The following is an extract from the Wellington Park Management Trust report on the site and is all anecdotal information.

Victor built the main hut soon after the 1967 bushfires. All the building materials needed to be carted in. The main hut was constructed from stone. It had two stories and a corrugated iron roof. The hut was located on one of the 4-5 terraces constructed on the side of the mountain. At the end of the terrace was a lean-to workshop. On the same level was a bunk-house built on stilts and painted to blend in with the trees. In late 1960s - early 1970s the place had one cultivated terrace, a row of small pines, 2 bee hives, a gate, a benched track and a 'man-made waterhole'. A visitors book was kept at the hut and the place was known to some bushwalkers as 'Xanadu'. The origin of the clearing and use of the area is unknown. Some reports suggest the area had some development prior to the 1960s and that is that the area was first established during or immediately after WWII by a sect but was abandoned well before Victorbuilt his house there. The Temple was burned down in 1984 and a
second hut was built by Victor approx 500m from The Temple. Around 1988 Victor is said to have become a priest and returned to Ukraine.


  1. I was told that Viktor in fact moved to Brisbane and was involved in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church there around 2000/1. Fr Sergio of that church apparently advised that, sadly, Viktor then had onset of Altzheimers disease. Not sure if he is still around.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Jim. Yes, I was vaguely aware of a story like that.

  2. Where was the old hut I have found a couple around limkiln dam but I haven't scene that one

    1. If you check out the map, Victors Gardens (Hut) is located at the end of the track which heads south west to the bottom left hand corner. This track branches off the N/S bike track and finishes a couple of hundred metres before the ruins where a foot pad continues to the gardens and ruins.

    2. Thanks for that and I will be checking that out