Slow English

Podcasts about Australia for intermediate learners of English

Podcast 5 – A Morning Walk in Melbourne – the Yarra Trail


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Learn English while learning about daily life in Australia, with Rob McCormack

Podcast Number 5 – A Morning Walk in Melbourne – The Yarra Trail.


I go for a long walk every morning. I find it is a great way to start my day. We live on the north eastern edge of Melbourne, near the Yarra River which winds its way through the city to Port Phillip Bay. Next to the Yarra River is a trail called the Yarra Trail.


The Yarra Trail goes for 35 kilometres into the heart of the city. It starts near my home and that part goes through native bushland and grassy fields. In this podcast I would like to describe for you my walk along some of the Yarra Trail. I turn around and go back home after 4 kilometres, so my walk each morning is 8 kilometres long. Not bad, eh?

My walk starts at my house. For the first kilometre, I walk through the streets of my suburb until I come to the first field where a 200 metre gravel path leads me to the Yarra Trail. This gravel path goes past the local garden waste recycling centre, where garden waste is made into mulch for the gardens maintained by our local government council. It always smells strongly of cut grass and garden mulch. That smell always wakes my senses for the morning walk ahead. When I reach the Yarra Trail I turn left.

As I walk westwards, I see large grassy bushland to my right and the back fences of the last line of suburban houses on my left. I often think that the owners of these houses must enjoy living right next to such beautiful bushland. The grasslands on my right are the grazing grounds for my favourite native animals in this area – kangaroos. Although they are wild, they don’t worry too much about people walking or riding by. However, if you want a closer look and walk towards them, they will at first look up and study you as you approach. They are deciding if you are dangerous, and how close they will let you come – not too close.


I love the kangaroos because of their beautiful shape and the way they move.


This mob of kangaroos has all ages, including young kangaroos (called ‘Joeys’) and some very large and old kangaroos. One time I was able to photograph one old kangaroo getting under a fence. He had to get down low but he did it.


After I have walked about 3 kilometres, the path winds close to the river on my right, and to an orchard (Petty’s Orchard) on my left. The orchard grows all kinds of fruit and has been in this area for over 150 years. It is now owned by a State Government department (Parks Victoria) and is being preserved for all Victorians. Protecting the fruit from the many birds in the area is a major task.


The Yarra Trail includes some sections where a wooden walkway has been built to allow walkers and bicycle riders an easy trip. This is taxpayers money being well spent, in my opinion.


Along the way I often see wild rabbits. There are so many that I often wonder if they are becoming too numerous for the good of the bushland. They too are not afraid of people and will allow a walker to come as close as 5 to 10 metres before running off into the long grass.


I also see native ducks feeding in pairs in the wetland areas I pass by. They seem quite tame although they will fly off if you get too close. They look so graceful when they fly.


When I get home my legs are tired and I enjoy a short rest before eating my breakfast. What a great way to start the day.

If you have a question or a comment to make, please leave it by clicking the comments link at the top of this story. You can leave your comment in English or in any language and I will translate it. Goodbye until next time.


Podcast 5 Quiz - Did you understand the podcast?

You can take the quiz as many times as you like.


approach = when you go closer to something

bushland = land where there is bush

dangerous = when something can hurt you

favourite = the thing you like best

fences = used to show the boundary of a field. Made of wood or wire

fields = flat areas of land, often with grass

gardens = a place where plants are grown

graceful = when something moves in a beautiful way

grasslands = fields where there is a lot of grass

gravel = very small rocks, used on pathways.

grazing = when animals eat grass

local government council = a level of government in Australia that looks after the local area

maintain = to look after something

major = when something is important

mob = used to describe a group of kangaroos

mulch = mulch is put on the garden to keep water in the soil

numerous = many

opinion = when you believe something and you tell it to others

orchard = a place where there are lots of fruit trees

pairs = two of something

photograph = taken with a camera

preserved = to be kept and looked after

protecting = to look after something and keep it from harm

reach = to get to a place

sections = parts of something

senses = our senses are sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste

State Government department = a level of government in Australian that looks after a state

suburban = used to describe things in a suburb

tame = when an animal is not afraid of humans and won’t harm humans

taxpayers = people in Australian who pay taxes to the government

Victorians = people who live in the State of Victoria in Australia. Victoria is in the south

waste recycling centre = a place where waste can be taken so it can be used again

westwards = towards the west

wetland = an area of land which is wet all the time


  1. Hi, Rob
    I loved every picture, I imagined that you were walking in nature. That is a great picture too. In my opinion, beautiful nature can make people comfortable and relaxed.

    Best Regards

    • Hi Lisa,
      Many thanks for your comment. Yes, I agree. Walking in nature certainly makes me feel comfortable and relaxed too. That’s one of the reasons that I enjoy it so much.
      Best regards,

  2. I am glad of the fifth podcast. I like very much
    the you start every day.
    It is a blessing. I almost feel the smell of the cut grass and I imagine your favorite kangarooss and the small rabits roping freely trough the grass.
    Thank you for all you share with us.

    • Hi Adriana,
      Many thanks for your comment. Yes, a walk through the bush or down a trail is a great way to start the day. Sometimes it is hard for people who live in a big city to be able to experience nature. I live on the outskirts of Melbourne so it is not a problem for me. I hope you have good places to walk where you live. Enjoying nature is one of the real pleasures in life.
      Have a great day.

  3. Hi Rob
    I just want to share with you that I took my whole family to Yarra Trail last weekend, and it was amazing. i saw all the beautiful sceneries in your photos and most importantly the Kangaroos, we entered from the Petty’s orchard, then just around the orchard fence, 3 big Kangaroos were quickly jumping over and passing through. it was amazing to see how fast they hopped just in front of us. my family had enjoyed a great day hiking and biking there and they asked how i found this amazing place, I told them all the credit should go to you. appreciate for all the happiness you brought to us. wish you all the best.


    • Hi Merasa,
      Sounds like you had a great time on the Yarra Trail on the weekend. There are certainly many kangaroos living along that part of the trail. I also enjoy seeing all the birds which come to feed on the fruit in Petty’s Orhard. In particular, I love the rainbow lorikeets – they are so beautiful and they chatter so loudly. It is also an excellent place for the kids to ride their bikes. I never tire of the Yarra Trail. I am really glad that you found this part of the trail and also that your family could enjoy it with you.
      Have a great day.

      • Hi Rob
        I Mum loves the lorikeets as well, there are also a lot then around our areas. they are absolutely beautiful creature everyone enjoy to watch, my Mum once tripped over in the park just because she was looking up to the lorikeets in the tree while walking. Thanks god she didn’t hurt herself. Australian is too beautiful to explore, I hope I could enjoy everything you mentioned in the podcasts. Thanks and have a great day!

  4. Hi Rob ;
    First of all, I want to express my gratitude for the generous Endeavour you have made for the attention of people who are Learning English.
    Your text have the advantage of discovering English wile offering the opportunity to know life when living in Australia.

    These texts are so intersting that I decided, after having drawn at random among their multitude to read all of them in order not to miss a single one.

    I would like to have an orthographic information :

    I found in this text a word that forced me to use linguee (internet tool) : As I walk Westwards’.

    Linguee does not put the ‘S’ at the end of Westwards. So I have look ‘forward and toward’ it found them but showing uses these words with the ‘S’ at the end.

    Can you help me to understand ?
    thanks Rob. Thank you so mutch.

    • Hi Pierre,
      Many thanks for your interesting comment. I am very pleased that you like my podcasts and find them useful. You have found an interesting detail in this podcast and I must admit that I had not noticed it before. I think that I have made an error by putting as ‘s’ on westward. To my native speaking ear, it sounds okay with an ‘s’, however when I say ‘when I walk westward’, it sounds more correct. Later in the same paragraph, I use the phrase ‘walk towards them’. This sound correct to me, so I would always put the ‘s’ on ‘towards’. I can’t really explain why this is so. It just sounds correct to my ear, so I will always go with what sounds correct to me. In your case, as a non-native speaker, you just have to learn the expressions and phrases.
      Anyway, well spotted! It is great when you can notice small details like these. It shows that your English studies are progressing very well. It also shows you that native speakers sometimes also make errors. After all, languages are complicated systems. Anyway, well done on noticing this mistake.
      Good luck with your English studies.
      Have a great day.

      • Thank you very much Rob.
        I feel happy thinking I am speeking about an ‘S’ with somebody in the other side , down under the planet ! Great !!!
        So, Is there a mistake by saying : I walk toward him and I walk towards them ?
        sincerely yours,

        PS : About rabits in Australia :
        They are famous in a french novel written in the 50s by Marcel Pagnol : a man tell in this story that when Europeans imported rabbits in Australia, they spread so much there they had to be killed because they ate everything and threatened to destroy the continent. he wanted to do the same in Provence to become rich by selling rabbits for food.
        Do you know that story or this old film from Pagnol ?

        • hahaha !
          rabbits :2B !

        • Hi Pierre,
          Thanks for your reply. I think it is more correct to say ‘I walk towards..’. However. I think leaving the ‘s’ off is also correct. So, in my opinion, you can use either.
          I haven’t heard the story about the rabbits, but perhaps that is a great topic for a podcast. Rabbits in Australia is indeed an interesting story. Thanks for the suggestion.
          Have a great day.

  5. Hi Rob

    Your podcasts have been helpful for my Chinese kids who are doing the Victoria VCE program. Thank you for being my go-to resource!

    • Hi Azrin,

      Many thanks for your comment. That’s really pleasing that my podcasts have helped you and your students. All the best for their exams.

  6. Hello Mr. McCormack!

    I’m very scared about how far you go coz too much exercise isn’t good for the heart in any age, I’m 16yo & would nvr ever consider 8km, it’s just madness(sorry!!!) I’ve noticed that you’re reading faster, aren’t you? I really liked the first podcast speed, it’s excellent at that rate but ya still pretty awesome anyway
    Thank you




    • Hi Lena,
      Many thanks for your comment. I agree that I have varied my speed a little in my podcasts as I went along, although I didn’t intend to do that. Sorry if this one is a little too fast for you. I think you will find that some of my later podcasts are a little slower.

      Eight kilometres is not that far, especially if you don’t walk too fast. You would be surprised how your fitness improves with practice. In fact, keeping fit actually increases the strength of your heart.

      Thanks for listening to my podcast and good luck with your English. You seem to be doing very well.

      Have a great day.

  7. Dear Rob!
    Let me ask you an important question for me. In what dialect you speak English? Thank you.
                                                                       Vladislav, Israel.

    • Hi Vladislav,
      There are no dialects in English. There are different accents in English, such as Australian, American, Scottish, British, etc, but these are not really dialects. Apart from a few words, the vocabulary and grammar rules are all the same for all English speakers. Sometimes other English accents are hard to understand, but generally English speakers can all communicate quite easily. I speak English with an Australian accent.
      I hope that answers your question.

  8. Hello, Rob!

    I am Jake and from Korea. I arrived in Melbourne 3weeks ago. So, when I really wanted to learn english I can find your potcast. It is amazing! I listen to your potcast and study everyday. Word that I want to say is thank you very much! However I have a favor. It is too fast to listen to this to me because my english skills are very poor. Would speak more slowly? thank you to read my comment! See you!

    ps. Where place of trails can I see kangaroos? I never have been to see kangaroos!

    • Hi Jake,
      Many thanks for your kind message. Welcome to Melbourne. I hope you are having a good time. I have been to Korea and I had a great time there.

      If you want to hear my podcast more slowly, you can use the following website.
      First you must subscribe to my podcast so that each podcast episode mp3 file is saved to your computer. Then you can upload an episode file to this web site and you will be able to make the audio as slow as you like. I hope that helps.

      Regarding the Kangaroos, you can see them on the Yarra walking trail in the early morning (say around 7am to 7.30am) if you go to the car park at 203 Fitzsimmons Lane, Templestowe, 3016 and then walk along the Yarra Trail in either direction.,145.1355489,16z. After a few hundred metres you are almost certain to see wild kangaroos.

      Have a great day.

      • Thank you for fast reply! If I have many times I will go see kangaroos! One more thanks, and have a nice weekend!

  9. Hi Bob

    I live in Adelaide now and look for places like on your photos.
    Your podcast is very interesting and learns me a lot of Australia.

    Thank you

    • Hi Pete,
      Thanks for your message. I am pleased that you can learn something about Australia from my podcasts. Adelaide is a great place too, although I have only been there a couple of times myself. Actually there are many parts of Australia that I have not been to yet. I hope to see more of Australia in the next few years, including Adelaide.
      Have a great day.

  10. Hi Rob. My name is Jeffeson and I am from Brazil. I am very happy to have found yours podcast. It have been very helpfull to learn english. Thanks a lot.

    • Hi Jefferson. Thank you for writing to me. Your English is very good. I am pleased that my podcast has been helpful to you in learning English. I can see that you were reading Podcast 5 – A Morning Walk in Melbourne. I went for the same walk this morning and I saw many kangaroos. They are very tame although a little wary. I love to take photos of them. In Brazil you must have some wonderful animals too.
      Thanks for your message. Have a great day.

  11. Hi Lorraine. Many thanks for your comment. I go for my walks between 7.30 and 8.00am. I almost always see the kangaroos around this time. But I have also been earlier on a couple of occasions and they are also there earlier too. Their favourite feeding ground along the trail is the grassy area after the junction of the Yarra and the Mullum Mullum Creek (heading upstream). They certainly are beautiful animals and I hope you get to see them soon.

    • Oh thanks so much for the info and giving me the location too! We’ll have to drive to get there. Could you please confirm this is the place you’re referring to: I can’t wait to see them! 🙂

      • Hi Lorraine. Yes, that is the place. If you are driving, I suggest you go down Blackburn Road to the end and turn left into Websters Rd, just past the Australia Post mail centre. You can park there behind Aumann’s nursery and walk down to the Mullum Mullum Trail. If you turn left when you get to the trail, that leads you past the grassy fields where our friends the kangaroos like to graze. Have fun!

        • Oh, I can’t wait! You’ve been very thoughtful and helpful. Thanks!

        • WOOHOO! wow, as for the location, you were DEAD on! We got there (excellent directions by the way), and we first saw a group of 4 a bit far away, then another group of 20 or so closer in, and then a group of about 50 much further away. We were so happy! Thanks so much! Don’t know if you were walking there this morning between 7:30 and 8 am but if you did and saw a short woman with a tall man, that was us! 🙂

          • Hi Lorraine. So glad you got to see them. As it turned out, I didn’t go for my walk this morning so I missed you. A point of interest – If you had turned right on entering the trail, the trail will eventually go past Beasley’s Nursery where they have an excellent tea house.

  12. Hello Rob, Loved your description of your morning walks! I just arrived in Melbourne from overseas and I live in Heidelberg. I also have the Yarra Trail right next to my home. I’ve been wondering at what time I should go for a walk to see the kangaroons? I’ve hear they come out in the morning, but what is morning? Is it 6 am or can it still be 8 am? At what time do you go for your walk? Thanks so much!

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