Poets Walk

We acknowledge the Gunaikurnai Nation as the traditional custodians of the land.

How to get there

Get Directions via Google Pin

What is the Poets Walk?

The Poets Walk is located at Swifts Creek and follows the river for approximately 1.5kms. A lovely short walk to break a journey.

Swifts Creek resident John Butler was a sculptor and poet who wrote “A River’s Mark” after the 2008 floods. He had a vision of creating the Poet’s Walk consisting of a walking track with six rock cairns with each cairn displaying a verse of his poem.

John was active in both Landcare and the Great Alpine Gallery. He passed away before it could be completed and the project lay dormant for many years.

In 2018 the Poets Walk Working Group recommenced work. Its rejuvenation has been a wide reaching collaboration between the East Gippsland Shire Council, Swifts Creek Ensay Landcare Group, Great Alpine Gallery and many other community groups and government agencies.

As well as being a great resource for recreation and fitness it aims to bring a creative focus to the space and mark it as a site for outdoor art projects.

I carve down through the marks of time and secrets open as I go
The footprints left from thousands years where other rivers used to flow
I raise old truths from earth’s great pit, I polish gems with diamond grit
My sparkling mark upon the land.

With clamourous noise I carve the steeps and quieter flow along the deeps
I never cease my endless toil, rumbling rocks and sifting soil
Rambling onwards to the sea, in duty bound to gravity
I weave my mark upon the land.

I gurgle in the gullies’ guts, I clutter over stony walls
I bubble in the shady glades and tumble down in waterfalls
Until at last on the gentle plain I ripple through a wide domain
And craft my mark upon the land.

Though gentle I may seem to be, when tempests rage and strengthen me
I gather energy enough to wreck the bridges, cave the bluff
Sweep fences, sheds and stock away and change the lives of all who stay
To grieve my scars upon the land.

If life be like a river, our souls are as the land
Shaped and formed by forces which we may not understand
We pray misfortune’s wretched scars will soon become mere flotsam on the tide
While all the marks of loving care are blessed and sanctified.

Plant Guide

View this PDF of a Plant Guide. As part of the Native Vegetation and Habitat Creation Project, an East Gippsland Water grant requirement, we developed this resource list to encourage others to plant along the river. It will be updated regularly.
Poets Walk Plant Guide

Regular meetings and working bees have seen the track and river cleared of weeds, old trees and debris and a plan put in place for the future. It now features a series of stone cairns inscribed with John’s poem.

Maintenance of new plantings will also continue and future art projects will come to fruition.


  • 2021 The Poets Walk track is now open!! A gravel track, signage and picnic tables have been funded by East Gippsland Shire and seats along the track by CWA.
  • 2021 Work commenced on the gravel walking track.
  • 2019 Launch of the Poets Walk including water bug sculpture parade.
  • 2018 Rejuvenation continued and art projects begun. It commenced with river research (Water Bug Blitz) and progressed to waterbug designed art. Community workshops were held to construct sculptures with basket making, eco printing and paper making.
  • 2017 First meeting of the Poets Walk Working Group to carry on John Butler’s vision and to rejuvenate the area. The Poets Walk Working Group recommenced work. 

Would you like to help?

Contact Annie Richardson on 0408 523 498 or anne@riverleablue.com