I count myself lucky to be born in Australia's coffee capital of Melbourne and love to write about what's on in my home town.
Published May 27th 2012
The suburb of Box Hill is a hustling, bustling affair, boasting one of Melbourne's biggest transport interchanges, two hospitals, a TAFE and a swathe of retail and dining facilities. Yet, just a few metres from the main thoroughfare of Whitehorse Road is a tranquil, verdant parkland just waiting to be enjoyed.
Occupying a spacious, gently sloping allotment between Nelson Road and Station Street, Box Hill Gardens is home to two playgrounds, a large duck pond, cricket pitch, war memorial plus picnic and barbecue facilities - not to mention a state of the art, sensor controlled public toilet!
The Gardens offer a pleasant balance of shady and sunny areas - although families with small children are advised to bring hats, as the playgrounds don't enjoy much of this shade. A popular haunt for TAFE students, hospital staff and mother's groups it is rarely empty, but never feels crowded, as there is plenty of space to stretch out. Some people take this quite literally, for during the early morning you may be lucky enough to spot a local Tai Chi class in motion.
On balmy summer evenings, the Gardens often play host not only to a number of picnicking families, but also a toe-tapping variety of local musicians, as part of the City of Whitehorse's event calendar. Past highlights have included the Summer Music Series, World Harmony Day concert and Global Fiesta.
Getting a car park anywhere in Box Hill can be tricky, and the Gardens is no exception. Most street parking is metered and patrolled quite vigilantly, so be prepared! The best options are along Nelson Road and the intersecting Thames Street. However if you don't mind a few minutes walk, then leave your car at home and take public transport, as there are several buses stopping nearby, or park at Centro shopping centre just up the road, where it costs $1 for up to 3 hours on weekdays (free all day on weekends).