A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published January 28th 2014
Frolicking at Fritsch Holzer
I love living near a park! I get to see the stunning sunsets, the glimpses of the city skyline, the changes in season - green grass to dead grass, eucalypts and other native plants seasonally flowering, the occasional transition of the centre of the park to a lake - but also the daily comings and goings. I see the walkers, the runners, the picnickers, the dogs. Some people (and dogs) I see so regularly I almost feel I know them.
Sunset from Fritsch Holzer Park
The park I'm referring to is Fritsch Holzer Park, an inner suburban haven located in Hawthorn East. The park used to house a brickworks, the 'Upper Hawthorn Brick Company', until it was purchased by the former Hawthorn Council (now Boorondara Council) in 1972. The name of the park comes from the former owners of the brickworks, Augustus Fritsch and the Holzer brothers. The factory employed around 50 people and produced 250,000 bricks per week for use throughout Victoria. (Source: City of Boorondara website).
The Council used the site for landfill until 1986. It was then re-developed and opened as a park in 1995.
A wattle bird enjoys a feast on the native flowers
For a suburban park, it is a decent size. It is roughly the equivalent size of four football fields placed side by side (and in fact at the east end of the park, there is a football/cricket field). There is a gravel walking track around a good section of the park. There are some broad stretches of grass, and as an 'off lead' park, it is frequented by dog walkers and their canine companions.
A section of the park - in need of some rain
The park also has a barbecue area and public toilets. There is a basket ball court complete with rings, nets and back boards. Adjacent to the park are three tennis courts (available for hire) and the Junction Skate and BMX park. There is also a children's playground close by (though not actually in the park).
The bbq area
What I particularly like about this park is that it features some lovely tracts of native foliage. This attracts many birds including lorikeets, wattle birds, and noisy minors. On evening strolls, I have also been fortunate enough to see several tawny frogmouths.
Flowering eucalypt in the park
Fritsch Holzer Park is only a short walk from the number 70 and 75 trams which travel along Riversdale Road. Drop in for a visit - give yourself a break from the urban hustle and bustle.