Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
On a recent trip to the Yarra Valley we came across a sign saying Kangaroo Ground Memorial Tower. Being curious we stopped in to have a look and we are glad we did.
The tower was opened to the public on the 11th of November 1926 as a war memorial for those who died in the First World War. On that day Governor - General Lord Stonehaven unveiled the 1914 - 1918 plaque before a crowd of 500 people, some of which had generously donated to help fund the project. The stone for the tower was donated by Professor William Osborne from his nearby property "Kangaroo Hill".
This beautiful sandstone memorial tower is still open for public viewing and the scenery from the platform at the top of the steep spiral staircase is one of the best 360 degree panoramic views you're likely to find this close to Melbourne.
The tower stands 12 metres tall (36ft) and is located on 'Garden Hill' being one of the tallest hills in the area at 237 metres above sea level. From the top of the tower is a clear view towards the city skyline, the Dandenong and Yarra Ranges, the North East suburbs but it has also been reported as having views to the You Yangs, Mount Macedon and Port Phillip Bay.
As you can see by the three images above, the views are impressive but more than that in 1974 the government decided to go with the towns wishes of building a fire watch box on the very top of the tower as it is one of the very few locations with such a vast view. The fire watch box is still in use over the summer months to help protect the densely treed and populated areas in the region. You will notice the fire box in the picture below at the top of the tower.
In the garden below the tower is what I believe to be the original caretakers cottage, although it seems ( for modern standards and sensibilities) too small for someone live in. There is information on the board in the information rotunda nearby that talks about a caretakers cottage.
The tower is open daily until dusk and has a parking area, toilets, information boards, plenty of seating and a few picnic tables. You will find the tower on Eltham - Yarra Glen Rd, Kangaroo Ground and is clearly signposted.
Other historic places to visit in the area include a Warrandyte historical museum, Hurst family cemetery, Ellis cottage, Andrew Ross museum, Yarrambat heritage museum and Queenstown cemetery. More information on all of these places can be found here.
Lovely article. There is also a lovely tower in Beckett Park, Balwyn where one can climb up the staircase and see an amazing view. Off Whitehorse Road, Balwyn. There is also a playground for children, and the native Maranoa Gdns.