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Surrey Dive Lake & Playground

Home > Melbourne > Dog Friendly | Free | Outdoor | Places of Interest
by Neil Follett (subscribe)
I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
Published February 17th 2020
You Can Descend into This Dive
surrey dive sign
We are here.

The Surrey Dive started life as a clay pit for the adjacent Box Hill Brickworks in the 1880s. The brickworks were abandoned in 1988 but all the buildings remain.

The abandoned Box Hill Brickworks.

The water-filled quarry was a popular swimming venue from 1905 until 1967. Swimming competitions used to attract thousands to watch the activities. It was around 13 metres deep, but during a drought during the late 1960s it was drained and filled in to create an ornamental lake only a couple of metres deep.

Surrey Dive
Looking cross the lake towards Box Hill.

Today the lake is about 90 metres long and across and is home to many waterbirds.

lake & birds
Waterbirds upon the lake.

There are numerous seats around the lake offering a relaxing look across the water. On my visit, there were handwritten notices on many of the seats outlining the perils of feeding the ducks bread.

Don't feed the ducks sign.
Don't feed the ducks.

chasing a magpie
Don't feed the ducks, but you can chase the magpie.

There was also an official sign with the same message.

Don't feed the ducks sign.
The official version.

Many ducks were swimming around, much to the enjoyment of a young boy with his parents.

duck swimming
An unidentified duck.

black ducks
A pair of black ducks

Swimming amongst the ducks were several coots looking impressive with their black feathers and white bills, contrasting nicely with the ducks.

One of the coots.

Non-water birds seen were magpies and noisy miners. A young kookaburra was noticed quietly sitting in a tree.

Kookaburra sitting in tree.

There is wide gravel path circumnavigating the lake which is very popular with walkers, their dogs and joggers.

Easy jogging.

Walking around the lake.

While the path is wide and flat, wheelchair access would be restricted to the northern end of Surrey Drive as most entry points have many steps down to the lake level. The wheelchair-bound and mobility-impaired would find the Surrey Dive an enjoyable experience.

lake path.
Wde paths and seat around the lake.

Around the lake, apart from the numerous seats there are several viewing areas and one large platform extending over the water.

over water platform
The large over water platform.

Most Sunday mornings, the ducks and coots give way to the Surrey Park Model Boat Club, sailing there models around the lake from the safety and dry platform over the lake.

On the rim of the western side of the lake is a large playground with an undercover picnic area and BBQs. There is a nearby toilet block.

Part of the large playground with picnic shelter in background.

The lake is only a small part of Surrey Park, which encompasses a playing field, tennis courts, basketball and netball courts and an indoor swimming complex.

surrey dive
Looking across the lake with Box Hill buildings in the background.

The whole area is nicely landscaped and well maintained making it a nice place to be. The far side of the lake (opposite the overwater platform) lakeside plantings of native shrubs offer some botanical experiences.

plant pods.
Look closely and you will see these.

grass close up.
Look for these.

You would not know you were in the middle of suburbia.

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Why? It's an unique experience
When: anytime
Where: Surrey Drive, Box Hill. Melways map: 47. B.11.
Cost: Free
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by Megan Edwards on 13/01/2013
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