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Ten Free Things to See and Do in Lilydale

Home > Melbourne > Exhibitions | Free | Unusual Things to do | Walks | Lists
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 2nd 2020
It's free, it's interesting, it's educational and it's fun
Yarra Ranges Regional Museum
Address: 35-37 Castella Street.
Hours: Open seven days 10.00 am.-4.00. pm.
Features permanent and themed displays of Lilydale's rich history.

Yarra ranges museum
Yarra Ranges Regional museum.

Museum display
Part of the permanent display.

Melba Park
Market Street. It can be accessed from three streets. It is quite large and features a large play area for the kids. Other amenities are a BBQ, picnic seating, drinking tap and toilet block. Almost permanent residents of Melba Park are ducks and Ibis.

Melba Park.
Part of the expansive Melba Park.

ibis in tree
Almost residents in park.

Showground Murals
Market Street. Opposite Melba Park is the Lilydale Showgrounds. All their buildings feature colourful murals. Dame Nellie Melba can be seen from the park on the main building, but cross the road and walk past the other pavilions to get a glimpse of the show's history.

Murals at showgrounds.
Some of the murals at the showgrounds.

Melba Room. Athenaeum Theatre
39-41 Castella Street.
This small room is entirely devoted to Dame Nellie Melba memorabilia, including many of her personal items. It is of the foyer of the Athenaeum Theatre. The office is open on Mondays, Tuesdays & Fridays. 10 am 2.00 pm, and if they are not busy they can show you the Melba Room.

Melba memorabilia
The very colourful Melba Room.

Lilydale Historical & District Historical Society
Address: 61 Castella Street.
Hours: Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday: 11 am. 4.00 pm.
Friday 1.00 pm 4-00 pm.
The society is headquartered in the old courthouse, where it has permanent displays on the history of Lilydale and district.

Old court house
The old court house.

Historical display
Historical society display.

Historic Castella Street
Starting at the corner of Market Street, you will pass the former shire offices, now the Yarra Ranges Museum, the Athenaeum Theatre, Lilydale Tabernacle, Lilydale State School and St Johns church, all of which were built in the 1800s.

Athenaeum Thaeatre
The Athenaeum Theatre


Olinda Creek Walk
Address: John Street.
Hours: Never closed.
Starts in John Street on the eastern side of the Olinda Creek and mostly follows the creek. It is only about 500 metres long, but is a very interesting walk and leads to the Lillydale Lake.

The start of the walk.

blue wren
Part of the avian experience.

Lillydale Lake
Address: Swansea Road.
Hours: Never closed.
The jewel of Lilydale. A 2.5 km very easy circuit walk. On water and off water activities. Bring your dog, canoe, kayak, fishing rod or bicycle and enjoy. Don't forget yourself.

Lilydale Lake aerial.
An aerial view of Lillydale Lake.

If you prefer a non-active, apart from walking, activity, there is a myriad of passive items to enjoy. A casual walk around the lake could bring you up close and personal to numerous water birds. Ducks, swamphens, coots, ibis, cormorants and darters.

darter drying wings
A darter drying wings, one of many birds seen close-up around the lake.


Address: Jarlo Drive.
Hours: Monday & Friday 9.00 am 5.30 pm.

Tuesday to Thursday 9.00 am 8.00 pm.
Saturday 10 am 4.00 pm.
Sunday 1.00 pm 4.00 pm.

The library, set in the vast expanse of the Box Hill Campus of Swinburne University, the library is a quiet retreat to borrow a book or two, or just sit and read some of the dozens of magazines available.

library entrance
Enter for a good read.

The magazine section.

Some of the magazines available.

Yarra Valley Trail
The newest rail trail in Victoria. Starts at Beresford Road, next to the Warburton Trail. It is a wide, level compacted gravel surface that travels for about seven kms to the old Yering Station. A long walk, but quick if you are on your bike.
yarra valley trail.
Start of the Yarra Valley trail on left.

It would take almost a day to partake of all the activities, but if you live locally or are passing through Lilydale, or just wish to fill in some quality time, one or two activities at a time would be time well spent.

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Why? It's free and interesting
When: Anytime for most things
Where: Lilydale
Cost: Free
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