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Tim Neville Arboretum

Home > Melbourne > Free | Outdoor | Parks | Playgrounds
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 May 2nd 2021
You won't be disappointed
The Tim Neville Arboretum is on Dorset Road, Ferntree Gully.

arboretum sign
The sign on Dorset Road.

It is a 4.4 ha., former orchard that was constructed in 1988. It is named after the former CEO of the City of Knox, Tim Neville.

General view.

It is a real people's park with amenities for everyone.

picnic areas
Many people enjoying the facilities.

One feature is a large enclosed children's playground with a variety of equipment to give hours of fun to the small fry. A popular item is the dual flying fox.

flying fox
Inside the play area with the flying fox and beautiful autumn trees.

Just inside the Dorset Road entrance is the Ferntree Gully War Memorial, well worth a look to remember those who served our country.

Ferntree Gully war memorial
A place for silent reflection.

Another popular feature is two lakes, with one occupied by many ducks and other water birds.

many ducks
An assortment of ducks.

Two ducks identified were several black ducks and a solitary wood duck.

black duck
One of the black ducks.

wood duck
A quacking wood duck.

Sitting atop a pole in the middle of one lake was a cormorant, who was happy to just sit there for quite a long time.

In pole position.

A dusky moorhen was seen inspecting what appeared to be a non-operating fountain.

dusky moor hen.
I hope it's not turned on.

There is a boardwalk over one lake giving a very close up look to the swimming ducks, much to the delight of the many children enjoying the day out with their parents.

boardwalk over lake.
Over lake boardwalk with viewing platforms.

At the end of one lake, children can sit a watch the ducks even closer as they emerge from the lake.

ducks up close.
Sit quietly and the ducks will come to you.

The whole area is nicely landscaped with many paths meandering past many florae. Some flowers noticed were several salvias and a nice camellia.

red salvia.
Red salvia.

More salvia.


It is dog friendly (on leash) with many owners bringing their canine friends.

lady & two dogs.
One of the many dog walkers.

dog and walker
Picnic's over.

My visit was on a sunny Sunday afternoon and despite the large number of people enjoying the great outdoors, there were areas where you could find some quiet solitude if you didn't mind ducks for company.
lady reading under tree.
Solitude is where you find it.

Several white blobs in the distance morphed as three sulphur-crested cockatoos ground feeding. On my approach, one took wing to a nearby tree, followed by my camera.

sulphur crested cockatoo.
Sulphur crested cockatoo feeding.

sulphur crested cockatoo.
A nice location.

What park would be complete without several noisy miners!

noisy miner
Noisy miner in tree.

There are many sheltered picnic shelters scattered around, some with BBQs.

picnic shelter
Many of these abound.

Another feature was an amphitheatre which would be great for some outdoor entertainment.

The Amphitheatre.

Other amenities are a large toilet block and a small off-road car park accessed from Dorset Road, with several disabled spots. Additional parking is available in the adjacent Francis Crescent.

toilet block.
The colourful toilet block.

The Tim Neville Arboretum could be described as Ferntree Gullies jewel in the crown, it is certainly worth a visit for a multitude of reasons.
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Why? It's an unique experience and worth it.
When: anytime
Where: Dorset Road, Ferntree Gully. Melways map: 74. A.1.
Cost: Free
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