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Published April 11th 2014
120 Acres Of Parkland Close To The City
Beautiful bushland at Westerfolds Park
As you drive into Westerfolds Park there is a sign that welcomes you to Wurundjeri country (Womenjika Wurundjeri Beek). In the 1930s the Turner family bought this land from the Crown and built the 'Manor' on top of the hill. It has an ideal location and magnificent 360-degree view.
The 'Manor' has since been used for various purposes such as the Mia Mia Cafe and an Aboriginal gallery. Just recently Parks Victoria have decided to rejuvenate the Manor.
In the 1970s the community opposed a proposal for a residential estate and then the state government purchased the land to provide natural parklands to the community.
It's hard to believe that such an enormous recreational environmental parkland exists in Templestowe. Close to the Eastern Freeway, off Fitzsimmons Lane, 120 acres of natural parkland is partially hidden in the middle of suburbia.
A great spot to kayak
The park is well suited for a range of recreational activities such as picnicking, cycling, playing, walking, dog walking and canoeing. Warning signs warn that snakes are active in warm weather and therefore dogs must be kept on their leash at all times.
Watch out for snakes
The main Yarra Trail is 6 km of sealed track. This is well used, for example, a fun run is held every Saturday.
We have used the park many times to have a BBQ and picnic. There are many spots with plenty of seating and shade. The children's playgrounds are terrific and the walking/riding tracks suitable for the whole family. It's fun to try to spot the wildlife. There are many signs around the trail alerting the walker/rider to what they might find in that particular area. For anyone interested in kayaking or canoeing, there are small rapids to enjoy just under the bridge on the way into Eltham. I'd recommend the Come and Try kayaking sessions for children and adults.
One of the undercover BBQ/picnic areas
It would be very easy to get lost in this park this size or to find it difficult to meet up with friends, however the carparks are well signposted. They are named after Aussie animals and plants such as Kestrel Creek, Red Stringy Bark Park, Swamp Gum Playground and Yellow Box car park.
I hope the government continues to resist the pressure for more housing estates. No doubt this would make them a tidy little fortune. Westerfolds park is a truly unique recreational and environmental parkland worth treasuring.