Photo by Alex Ruschanow
This walk explores a working community in Ferntree Gully. Unlike previous bush walks in this paper, this follows footpaths on a route past many of the premises that service our community. While still a bracing two hour walk, it gives a personal appreciation of the goodwill and care that exists in this foothills township.
The starting point is the Francis Crescent car park of the Tim Neville Arboretum (renamed in 1993 after the late Chief Executive of Knox City Council). Walk along Dorset Rd heading south beside thenew Eastern Ranges School that provides dedicated teaching for children within the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Across the road you see The Coolstore, originally the Dobson cool store for the widespread orchards in the area, now mostly housing.
Where Dorset Rd meets Burwood Highway, cross the highway, turn left for a few metres, reaching Kevin Ave. Turn right into this industrial area and walk for 300 metres to Dempster St, the access street for the Knox Regional Netball Centre, a hive of activity
during games, or quiet and park-like when not.
The Centre adjoins Ferny Creek shared bicycle and foot track. Take this lovely trail back east towards Ferntree Gully, staying alert to cyclists. This is a 1.5 kilometre or 25 minute pleasant bushland stroll, under Glenfern Rd, past Ferntree Gully Community Centre and Library, around the Wally Tew Reserve and oval, behind Woolworths to the intersection of
Brenock Park Drive and Burwood Highway, where you will either take the subway or stay high to cross the highway to Selman Ave. Brenock Park was once a velodrome, oval and car racing circuit. It was the finish for several of the Sun Cycling Tours in the 50s
attracting 20,000 spectators.
Selman Ave runs beside Knox Community Health Centre, the original Ferntree Gully Shire hall. Walk up Selman, merging with Station St and on to Ferntree Gully Village. At the traffic lights, looking left you see the CFA station, Mountain District Learning Centre, and opposite the Uniting Church, all important community institutions. Cross the railway lines
safely and head north through the eastern car park towards the Blind Creek bike track, parallel with Underwood Rd, which takes you towards Boronia.
Here you pass three community institutions: Wattle Senior Citizens Club and Ferntree Gully Guides hall, and across the road, the long-standing Ferntree Gully Arts Society Hut Gallery that started life 71 years ago and is associated with many famous artists.
Continue north on the cycle track towards Boronia for nearly a kilometre to a railway underpass. On the way you see the extensive Glengollan Retirement Village, founded by forward thinking Ferntree Gully Shire President Violet Lambert in 1956.
Take the underpass, continuing for 400m or so back to the Tim Neville Arboretum, and note the impressive new children’s playground, community herb garden and new semi-circular war memorial.
Take a moment to sit and reflect on what you have seen. The walk passes services for youth and elderly, community learning, sport, safety, health and recreation, many of which are run by volunteers.
Think about the good works of a functioning local citizenry as you enjoy the two hour pavement walk.