120 – Hectare Westerfolds Park situated along the main Yarra trail in Templestowe is a recreational and environmental parkland suitable for various activities. It is usually frequented by joggers, dog walkers and cyclists and is best suitable for canoeing, family gatherings and picnics.
Being a part of the Main Yarra River trail, the walking/ cycling path can take you to the Melbourne CBD. Cyclists can also access Westerfolds Park via the 4 km Diamond Creek Trail from Eltham station. Nearly 6km of sealed pathway along the park is connected to gravel pathways winding through the bush as a part of the trail. There are drinking fountains in the park for visitors and BBQ facilities are provided at the south and north eastern areas.
Eastern Grey Kangaroo mobs are spotted in the open grassland here but beware, the big ones could harm you, if they feel threatened. There was a savage roo attack on a jogger in March 2017. But as usual the poor Kangaroo got all the blame. This park is best for bushland walk, watching the flora and fauna at a leisurely pace along the Yarra River. From Westerfolds park to Finns reserve by the trail is around 5.6 km which can take upto 45 minutes to cover and is suitable for anyone. Every Saturday at 8:00am, ‘Westerfolds Park Run’ is organised here. The event takes place in Fitzsimons Lane. Those interested can join the group and engage in the group activity. It is free though advised to register when running for the first time. Details are available here https://www.parkrun.com.au/westerfolds/.
‘Bubs on the move’ suggests, the park is best for children to scoot. The sealed pathway in the park being in very good condition, cyclists prefer to ride at very high speeds, so children require adult supervision all the time. http://www.bubsonthemove.com/westerfolds-park-melbournes-best-place-to-scoot/
In 1841, Frederic Wright Unwin, a Sydney solicitor, purchased eight square miles of land approximately 10 km north-east of Melbourne between Koonung Creek and Templestowe, which included all of the Melbourne suburbs of Doncaster, Templestowe lower, Bulleen and parts of Templestowe under the terms of the Special Survey regulations. In 1843, 255 acres of land where Westerfolds Park stands was returned to the crown in exchange for land on the west. Part of the land were leased or sold and changed hands many times. In 1863, it was sold to David Smith and the Smith family built a house on the land and ran a diary. Their estate was called, Holyrood Park, after the Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh. During the 1920’s, a farmer named Gilbert Smith occupied the property and diary man, Wallace Smith owned it before it was purchased in 1936 by Lindsay Robert Turner, a solicitor who built a new home at the top of the hill, the ‘Manor House’. A.V. Jennings bought it from the estate of Lindsay Turner in the 1960’s for subdivision. The property was purchased by the State Government on December 1973, for conservation purposes in public interest. In 1984, Westerfolds Park was officially opened for public recreation.
Address: Fitzsimons Lane, Templestowe, Victoria, 3106
Pedestrians and cyclists can access the park at any time. Gates are open from 6am to 6pm and during day light savings it is open till 9pm.
Vehicle entry is available from Fitzsimons Lane, Templestowe or Porter Street, Templestowe
There is an adventure playground for children.
Near the centre of the park atop a large hill lies the Manor House.
Canoe Launching Ramp is situated at the north-eastern area, just downstream from Fitzsimons Lane Bridge.
There are two viewing platforms one at the north east and the other at the north western areas overlooking the Yarra rapids.
Westerfolds loop track is around 4.8km and passes through the Manor house, woodlands, the main picnic areas with toilets, picnic tables and playgrounds.
The 33km main Yarra Trail passes through Westfolds park on its way from Melbourne’s eastern suburban fringe to Melbourne CBD.
Westerfolds Ridge picnic area has BBQ facilities, picnic tables, picnic shelter and playground. Red Stringbark picnic area has picnic shelter with tables and bbq facilities.
Porter Street picnic area has a large picnic pavilion with tables, electric bbqs and a disabled accessible toilet.
The Swamp Gum Picnic Area has barbecues, a picnic shelter and picnic tables. There is a playground nearby.
Detailed information about the park: https://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/yarra-valley-parklands-com