Visit some of the more than 100 playgrounds – including the best playground at Hays Paddock in Kew, an all-abilities playground which sits on the banks of the billabong. Enjoy picnicking and watching birds in a natural setting of bush trails and riverside cycling along the Main Yarra Trail, visit small neighbourhood parks with barbecues and playgrounds, quiet parks with winding walking tracks, or climb a stone observation tower which commands views across Melbourne ... go on, get outdoors and discover a new park today.
This significant park, located on Anderson Road, Hawthorn East, features a playground, two sporting ovals, barbecue facilities and an extensive walking path network. Also, magnificent, panoramic views of Melbourne and surrounds are special features of the park.
Anderson Park is home to South Hawthorn Tennis Club, a childcare centre and a maternal and child health centre. The park is also used extensively by local walkers and joggers who enjoy the perimeter walking track and hills on a one-kilometre circuit.
The main entrance to Beckett Park is via Parring Road, Balwyn. You can walk around Beckett Park at all times, however, the gate to the carpark and toilets is only open between dawn and dusk.
The park adjoins Maranoa Gardens at one of the highest points in Melbourne. Formerly known as One Tree Hill, Beckett Park's stone observation tower still commands views across Melbourne as far as Mt Macedon. And, in the 1940s and 50s Beckett Park was a traditional site for Empire Day bonfires.
Originally grassy woodland, Beckett Park has been lovingly restored to now be one of our more important revegetation sites of indigenous species. Visitors can walk through patches of grassy woodlands similar to that which would have been there more than 100 years ago.
The park is also home to a war memorial, an adventure playground, picnic tables and seating, and public toilets.
Situated in Canterbury Road, Camberwell, Boroondara Park is one of the largest sections of the Outer Circle Linear Park, which form a series of linking pathways throughout the municipality. Boroondara Parks' collection of native plants attracts birdlife and provides an ideal setting for recreation, bike riding, picnicking and walking.
The park features a large playground with a train theme, an avenue of gums along the main pathway, a dog off-lead area and a variety of established exotic and native specimen trees.
Fairview Park is ideally located on the banks of the Yarra River in Hawthorn, accessed via Power Street and Riversdale Road. The park joins Wallen Road Reserve and has a section of bike/walking path running along the river; together the parks cover 5.6 hectares.
In the 1880s the reserve was a popular destination by boat and was called Tea Gardens. The current design of the park was implemented in the 1930s, and today, the park features a playground, toilets, sportsgrounds, barbeques and rockwork which dates back to those early days. The park is particularly suitable for picnics and barbeques and has extensive open spaces for walking and recreational activities. It is also one of the most popular dog walking parks, with an off-lead designation.
Fritsch Holzer Park
The park, located in Rose Street, Hawthorn East, forms a draining retarding basin and features many Australian native plants. It offers barbecues, a dog off-lead area, lineal perimeter walking trails and public toilets. A local playground is found adjacent at Symonds Street Reserve.
The name comes from Augustus Fritsch and the Holzer brothers who formed the Upper Hawthorn Brick Company in 1883. The factory employed around 50 people and produced 250,000 bricks per week for use throughout Victoria.
In 1972 Council purchased the area and used it as a landfill site until 1986, followed by a temporary waste transfer station until 1989. In the years that followed the site underwent a resting period to ensure adequate settling of the area was achieved. In 1995, Council, together with the Department of Employment Education and Training and the Rotary Club of Hawthorn, reconstructed the area into a park.
HA Smith Reserve
The HA Smith Reserve is an extensive park located in Hawthorn bordered by Gardiner, Reserve and Glenferrie roads. This consists of sports grounds, a large playground, barbeque area, public toilets, a dogs off-lead area and a velodrome. The Gardiners Creek walking and cycling trail is a major thoroughfare linking Boroondara with the city.
To enquire about making a casual booking of the ovals please contact the Sports Liaison Officer at Parks and Gardens on 9278 4595.
Hays Paddock is a large park located in East Kew which can be accessed via Lister Street at the northern end or via Longstaff or Leason streets from the south (Melway 45 J1–2).
Hay's Paddock is an extensive recreation area consisting of two sportsgrounds which are used for soccer during the winter and cricket during the summer. In addition, an archery paddock sits at the northern end of the park.
However, the highlight of Hays Paddock is the all-abilities playground which sits on the banks of the billabong. The playground was designed to enable children with disabilities and those without to play together. It includes the usual swings and slides, plus a swing with harness, double-width slide, extra wide see-saw, hammock and a spider's web trampoline which ensures fun for all children.
In addition, there are tables and seating for picnics, toilets, barbecue, sand pit with sun-shade and car parking. The whole area has a bushland theme with plenty of seating and shade.
Hill 'n' Dale Park
This Glen Iris park is bordered by Summerhill and Ferndale roads. The park contains Council's first BMX park, with concrete jumps designed for beginner, intermediate and senior BMX riders. A walking and cycling trail runs through Hill 'n' Dale connecting it to Summerhill Park, Ferndale Park, Back Creek Reserve and Gardiners Creek.
River Retreat is a small local park approximately half a hectare in size, located at the end of Molesworth Street in Kew. With the Yarra River as a backdrop, it offers a peaceful retreat where native birds are abundant. The wetland area also provides precious habitat for frogs, including the locally endangered Southern Brown Tree Frog.
South Surrey Park
This park is located on Union Road, Surrey Hills and is bordered by Verdun Street, Delta Street, Essex Road and Riversdale Road. This large, predominately natural, park features a native animal themed playground, meandering paths and Back Creek. The park also forms part of a corridor of parks linking Surrey Hills to Lynden Park in Camberwell. It has undergone extensive indigenous revegetation to attract birds and wildlife to the area with the help of the Friends of South Surrey Park.
St James Park
This open, well-treed park of 4.3 hectares, located at 4 Wood Street, Hawthorn, was designed with a formal access and lined with annual beds and extensive grass areas sloping to the east. It is open to the public at all times and incorporates an oval used for cricket in the summer and football in the winter.
In 1858, before the secession of Hawthorn from Boroondara Road District, the Road Board addressed a letter to the Minister for Lands and Works stating the wish to secure certain grounds opposite the residence of Sir J F Palmer for the residents of Hawthorn. The land was originally reserved by the Crown and was known as West Hawthorn Reserve. It is thought that the name St James Park was used because there was a football club with that name.
The park provides a critical flora and fauna corridor of the Middle Yarra River and, along with Yarra Bend Park and other Yarra River open space frontages, represents one of Boroondara's most significant natural heritage assets.
Willsmere-Chandler Parks are located along the northernmost edge of Boroondara comprising a total area of around 23 hectares bounded by the Yarra River to the north, the Eastern Freeway to the south, Yarra Bend Park and Chandler Highway to the west, and residential properties and Green Acres Golf Club to the east.
The two billabongs of Willsmere-Chandler form an integral part of the Yarra River's floodplain, and contribute to maintaining the ecological health of the river system. They also represent the last remaining billabongs within the lower reaches of the Yarra River system.
Visitors enjoy picnicking and the open space in a natural setting of bush trails and riverside cycling along the Main Yarra Trail, birdwatching around billabongs and sports at Willsmere Oval. Public toilets are open between dawn and dusk.
Yarra Bank Reserve
This Reserve is a good example of mixed planting rock garden with lawn areas for relaxation and picnics. Although it is an open park and has an access road through it, it still has an intimate feel. The reserve is open to the public at all times.
The Reserve originally formed part of the Yarra River flood plain and is part of a larger length of open space that stretches from Muir Street to Isabella Grove in Hawthorn. It is separated from the northern section of open space by the gardens of some properties that run almost to the riverbank.
It is split in the middle by the embankment constructed for the Burwood Road bridge – the embankment provides the basic form for the park. The reserve is used for barbecues and parties and has hosted a large AFL Grand Final celebration for a private company.
Parts of the reserve have been used for the construction of rowing sheds and launching facilities. These boat sheds are owned by various clubs and schools and are not available for public use.
View our masterplans for improving Boroondara's parks, shopping precincts and other public spaces.