Walk along Bank Street and cross over to the railway side shared pathway. Shortly on the left, you will see a line of pines marking the Box Hill Town Hall. If you have time, walk around this imposing building, which (during office hours) includes an “Artspace” gallery, great stonework and toilets. The nearby Anglican Church and some street art are also worthy of note. Once back on the pathway, there are some surprises – you will be very close to the trains because a section of the path is unfenced. There is also a playground/park area dominated by tall eucalypts.
Cross into this park, and then continue north along Linsley Street past the unusual fire brigade building. Cross Whitehorse Road, then turn left (west) past the police station. I found this a surprisingly pleasant stroll, looking at the frontages of all the public buildings and getting a good overview of cosmopolitan Box Hill (both old and new). Walk to and cross Station Street, continuing to the first street on the right (Bruce Street). Walk north gently downhill along Bruce Street, starting beside the imposing Uniting Church. At the end, enter our first gardens/ park (Box Hill Gardens), which is a striking change from bustling Box Hill. This park is huge! It features ball courts, a skating area, an enormous playground, two sets of toilets and extensive manicured lawns. Circumnavigate this park anticlockwise, finishing at the pond. (We will leave the park near this pond.)
Once you reach the pond, look west to another landmark building, namely Box Hill Hospital. Walk west between the Box Hill and Epworth Eastern Hospitals, along Arnold Street. Cross Elgar Road going right, then immediately left into Victoria Crescent, beside Box Hill Institute. Look for the unusual “windmill” on the roof of Building E1. What do you think it does?
Turn left into the first street – Kingsley Crescent. Notice the unusual downpipes along this street. In just five minutes, the whole atmosphere changes as we enter our second gardens. In these much quieter Kingsley Gardens, you can see birds (I saw a pair of Gang Gang Cockatoos) and many large trees, including a magnificent oak. Other facilities include a BBQ area, drinking water and a playground. When you are ready, walk west from the playground to a street also heading west. This is George Street and its street sign is slightly concealed by a power pole.
Continue along George Street to its end (just a few minutes), and along a right-of-way that has some tall trees despite its narrowness. At the end turn right, uphill to the first street (Victoria Crescent) where we turn left (west) for a few minutes. This whole section of walking features a mix of housing styles (including charming weatherboard houses) and redevelopment, as is common in these suburbs. As Victoria Crescent starts to turn left we turn right (north) into Rostrevor Parade. The second street on the left is Kenmare Street. Turn left here. Walk past Mont Albert Primary School, turn left into Carrick Street, then turn right into Carlyle Crescent, and into quite a large park (Mont Albert Park). From the playground, exit this park near the SW corner, and walk west to the end of the delightfully named Threadneedle Street. At the end, turn right, then left into Yonga Road, which leads directly into our final huge park/ gardens.
This huge park has two parts: Beckett Park and Maranoa Gardens. Our entry point is close to the indigenous flora reserve (with a short fenced circuit track and signage, taking about five minutes). Once back at the top, you will see the lookout tower (panoramic views), carved wooden sculptures, a playground, war memorial, toilets and car park, which is near the main park entry. We exit the park here later. You will also see the entry gate for Maranoa Gardens (the other half of this parkland). Note its opening hours.
Maranoa Gardens is quite something! It is such a large garden that it warrants a day visit in itself. There are several different environments to explore as can be seen from the map on the noticeboard. There is also a brochure about the garden. Look for extensive views to the north and west as you explore this beautiful spot. (There is even a pot plant in its public toilet!)
Eventually, return to the exit near the war memorial and then walk down Parring Road to Whitehorse Road. Tram stop 50 is on the left (east) side, for the short return tram trip to Box Hill.