Our seventh walk starts at the north-east corner of Burwood Highway and Elgar Road (Melway 61 A6; tram stop 62), then moves upstream along Gardiners Creek Trail (which includes the Whitehorse Heritage and Artists’ trails). However, you could check the Local History Park on the opposite corner, which was the site of the Burwood Drive-in Theatre.
This walk has three stages. Walk easterly just 100m to the clearly marked trail, and the information board telling us John Gardiner’s life story. After about 20m you will notice that the track goes upstream on both sides of Gardiners Creek. (We describe the western side.) Extensive re-vegetation works are under way. Look for groves of she-oaks, and other older plantings that shield the view of Deakin University. You will pass a community noticeboard, an island, bulrushes and a playground on this enjoyable stroll. After about 30 minutes, you will be 100m from Station Street. Take the right fork in the track, then cross the creek via the bridge in Station Street. You can choose to return along the east bank (a 4km walk) or continue upstream.
For stage 2, cross Station Street and head north past the Box Hill Golf Club, turning right at the top of the rise. You will see the trail restarting in 200m or so and wending its way beside the golf course fence. In about 15 minutes you will cross a bridge. From this bridge, look to your left and you will see two large bollards marking a path to Artists’ Park. If you have time, take 10 minutes to visit this small, quiet park and find out why it is called Artists’ Park on a plaque on its western side. Returning to Gardiners Creek Trail, you may hear frogs in a small “lake” as you leave the golf course and approach a large sports ground.
About 15 minutes later you will reach the Skate Park, and this is a good spot to take a break; there is a public toilet, and shops just across Middleborough Road. You may even have some breathtaking entertainment! Here you could take the 733 Oakleigh bus to Burwood Highway if you wish, having walked 5 kilometres.
The third stage of the walk continues north along Middleborough Road, but walk inside the park on the embankment, parallel to the road, exiting through the post-and-rail fence. Cross over Albion Road and continue north. At quieter Sweetland Road turn first left, then right into Barcelona Street to reach Rutland Road beside the railway line. Here you will pass a stonemason’s workshop.
At William Street you can cross the railway line to the path on the northern side, which leads to an underpass under busy Station Street, taking you straight into Box Hill Central, the end of our 8km walk. From here you can use bus 767, 768 or 281 to return to the start, or 903 to return directly to Burwood Village.
However, if you are doing this walk between 8am and 5pm, at Sweetland Road we recommend walking 200 metres up Middleborough Road, then quietly west through the 1873 Box Hill Cemetery. Just before the offices you will pass the grave of C. J. Dennis (“The Sentimental Bloke”), and there are shady seats and toilets for a break.
When you reach the western end of the cemetery, turn right to find a pedestrian exit gate to Rutland Road (see previous paragraph).