Nortons Park, part of a chain of parks in the Dandenong Valley, boasts rolling grassed lawns that give the park a definite European feel. The land was once an orchard, and still contains a number of remnant fruit trees that burst into bloom in springtime. It is a great place to picnic with friends or, for the more energetic, work out on the cross country running track.
Things to Do
Nortons Park is a good vantage point to get great views of the local area.
Enjoy a barbecue lunch, a picnic or a game of football or cricket with friends and family on the large, open lawns.
Take a stroll through the park down to the Dandenong Creek or walk all the way to Jells Park along the Linear Trail.
The Dandenong Creek in Shepherds Bush adjoining Nortons Park is a special place to watch birds, including the sacred kingfisher, rest and feed.
There is a large picnic shelter with electric barbecues.
A trail begins from the south-west corner of the park and extends down past a number of market gardens into bushland, down to the Dandenong Creek and then north to High Street Road. If you head south you can join up with the Linear Trail that will take you all the way along the Dandenong Creek to Jells Park.
There is disabled access to picnic and toilet facilities. Most of the paths in Nortons Park are sealed and suitable for wheelchairs.
Test your fitness running cross country through large grassland areas.
The area of the present Nortons Park was predominantly orchard country. It was first selected by Thomas Blood in 1868, and stayed in his family until 1936.
The park was named after the Norton family who owned land in the area for 50 years from the early 1900's. The land served as a market garden and an apple and pear orchard and at one stage was used as a water reserve for drovers moving their stock through the country.
The park was opened in 1981 and covers approximately 35ha featuring shaded picnic areas, open grassy lawns and a playground and was primarily developed as a recreation park. It is landscaped with exotic vegetation species which gives it a different character to other parks in the Dandenong Valley.
The park attracts various bird species such as the cattle egret, white-faced heron and the pacific black duck that forage in the grasses and near the billabong for food. The rare great egret and sacred kingfisher are also seen in the billabong and flocks of common bronze winged pigeons are sometimes seen in and around the car park vegetation.
Nortons Park is home to many exotic species of tree such as large pine trees and remnant fruit trees.
Looking After the Park
We have a "carry in, carry out" policy, so please take your rubbish with you.
Camping is not permitted within the park.
No fires, including barbecues, may be lit on days of Total Fire Ban.
Portable solid fuel barbecues are not permitted, however, portable gas barbecues can be used (except on days of Total Fire Ban).
Dogs are permitted in the park, but must be kept on a leash at all times. Please note that dogs are not permitted in the adjoining Shepherds Bush conservation area.
All native plants and animals are protected.
How to Get There
Vehicle access is from Nortons Lane, off High Street Road, Wantirna South (Melway ref: 72 A2). You can enter on foot from Nortons Lane and the Scotchmans Creek Trail.
The main park has a big sloping area of grass with a large shelter which has tables. Toilets. The park is dog friendly and dogs can be off leash.
You can follow a gravel path down the hill to the Shepherds Bush area which is a series of boardwalks and trails along a watercourse or bypass this area and head down the steep, dirt road to Jells Park. If you want to walk the few kilometres to Jells Park, after you leave the Shepherds Bush area the trail joins the Dandenong Creek bike path which is asphalted in parts and gravel in parts. There are a few seats along the way for rest but no water taps.