|Box Hill Gardens is a fairly large area with open grassy areas for games, a large pond with ducks, two playgrounds, War Memorial, cricket pitch, BBQs and toilets.
The playgrounds are Irving Avenue Playground on the south side and Nelson Road Playground in the north-west corner near the pond.
There are shady seating areas as well as the open areas.
The whole area has metered parking and it can be difficult to find a park at times. If you can't find one of those elusive spots then one option is to park at Centro Box Hill.
History of the Gardens - There is a 1 km path around the Gardens which is named Wrightes Run. Arundel Wrighte (1806-1887), for whom this 1 km path is named, was one of the first European settlers in the Box Hill area and the first to become a landholder. Wrighte, his wife Fanny, their three young daughters and two servants arrived in the Port Phillip settlement from Launceston, Tasmania, on 10 January 1837. The family camped on the north bank of the Yarra River while Arundel trekked east of Melbourne, searching for suitable pasture to lease for the 500 sheep, one cow and a horse he had brought with him from Tasmania. Deciding to stock cattle rather than sheep, Wrighte built a cattle yard later that year near the junction of Bushy and Koonung creeks.
In 1838, Wrighte obtained a pastoral licence to lease Crown land that stretched east beyond the already surveyed area. Referred to as a 'run', the land extended from what is now Elgar Road to Dorking Road, and south from Koonung Creek to Burwood Highway. In 1843, he built their family home Beaudesert in Bushy Creek, establishing a surrounding vineyard and orchard.
In 1850 when the first local freehold land sales took place, Wrighte was able to purchase 369 acres of his original run. After Wrighte's death in 1887 his land was subdivided and a parcel was retained by his granddaughter Mary and her husband William Rodgerson. The couple built their family home Upton House on the hill east of Elgar Road. The land, known as Rodgerson's Paddock, was used for cropping oats and grazing rested horses for their cartage business.
In 1920 Nunawading Shire Council approached Mary Rodgerson to purchase eight acres for use as a public park. This land became the Box Hill Gardens.
Prior to European settlement, the Wurundjeri-Balluk tribe camped along the banks of the many creeks that flow through the City of Whitehorse and named parts of the local area Namenarrren or Nunawading. The Wurundjeri have been the traditional custodians of the land on which the City of Nunawading is located for more than 40,000 years.
A ten minute walk to the west along Whitehorse Road brings you to Kingsley Gardens where there is a grassy area about half the size of Box Hill Gardens. This area also has a reasonable playground