Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria
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|Upper Ferntree Gully
|Population||3,221 (2011 census)|
|• Density||1,070/km2 (2,800/sq mi)|
|Area||3 km2 (1.2 sq mi)|
|Location||32 km (20 mi) from Melbourne|
|Federal Division(s)||La Trobe|
Upper Ferntree Gully is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 32 km east from Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area are the City of Knox and Shire of Yarra Ranges. At the 2006 census, Upper Ferntree Gully had a population of 4094.
Upper Ferntree Gully was a farming area in its early days and formed the end of the electric train line from Melbourne. Holiday makers and day trippers would then make their way by various means of transport to holiday and day tripper locations in "the hills". Many Melburnians up to (at least) the 1930s also holidayed in cottages in Upper Ferntree Gully.
Coonara House in Willow Road is the oldest building in Upper Ferntree Gully, ahead of The Royal Hotel. Coonara House was the farm house for the farm land that is now Kings Park reserve. Some historic buildings and sites have been lost over the years—including the original Primary School (which was nestled into the National Park, near the current Country Fire Authority station), the tearooms (corner of Rollings Road and Burwood Highway—many original architectural features were lost during renovations in the 1990s), the cycling velodrome (a bitumen track that was located behind St Joseph's College on the border of Upper Ferntree Gully and Ferntree Gully—this was used as part of The Sun newspaper's cycling competition), the Progress Hall (adjacent to Martin's Smash Repairs) and Kayser factory (Rose Street). The old bakery in Rose Street is home to the 1812 Amateur Theatre Group.
The suburb of Upper Ferntree Gully is often referred to by residents simply as Upper Gully. Many years ago, Ferntree Gully was known as Lower Ferntree Gully—there was a Lower Gully and an Upper Gully. Upper Ferntree Gully has been part of the Shire of Fern Tree Gully, Shire of Sherbrooke, Shire of Yarra Ranges (after the realignment of municipal boundaries), but now most of it is in the City of Knox.
Upper Ferntree Gully is home to Ferntree Gully Park, part of the Dandenong Ranges National Park) and Parks Victoria's Education Centre. The park boasts, in addition to natural beauty, the "1,000 steps". This is popular as both a challenging walk and for those wanting to improve their fitness by ascending the steps at a more vigorous pace. The 1,000 steps are now commemorated to the Kokoda Trail (in World War II the Kokoda Track was a field of action for Australian soldiers in Papua New Guinea). Kings Park (located in Willow Road and alongside Ferntree Gully and Ferny creeks) is home to football, cricket, athletics and baseball. Gilmour Park is also the location of Melbourne Water's Retarding Basin (along Ferny Creek) and close to Sherbrooke Archery Club.
Church and community groups
There are a number of groups providing for the local community—Country Fire Authority, Talaksia Scout Group, St Thomas' Anglican Church, Upper Ferntree Gully Seventh-day Adventist Church, International Women's Group (Coonara House) and Coonara Community House.
St. John Ambulance Australia (Victoria)'s Knox Combined Division includes Upper Ferntree Gully, Ferntree Gully, Boronia, The Basin, Wantirna, Rowville and other adjacent suburbs within its range. They meet weekly, except over the Christmas & January period, at the St. John Ambulance Hall in Boronia Road, Boronia, close to Dorset Road, on Wednesdays. Adults meet on Wednesday evenings, and Cadets on Thursday evenings. Contact St. John Ambulance Australia (Victoria) HQ on 1300 360 455 for more information if you would like to learn First Aid or join the Division.
Coonara Community House, also known as Coonara House or just Coonara, [see http://upperferntreegully.vic.au/community-directory/coonara-community-house ] is located in Willow Road next to King's Park, and has rooms for hire to community groups. It hosts, in alternate months in association with the Ferntree Gully Library, the Gully Gardeners Group. The meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month, from approximately 1.00 to 3.00. A "gold coin" donation at each meeting to contribute towards a gift for the month's talk by a guest presenter and the tea, coffee and biscuits is the only expense. Excursions to various gardens and nurseries are sometimes arranged for Spring and Autumn when the conditions are more suited for garden viewing.
Coonara is also a registered provider of Adult Education, and provider of Vocational Education Training. They produce a brochure each term listing the courses and sessions they run, some of which can be conducted on-line or in tandem with self-paced learning.
Sports and entertainment
There are a number of sporting organisations based in Upper Ferntree Gully—Upper Ferntree Gully Kings Football Club competing in the Eastern Football League and the Cricket Club (Kings Park), Upwey Tecoma Junior Football Club (Talaskia Road), Upper Ferntree Gully Tennis Club (Talaskia Road), St John's Tecoma Cricket Club (Talaskia Road), Sherbrooke Little Athletic Centre (Kings Park), Upwey/Ferntree Gully Baseball Club (Kings Park), Kenlaural Dance Centre and the 1812 Amateur Theatre group. A tourist information centre is located in front of the railway station.
There is a government primary school (Upper Ferntree Gully Primary school) which was substantially renovated (completed in late 2006) and is located on Talaskia Road. There was a Prep – Year 6 community school (Coonara Community School). The community school (Coonara) was parent run, offering its children a wonderful place for learning and operated from 1973 until it closed towards the end of 2007, when it entered into voluntary liquidation.
Health and aged care
The Angliss Hospital (formerly known as the William Angliss Hospital) was established in 1939 and is located in Albert Street and Talaskia Road, Upper Ferntree Gully. Chandler House—Eastern Health Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service—is located nearby in Albert Street (and was used as a bush nursing hospital prior to the opening of the Angliss Hospital). There are also a number of medical consulting rooms in the vicinity of the hospital. Willowbrooke aged care facility is located in Willow Road, Upper Ferntree Gully. In terms of animal health, Upper Ferntree Gully also has a veterinary hospital.
There are limited retail outlets (mainly food, hairdressing, banking, chemist, post office and repair services) in Upper Ferntree Gully, generally located along the main thoroughfare (Burwood Highway). Ferntree Plaza is the largest retail centre in Upper Ferntree Gully. Dining facilities include the Royal Hotel, an Italian restaurant and an Indian restaurant.
One key retail activity is the weekend market at the Upper Fern Tree Gully railway station carpark. Active every weekend from 9am – 4.30pm "The Little Market with the Big Reputation" has an abundance of products for sale. These include fresh fruit and veg, plants, jewellery, crystals, food, many other craft products and a hairdresser.
Upper Ferntree Gully also has a number of used car yards.
Upper Ferntree Gully has a railway station on the Burwood Highway. There are train stabling facilities at Upper Ferntree Gully and a terminus for some services. The following bus routes also service the suburb:
- 688 Croydon – Upper Ferntree Gully via Mt Dandenong, Olinda, Tremont (every day). Operated by Ventura Bus Lines and US Bus Lines.
- 693 Belgrave – Oakleigh via Upwey RS, Upper Ferntree Gully RS, Ferntree Gully RS, Brandon Park SC (every day). Operated by Invicta Bus Services.
- 732 Box Hill – Upper Ferntree Gully via Vermont South, Knox City SC (every day). Operated by Ventura Bus Lines.
- Shane Warne – cricketer born in Upper Ferntree Gully at the Angliss Hospital in 1969
- Bradley Harman – professional major league baseballer who played baseball at Upper Ferntree Gully Baseball Club at Kings Park
- Justin Huber – professional major league baseballer who played baseball at Upper Ferntree Gully Baseball Club
- Michael Nakamura – professional major league baseballer who played baseball at Upper Ferntree Gully Baseball Club
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Upper Ferntree Gully (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
- Full Point Footy, Eastern Football League, retrieved 21 October 2008