JC Mills Reserve
JC Mills Reserve is a stunning parkland in the city of Dandenong, VIC. Open daily, this much-loved park caters for all levels of fitness. The park has a playground, BBQs and picnic shelters, outdoor gym equipment, a walking track, a basketball court, a tea garden, several water features and an open grassed area.
JC Mills Reserve is a 30ha (74 acres) park in Dandenong that isn’t part of any formal park system. However, the site, strategically located between the Dandenong Ranges National Park and the Dandenong Creek Trail, is currently the property of the Shire of Sherbrooke. The reserve is the entrance to Dandenong Creek Trail, a 20km (12mi) walking and cycling network between Berwick and Belgrave.
JC Mills Reserve is a 300-plus hectare area just outside of Dandenong. It is managed by the Dandenong Ranges National Park, and is home to two significant environmental features: the Dandenong Ranges Wetland System and the JC Mills Dam. The JC Mills Reserve is 2 kilometers long and 1.6 kilometers wide, and is bounded by the Moorooduc Reservoir and the Dandenong Creek to the north and the east, and the Dandenong Ranges Highway to the south.
Dandenong Ranges National Park is 249,000 hectares (590,200 acres) of wilderness. Unlike its name suggests, Dandenong Ranges isn’t only home to eucalypts, it’s also home to loads of wildlife.
JC Mills Reserve is just 10 minutes drive from Dandenong, but is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the hustle and bustle of the city. This escape is as close to nature as you can get; it features large native trees, wild birdlife, and bushwalking tracks. Visitors can hike up to the highest point of this reserve (about 100 metres) to take in the view over Dandenong.
JC Mills Reserve was established in 1992 and has a variety of fauna for bird-watching. This reserve was named after John Church, who donated the land in 1961. The reserve covers 36 hectares and is adjacent to Koonung Creek. The reserve has a rich and diverse flora, with over 300 species recorded. JC Mills Reserve is also home to approximately 300 native bird species, including 78 species of native birds, 25 species of large birds, 56 species of small birds, and 19 species of migratory land birds. The reserve’s fauna include 30 species of reptiles and amphibians, 53 species of bats, 2,500 invertebrates, and 74 mammal species.
The JC Mills Reserve offers an astounding 50 kilometres of walking and jogging tracks, an orienteering course, as well as a 30-hectare lake and wetlands. The trail clearly outlines the circuit, with seating placed strategically every 1.5 kilometres. The reserve is open from 7am to 10pm during the summer months, with an admission fee of $5.50, and is located just west of Gembrook.