Alfred Nicholas Memorial GardensLike most of the gardens and reserves in the Dandenong Ranges, the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens are set on the side of a steep hill, and the gardens slope down to a small lake and creek. Stone paths zig zag their way through tree ferns, exotic trees and flowering plants which grow under tall mountain ash trees. The lake is surrounded by terraced stone walls, and timber bridges give access to the lake and its two islands. A small creek trickles down the hillside to the lake, bouncing over waterfalls and through a series of ponds. Further down the path ends in a beautiful fern gully in the Sassafras Creek valley.
Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens are a stunning destination during Autumn when the leaves of the maples, beech and Golden Gingko trees are turning a buttery yellow, and dropping into the water of the lake. There are a nuimber of paths to follow and explore the gardens at your leisure, along with seating set around the ground to sit and rest and take in the beautiful surroundings. Despite being busy, it is a very restful place.
The gardens are equally delightful in other seasons. In Spring, the gardens are blooming with rhododendrons, azaleas, camelias, kalmias and flowering cherries on the lake. Summer is the time to see hydrangeas, fuchsias, native ferns, rhododendrons and native terrestrial orchids. In Winter you will see camelias and the early rhododendrons.
Next door is Burnham Beeches, Alfred Nicholas' home, which has a lovely cafe where you can get something to eat and drink, along with spacious areas for the kids to run around and play. Closeby is Grants Picnic ground where you can feed the wild birds.
Alfred Nicholas Garden is open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm every day except Christmas Day. The garden may close during dangerous weather conditions, high fire risk or for major works. Check current conditions on the day of your planned visit to confirm it is open.
Location: Sherbrooke Road, Sassafras, Dandenong Ranges, Vic.
Alfred Nicholas purchased this land in 1929 to build his home and then proceeded to buy up surrounding land to add to his estate. The property was named 'Burnham Beeches'. Nicholas and his brother George developed the 'Aspro' painkiller. Originally a German discovery, supply was halted during World War I. George, a chemist, re-discovered the formula and the Australian Government awarded him the patent. The Nicholas fortune grew.
Alfred Nicholas searched outer Melbourne for established trees to purchase for his property. Unfortunately he passed away before the garden was complete, and the property soon began to decline. His wife stayed on the property until the outbreak of the World War II. After the war, the house was handed to their company and was used as a research laboratory. In 1965 the Nicholas Company donated the gardens to the people of Victoria by way of the local shire council. In 1972, the council handed the garden over to the Victorian State Government.