Strathdon House and Orchard Precinct

Strathdon House and Orchard Precinct is now open.

Our vision is to create a vibrant precinct that celebrates Whitehorse’s rich history and empowers a healthy and sustainable future for our community.

Strathdon will host educational programs in environment, sustainability, health and wellbeing  as well as provide opportunities for the community to relax, make, learn, play in nature and celebrate the seasons.

Hire a Space

  
The Strathdon House run by Whitehorse City Council is suitable for meetings, workshops, classes, seminars and private events.

Hours

  • Wednesday 2-6pm
  • Thursday 10-4pm
  • Friday 10-4pm
  • Saturday 10-4pm
  • Sunday 10-4pm

Please be advised that Strathdon House and Orchard Precinct will be closed for Australia Day on Wednesday 26th January 2022.

Phone

03 9262 6158

Location

The Strathdon House and Orchard Precinct is located at 449-465 Springvale Road, Forest Hill, 3131.

Getting to Strathdon House and Orchard Precinct

Walking or Riding

Plan your route with Google Maps or the TravelSmart Map ( PDF 8.95MB). The TravelSmart Map is a pocket sized map that helps to plan trips by walking, cycling and public transport.

Where to park your bike

You can park you bike at one of the 6 bicycle hoops located towards the back of the property (if coming from the Springvale Road entrance). 

Public Transport

The nearest train station is Nunawading, where you can catch Bus Route 902 down Springvale Road. There is a bus stop directly in front of Strathdon House and Orchard Precinct

A tram goes down Burwood Hwy to the Vermont South Shops. Get off at the corner of Springvale and Burwood Roads and walk approximately 10 minutes north along Springvale Road to Strathdon House and Orchard Precinct.

Driving

There is a small amount of parking at the front of Strathdon House and Orchard Precinct next to the Forest Hill Police Station as well as two accessible (disabled) parks. There is additional parking at the Davy lane entrance at the rear of the site. 

    Learning at Strathdon Precinct

    The first year of programs held at Strathdon House and Orchard Precinct will focus on key themes identified through recent community consultation such as:

    • Environment & Sustainability
    • Health and wellbeing
    • Educational kitchen garden and nutrition
    • History of site and area

    Programs will be linked to the seasons, offer a range of activity types and cater to a broad section of our community. 

    Learn: Develop new skills and knowledge to create and build with your very own hands. You may be out in nature learning how to draw your local area, or making a home compost system.

    Seeds for All: Join in this bi-monthly session where we learn more about seed saving and sharing.

    Holiday Program: Get down with nature these school holidays and let your kids celebrate being in nature and learning practical life skills such as gardening, making camp food and building a shelter.

    Attend a session at Strathdon and let us know what you think. At the conclusion of each program, we will ask for your feedback with a short online survey. We want to ensure this facility remains relevant and utilised by the Whitehorse community.

    History

    Built in 1893 by Walter Fankhauser, Strathdon is a 2.5 hectare site that includes the original cottage and orchard from Whitehorse’s early settlement. 

    The property was purchased by the Matheson family in 1914 and developed over time. At its height, the Strathdon Orchard was 37.78 acres in size and grew apples, pears, cherries, apricots and plums. Fruit varieties that are now no longer grown were also planted, such as, Josephine apples, Winter Coles and Winter Nelis pears. It operated as an orchard until the 1930s and was acquired by Council during Bicentennial celebrations as an asset of historical and cultural significance. 

    Through consultation with the community, Council has undertaken a redevelopment project that celebrates the rich history of the site while transforming Strathdon into a community precinct. 

    Sustainability

    The Strathdon House and Orchard Precinct redevelopment team have made efforts to incorporate sustainable building standards, actions and materials where possible. We are proud to share the following actions taken to make this an environmentally sustainable project:

    • Aggregate used in concrete mix was sourced from recycling old concrete and/or crushed rock
    • Recycled materials used where possible including the re-use of old floor boards
    • LED light fittings throughout
    • Low Volatile Organic Components (VOC) paint used
    • FSC Certified Timber used where possible
    • Higher rating roof insulation to better control internal temperatures
    • Local trades used where possible. An example is Kelvinway, a commercial applied finishes contractor based in Nunawading who completed the hard plastering of interior walls.

    Other sustainable measures taken that will assist with the effective operation of the site: 

    • 5kw solar system to offset electricity consumption
    • 13,000 litre rainwater storage tank used for toilet flushing and garden watering.