Wesburn, formerly Warburton West, stretches along several kilometres of the Highway between Yarra Junction and Millgrove, and includes the historic localities of Britannia Creek and Old Warburton.
A thriving tourist destination until the 1950s, Wesburn at one stage had twelve named guesthouses plus several others. At its peak, Wesburn’s Main Street had at least twelve shops, plus a blacksmith, two churches and the school.
Both the Baptist church and Wesburn Primary School recently celebrated their centenaries.
Wesburn Park, one of the largest open public recreational spaces in the Upper Yarra, has a wealth of historic connections. The Upper Yarra Racing Club held picnic races there between about 1930 and 1963, and it was also used for tennis, basketball and netball.
These days the Park is still being used for a multitude of purposes, including Australian football, cricket, school sports days, pony club events and passive recreation, while the Upper Yarra Incident Control Centre, incorporating the regional headquarters for the CFA and SES – together with an emergency helipad – are located in the western corner.
Millgrove (population about 2,000) is a lovely little township nestled at the foot of the ranges on the banks of the Yarra.
Contrary to popular belief the town was named after Millgrove in county Tipperary, Ireland, rather than for the sawmills which once operated here.
The one mill remaining in the town has recently become a salvage based operation, pioneering a new direction for the timber industry.
The Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail passes through the heart of Millgrove; the former railway station is now a public park with barbeque facilities and public toilets.
As the Highway winds through Millgrove you will notice large eucalypts beside the road: these represent the Avenue of Honour dedicated to those who served in the Great War.
Millgrove’s active community has adopted their section of the Yarra, spending hundreds of hours on weed removal, replanting endemic flora and improving both animal habitat and access to the river.