This outer eastern suburb of Melbourne takes its name from the original squattocracy of Mooroolbark Park. The homestead and grazing property was opened up in 1845 and had a succession of owners until George Chirnside, a member of one of Victoria’s wealthiest grazing families, bought Mooroolbark in 1921. George was a son of Andrew Chirnside, who, in harness with brother Thomas, at one time owned more than 100,000ha of some of the state’s finest pastoral land. Their biggest single holding was the 37,200ha Werribee Park where they regularly entertained the landed gentry in a 60-room Italianate mansion. The modern suburb of Mooroolbark - ideally located for forays into the wonderland of the Dandenong Ranges - is part of the Maroondah municipality, which, fittingly given the Chirnside heritage connection, is generously endowed with parkland and wetlands. One of the green belt standouts is Wombolano Park, which conserves 7.5ha of bushland that includes significant wetland and wildlife habitats. The range of resident and migratory waterfowl include pied and black cormorants, dusky moorhen, purple swamp hen, Eurasian coot, white-faced heron, cattle and great egrets, sacred ibis, Pacific black duck, maned duck, masked lapwing and silver gull.