Words: Robyn Anthony | Images: Werner Hills
With tree-lined streets and lush, well-maintained gardens, Mill Park has distinguished itself as the garden suburb of Port Elizabeth. Situated close to shopping centres, elite schools as well as the popular Port Elizabeth Golf Club, Mill Park has always been sought after for its central location and stately homes.
Mill Park has many large and upmarket homes. Quite a few of these are restored Victorian- and Tudor-style mansions, which give the suburb a sense of history and tradition. Art Deco styles can also be found in the area.
Mandi Pearson moved to Mill Park 18 years ago because she wanted her sons to attend Grey Junior and High schools, which are renowned for their academic and sporting achievements.
“My late husband and I wanted to be near Grey for our three boys,” she says, adding that it was convenient to live so close to the schools given her boys’ busy schedules. “The bonus was that they could walk home if necessary.”
Another plus is that the Mill Park streets are usually quiet, making the area safe enough for children to walk and ride their bikes, as well as for people to take their dogs for a walk in the pretty public areas.
The area’s old-world charm makes Mill Park particularly desirable. Residents are typically aware of the historic value of their homes and renovations tend to be done sensitively, which benefits the suburb.
Mill Park has been a well-established suburb for many years and there haven’t been any big developments or changes in the area over the last decade or so, other than people renovating their homes.
Mandi says a big advantage of living in Mill Park is the close relationships neighbours have with each other. “We have lovely neighbours and we all look out for one another.”
She adds that despite the impact of the current drought on many of the gardens, people still take pride in looking after their properties.
“I love my home, as I have renovated it to my taste, and it suits me and my three boys. I feel safe here even though, like most people, I’ve put in extra security such as electric fencing and cameras. Our suburb has the added bonus of cameras at most street corners to make residents feel even safer,” Mandi says.
There’s a strong sense of community and in the event of crime, residents come together and support each other. There’s also a newsletter for Mill Park and the surrounding areas that keeps residents updated on important developments.
Thanks to Grey Junior and High schools, which have great reputations, Mill Park is known for its elite schools. This is the reason why many families who want to place their children there are happy to live in the suburb.
The Collegiate Junior School for Girls and Collegiate Girls’ High School in nearby Parsons Hill have had long-standing academic and social partnerships with the Grey schools. Neighbouring Linkside is home to Linkside Pre-Primary and High schools. St George’s Preparatory School in Park Drive is also within easy reach, as is Herbert Hurd Primary School in Newton Park.
Mandi says there’s a lot to do in and around Mill Park. “We have walking teams, a tennis club, a bowls club and a golf club, and it’s still fairly safe to walk around anytime of the day.”
Mill Park is also close to Greenacres and The Bridge shopping centres, which offer a variety of stores to browse through and spots to grab a bite to eat. Parents whose children attend
Grey are allowed to use the school’s facilities over weekends. “Fathers and sons practise together at the cricket nets and it’s safe to walk your pets around the school,” Mandi says.
Besides being conveniently close to good schools and retail outlets, Mill Park is also close to the vibrant Cape Road business hub.
“Mill Park is a lovely place to live. It’s not cheap on rates, but it has a variety of family-friendly amenities. If your child is at Grey, then your family can also use the school’s awesome facilities.”
Mandi Pearson, resident
- The nearby Port Elizabeth Golf Club also has a popular walking/bike route in a scenic natural setting.
- The Mill Park Bowling Club is one of the oldest in Port Elizabeth and has many long-standing members.
- St George’s Park cricket stadium is within easy reach and hosts many local and international matches.
- Being so close to Greenacres and The Bridge shopping centres is a bonus.
- Cape Road also has many businesses and service providers within easy reach.
- Arkenstone in Westview Drive: for pizza made with stoneground flour and baked in a pizza oven.
- Old Grey Club in Mount Croix: for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as live music
- Rhubarb and Lime Cafe, St George’s Park: for all-day breakfasts
- Natti’s Thai Kitchen, St George’s Park: for deliciously spicy and flavourful Thai cuisine
- Savages Fine Food, St George’s Park: for coffee and baked goods, including cronuts