Yarra Bend Park
Studley Park and its neighbours Fairfield Park and
Yarra Bend Park is one of the gems of Melbourne and forms a wonderful
complement to the Royal Botanic Gardens. The Botanic Gardens are perfectly
manicured, meticulously planned and consist of plantings from all around the
world with a strong European influence. Studley Park is big, rambling, and
covered with natural Australian bush. In many areas you can lie on your back
and watch the trees and birds above your head and feel far removed from city
life and European sensibilities. It would not feel out of place if a member
of the Wurundjerie tribe wandered out of the bush in possum skins to
investigate this strange person on his territory. And yet you are only 10
minutes from the centre of the city.
Studley Park follows the course of the Yarra River for some
distance, snaking its way through several suburbs. The shallow river valley
has the effect of visually removing it from its surrounding suburbs.
My favourite areas are the bushland with their bird life.
You will find many finches in the South-West corner near Victoria Street. On
the other side, if you cross the pipe bridge you are likely to come face to
face with brilliantly coloured parrots. Water birds can be found all along
the river, and many areas ring to the delightful ping of bellbirds. The best
time for birds of course is early morning or late afternoon.
Being an Australian park there is plenty of room for sport,
with numbers of ovals and a golf course. Nearby attractions include the
Collingwood Children's Farm and the Abbotsford Convent.
It is the ideal spot for a picnic, , BBQ or social
gathering, and the focal areas are the two boatsheds. Hire a rowing boat and
row your loved one up the river and feel part of another era. It is almost
obligatory for an Australian costume drama to have a boating scene shot at
the Studley Park Boatsheds or with boats rowing under the suspension bridge
.If you prefer a bit more adrenalin, try shooting the rapids in a kayak at
Dight's Falls, or taking the motorbike for a spin (within the speed limit of
course) with the petrol heads who gather at the top of the hill in Yarra
Boulevard. (both sealed and unsealed) run through the park, and it is
possible to run, walk, cycle, or rollerblade for many kilometres along the
river and its tributary, the Merri Creek.
The Botanic Gardens represents Melbourne in its Sunday Best.
Studley Park is Melbourne in its Saturday Casuals. Both are important and I
wouldn't want one without the other.
Some forthcoming events at Studley Park, Fairfield Park and Yarra Bend
During the summer months the amphitheatre overlooking the river is often
used for concerts and other performances, and each year there is a series of
world music concerts.