The Best Parks in Melbourne for Ride-on Toys
Melbourne is a great place to visit for many reasons, including the stunning architecture and the wide array of bars and restaurants offering tasty delights. However, among the things that make Melbourne stand out are its pristine and beautiful country, as well as its city parks, gardens and other green spaces you’ll find throughout the city.
To give you an idea of what the city has to offer, we have highlighted some of the very best parks for ride-on toys that Melbourne has to offer, including exactly what makes them so special and the various facilities they have.
Alexandra Gardens – Melbourne (Victoria)
Alexandra Gardens are situated by the south bank of the iconic Yarra River and is part of the Domain Parklands along with The Royal Botanic Garden, Kings Domain and Queen Victoria Gardens. One of the most striking things about this park is the line of historic rowing boathouses along the banks of the Yarra River.
Leading to Alexandra Gardens are tree-lined avenues, ornamental shrugs and gorgeous palm trees. Another notable feature is the star-shaped garden bed that represents the Federation of Australia. An exceptionally quiet and relaxing park, the gardens are therefore particularly good if you intend to relax in the sun and enjoy the beauty of nature, maybe get a bit of exercise or take advantage of one of the electric BBQs. Be warned, though—you need to be at the park early if you want a barbie as they are always incredibly popular.
Listed on the Victorian Heritage Register due to its historical significance, Alexandra Gardens also have plenty of paths for both cycling and walking. If you take your bike, you should try the Capital City Trail that leads you along the Yarra.
Fitzroy Gardens – Melbourne (Victoria)
One of the longest existing parks in Melbourne, Fitzroy Gardens have been used as a public park and gardens for over 150 years, taking its name from Sir Charles Augustus Fitzroy, who was the Governor-General of the Australian Colonies and Governor of NSW. As there is so much to see and do at this park, it is not surprising that it attracts over 2 million local, interstate and international visitors every year. It features many attractions, from Cook’s Cottage, a memorial and recreation of Captain James Cook (the explorer who discovered the Eastern Coast of Australia) based on the original family home he had in Great Ayton, Yorkshire to Sinclair’s Cottage, various statues, fountain and other structures. It is by far one of the most popular spots for tourists in the city.
When you have had enough walking, running, cycling or just taking in the beauty of the trees and other sights, there is the KereKere Green Cafe at the Visitor Centre, offering a full range of tasty snacks and drinks made from fresh ingredients from local providers.
Birrarung Marr, Melbourne Victoria
Birrarung Marr was only opened in 2002, making it the newest of all Melbourne’s major parks. It regularly hosts festivals and other events and is located to the north of the Yarra River. The name Birrarung Marr is taken from two different traditional Aboriginal languages from Adelaide and Melbourne, respectively. It literally means ‘beside the river,’ which is very apt, as you can enjoy a nice and relaxing day by the Yarra at this park.
However, there is so much more on offer here, including some awe-inspiring sculptures such as the Federation Bells in the middle of the three terraces that make up the park. Controlled electronically, these are a series of inverted bells hung on poles that play original Australian musical compositions.
If you are visiting with children, be sure to stop in at the children’s art gallery and centre called ArtPlay as there is always some kind of cutting-edge activity program on the go, or take your little ones to the intriguing collection of sandpits and slides at the ArtPlay Playground.
Flagstaff Gardens have been officially reserved as parkland as early as 1862, making it the oldest park in Melbourne. Originally used as a cemetery for the early colonial residents of the city, it is now one a great place to come for a relaxing walk or lunch on the green lawns. A must-see for anyone visiting the city, the gardens feature Moreton Bay figs, eucalyptus, a stretch of stunning elm trees, a bowling green, rose beds, tennis courts, sculptures and the ubiquitous electric barbecues.
If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of some of the native birds and animals like possums that call the park their home, along with the amazing flora.
Royal Park – Melbourne (Victoria)
We have chosen to highlight Royal Park, because, at 170 hectares, it is the biggest park in Melbourne. It offers visitors such wide open spaces of greenery and parkland that will make it hard for you to believe you are actually still in a capital city.
A long-standing tradition for the park is its dual use for both recreation and sport. Whatever you fancy—walking, cycling, hockey, netball, cricket, baseball, football, tennis or golf—you will find it all at Royal Park. There is also a multitude of native animals and birds at the timbered eucalyptus forest, such as many birds of prey, robins, wrens, rosellas, and of course, possums!
This is just a snapshot view of some of the great city parks you can find in and around Melbourne. There are many others, but we feel the parks highlighted above are some of the best the city has to offer nature lovers, recreation hunters, families looking for fun, couples looking for a romantic picnic or office workers from the city looking to escape the hustle and bustle for a few hours. Whether you choose one of these or another of the plethora in the district, you will be treated to an interesting, relaxing and fun day out.