Exploring Melbourne's Picturesque Parks

One of the reasons why I like Melbourne so far is because of its well manicured parks and gardens. In a way, the city is similar to Singapore, albeit with more stretches of greenery co-existing harmoniously with the concrete jungle. Coupled with the cool and dry weather, they make excellent locations for sport - lots of people run and cycle all hours of the day - having a picnic, having a snooze, or just reading a book or chilling with friends.

Being an outdoor person myself, I had to discover these parks and ventured on a very long walk today.

One of the first landmarks I saw on my walk through Victoria Street was this rather humorous though irreverent treatment of a former VIP of the city at a public park!

I also saw a flock of seagulls nestling cosily, dotting the tiled surface with their own "artistic impressions".

Up next was the historic Carlton Gardens, which was just adjacent to the world class Melbourne Museum.

The gardens contained the regal and massive Exhibition Building, which was a location for many exhibitions and shows.

A nice finely sculptured waterfall took pride of place in its middle.

A watercooler - one of the most common features in Melbourne gardens and parks - helps to slake one's thirst during the searing heat of summer. Thankfully, the weather was nice and cool today (about 18 to 20 deg C).

A good quiet place to catch up with the day's news...

...or to snooze away one's cares and worries, amidst fine feathered friends.

Our next stop is the picturesque Yarra River, which had many parks just beside it on its Southern banks.

The first is the fairly nondescript Alexandra Gardens. Notice how the dry and hot summer did significant damage to the grass here.

I also took a walk along Queen Victoria Gardens, and came face to face with her majesty's regal countenance.

Where there is a queen, there must also be a king. At the King's Domain perched high on a hill, large and noble trees shaped the landscape.

The garden also had an obelisk like structure which was a monument to something. Unfortunately I didn't have time to check what it was about.

My final and probably most significant stop was the lovely and sprawling grounds of Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens.

Every direction I turned was a photo opportunity, and this was helped by the many interestingly shaped trees and comfortably textured carpet grasses.

A shot of the ornamental lake. If you look closely at the right, you would notice that the girl was actually doing a handstand!

A sheltered spot provided by a dome-shaped pavillion.

At one of the tropical greenhouses which I visited, I spotted these useful guides that you can pick and use for educational purposes on a self-guided walk. Neat!

No prizes for guessing what carnivorous (or rather insectivorous) plants these are.

Edifying the public about botany seemed to be a key feature. What I liked about their panels is that they are written in easy to understand language accessible to the layman.

Of course, the parks aren't just about learning but leisure too. I saw this lovely scene of a couple saying their wedding vows in the company of relatives and friends in the park.

Another idyllic scene of recreation, this time amongst a family unit having a picnic (with wine and fruits too) beside the lake.

Finally, as part of the city's massive campaign for the environment, one could spot two bins everywhere - one for real rubbish, and the other for recyclables. In fact, the next topic of my posts (if energy permits) would be on the Sustainable Living Festival which I witnessed. More of that later...

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