Category Archives: WALKS 60 / 90 MINS

The Children’s Garden – for real Kid’s & those still Kid’s at Heart

THE CHILDREN’S GARDEN

The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden

Located adjacent to the Observatory Gate and Café, opposite the Shrine of Remembrance Visitor Centre on Birdwood Avenue, the Children’s Garden entrance is down a pathway with magical creatures shaped out of plants.

This fenced garden is a perfect place to let the kids explore and investigate a garden, getting their hands dirty as they find the hidden secrets.

The Meeting Place which has a water feature that sprays up out of the ground in summer, is a hoot of fun, dodging the water jets to cool down. It always seems to entice those who ‘s parents didn’t bring the spare set of shorts and a towel, which I recommend. A great spot to let them free whilst having some fun. You could even let your own inhibitions down and play dodge yourself!!

Fountain in the Children’s Garden

Nearby watch out for the sculpture by Louis Laumen of characters from the classic Australian children’s book by Norman Lindsay – The Magic Pudding. This is a great spot if you can weave you kids around the characters for a photo shoot.

From the oriental hut you’ll overlook the Wetland Area with Bamboo Forest behind and buried inside is a platform to climb which is often missed and a great spot to wave to seated adults on the other side of the garden.

The Rill is a gentle waterway that runs through the Garden which you will stumble across at some stage and if you are tackling the garden in a clockwise fashion, it will lead you to the plant tunnel. At the back of this section you’ll come to the shell of a burnt out tree stump. Be inquisitive with your kids and get inside, looking up you may be lucky to spot the resident possum if around having a siesta.

The Children’s Garden built with assistance from the Ian Potter Foundation is well worth a visit and is easy to while away an hour or more. It is perfect for combining with other close by attractions and one activity that provide balance for the younger family members in a days Melbourne sightseeing.

Onion Heads in the Children’s Garden – Raised Beds

What’s underneath the Onion Skin – other things to do nearby:

If you are visiting the Children’s Garden with kids, further along the path from it’s entrance, inside the Royal Botanical Gardens [RBG] there are three other things which may add to your visit. This will be of course dependent on energy, age and interest of those with you.

First you’ll come across the Herb Garden and a great spot to extend the play and learning in the raised garden beds in the Children’s Garden. Further down the lawns you’ll see the ornamental lake, a great spot to see ducks, water fowl and Australia’s Black Swan and if you choose to walk through the fern gully on the way, look up and you may see fruit bats hanging in the tree tops. Thirdly there is Guilfoyle’s Volcano – the rebuilt reservoir, built with arid plants, rock and scoria has a great spiral walkway, this would have appeal to those a little older.

Food: The Observatory Gate and Café is metres from this garden entrance a great spot to purchase a coffee or an ice cream. Alternatively there is a lawn area to share your picnic if you have brought one or let the kids run and let off some steam.

Inside the RBG overlooking the Ornamental Lake is located another café which has a more adult vibe, but great for a Devonshire tea.

 

Suburb/Neighbourhood: MELBOURNE [5 minutes from South Melbourne Homestay]

How to get there:  Melway reference – Map 2F K12

By Car: Parking around the Tan, there are a range of two and four hour parking spots or weekend s on St Kilda Road
By Tram:
St Kilda Road and Dorcas Street – stop number 19 walk up through the Shrine of Remembrance forecourt and past the Vietnam War Memorial.
St Kilda Road and Coventry Street – stop number 18 walk past the Shrine of Remembrance Boulevard to the roundabout and right along Birdwood Avenue. This is a  gradual flatter approach but a little further to walk but easier managing a stroller and children or if steps might be a difficulty.
The Domain Road intersection Terminus– walk from the rear of the Shrine reserve to Birdwood Avenue.
By City Explorer Bus: – Free tourist shuttle, get off at stop 13 for the Shrine and Royal Botanical Gardens. Walk further along the road in the direction that the bus travels to the Observatory Gate and entrance to the Children’s Garden.

 

Last Post and where was the Bugle Boy

MELBOURNE SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE

 

There are a couple of ways to access the Shrine of Remembrance, the one I like the best if not walking is to travel by tram and get off at stop 19 – St Kilda Road and Dorcas Street.  If arriving from the city,  when alighting the tram you’ll notice the reserve with the Shrine sitting at the  top of the grassy mound to your left.

Walk up the steps [about 20]and you’ll find yourself on the forecourt. Whether you have arrived on foot or by transport this a great spot to start your walk around the Shrine and reserve, with vistas to your left that you hadn’t expected and the eternal flame adjacent.  In the distance, past the walk up to the forecourt blends the street cutting through the centre of the city.  The building at that end of the streetscape forms what seems like another book ends with this impressive memorial. The forecourt is flanked by trees standing like sentinels and it’s not too hard to imagine the rank and file men or women having served their country as they parade and march up to the foot of the steps on

The Shrine of Remembrance

ANZAC day or one of the other 120 ceremonies held at the Shrine annually.

Looking to the right, let your eyes follow the steps up two or three levels to rest on the Shrine at the top of the steps. This impressive building stands tall and scanning your eyes up the structure you’ll notice that there are two levels on the outside which you can gain access to from the inside. The outside levels are a great place to capture the vista to the other side of the city on camera. You’ll even sneak a peak through the buildings to Port Philip bay or across to Albert Park and the lake.

Originally built to remember those lost in the Great war of 1914 -1918, the Shrine is now the focal point for those days on the calendar where the men and women are remembered and honoured having lost their life in active service.  You’ll see evidence of this if you look around the reserve at the foot of the trees that have been planted or one of the small sculptures and fountains dotted around in memory, each with a plaques commemorating a specific event.

On this occasion I am not sure if a significant day, we heard the sound of the last post ring out across the evening air, but the bugler was not in sight!! Having visited on other occasions I recommend the visitor centre , inside the entrance a featured wall of poppies and occurring on the hour in the main chamber, a short ceremony with light is performed.

Poppies-Shrine of Remembrance

It is easy for 60-120 minutes at disappear at the Shrine and reserve, depending on your interest. My partner  always  say the Americans do monuments well and the place to see the best is in Washington, DC., although I enjoy Washington. I think this little pocket of the Kings Domain which the Shrine of Remembrance is very special place.

We pass through the reserve several times a week on one of our many walks around “the Tan“, the track around the Botanical Gardens popular with runners, walkers or sightseers at lunchtime or from around 5.00 pm each day. Check out ‘What’s underneath the Onion Skin’ below for other options to add to your adventure, literally across the road and minutes away.

What’s underneath the Onion Skin – other things to do nearby:

The Royal Botanical Gardens [RBG], incorporates the Children’s Garden a favourite to take my godson, the Guilfoyle’s Volcano – the rebuilt resevoir, Herb Garden and adjacent Camelia Walk. If gardens are your thing and you have the time for an expedition by car, 90 minutes is another campus of the RBG and the Australian Garden in Cranbourne.

Dotted around the perimeter of the gardens are The National Herbarium, The Observatory Gate and Café , Government House and the Historic Places Trust property – La Trobe Cottage.

Food:

On this walk there are Coffee Shops in abundance, just a little tucked away.  Across the road from the Shrine is the Observatory Gate Café, inside the gardens overlooking the Ornamental Lake is located another café. Alternatively outside one the gates on the Domain Road and Anderson Street intersection is a row of more gourmet offerings.

Suburb/Neighbourhood: MELBOURNE [5 minutes from South Melbourne Homestay]

How to get there:  Melway reference – Map 2F J12

By Car: Parking around the Tan, there are a range of two and four hour parking spots or weekend s on St Kilda Road

By Tram:

St Kilda Road and Dorcas Street – stop number 19 Shrine of Remembrance, Vietnam War Memorial.

St Kilda Road and Coventry Street – stop number 18 is a  gradual flatter approach but a little further to walk but easier managing a stroller and children or if steps might be a difficulty.

The Domain Road intersection Terminus– walk from the rear of the reserve to the site.