in the winter of 2009 when i visited melbourne, my friend chris took me to one of the parks that adjoins the yarra river. i blogged about the warrandyte suburb here. there are quite a number of parks and parklands that are located along the length of the yarra river. the smaller parks have unsealed paths while the larger parks have sealed pathways suitable for walking as well as cycling. australians are fond of taking their dogs for a walk at the park. at most parks, dogs have to be leashed.
we did not go to walk the dogs. we went to the yarra bend park, near which the studley park boathouse is located, for a picnic. ida had gone to the park the day before, on australia day, and the scene she described was so vastly different. the day before, every corner of the park was taken up by australians celebrating their national day in their traditional way - a picnic and bbq in the park.
the studley park boathouse is the oldest operating boathouse in the state of victoria. it enjoys a nice location, at the bend of the yarra river. it has a restaurant and an indoor/outdoor cafe. row boats, kayaks and canoes are available for hire. the rate for the row boat is about $20 for half an hour. we did not row boats; instead, we fed the ducks and other birds on the bank and in the river.
you can sit at a picnic table and spend a quiet time by the bank of the river. although the sun was out, there was a cool breeze blowing. others were just happy to lie on the grass and be close to nature. now i understand why the australians love the outdoors.
this is the kane's bridge that spans the yarra river. the bridge originally built in 1929 was washed away by the 1934 floods. it was rebuilt in 1935. cyclists were advised to dismount and push the bike across the bridge. of the two cyclists i met, one dutifully got down and pushed his bike while the other cyclist just continued cycling across the bridge.