Play on a cute sports oval surrounded by native bushland
Balcombe Park in Beaumaris is a small picturesque reserve with a sports oval surrounded by trees and bushland. Walking around Balcombe Park feels almost like being in a country park, despite being on the corner of two busy roads in the suburbs of Bayside.
Looking through the trees to the sports oval at Balcombe Park
The park is home to a range of other native plants, with many others also flowering in spring, including orchids and lilies. In fact, ten different orchid species have been identified in the park. It's a good spot for wildflower photography when the plants are in bloom.
The view across the heathland vegetation with the Wedding Bush and other native plants
According to the information sign, the sports oval was once a swamp, and the low-lying areas of the reserve once supported swamp-loving plant species, such as the Pink Swamp Heath (Sprengelia incarnata).
Today, the sports oval is definitely not a swamp. The oval's surface is mown, but the grass is patchy and not maintained as a high-quality turf. In the centre is a cricket pitch for the summer months, and last winter soccer goal posts were erected. Tea-tree, wattle and eucalypts surround the oval.
A wide grassy track follows the perimeter of Balcombe Park. A walk along this track is the best way to appreciate the native bushland, especially around the northern and eastern borders of the park where the densest areas of Wedding Bush can be found. The northern end of the park backs onto the Royal Melbourne Golf Course.
In the eastern section of the park are a few short sandy tracks that wind through the bushland. Some areas have been fenced off to protect the higher-quality heathland vegetation, particularly where the tea-tree has been cleared and ecological burns have been carried out. Take a look over the fence into these areas to spot some of the more interesting native plants that have been encouraged to regenerate after the burns.