If you are either a local or a visitor to Melbourne, and you feel extremely comfortable and at peace with nature for a few hours, then follow me on a guided tour of the best playgrounds that Melbourne has to offer.
Firstly, make your way to Treasury Gardens on Spring Street, and immerse yourself with plush tress and well mowed lawns followed by a pond in the middle of this inner city oasis. Keep going till you get to one street parallel from Spring Street and watch out - this road gets quite busy. Take care when crossing the road to your next garden destination, Fitzroy Gardens, where you are welcomed by more tourists, and will probably come across the many enlightened souls meditating. If floristry is also your interest; then why not engage yourself in a garden tour at the conservatory, and the cooks cottage is also worth a look.
It will be wise to head back to Spring Street after your Fitzroy and Treasury Gardens entourage. Wait for tram route 109, alight from the Casino tram stop, and keep walking till you get to popular St Kilda Road, where you will find another great park called Alexandra Gardens. Here, you will get a great view of the Yarra and Federation Square among cyclists and rowers. This great park was also host to this years Mothers Day Classic too, and the honours will come again in 2012. Great for picnic lunches.
Keep walking along St Kilda Road (might be a good idea to grab a latte to keep the energy going; don't worry about the trams) and you will head to the Queen Victoria Gardens and the Kings Domain. These are both spacious, beautiful parks with clever floral art, providing great access to the Shrine of Remembrance, where you can pay your respects to those war veterans who have made life possible for us today. Sidney Myer Music Bowl isn't too far away either.
We've saved the best park (in my opinion) for last. You'll find the Botanical Gardens in South Yarra, and it is quite easy to get a little lost if you don't know where you are going. Be further immersed in nature. This garden is so much more enjoyable than the Sydney Botanical Gardens and you feel like you're bush walking in a rainforest rather than in Melbourne's South Yarra; no skyscrapers or city skylines in sight. Bliss.
Enjoy a natural heaven for a few hours. Your body, mind and spirit might just thank you for it.