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Published October 19th 2012
Imagine how far you are from that office cubicle and smile
It's that time of the year when frisky flies and pesky neighbours vie with each other to ruin your efforts at enjoying the glorious sunshine in your own backyard. Don't let them make you shut the door and lock yourself in. Go on over to the local park and bask in the glory that is spring. Really, this is not the time to be cooped up inside no matter what.
My great escape is to the Bundoora Park; an expanse of greenery and age old trees dotting the landscape that includes rustic walkways, little lakes, picnic tables, park benches, and shy wildlife. Specially designated children's play areas keep this form of wildlife safely out of your way as well.
If you're with family, the Park has it covered from petting zoo to café, enclosed playground, barbecue islands, plenty of fresh air, and exercise without you even realising you're doing it. Cooper's Settlement is where the petting zoo is and that's also a nice resting spot where you can relax with a cuppa while the animals drive your kids nuts with excitement. They even have milking demonstrations in addition to the usual feeding and cuddling sessions. Pony rides are also available and you just have to get there early before the pony decides to call it a day.
If Dad wants a game of golf, you won't even miss the man as he makes off to the 18 hole par 72 picturesque green they have at the park. If you're here on a first Saturday of the month between 8 am and 1 pm, you get to see a honest-to-goodness farmer's market in action. With over 30 stalls selling all sorts of goodies from fresh fruits to tangy preserves, this is an experience that is excitingly close to becoming a habit.
Bundoora Park is where dog lovers of the area love to indulge in their walk the dog routines. But the place being so extensive you rarely have one of those encounters where a dog as big as a horse stares you down with an evil glint while the tiny owner claims he is just another variety of sheep and wouldn't "hoit a fly". Well, I'm happy for the flies, but I sure am not reassured much.
What is most remarkable about this park is perhaps the fact that it can accommodate bus loads of visitors and not make you feel overwhelmed. There's always a quiet nook you can call your own and settle down happily with a book or your iPod. Go for a walk, ride your bike, or get together your group of friends and make it a day out at the park with a picnic basket. This is indeed the place to enjoy a perfect spring day.