Away from the hustle and bustle of North Lakes' big-box stores and main roads, there are many places where you can take a nice relaxed stroll through parklands and reserves.
So what if you're a little time-poor and need to get a walk in quickly, but still want to enjoy the local scenery and see some wildlife up close?
Mango Hill is the older, more established suburb of the two abutting Anzac Avenue, North Lakes. Only a two-minute drive from Westfield shopping centre, Halpine Lake Reserve is a pretty centrepiece to the area and provides a sanctuary for local aquatic waterbirds.
Good footpaths and urban planning combine to form a loop around the area's beautiful wetlands, the new (and actually quite aesthetic) train station, and other local infrastructure.
Best of all, this route is a quick, 1.8km walk that you can knock over in 20 minutes at a medium pace. There's only two minor places where you'll need to cross the road, with safe pedestrian islands in the middle to wait (if necessary, but there's usually only light traffic outside of peak hour). This is an easy option for a quick morning or evening spot of exercise with your furrier half.
If you live locally, you'll probably already know exactly where the lake is and are happy to walk to the start of the loop. If you're coming by car (not a bad way to kill time if you've just dropped some shopaholics off at Westfield North Lakes), try parking at either Mango Hill Marketplace or Mango Hill train station, and starting and finishing the loop there instead.
Begin walking south-west back towards Freshwater Creek Road, then follow the footpath all the way along up to the intersection with Halpine Drive. Turn right, and walk all the way along past the train station, and up to the traffic lights.
You'll now find yourself at the intersection of Halpine Drive and Mango Hill Boulevard. Turn right, and walk down the hill past the northern end of the train station.
Follow the bike path under the railway line, and keep walking until you find yourself on Jasper Place.
Follow the slight bend to your right onto Topaz Drive. You'll see that you're close to completing your circuit around the lake, and that the same path you started on is just around the corner.
This last little part of the walk follows the dog-leg path right up to the lake's edge.
The photos in this article don't really show how many ducks there are on this walk (I love my dog, however she is a little bit too interested in birds sometimes and we have to keep our distance), but I've made a note on the map in the below video just where exactly you can sit and watch them frolic.
You're bound to see other walkers and dogwalkers along this route, regardless of the time of day. It's such a great area to live and walk in, and people are always ready to offer a smile and a quick "G'Day".
There are also many options to change up the walk if you want to try something a little different; try trotting down the gravel path on the northern side of the childcare centre and then skirt the lake around the south-eastern side of the train station (this saves about five minutes in total). Or try walking all the way up to Mango Hill Marketplace and stop for a coffee (if you drove and parked here, you'll be walking this route anyway!).
Looking back at Halpine Lake from the south-eastern side of the train station