South East of Bendigo's city centre there is a magnificent reserve situated around a large reservoir. This is Kennington Reserve, and if you find yourself in Bendigo it is well worth a visit.
The Kennington Reservoir - which is the central feature of the Reserve - dominates the area. It is the home to a huge number and variety of water birds, and is also the scene for an annual fishing competition.
There is a bird blind to watch the wildlife from and an island that is out of bounds to people, where it seems many of them also nest. If you have the patience, taking photographs of birds in a natural setting is something that not only I but my son enjoyed here, as well as a number of others with some impressive looking equipment.
But the lake is only half of the reserve. There is also a wonderful expanse of native vegetation criss-crossed by walking trails and tracks. Again, the bird life is wide and varied, and we were lucky enough to see a lizard and a pair of snakes as well. My son was particularly entranced by some large drgaonflies.
There are old bridges and some of the tracks are over grown, but this only adds to the fun.
The walking is not too difficult. We went as a family for a little over an hour through the tracks and around the reservoir, and there were enough birds and other things to see that the two children made it with ease.
There are well-kept public amenities, and some nice grassed areas where it would be easy to picnic. There is also a boardwalk along one side of the reservoir, making that part of the walk a little easier.
My only complaint is the amount of human rubbish we saw throughout the park. A shame, as it really did take away from the beauty of the place.