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Kensington Gardens Reserve

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by Max Opray (subscribe)
After three years travelling the world, it's time to discover my home town.
Published November 5th 2011
The Parade isn't all cafes and designer clothes: five minutes drive from the retail chic is a pristine haven of nature and sport. If heading from the city to the hills, Kensington Gardens Reserve is a street down from the Glyndburn Rd/Parade intersection. The Reserve is an expanse of parkland dotted with cricket, rugby, lawn bowls and tennis clubs, as well as the award-winning Burnside Adventure Park.

Dry creek bed at Kensington Gardens Reserve
Dry creek bed at Kensington Gardens Reserve

Featuring a giant swing, platforms, spacenets and a slide, the adventure park is good fun for the young and young at heart. Park facilities include toilets, picnic tables and barbeque pits.

There is a lake filled with ducks, however the water is too polluted for humans to jump in with them. It might seem a nice idea, but feeding the ducks is also ill-advised, as it can make them quite sick.

Ducks in the lake

Although the sports facilities are mostly exclusive to members of the various clubs, the general public are welcome to use the cricket practice nets and concrete tennis courts (the latter of which are generally quite cracked and covered with leaves).

The free tennis courts at Kensington Gardens

Kensington Gardens Bowling and Tennis Club offer much nicer grass court tennis, but to use them you'll have to fork out $280 a year for a tennis membership. A lawn bowls membership meanwhile costs $200 annually.

For a smaller hit to the pocket, the club is open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:30pm to 9:30pm for social nights ($10 for lawn bowls and food).

Kensington Gardens Bowling and Tennis club
Kensington Gardens Bowling and Tennis club

If cricket is more your scene, annual memberships at neighbouring Kensington District Cricket club start from $190 for boys and $130 for girls, with men paying $300 and women $190.

Don't want to pay? Watching is for free, and sledging the away team will have you part of the community in no time.

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Why? Nature, sport
When: Anytime
Where: Kensington Gardens Reserve
Cost: Free, unless you join a club
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